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Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Review, 2011 Coming Down Tracks

2010 was an amazing year politically, culturally and emotionally for many Oklahomans.  There can be no question that multitudes were scratching their heads throughout the year, wondering just what in the heck had happened.

Here is a look back at some of the stories that caught my attention and will continue to garner attention in 2011:

Republican Sweep:  2010 brought a Republican sweep in the House, the Senate and statewide offices.  The defeat of even Senator Jay Paul Gumm in what is arguably one of the most Democratic Districts in Oklahoma shocked and surprised everyone.  A dentist is now the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Republicans own the Corporation Commission.  Oklahoma has its first woman governor - a female governor.  In 2011, the Republicans will have an opportunity to fulfill their promises or in 2012, there will be another shift in power. 

District Attorney Prater
Ersland Case:  The Jerome Ersland case has polarized Republicans and Democrats alike.  For 2nd Amendment champions, there is division as well.  Ersland drew down and dropped a bad guy, but then went back and reloaded.  This is a case that will make or break the popular District Attorney, David Prater. 

Randy Terrill, Debe Leftwich:  Another high profile case that has drawn and will continue to make headlines is the charges of corruption and bribery of two elected officials.  The defendants have made it clear that they believe District Attorney David Prater is on a political "witch hunt," and Prater believes very strongly that this is not only a case of bribery, but underscores the need for strong responses to what the public perceives to be corruption. 

State Question 744:  Shot down in flames to the point of mandate, the people of Oklahoma are sickened by the condition of our education delivery mechanism and wholesale changes will be made in 2011 as a result.  Much like the gasoline tax the Attorney General's spokesbabe pushed a few years ago that failed, this state question will be the catalyst for positive change.

MAPS3:  The Tea Party opposed MAPS3, the establishment and Chamber of Commerce supported it and the tax increase (continuation) passed.  Rumor has it that an independent taxpayer watchdog group is paying attention and will be creating a fuss as to how the revenues are spent.

Camp Counselor to Congress:  Oklahoma is the reddest of red states and the 2010 Republican sweep set the standard for other states to follow.  Our disgust with the status quo reached epic proportions to the point where we sent a man with no private sector experience whatsoever, but was a camp counselor at a Christian summer camp.  Fascinating.

2011 is already shaping up to be a spectacular year for reform and revelations about more and more of our elected officials who have been playing fast and loose with the truth.  The Terrill/Leftwich investigation will more than likely blossom to uncover other issues with other legislators. 

It's going to be a lot of fun, kids.