NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Opinion: A good idea to vaccinate legislators

News that the state Health Department is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the Legislature is sure to engender frustration and perhaps even anger from some Oklahomans. This is understandable. However, it also makes sense to get senators and House members vaccinated sooner rather than later because doing so increases the chances of members being able to conduct the people’s business in person instead of through a computer hook-up. And, legislative leaders hope that receiving the vaccine will serve to encourage others to do the same. Lawmakers are not obliged to take up the Health Department on this opportunity, and some have said they will wait until the vaccine is available more broadly. But the more members who are vaccinated before the session begins Feb. 1, the better.

A well-deserved honor for Bob Stoops

Congratulations to former University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, elected into the College Football Hall of Fame this week in his first year of eligibility. Stoops certainly earned the honor. The proud and tradition-rich Oklahoma program had endured four awful seasons before his hiring in December 1998. Stoops led Oklahoma to a bowl game in 1999, then the next season took the Sooners to the national championship. They played for the national title three more times during his 18 seasons. Overall, Oklahoma went 190-48 under Stoops — no OU coach has more victories — and won 10 conference championships. “I feel a great connection to our players from my first year in 1999 and all the way through my last season in 2016,” Stoops said, “and if I did anything right it was always connecting wholeheartedly with them.” Kudos.

Might recall effort in California succeed?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has seen efforts to recall him fade away. One underway now may not. Organizers say they have collected more than 1 million signatures, two-thirds of the total needed to put the measure on the ballot. Newsom instituted some of the nation’s strictest lockdown rules during the coronavirus pandemic. Small-business owners are among the groups most upset because they have been heavily impacted. Missteps have hurt Newsom’s public image, none more so than him attending a dinner party with friends at a swank French restaurant after telling Californians not to gather with their own families during Thanksgiving. If the recall effort gets 1.5 million signatures by mid-March, an election would be held later in 2021. Stay tuned.

Owen Canfield III

Owen Canfield has written editorials for The Oklahoman since 2003. Prior to that, he spent 19 years with The Associated Press in Oklahoma City. He is a 1981 graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Lori, have four children. Read more ›