The Norman Transcript

Columns

April 12, 2014

Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

NORMAN — Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list another Texas representative, Lyle Larson, who apparently felt the need to insert his opinion into politics north of the Red River.

Speaking of the Red River, I noticed in the recent guest column by Larson, he was careful not to mention the memorandum of understanding signed by Govs. Perry and Mary Fallin, in which Fallin gives full authority to Texas to take water from Lake Texoma. People along the river and lake look at the dry shoreline and low water level and grumble about excessive water use by Texas.

In the aforementioned column, this Texas “foreigner” brags about how Fallin is balancing the state budget. Evidently he doesn’t know that, unlike some states, Oklahoma has a balanced budget provision in our State Constitution, so every Oklahoma governor has balanced the budget.

Larson brags about Fallin cutting taxes, but what he also must not know is that she also has cut funding for education by 23 percent, the deepest cut in the nation, and this is after new money has been appropriated for education, so this in not something to brag about, in my estimation.

As an outsider, he evidently doesn’t realize that taking advantage of our natural resources would include wind energy, and that the Republican leadership in Oklahoma wants to deny the use of wind energy east of Interstate 35.

Being from Texas, how could he know about the problems in Oklahoma’s seven veterans centers when he commended Fallin for an overhaul of the War Veterans Commission?

He gave Fallin credit for addressing “rampant neglect” at the centers, but he could not know of the problems with doctors that have been reprimanded, cited for sexual abuse and other shortcomings, but who are still working at the Norman center and possibly other places. What has been done to correct the low pay and high turnover rate of the caregivers at the veterans centers?

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