Each state, at its entrance point, usually has a sign that states something specific about that state. IE: Kansas, The Sunflower State, Colorado, The Rocking Mountain State, California, the Golden State. Oklahoma has one too. Oklahoma Native America or something like that.
Underneath we should have someone put a sign up that also reads:
“Welcome To Oklahoma, Please Set Your Watches Back Fifty-Years.”
We have the proud distinction of having the most defective bridges in the entire United States, we drive on roads that are so pitiful it causes on average about $600 a year in damages to the average Oklahoman, we have pot-holes big enough to swallow a good sized dog. They pick up “nine times the national average” in trash off of our Interstates. We have our fair share of problems, albeit most, self generated.
Now I read where a convicted State Senator, a Mr. Gene Stipe is to be allowed his monthly pension in the amount of almost $8,000.00 per month ($7,042.00). It was bad enough when he actually got convicted, they suspended most of his penalty, and gave him “community service by counting street lights in McAllister, Oklahoma” his home town.
Now this type of “punishment” is an outright insult to the average working person.
Counting street lights as community service …. Give me a break.
We have a newscaster here in Okie City that is fond of the expression …. “Is this a great state or what?” Evidently it must be, trash, bad roads, and all. Where else could one be employed and be convicted of felony crimes and still be awarded a monthly stipend like this? Oregon maybe. Senator Bob Packwood after being expelled from the U.S. Congress was sent home to be punished with a $56,000 per year pension.
Only in America.
Recently I was talking to someone from the McAllister area and this subject came up. He said to me that “Gene Stipe is a cunning genius. Got time for a very quick story about me and Gene?” I replied, “You bet. I am all ears. Fill me in.”
“About 5+ years ago, I was having a problem with the state, and had sought out all kinds of help from representative and my senator all. With no results. So I went to see Stipe in his McAlester office about it. Stipe had known my dad casually, they both being lawyers. So Stipe leans back in his huge leather chair, and says “Bobby (as if he knew me that well), Bobby, I may be able to help in this matter– and I’m curious to know the answer myself– did you know that I wrote a book? I wrote a book about my life growing up here in Oklahoma, just like you. I think you could benefit from reading my book, Bobby- And I am selling them for $25.00 a copy (“A Gathering of Heroes”). The books are right over there, in that closet– get however many you’d like.”
So my friend said, “I bought two of the darn books. And NO, my problem with the state was not resolved then. Yeah, I can believe Mr. Stipe is getting 8 grand/mo. Easily.”
Meanwhile back at the ranch, the criminal corruption trial of State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan and his wife, Lori, is set to begin today in Federal Court in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The couple is facing nine felony counts involving an alleged conspiracy to take more than $100,000 from a southeastern Oklahoma businessman in exchange for favorable treatment for his abstract companies.
As the slowly fades in the western sky, and the dusk is humming. If you listen closely, you can hear our politicians walking the streets of their home towns … One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi ….
Oklahoma the best government that money can buy.