Sunday, February 26, 2017

Is Senator Ron Sharp Oklahoma's Version of Ron Burgundy?

One to file under the heading of "GOOD GRIEF"! 

I just read an article by Jay Chilton who was apparently in the Senate Education Committee hearing when Senator Sharp - Vice-Chair of the Senate Education Committee - opined about Rob Standridge's bill (SB560) on school choice. Chilton quotes Sharp as saying,
 I have told other senators I call this bill the "Dr. Josef Mengele bill" because it is intended to kill public education," 
What? We're no supporters of "school choice" (whatever that is) and I totally get the use of hyperbole, I do, but Mengele vs school choice? Really? This comparison makes so little sense that I wonder if Oklahoma Ron has the same thoughts as his moronic California counterpart Ron Burgundy who has been quoted as saying such things as, 
I immediately regret this decision.
Don't act like you're not impressed
and even
What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole wheel of cheese? How'd you do that? heck, I'm not even mad; that's amazing!

When Senator Sharp - my Senator - came into office, his first few years were pretty good (80 on the Oklahoma Constitution Index in 2013). He was easily accessible, friendly to talk to and even signed a pledge saying he would vote against Common Core if it came up for a vote in 2014.

Since then, however, there have been serious infractions and miscues in his representation that caused me to actually back another candidate (Brooke McGowan) to unseat him. 

For instance, there's this:

A group of lady friends have coffee at our local cafe weekly. One week, Senator Sharp came into the cafe, sat down at the table where our local farmer and rancher fellows usually sit and began to chat. He never came over to visit the table of women, but the ladies did at one point overhear him telling the men with whom he sat, "...these women whose husbands work and they don't have nothing better to do are up at the capital all day..."

Oh goodness! I could only assume that since this was 2015 - the year after lots of us female types descended on the capitol to stop Common Core and prevent public schools from holding back 3rd graders on the basis of only a reading test with no parent or teacher input - he must have been talking about us. As you can imagine, this didn't go over well with my lady friends, or with me and all of us got behind newcomer Brooke McGowan who had never run as a candidate before and who actually pulled in 46.11% of the vote in the 2016 election, indicating that Senator Sharp had the consensus of barely half the population in his district at the time of the election. Ouch. I bet that hurt after his sexist remarks about women at our cafe!

Then, there were the driving while texting bills and other similar measures, causing his 2015-16 conservative index score to drop to a low 'C' (73.6) on the OCPA Impact score and a 50 (F) on the Oklahoma Constitution Index.

During his 2016 campaign, voting members of his district were treated to this political mailer extolling the idea that Senator Sharp had a "common sense, conservative approach to solving tough problems". He even goes on to list his 'Texting While Driving' legislation on the card - I guess as a way to prove that mandating how people drive is somehow both 'common sense' and/or 'conservative'.

He was endorsed for re-election by School Board Member General Leo Baxter who also likes to use hyperbole (calling well-renowned and thought of, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, an "arrogant miscreant" and ROPE a "radicalized splinter group") as he stumps for a public education establishment who used black triangles to mark candidates as 'non supportive of public education' on their voter guide if they had ever indicated a predilection toward the infamous 'school choice' topic.

I guess in the end, the people get what they deserve, and apparently, though a large section of our district voted for President Donald J. Trump in a BIG way, residents of District 17 either wanted to see Ron Sharp at the capitol another term - or they didn't bother to research his voting record and cast a lazy vote for the incumbent. Let's hope my fellow voters will get wise - and active - and vote him out in 2020! Until then, let's hide and watch - our collection of Ron Sharp quotes will probably keep growing!