Rejecting the GOP
Congratulations to Rep.-elect Karen Gaddis, D-Tulsa, and Sen.-elect Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, who won special elections in House District 75 and Senate District 44, respectively. These victories in deep-red districts show that Oklahoma voters are roused to challenge the ghastly negligence of the state’s Republican government. Last week alone, we saw cuts to foster parents, cuts to meals for the elderly, and a riot at an understaffed prison. Applications for emergency teacher certifications are at a record pace as qualified teachers flee the state. Tuition and fees rise at state colleges starved for state funding. An economy hungry for qualified graduates goes begging.
Only a few decades ago, bright young people from working-class households could work summers and pay their tuition at state colleges. Many of them are now retiring — as teachers, nurses, physicians and engineers. Back then, the state paid for most of their education. Not anymore. Oklahoma’s Republican government has decided the state’s oil companies and wealthiest citizens need their money more than its foster children, corrections workers, teachers and students do. On Tuesday, voters in two previously Republican-held districts loudly objected.
Kris Lackey, Norman