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Your Views Wednesday, Jan. 6

Sen. James Lankford
Sen. James Lankford

Lankford’s stance a profile in cowardice

Sen. James Lankford’s position against counting state-certified electoral votes is a profile in cowardice if not worse — attempted sedition. Trump loyalists have lost in the courts, both state and federal, some 60 times challenging the presidential votes. A conservative-dominated Supreme Court finds no evidence of voter fraud. Trump’s sycophants, former Attorney General William Barr and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have found no irregularities to reverse the presidential election. It must be noted only a minority of Republican senators have joined Lankford’s evisceration of our Constitution. The majority of the Oklahoma congressional delegation will certify every state’s electoral votes; these representatives should be applauded for upholding our Constitution.

Our Founding Fathers created a constitutional framework to ensure that a republican form of democracy would be created and sustained. President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote and won a landslide in the Electoral College. Without any evidence — only rank hearsay and incredulous conspiracy theories — Lankford advances his own political agenda, discounting the American peoples’ voice.

Is Lankford so tentative and beholden that he fears a challenge to his seat in a Republican-dominated state? His vote for a selfish political advantage stains his legacy as a statesman. He is an American and an Oklahoman foremost, and a member of a political party secondarily. He should act like a U.S. senator from a great state.

Eddie Kumiega, Oklahoma City

Lankford encouraging mistrust of elections, government

President Trump started his scam way before the election, bemoaning that the elections would be fixed to set the stage for what would happen if he was not re-elected. Trump has lied so often in the past four years that one can expect he almost never tells the truth. This has become what we expect from him.

Harder to swallow is Sen. James Lankford becoming a part of the scam. By doing so, he is encouraging mistrust of our government, our elections and our democracy. Does he think he can, all of a sudden, say “never mind, it was all a scam” and then trust will be magically restored? The more Lankford allows himself to be bullied by President Trump, the harder it will be to come clean and the more he reveals himself to be unworthy of his office.

Maureen Harvey, Choctaw

Elderly hurt by social media vaccine rollouts

I grew up in Pocola in northern Le Flore County. My dad still lives in Pocola; he is a widower and is 89 years old. He is a simple man and is not on social media at all. My problem is that the Oklahoma State Health Department is rolling out vaccination appointments largely on social media — something the most vulnerable don’t have access to. My dad could never find out when he is able to be vaccinated, much less know how to schedule an appointment. Those in their mid-60s and early 70s are more internet-savvy and the appointments are taken in minutes to hours.

My sister and I are trying to be vigilant and find my dad a spot. But no luck so far and they don’t post when they are going to have another round. As a physician, this makes me sick. Within every phase of the rollout of the vaccine there will be a strata of vulnerability, but Phase 2 will have the greatest because it marks the social media and even internet access of the vulnerable with the less vulnerable. We will try to find my dad a spot, but a large part of the Oklahoma population that is 80-plus will never know or be vaccinated if the rollout is on social media.

Thomas M. Brown, D.O., Haslett, Mich.

Legislators trying to cut citizens out of the process

Why are Oklahoma legislators cutting citizens out of the political process? Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow, pre-filed legislation to make it harder for voters to gather signatures and bring ballot measures to a vote of the people. If passed, Haste’s Senate Joint Resolution 4 would require at least 60% of a statewide vote to pass, instead of a simple majority. Last year, Rep. John Pfeiffer, R-Orlando, tried to pass legislation requiring that a percentage of signatures come from each of the state's five congressional districts.

Legislators want to block your right to pass ideas they have ignored or repeal bad laws, as allowed by the Oklahoma Constitution. That’s interesting because statistics show the Legislature itself has sent 55% of the ballot measures to a vote of the people. Ask elected leaders to vote “no” on petition-killing legislation. You have the right to be heard. Call the Oklahoma Senate at (405) 524-0126 or the House of Representatives at (405) 521-2711.

Redmond “Red” Goldfarb, Yukon

County officials’ pay raises prompt questions

A few questions come to mind regarding “Oklahoma County officials vote 5-2 for pay raises” (News, Dec. 27). How did these officials get authorization to give themselves raises? Why aren’t safeguards in place to prevent idiosyncrasies such as this? Government heads or officials should never have authorization for their own pay raises or unlimited purchases and expense accounts.

A comment from one of these officials noted the loss of a mapping engineer because a raise for the engineer would be more than the elected official was making. Is that really true? If so, it’s apparent the engineer may have deserved to make more or it should be looked at anyway. Also, there are many engineering companies that outsource work. I checked the internet for mapping engineers in Oklahoma and most senior mapping engineers make about the same or less than the county officials were making before they voted themselves an increase. I suspect the engineer had other reasons for leaving. Governments in general usually pays less but many benefits are better and usually offset.

With all due respect, Oklahoma County people have a heavy burden to get squared away here and apparently some revisions and policies to update or rewrite.

Delmer Newton, Choctaw

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