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Friday, November 04, 2016

Ballot Questions & Election Muck

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to one of the most bizarre times in American history and from an election standpoint, we are through the proverbial looking glass.  People are confused, frustrated, and more than likely voting from a posture of fear of a candidate rather than love of the opponent.  It's a horrific election cycle and we've seen scandal unlike any other time in our recent past.  From the County Clerk disaster to the Sheriff to the now embattled Superintendent of Public Instruction, voters are pissed off and they will be going to the polls with a vengeance this year.

I really wish I could say that I have the answers or that I have a good grasp on all of the elections and ballot questions, but I really don't.  I have opinions about them and I have been asked how I'm leaning, so, I'm sharing them with you.

State Questions
Posted by News 9's Lacy Lowry
SQ776 (Death Penalty)  NO :  I'm voting no on this one for a number of reasons but let me give you two words - Joyce Gilchrist.  We do not have the death penalty down to a science and we in Oklahoma don't have the best record of lawful convictions either.  Executing one person who is innocent is one person too many.  Yeah, I'm pro-life across the board; no inconsistencies with me.

SQ777 (Right to Farm)  NO:  We already have the right to farm in this state and unfortunately, the number of foreign firms buying up ag land in the state is increasing (not to mention the number of Texans buying up land in Oklahoma) and the last thing we want to do is tie the hands of regulators to bust someone's ass for ripping up the land and polluting it.  But then again, the Corporation Commission hasn't really done much regarding the fracking earthquakes, have they?

SQ779 (Education Tax)  NO:  Sorry, kids but the slush funds for administrators and the fact that it is a permanent tax turn me off on this one big-time.  The teacher's unions have fought against administrative consolidation at their own peril and while teachers do deserve a pay raise, administrative slush funds aren't the way to make this happen.  We deserve better, our kids deserve better, and our teachers sure as hell do.  

SQ780  (Crime Bill)  YES:  Simple drug possession (not intent to distribute) would be reclassified as misdemeanors rather than felonies.  Law enforcement largely opposes this bill and I'm not really sure why.  I saw we leap into the 20th century and reduce the amount of money we give to private prisons and use effective means as in SQ781.

SQ781  (Funding Drug Courts, etc.)  YES:  Drug courts and rehabilitation programs do work and regardless of what you may think, prison overcrowding is a problem and it is a problem because we're locking up those who need treatment rather than hardcore jail time.  It's the humane and common sense approach to some social problems.  

SQ790  (Tax Dollars for Religion)  NOPE:  I don't care what Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and others have said about this bill allowing ball players to "pray" before a game, this has unintended consequences that could do exactly the opposite of what the dominionists desire.  If one religious expression is funded with tax dollars, all must be funded.  If this bill does pass, it is going to be overturned in the Supreme Court and will no doubt cost Oklahoma taxpayers millions and millions of dollars to defend.  As Jesus said, "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, but render unto God what is God's."  Jesus suggested implied that the Apostle's should pay taxes.  If the Church wants the government to fund them, they should pay taxes too.  Vote NO on this silliness.

SQ792  (Alcohol Sales Reform)  YES):  This would allow grocers to sell booze and for liquor stores to sell mixers and the like.  This is the most simple "yes" vote that we have had in a very long time.  It's time to launch ourselves into the 21st century and vote yes on this one.

Well, there are the State Questions and no doubt I have pissed some of you off; particularly the supporters of 790.  Sorry, but these are my opinions and my thoughts on this mess and if you open your mind and think for a change, you'll see that my choices make good common sense.  Sure, it's all confusing, but we have to start voting a little smarter, don't we?  We've seen what bad votes have gotten us in the past and now is the time for a renewed mind.

Those are my opinions and I could be wrong, but you would be wrong in saying that I'm wrong.

Ron "Gorilla" Black