Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 9, 2012

‘Fight, fight, fight’

Frosty Troy, the founding editor of the Oklahoma Observer, told local Democrats to not give up on regaining control of the state legislature.

TAHLEQUAH — The state Legislature may be controlled by Republicans, but Oklahoma Observer Editor Frosty Troy encouraged local Democrats to keep fighting.

Troy, a staunch Democrat and member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, spoke to the Cherokee County Federation of Democrat Women on Friday at the Restaurant of the Cherokees.

“These [current state legislators] are not Henry Bellmon and Dewey Bartlett Republicans,” said Troy. “These people are meaner than snakes. Just look at the Oklahoma mental health department. We keep enhancing sentences and putting people in jail who don’t belong there. My lord, we imprison more women per capita than any other state in the union.”

Troy said he’s “more than disappointed” with Gov. Mary Fallin and Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi.

“Mary Fallin is just an empty dress,” said Troy. “Fred Morgan at the [Oklahoma] Chamber of Commerce is calling the shots. And Janet Barresi, she’s a dentist. A dentist! She’s never taught a day in her life.”

Troy, longtime supporter and defender of public education, believes Barresi’s voucher plan for schools is out of line, and will sound the death knell for public education in Oklahoma.

“Now, I’m a committed Roman Catholic, but private schools should get private money, and public schools should get public money. The next thing you know, there will be vouchers for homeschoolers,” Troy said. “Did you know that Oklahoma is the only state in the union that has zero accountability for homeschooling? It’s true.”

Troy believes the only way to improve the situation in the state, in the current political climate, is for the Democrats to regain control.

“We’ve got to reclaim the party, one voter at a time,” said Troy. “Remember when you were proud to say you were a Democrat? People, I’ve covered nine governors and one horse’s ass – make that a horse’s ass with two gold clusters: Frank Keating. Remember Keating? He’s the one who brought us ‘Right to Work.’ And [Democratic Gov.] Brad Henry, well, he was the laziest governor I’ve ever seen. He’d sit on parole cases for over six months. What about those families? When I asked about it, I was told he took time to study each one very carefully. Pfffft.”

Troy blames much of the Democratic Party’s recent degeneration on Henry.

A lot of what has happened to the Democratic party is Brad Henry’s fault. He never attended central committee meetings; he sent Scott Meacham,” said Troy. “Henry signed off on $800 million in tax cuts for corporations, while students have no libraries and music programs are being cut. I don’t normally speak ill of Democrats, but he was lazy.”

Troy said gains in the party will happen, but they’ll be slow in coming.

“Folks, in order to regain control, it’s gotta be personal,” said Troy. “It’s gotta be about what happens to our kids. Henry Bellmon [a Republican] worked his heart out for [public education]. ...Everything we hope to become is in our public schools. When those are gone, it’s all over.”

Troy commended the efforts of local lawmakers Sen. Jim Wilson and Rep. Mike Brown, both Tahlequah Democrats.

“What is it in the water in Cherokee County?” asked Troy. “Jim Wilson and Mike Brown fight for what’s right. They know they’re in the minority, and they keep on fighting.”

Troy also pointed out there are a number of Democrats who might as well be Republicans – particularly U.S. Rep. Dan Boren.

“Dan Boren and [his father, former U.S. Sen.] David Boren, how corrupt they are!” said Troy.

“The New York Times did an article proving it. If you doubt me, go read it. There’s not a newspaper in the state that will touch that story, but the New York Times did.”

In the Dec. 3, 2011, edition of the New York Times, an article by Eric Lipton showed the Boren family has scored millions in benefits from the natural gas industry.

Dan Boren serves as co-chairman of the House Natural Gas Caucus, and his stepfather is an independent oil and natural gas producer in East Texas. According to the Times report, Boren has worked to block any move by federal regulators to thwart drilling efforts, despite claims that the process, known as “fracking,” has created groundwater contamination, and oil and gas leaks.

The report states Boren received more than $690,000 from the oil and gas industry in 2011, and in the 2010 election cycle, far outpaced his fellow House Democrats in donations from the industry executives.

Since his retirement from the Senate, David Boren has been president of the University of Oklahoma.

“What are we going to do?” asked Troy. “We have enough half-a**ed Democrats like Dan Boren. I don’t know about you, but I’m all-the-way Democrat. It’s time to fight, fight, fight.”

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What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
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