The Imperial Governor: Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin Needs to Go
As a native and a resident of Oklahoma, I have seen many governors come and go. Some have been Republicans and some have been Democrats. Oklahoma may be a conservative state but many Okies are simple folks who care about the poor and they care about ordinary workers. Governor Mary Fallin is not one of those people. It would seem she only cares about those with money, power and influence in Oklahoma.
Since she has had control of the governor’s office, she has wielded her own will over Oklahomans regardless of the consequences. Chris Hayes of MSNBC regards her as the “worse governor” in the nation and for good reason. If she does not like federal laws, she simply ignores them as though Oklahoma is a separate nation unto itself. If she does not like the majority opinion of the Oklahoma State Supreme Court, she ignores their deliberations also, as though she was elected queen of Oklahoma, not just governor. Just a few facts concerning Gov. Fallin’s rule over the great state of Oklahoma:
Affordable Care Act
Governor Fallin, like other many other Republican governors has decided that the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare is not for her state, even though according to the Census Bureau the state has the sixth highest percentage of citizens without health care, with more than 690,000 Oklahomans without health insurance in 2010. Even though the federal government would pay for most of the cost to states that expand Medicaid to more of the poor, Gov. Fallin chose to refuse that aid, leaving many Oklahomans with the only health care available to those who are too poor to afford it, the emergency room. That would not include Gov. Fallin of course, or any of her rich conservative friends in the legislator, since Oklahoma provides all of them with excellent health care. How sweet!
President Obama signed legislation that ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) back in 2010, meaning that gay people can now serve openly and benefits available to heterosexual spouses are now offered to same-sex couples. Problem is, Governor Mary Fallin obviously does not like the idea of gay people being able to marry and so the imperial governor issued orders to block benefits to same-sex couples in the National Guard, in spite of a Pentagon directive to do so.
This is another example of Gov. Fallin acting as though she does not have to listen to the federal government when it comes to anything she is against personally.
Again, Governor Fallin has chosen to rule over the lives of Oklahomans, despite popular opinion, even among Republicans, nationwide, according to a recent Gallop Poll. The governor signed into law a ban on any city raising the minimum wage, sick pay or vacation pay. The working poor of Oklahoma can look forward to the same low wages as they have always had, thanks to a Republican-controlled legislator and a governor unconcerned with poverty rates in her own state. Of course, for her it is always about protecting the interest of wealthy businesses over the needs of ordinary Oklahomans.
Governor Fallin loves the oil and gas industry obviously. Her and her cohorts in the state legislator want to be sure that Oklahoma will stay an oil and gas friendly state. One way to do that is to charge people who try using an alternative energy source like solar panels on their roof. Hence a new law to allow the electric company to charge customers who generate electricity through solar panels on their roof. The governor signed into law a Distributed Electricity Generation Bill, which will effectively punish anyone who thinks they can get use any energy source that is not supporting the oil and gas industry. The imperial Mary Fallin strikes again.
Thanks to Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma is now the experimentation state for lethal injections. Because the usual cocktail of drugs used to execute death row inmates in Oklahoma and other states has become difficult to obtain, thanks to European countries opposed to the death penalty refusing to supply them. No problem, for Oklahoma and a governor who thinks she does not need to heed to any rules that she did not make up on her own, the state would just do a little experimenting, using Oklahoma’s death row inmates as guinea pigs.
One death row inmate, Clayton Lockett, was the first to try a new drug cocktail to execute him, which turned out to be a big mistake. Thirteen minutes into the execution, he lifted his head and mumbled some words, and his body jerked, according to witnesses before the curtains were drawn. The doctor who administered the drugs to kill him halted the execution. About 40 minutes after the execution first started, Lockett died of a massive heart attack.
Another death row inmate was scheduled to die on the same night as Lockett but after the botched execution of Lockett, the governor finally called a stay of execution for the other inmate, Charles Warner.
Both inmates’ lawyers had sought to stay the executions because of the secrecy behind the drug cocktail designed to execute the men. The Oklahoma Supreme Court had ordered a stay, but Gov. Mary Fallin did not like their decision and had chosen to ignore it. In fact, a state legislator, Rep. Mike Christian introduced articles of impeachment for the justices on that court who ordered a stay. The court gave in and dropped the stay, allowing the governor to have her way in executing the two men. Gov. Fallin and her Republican-controlled state legislator were again abusing their power to have it their way, no matter what the consequences.
Time for Mary Fallin to Go
The state of Oklahoma has had enough of imperial politics from Mary Fallin and her little band of cohorts in the state legislator. She believes obviously that what she thinks and what she wants is much more important that what the majority of Oklahomans want or need. She has chosen to serve only those who are wealthy enough to fill her campaign coffers with money and the rest of us can sit on it. The governor does not deserve a second term, in which she is up for in November’s midterm election. I sincerely hope that Oklahomans will wake up to that fact and elect instead a governor who will serve the needs of all Oklahomans, the poor, the rich, the uninsured and the insured, Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. Oklahoma may be a conservative state but many hard workers of all stripes are not being paid what they deserve, thanks to a governor who is unconcerned with the average worker.
All it takes is a public with their eyes wide open and a willingness and determination to head to the polls in November and send a clear message to our state legislator and to a governor that wishfully will be heading out the door, that Okies deserve much better than this.