There were not many surprises for me in the last election. People keep saying that things are changing, but they seem like the same old corruption to me. I was told after some personal disappointments that I should write a fun post. I don’t know at this point what that would be, but I have a lot of fun poking fun at corrupt politicians.
So let’s get started on three reasons Stitt’s reelection irritates a Tired Blogger.
- Oklahoma does not care about honesty.
- Oklahoma basically told teachers and our children to go kick rocks.
- Oklahomans listen more to social media than to the candidates themselves, and that only exacerbates our other profound problems.
Let’s begin the roasting.
I may be alienating some of my readers here, but I’m not terribly proud of my state tonight. I’ll try to be objective here, but I’m already emotional from personal stuff, and the election didn’t help.
Let me explain. I don’t have anything against anyone who voted for Stitt because they researched and found that they found Stitt’s ideology to fit better than Joy’s. I don’t have anything against anyone who saw a few mud-slinging ads linking Joy to Biden and voting because “Biden is bad.” But if you read the next two articles and still would vote for him “just because he is Republican,” you my fellow Oklahoman, are a big part of what is wrong with the whole fricken’ country.
I take my information about Stitt’s honesty from these websites:
Oklahomawatch.org tells us there have been several instances of misspending, “much of it from no-bid contracts.” Here is their list of examples:
- A no-bid contract for pandemic school supplies worth $8 million.
- The Tourism Department hiring barbecue company Swadley’s to renovate and run restaurants at state parks with enhanced management fees.
- Privatizing the operations at the state’s relocated public health lab, where much of the new equipment sat unused.
- Paying up front for $5.4 million in personal protective equipment that was never delivered.
- More than $2.6 million spent on hydroxychloroquine, a once-promising treatment for COVID-19.
- A purchasing waiver so the state could make a commitment to buy 1,000 electric vehicles from financially shaky startup Canoo Inc.
Oklahomawatch.org also points out his lack of transparency. While he complains about $20 million in “dark money” being spent against him, demanding that the names of the donors be disclosed. “But he refused to provide details as a massive incentive package moved through the Legislature at record speed this year, citing a non-disclosure agreement he signed. More recently, secrecy agreements have been cited as he raised money for a new governor’s mansion, according to TV station KFOR. Oklahoma Watch had to sue the state to get access to billions in requests for federal pandemic relief money under the American Rescue Plan Act.”
I can hear my fellow Republicans now. “Yeah, he misspent some money, but I am not perfect with my budget either. We can cut him some slack.” Ok, fair enough. What does kgou.org have to say? Maybe they have something to say that will change my mind about the governor who looks most like a b-rate actor from a bottomlessly awful Hitchcock rip off.
According to KGOU.org “Stitt told host Tucker Carlson that someone could “show their Indian card” and get a criminal conviction overturned. He was referencing cards that show citizenship in the six Oklahoma-based tribes that have jurisdiction to prosecute crimes that happen on their lands following the 2020 Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma.” KGOU.org states that this is patently false, but you needn’t just take their word for it.
According to themarshallproject.org the ruling can be seen several different ways, but the Native American Tribes mostly see it as a victory for the partial independence they have struggled for so long. The truth according to this article is that rather than going free, all the Supreme Court ruling means is that Native Americans can, if they so choose, decide to be retried by the Federal Court system instead of the state court system that convicted them in the first place.
According to Pew Research, 83% of trials in Federal Court result in conviction, whereas Oklahoma State cases result in…please stand by as your Tired Blogger searches diligently for these figures…in the meanwhile, I’ll provide the Pew Research site…
Twenty minutes later, I still can find no figures. I may have to give up on this aspect of the analysis. But even without numbers to go on, I think it is a safe bet that roughly 83% of those that attempt to have their cases retried will still be convicted. Oklahoma does have the second highest incarceration rate in the world, so it’s possible that might be a fair number of releases.
I didn’t stutter…and no, I don’t mean in the US…I mean in the world…don’t believe me? Check out this site https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/mniebc/oc_louisiana_oklahoma_have_the_highest/
Based on that data, Stitt may be right…a floodgate of criminals may go free, not because many of them will get exonerated, but simply because we have SO MANY locked up. How many of them are Native Americans (the only demographic this Supreme Court ruling impacts)?
According to prisonpolicy.org, in 2017 there were 3133 Native Americans incarcerated in Oklahoma. If all of them apply to be retried, and there was the usual 83 % Federal conviction rate, this leaves us with 533 prisoners that might conceivably be freed. So on one hand, Stitt’s fears are not wholly ungrounded, but they are drastically exaggerated. According to the same site, Oklahoma releases 9365 people every year. This means a 5.69% increase in prison release. Roughly one more out of twenty.
I’m not saying Stitt or those who support him are 100% wrong, but I do believe he has overdramatized the situation, and while the Tribes may be “super liberal” as he likes to say, allowing them to handle more of their own internal issues does not worry me. What worries me is a willingness to pander to our baser fears. When I listen to him I can’t help but feel like he’s feeding off the age old Oklahoma fear of the Native American. Almost as though he were suggesting that allowing them to try more of their own cases (or, as is most likely, just having the Feds handle more of them) is just one step away from the Ghost Dance invoking the Great Spirit to drive us all from their lands. Who knows…maybe they should…
Well, your Tired Blogger is exceptionally tired. I will continue this series on Friday when I will tell all my friends in education to get stuffed. Till then, thanks for reading, and make mine marvel!