Here are some reasons why I would never get elected if I ran for public office. These ideas make too much sense to let them actually make into law.
If I were a state legislator, I would propose a law that mandates that a school district can only pay administrators a percent of what they pay teachers who are actually in a classroom.
Part of the reason that the public schools are in such financial turmoil is that district hire too many administrators and pay them way too much. State lawmakers don’t determine teacher pay – they only decide the minimum teacher salary (which, by the way is higher in Oklahoma than Texas).
This law would ensure that the only way administrators can overpay themselves is to spend more on teachers who do the real heavy lifting.
Other reforms would be to cut out unfunded federal education mandates and to consolidate school districts with small student populations. Don’t close rural schools, just make the extra superintendents get back in the classroom and do real teaching.
If I were mayor of Tulsa, I would fire the chamber of commerce. The chamber gets the city’s hotel/motel tax and adds up to millions of dollars every year.
That money is supposed to be used for economic development but the public has no idea how the money is spent or what kind of results come from such a heavy investment.
The chamber is a private entity and not subject to public scrutiny. An example is the proposal Tulsa created to get the new Amazon headquarters. No one – not even city officials – knows what is in that proposal because it is being kept secret at chamber headquarters.
But every time the issue of dumping the chamber arises, the city councilors are too afraid of the chamber to complain.
There are two solutions. One is to put the job out to bid. There are a lot of capable companies that would do a better job than the chamber for half the price. And they would not mix politics with tax revenues (the chamber sponsors political action committees which give money to candidates that do their bidding).
The second choice would be to bring the economic development function in-house. With $4 million as a budget, you could hire some very skilled recruiters who could scour the nation for new businesses that would be a perfect fit for Tulsa. That way, instead of wasting tax money on power lunches and trips overseas, it could be used not only to bring in new businesses but to encourage existing Tulsa businesses, especially small businesses that create jobs.
Do you think there are any small businesses in California who would like to move to an energy-rich state with a good vocational education system, plenty of water and affordable labor? They are out there and they aren’t coming here.
Here’s another law I would write that would save tons of money. Place a ban on state elections from December through the end of March.
For decades, school boards have pulled a fast one by having board elections and bond elections in the middle of winter.
They understand that there will be minimal voter turnout and that disproportionately helps the teachers union. An unpopular candidate or bond issue can slide by because the general public doesn’t want to go to the polls when it is 10 degrees outside.
This is not an original idea by me. There have been bills that would limit the number of election dates in a calendar year but they have failed (thanks again to the public education lobby).
But restricting the number of possible election dates would not only increase voter participation (I thought that was what the Democrats wanted) but it would save the State Election Board and county election boards a whole lot of money. It could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tulsa.
And the big law that I would author would be classifying abortion as murder and outlawing it in Oklahoma.
Again, brave lawmakers have put forth similar bills and they have been defeated by 1. Republican committee leaders in the Oklahoma Senate; 2. Gov. Brad Henry and Gov. Mary Fallin; 3. The liberal Oklahoma Supreme Court.
People need to realize that the courts are only one third of the government. In Oklahoma, we have left-leaning activist judges create law and thwart the will of the people.
Oklahomans don’t want abortion to be legal.
It’s interesting that California’s governor can declare his state a “sanctuary state” and say that they will not enforce federal immigration laws and not cooperate with immigration officials. And yet the courts agree.
Colorado and other states can say they are not going to enforce laws against possession of marijuana and nothing is done by the courts.
Yet, in Oklahoma, we want to stop the murder of innocent unborn babies and most elected officials – Democrats and Republicans – say we can’t because of a handful of federal judges who don’t follow the U.S. Constitution when it comes to enumerated powers.
Some of these proposed changes are unpopular but they would be good for the state and nation. But I won’t ever run for office until I become more skilled at compromising my principles.