The Edmond Sun


December 2, 2013

OKLAHOMA NOW: Celebrating an inspiring year in Oklahoma

OKLA. CITY — Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is on its way. This is a great time of year to reflect on all of God’s blessings and to be thankful for what we have.

Like many Oklahomans, I am thankful for my faith, my wonderful family, and my friends. I am also thankful for the opportunity to be your governor.

Oklahoma is a special state. We are a community of generous and caring individuals. I am thankful for that sense of community, and for the Oklahoma Standard which it represents.

It was that sense of resilience and compassion that allowed us to recover and rebuild so quickly in the wake of the May tornadoes. The tragedy of those storms was devastating; but the volunteer spirit, the fearlessness of our first responders, and the generosity of our people was inspiring. Today, organizations like the OKStrong Disaster Relief Fund run by the United Way have raised millions of dollars for families affected by the storms. I am thankful for anyone who participated in that relief and recovery effort.

Storm recovery is just one example of Oklahomans taking care of their neighbors. I continue to be thankful — and amazed — by how successful each year’s Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive has been because of our generous individuals and businesses. It is a sad truth that one in four Oklahoma children suffers from food insecurity. To help feed those children, as well as their parents, Oklahomans contributed more than 3.1 million meals, right on time for the holiday season.

I am also thankful for the industriousness of our people, their hardworking nature, and the tremendous results which their work has sown.

In 2009, Oklahoma followed the rest of the nation into a deep and damaging recession. For the last three years, we have put that recession behind us, dramatically outpacing national growth.

Consider this:

• Since 2011, our unemployment rate has fallen from 7 percent to just 5.3 percent, one of the best rates in the nation.

• Our Rainy Day Savings Account has risen from $2.03 to more than $530 million.

• Oklahoma families have seen their incomes rise by 8 percent since 2011, meaning they have thousands more dollars to save or invest. That growth is extraordinary, especially given challenging national economic circumstances. In fact, Governing Magazine recently identified Oklahoma as one of only three states to see average wages increase during the period of 2007-12.

I am thankful that Oklahoma and Oklahoma families are on the rise.

At the state Capitol, we are working hard to support and sustain this forward momentum. We’ve pursued tax cuts and eliminated barriers to job creation by pursuing legal reform and reducing red tape. We are delivering smart, balanced budgets that eliminate government waste and inefficiencies. And we’re also making the investments we need in our schools, because nothing is more important to getting a good job with a living wage than education.

All of this is part of what I call the Oklahoma Comeback. As we move toward the New Year, I’m thankful and proud to have been part of one of the country’s greatest success stories. I hope you are too!

GOV. MARY FALLIN may be reached via her website at

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  • 'Too big to fail' equals 'too eager to borrow'

    Four years ago this month, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law, promising that the 848-page financial law would “put a stop to taxpayer bailouts once and for all,” he said. But recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a Detroit crowd that “the biggest banks are even bigger than they were when they got too big to fail in 2008.”
    Who’s right?

    July 30, 2014

  • Sheltons travel for better life for family

    Some time around 1865 a mixed-race African American couple, William and Mary Shelton, made their way from Mississippi to east Texas. Nothing is known for certain of their origins in he Magnolia state, or the circumstances under which they began their new lives in Texas.

    July 29, 2014

  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014


The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
     View Results