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Politics

Kids Learn So Quickly

8:30 PM EDT on July 25, 2008

My nineteen month old son can reset my TiVo, a multi step process I had to read the manual to figure out.  On the other hand, my mother-in-law still can't figure out how to change the channel. 

That's the trend.  The younger generations grow up immersed in the technologies that older generations never imagined as children.  As a result, the kids work with the things that baffle us adults in a manner that suggests a second nature.

Of course, this advantage possessed by the younger generations was bound to translate to the political arean.  Barack Obama, a candidate with many barriers to the office, is in the cat bird seat for becoming the third youngest President in U.S. History by taking advantage of the internet in a way that his septugenarian opponent cannot.  Then, of course, there is the story of 19 year old Muskogee, Oklahoma mayor, John Tyler Hammons, who picked up the ropes of more traditional politics so quickly.

Muskogee elected Hammons thinking that a kid who was fresh from Prom and hardly through a freshman year at OU could not be corrupted by the "good old boy network"--Which, as we learned from Brent Rinehart, is a liberal association, making the conservative youngster further immune.  What the citizens of Muskogee failed to factor in was how quickly our youth learn these day.  Within weeks of his swearing in to office, Hammons is dealing with his first ethical controversy

Like some other OU freshmen have found, Hammons has learned that linking yourself to a car dealership is a bad idea.  As part of his employment package for working at Lake Country Chevrolet and Cadillac, the new mayor was given a brand new Chevy Silvarado to drive.  On the surface, it does not seem like a big deal.  I'm sure plenty of employees at the dealership are given a loaner.

According the Muskogee Phoenix, though, there is a lot to be curious about.  For one, Hammons was given the truck even though he never actually worked for them.  He even wrecked the truck, returned it, and then changed his mind about accepting the job.  Second, the position Hammons was offered--salesman--is one that might not necessarily be given a company car, especially for someone without experience.

So why then would Hammons have received such a perk?  From the Muskogee Phoenix editorial:

A code enforcement officer says the dealership told him the mayor said they didn't have to worry about codes restricting dealerships from parking in the right-of-way.

I hope J.T. didn't get the idea from this.

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