Oh God, The Oklahoman is trying to portray Mary Fallin as a hero!
12:04 PM EDT on June 9, 2016
Amazon Prime’s TV offerings include the series, “The Man in the High Castle,” set in a world where the Axis powers won World War II. Such alternative histories may make for good entertainment, but they’re bad journalism. A case in point is a recent...
Wait a second. I've been blogging about The Oklahoman so much this week that I'm starting to sound like their Editorial Board! Send me to Valyria to live with the stone men! I'm not well!
The Oklahoman, who apparently is run by fans of revisionist history, released a hysterical article this week about the battle between Mary Fallin, an aggressive, visionary governor, and our clueless, aloof, obstructionist Oklahoma legislature. It made me lol.
Oklahoma Legislature rebuffs Gov. Mary Fallin's 'aggressive agenda'
In the recently concluded legislative session, Gov. Mary Fallin called for Medicaid expansion, a $3,000 teacher pay raise, expanded sales and use taxes, school consolidation and a tobacco tax. She got none of it.
Fallin wanted no new use of "one-time revenue," or funding that doesn't recur on a yearly basis. She lost that fight, too.
Lawmakers ended up using at least $600 million in one-time funds, meaning they will face a big budget hole next year when they draw up a new spending plan.
Fallin didn't want to pull money from the Rainy Day Fund, but legislators withdrew cash from that emergency account to stabilize the budget.
The governor wanted the Legislature to pass a school voucher plan. That was rejected as well.
Why can't a Republican governor get her agenda through a Republican-dominated Legislature?
Uhm, I have an idea. Could it be because she's one of the worst governors in the country and her ideas are garbage? That would make sense. Then again, our legislature is also one of the worst in this country and they're full of garbage ideas, too. This is like a battle between a dumpster and trash can at the State Fair. There are no winners.
Keith Gaddie, chairman of the University of Oklahoma political science department, said factionalism is at play.
"There isn't one Republican party," he said. "There are a whole bunch of different factions, and they can't agree on much."
Pro-business Republicans may not agree with tea party groups, which may differ from evangelicals. There is also the "liberty caucus," rural Republicans and libertarians.
Then there are the Democrats, who acted as spoilers this legislative session, refusing, for example, to back a $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax pushed by House Speaker Jeff Hickman.
Hickman, R-Fairview, said the governor set an "aggressive agenda," that helped concentrate the work of representatives, even if many of her suggestions didn't end up being adopted.
"It was a very productive session," he said.
He counts as a victory the fact that the Legislature was able to avoid big cuts to some core services such as common education and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, even though most agencies saw allocation reductions of 5 percent or more. Higher education funding was cut 16 percent.
Yep, the Oklahoma Speaker of the House thinks it's a "victory" that he and his colleagues were able to "avoid big cuts" to "common education." The thrill of victory sure is sweet! Hopefully he invites all the Oklahoma kids who need new textbooks to the big victory parade. Some of them don't have school on Friday.