To the Editor:
I’m writing in response to an opinion piece written by Rep. Jason Murphey titled “Why did your property tax go up?” (Dec. 4, 2012, The Edmond Sun)
Murphey is ranting about ad valorem taxes going up in his district primarily due to school bond issues that were approved by the voters. Schools are largely supported by ad valorem tax, particularly the capital outlays. Voters must approve the ad valorem tax supported bonds, and I believe it must be a 60 percent approval, not just a mere 51 percent.
Murphey rants that many people did not know about the school election dates so did not vote and thus, due to their ignorance were somehow disenfranchised. It sort of begs the question: “Do you really want a bunch of uninformed yahoos casting uninformed votes.” I personally would prefer that all citizens get informed on issues and cast an informed vote.
Years ago, when I ran for public office I would say “no matter who or how you vote, please go to the poll and vote.” I have come to realize the error of that statement. If you are too dumb or disengaged to know that there is an election and too narrow to get informed about the issue on the ballot then please, by all means, do not vote. Placing school elections on general election days is not the answer. Many more voters, if informed, would be a good thing. However, many voters showing up to vote against President Obama or for Sen. Jim Inhofe and then as an aside voting on multiple non-national or non-statewide issues may not rectify the egregious wrong Murphey perceives.
Murphey’s real motive is to stop all tax increases at the local level. That would mean no new school improvements, no jail improvements, no new money for county roads and courthouse operations in Logan County. In Oklahoma City it would mean no MAPS I, II or III, all which were approved by voters. But the worse attack would be on public schools. I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said “you cannot have a democracy without an informed citizenry; and you cannot have an informed citizenry without public education.”
Alas, perhaps this is the real reason for Murphey’s rant. If we can gut public education and dumb down citizens then we can keep electing the same rednecks.
At least the micro segment of the population, which Murphey deplores, that may have voted for a tax increase stayed engaged, got up off their behinds and went to the polls. The others just whine. The right to complain carries with it a duty to participate. If you cannot stay informed enough to participate, then please don’t go whining to your representative or to me. You have no one to blame for your unhappiness buy your lazy self. And if driving to the polls on a winter day is too inconvenient so as to disenfranchise voters as Murphey believes, then probably we have lost the zeal for democracy’s citizen participation that the founding fathers envisioned.
To the Editor:
It takes a dad as well as a mom
Orlando Shaw earned his 15 minutes of fame with a dubious distinction: fathering 22 children with 14 women. The Nashville man’s story made news when the mothers of his children sued for child support.
Excuses for data sweep sound hollow
Perhaps 2013 will go down as the year privacy and civil liberties became too inconvenient for government. Listening to assorted officials defend massive programs that scoop up vast amounts of data certainly gives that impression.
I pay property taxes ... please fix my road
Imagine paying thousands of dollars every year in property taxes and at the same time watching your roads literally crumble under the strain of increasing traffic. Unfortunately, some won’t have to imagine this because I’ve just described your reality.
Maybe you have even asked your County Commissioner why property tax money isn’t being used to maintain your road. He probably responded, “Almost all of your property tax money goes to public schools. Only about 15 percent goes to the county and most of that is not for roads.”
Vision 2020 conference loaded with speakers
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer — playing in the water, grilling, enjoying time with family; maybe preparing for vacation. But for Oklahoma educators, I hope your plans include a trip to Oklahoma City, July 9-11 to attend the State Department of Education’s Vision 2020 professional development conference.
The conference is free to all Oklahoma educators.
The Oklahoma Standard
The “Oklahoma Standard” was a term coined during our state’s response to the tragedy of April 19, 1995. The connotation has many layers: the standard of trained first responders, the standard of non-trained first responders (neighbors helping neighbors), the standard of our faith community, the standard of welcoming out of state relief workers that arrived to help. In short, meeting the need and answering the call without reservation or inhibition.
The Mankato, Minn., Free Press: Stop gridlock on farm bill
The Mankato, Minn., Free Press: Stop gridlock
on farm bill
With a hopeful sound of gridlock cracking, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Wednesday that he will vote for the House farm bill even though he has “concerns.” He reasons that “doing nothing means we get no changes in the nutrition programs.”
He may be merely pragmatic but we’ll take it. Rural Republicans are tired of the delays and want the five-year subsidy measure enacted.
Crazy Kim and the Tippy Twos
Kim Jong Un certainly seems crazy. But sound mind isn’t a requirement for predictable action. Tyrants often mask steady goals with wild behavior. One need only think of world pests like Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein to realize entire regions can be thrust into unwanted global crises.
Like Castro and Saddam, Kim Jong Un has made clear he’s dedicated to expanding his ability to harm America and her allies. The difference is, he has a nuclear capability, not a borrowed or boasted one. North Korea has a proven record of long-range missile development that could ultimately hit the American mainland.
Don’t blame the President; it’s us
June 17 marks the 41st anniversary of the second Watergate break-in. This is a good time to take a look back and reflect on what can happen when a corrupt administration throws a protective cloak around the misbehavior of a gang of unscrupulous cheats, liars and crooks.
On the morning of June 18, 1972, millions of us were unaware of the festering corruption that would ultimately rot our confidence in the president. We did not know that his administration was using the FBI as a tool to wiretap telephones of reporters regarded as unfriendly to the White House. We were oblivious to the fact the administration encouraged the IRS to audit media representatives whose reporting criticized the president.
2 bills aid Oklahoma students
I recently attended two ceremonial bill signings at the State Capitol to celebrate legislation I feel is of vital importance to Oklahomans.
Time to roll back the Patriot Act
It’s time. It’s time for President Obama to live up to his own words. It’s time for Congress to do its job. It’s time to contract the ever-expanding national security state. And it’s time to roll back the Patriot Act. In Washington, elected officials are circling the wagons. The Obama administration claims that its Internet and telephone surveillance programs are legal; the ones we know about, indeed, are. But just because something is legal and can be done does that mean that it should remain so and continue to be done? No. Laws are made and unmade all the time. And the argument that vast, dragnet-style surveillance has stopped terrorists at the lamentable expense of privacy is exactly the same argument that the Bush administration made about torture: Better to sacrifice our principles and a few people in the hope of saving many.
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