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Opinion

January 26, 2014

Coburn a Hindrance in Completion of Native American Cultural Center

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

The recent announcement Sen Tom Coburn is retiring from the US Senate couldn’t have come at a better time help to revive efforts to complete the Native American Cultural Center in OKC. This partially completed potential economic engine for Oklahoma tourism and the Oklahoma lifestyle has been held up by Coburn’s stubborn ideological opposition to public funding of museums.

The Native American Cultural Center is more than a museum. It will be a magnet. Calling it just a museum is like calling Norman/Norman North or OU/Texas just a football game.

It’s time to move past ideological dogma to common sense. There is no doubt there are times where it is in the public’s interest, to publicly fund public projects that are for the public good. This project would do nothing but create Oklahoma jobs for Oklahomans by attracting the out of state public to spend money in Oklahoma. This revenue stream would then ripple through the Oklahoma economy. How can this be a bad thing?

This project has bipartisan support beginning with former Republican Governor Frank Keating and former Democratic Governor Brad Henry and the support ripples down the line of local politicians. With Coburn’s pending retirement his ability to influence is diminished and there could be hope we might be able to move this project forward. Whatever amount of money the state of Oklahoma spends for this project will be returned many times over.

Completion of the Naive American Cultural Center is a no-brainer.

It converts a former dump & eyesore at the junction of I-35/I-40, the Crossroads of America, into a gem for all of us to be proud. Now, hopefully, our state’s leadership will have to courage to move it forward.

JOE CARTER, DVM

Norman

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