We Must Stand With Our Jewish Relatives During These Dark Days

When a lone gunman walked into The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning, he proceeded to shoot helpless and Jewish faithful as they met to bless the life of an infant. Before it was all over 11 were killed by Robert Bowers who was wounded before surrendering. It would be easy to allow our horror to turn into revengeful rage. However, there is enough hatred in the world. It would be easy to point fingers at those who harbor hateful viewpoints. First, there must be grief for the fallen and wounded. Second, there must be love in the face of unspeakable evil. We hope our Jewish relatives know they can count on African Americans across this country to support and love through the hate. We collectively have that history.

Purveyors of hatred often lump African Americans and Jewish Americans into the same group of those targeted for hatred for their own reasons. Long ago, they fought separately against Nazi’s, KKK, and other hate groups. Thoughtful members of both groups understood by standing together, they could form a response stronger than any weapon or harsh words. Their differences aside, their common humanity and historical oppression brought them together for the good of humanity. The concept of non-violent intervention bound them, and a nation took notice.

That same response and historical relationship is needed today as the futility of hurling hatred back in the direction of the intolerant changes nothing. Today its true as it was in the darkest days of the civil rights movement; love is the warm light to melt the icy chill of hate. The blackest night can be illuminated with the rays of a thousand lights of love. History says love in the face of hatred is the answer to violence in all its forms.

Our Jewish friends have been frontline soldiers in the fight to end discrimination and bigotry. They stood and fell with African Americans to make this country just. Among those killed in Mississippi in 1964 were Andrew Goldman and Michael Schwerner. Young Jewish men who stood with African Americans during the most turbulent days. This at a time when lynching was still a reality for many in the American South. Their sacrificed for the good of all men and women has never been forgotten.

In Tulsa, the Jewish and Black communities stood together in good and bad times. Tulsa’s great Jewish families were great supporters of The Oklahoma Eagle. Companies like Renberg’s were regular and generous advertisers in the Eagle. They not only advertised in the paper they were gracious in welcoming all Tulsans into their stores no matter their differences. They supported columns in the paper for years and remain a friend to this day. A relationship born in the hope of a better day and the power of love.

I’m truly brokenhearted over the loss of life spawned by hatred and bigotry. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his letter from a Birmingham jail:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

The Oklahoma Eagle stands not to fight our common foe with our Jewish brethren but raise our voice in the peace that sees through hate.

This Election Brings Colorful Candidates And Efforts To Stop Them

This election cycle is historic and puts the country and state in a place where the possibility of great change is feasible for the price of an effort. An African American woman Anastasia Pittman (she’s also Seminole Indian) could well become our next Lt. Governor. She would be the first African American woman to win a state-wide race. Another African American running for a state-wide office is Insurance Commissioner candidate Kimberly Fobbs. Mark Myles is running for Attorney General and would be the first African American male to win a state-wide race. Ashley Nicole McCray is Native American and like Pittman would be the first to hold a state-wide office. By the way, they are amazing individuals who all would reverse years of poor administration of the state’s resources and services. They will literally change the way we live and fight for the people and not special interests. The big push is to now smear their good names and create doubt. Don’t be fooled.

Across the nation Republicans and other opposers of progressive change are pushing back against women and people of color. They are shortening voting times, moving voting precincts, withholding ballots, changing rules to make it harder and literally trying to steal elections. Don’t let them. Fight for your right to vote and have the kind of representation you deserve.

If they can’t fight fair, they will resort to lies and fear. In Arkansas, a political action committee is running an ad which claims white Democrats will lynch African Americans if they win in midterm elections. Despite its horrible tone, the purchaser of the radio ad has refused to pull the ad. Ballots are still being held in Georgia to stop an African American woman from winning the governor’s seat, and Jim Crow like rule changes to prevent Native Americans from voting in North Dakota. Both efforts are currently in court to prevent this crude theft of an election.

You have a right and responsibility to vote. People died to allow you to vote, to have a say on who represents you. If the readers of The Oklahoma Eagle turn out, they can positively influence every election on their ballot.

Please after hundreds of hours of research and interviews, The Oklahoma Eagle urges you to vote for the following candidates. We’ve done our best to come up with the most qualified candidate to represent you. The Eagle choices:

Eagle For Drew Edmondson For Governor

The Oklahoma Eagle endorses the candidacy of Drew Edmondson based in equal parts to his experience and strong support for strengthening education in Oklahoma. His opponent is new to government and has stated he would change little about Governor Mary Fallin’s policies. Keven Stitt said he would in fact end the pay raise and start over. For those who struggled so hard to accomplish what they did with the legislature, Stitt’s plan seems wrong on many levels. However, The Oklahoma Eagle endorses Edmondson not because he isn’t Stitt, but based on his wealth of knowledge and the vision he has for Oklahoma.

Voters have an important choice to make in the coming weeks when they vote on who will be the next governor of Oklahoma. All elections are important and exercising your responsibility to vote has never been more important. Education hangs in the balance, and all the ways we succeed or suffer from our support. Will you support a thoughtful approach to reinvesting in education or a return to the deep pit Governor Mary Fallin dug for us? For this reason, The Oklahoma Eagle urges you to vote for Drew Edmondson.

Edmondson understands that a well-educated Oklahoman is much more that raising teacher pay or newer books. The positive and negative impact of what a state invests in education, dominoes throughout the state budget, society, family and life itself. What makes Edmondson so appealing and needed is that he has the benefit of experience and he has a plan. His opponent wants to raise property taxes and wants to undo the teacher pay increase and start over. That is not a plan for anything but disaster. Edmondson doesn’t believe you have to kill the patient before you try to revive them. Experience counts when it comes to how to run a government.

Education just doesn’t mean improving test scores or student teacher ratios. Perhaps, it helps to look at what happens when you starve education and leave it struggling for years. The case can be made for what the effect a terrible education system has on Oklahoma by looking at the state’s embarrassingly high incarceration rate. Oklahoma jails its own more than any other state. Oklahoma imprisons more of their own than any place on earth. Statistics show that 85 percent of all children who end up in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. Sixty percent of all inmates are functionally illiterate. Is school itself the only answer or reason? No, of course, it does stand to reason it would help. Help is what we need. Edmondson is pushing the idea of releasing all prisoners who are in prison for felonies that by law have since been reduced to misdemeanors. Drew also wants to get out of the private prison business and just between those two actions would save the state millions of dollars that can be redirected to other services.

Edmondson realizes that state mental health programs are in trouble. If the state currently looks at education as the unwanted step-child, they have even less interest in social programs to address children, families, mental health and substance abuse. He supports an infusion of $50 million to start off and look at ways to increase spending in the coming years. He is open to new views of societal impacts that may affect mental health, like poverty as trauma and racism as a mental health crisis. This new view makes Edmondson the kind of Governor Oklahoma needs. The need to address the deep despair felt by all Oklahomans is something the state needs and it can start November 6th after the state elects Drew Edmondson for Governor of Oklahoma.

Pittman For Lt. Governor

The Oklahoma Eagle proudly endorses the candidacy of Anatasia Pittman for Lt. Governor of Oklahoma. She brings a wealth of experience as a legislator and classroom teacher. She promises to not only support education but to work to make it stronger. She ties economic development, education, and nutrition together. She said she supports the wisdom that a hungry man can’t earn, and a hungry child can’t learn.

Anastasia Pittman has been a classroom educator for over 10 years. She has supported public education as a legislator. Early in her career she became a substitute teacher for Mid-Del Public Schools and worked with Dr. Clara Luper on the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration Committee at Rose State.

She now teaches representative democracy and was a successful teacher, coach and mentor at Oklahoma Christian Academy. Education is in her blood, and teachers and administrators will have no greater friend than Pittman. Pittman also has strong Tulsa roots. She is the great granddaughter of the late Abner Burnett, a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor and grocery store owner, and the granddaughter of C.E. Pittman, the late Jazz Hall of Famer and music teacher. Her father is a retired iron worker and mother is a retired paramedic with national recognition. Her Tulsa background is deep and rich.

Pittman said education and economic development initiatives will help rebuild the state. Once business decides to relocate to Oklahoma they will find a gracious host in Pittman. Her background in health and education will assist her helping rebuild Oklahoma. Vote for Anastasia on November 6th.

Myles For Attorney General

Without hesitation it is The Oklahoma Eagle’s honor to endorse Mark Myles for Attorney General. Myles is facing Mike Hunter who was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin after Scott Pruitt went to Washington D.C. to head the Environment Protection Agency. Few Democrats have challenged the Republicans for attorney general since Drew Edmondson held the job over 20 years ago. However, history proves that the political pendulum always swings the other way at some point.

Myles like other Democrats is running because his need to serve his state and it appeared the seat was open essentially because of Pruitt’s departure. Like other Democrats, Myles was not happy with the type of politics expressed by President Donald Trump. With other Democrats having success throughout the state, perhaps the pendulum is starting to swing the other way. Myles is also a great attorney and has a reformist vision of what the state needs in the highest-ranking law enforcement official in the state.

Myles says he wants to protect, advocate and enforce the laws of the state. However, in his advocacy, Myles wants to make some common-sense changes to the way the state prosecutes cases in Oklahoma. He also wants to work with legislators in reducing the lengths of sentences for non-violent offenses and allow the courts to see each case individually and not have their hand forced because of mandatory sentences. He is not soft on violent crime or on those carrying weapons in commission of a crime. However, Oklahoma sends so many men and women to prison who don’t need to be there for non-violent offenses.

Myles is a solid choice, and everyone will be proud of their vote, vote for him November 6th.

Gilpin For First District Congress

The Oklahoma Eagle proudly endorses the candidacy of Tim Gilpin to be the next First District Congressman. This is an open seat with the incumbent Jim Bridenstine heading to NASA as the administrator. This has allowed Gilpin to run hard for the position. Gilpin is a hard-working attorney and public servant. Like many people running for office, Tim could no longer see Oklahoma suffer anymore in support for education. He is supremely prepared to help Oklahoma grow from his position as Congressman. Under appointment of Governor Brad Henry, and approval by the state Senate, Tim proudly served on the Oklahoma state Board of Education where he supported education funding, promoted competitive education policy and fought against education cuts. On the board, Tim courageously stood up to the hiring practices of Janet Barresi. He also served at the State Capitol as an assistant Attorney General under Robert Henry. This collection of experiences makes Gilpin the obvious choice to be the next congressman for the First District.

McCray For Corporation Commission

Ashley Nicole McCray is the choice of The Oklahoma Eagle to replace 30 year veteran, Bob Anthony, at the state Corporation Commission. It is clearly time for a change and it’s even more clear that someone with a strong environmental background in prudent development of Oklahoma resources is needed.

The runaway practice of fracking under Anthony is proof enough that someone needs to have the courage to stand up to powerful oil and gas interests and protect the health of innocent Oklahomans. McCray is not anti-business or blind to the need of a vibrant oil and gas industry in Oklahoma, but, a more balanced approach is needed at the Corporation Commission. Vote for McCray on November 6th.

Fobbs For Insurance Commissioner

In the opinion of The Oklahoma Eagle editorial board, perhaps the best candidate running for any office is Kimberly Fobbs. She is running for Insurance Commissioner and she not only uniquely qualified, she understands what the commission should be doing on behalf of Oklahomans everywhere. Her grasp of the issues was impressive and worthy of note here.

Fobbs like others would command a complex agency and have a great understanding of a complicated industry and complicated agency. She is an expert at both.

Oklahomans would do themselves and their neighbors a huge favor by voting for Fobbs for Insurance Commissioner. Vote for Fobbs on November 6th.

Fred Dorrell The Choice For Labor Commissioner

Lately this position has been occupied by those who oppose labor and had dark political agendas for undoing the work and sacrifice of the labor movement. While it’s true the commissioner is not an arm of labor unions, practical experience working within a union and strong management skills are Dorrell’s strong suit.

Dorrell is what’s need to manage this important agency within state government for all Oklahomans. Vote for Fred Dorrell for Commissioner of Labor on November 6th..

John Cox For Education Superintendent

John Cox is the right choice at this crucial crossroads for climbing out of the abyss that was the Governor Mary Fallin’s administration and decay of education under her watch. There has been no strong voice for education coming from the superintendent’s office. “I want to be a voice for public schools,” said Cox, who has led his eastern Oklahoma district for 25 years. Cox said he disagrees with the state Department of Education’s recent increase on test proficiency standards, calling it an “assault on public education.”

The new standards produced an expected drop in average test. We need innovation not draconian testing to pull the state out of the ditch of poor results. Vote for Cox for Education Superintendent on November 6th.

Kunzweiler For Tulsa District Attorney

Steve Kunzweiler understands his role very well. Public safety tops the list of what is most important in the commission of his office. As District Attorney it is clear he must perform that job without fear nor favor in conducting his job. He has passed that bar with flying colors.

At times, it meant taking on difficult cases to ensure that all Tulsans are afforded justice and not just certain ones. That kind of courage and attention to professional decorum makes Kunzweiler the easy choice. Vote for Kunzweiler for District Attorney, District 14 on November 6th.

Stan Sallee For County Commissioner

In a difficult decision, The Oklahoma Eagle endorses Stan Sallee for County Commissioner. Kevin Matthews is a state Senator and a valuable member of our community. We believe he should fulfill his position in Oklahoma City. His term expires in 2020.

Sallee is well prepared to take on the role of County Commissioner for the first district that takes on a varied collection of Tulsans and Owasso. He has been a part of every major public development in the area and served with distinction.

It should be noted Sallee is part of the Lebanese community that includes the Bayouths and they are sound partners in economic development. Vote for Stan Sallee for County Commissioner, District 1 on Nov. 6th.

The Oklahoma Eagle Endorses Tulsa County Judges

District 14, Office 1

The Oklahoma Eagle endorses District Judge Caroline Wall who is running for a third term. She is very analytical in her thoughts along with being fair and balanced in her decision making.

District 14, Office 2

The Oklahoma Eagle endorses Judge Sharon Holmes. Perhaps no judge had as challenging a term as Holmes, however she acted with the highest degree of integrity. She remained calm and was fair in her deliberations.

District 14, Office 3

The Oklahoma Eagle endorses Jim Caputo. He is a thoughtful jurist who has a background in law enforcement and having worked in private practice.  His varied experience gives him the right kind of perspective for dealing fairly in the cases brought before him. We believe he has been unfairly maligned during this campaign and we stand by him.

District 14, Office 9

The Oklahoma Eagle endorses Judge Linda Morrissey. A 20-year veteran of the bench. She is well known for being fair and her long tenure gives her experienced in a wide variety of cases. Also known for being fair and compassionate.

District 14, Office 12

The Oklahoma Eagle endorses Special Judge Martha Rupp to become the next District Judge, Office 12.  Rupp Carter is hard working and brings a high degree of integrity to the office.

Associate District 14

The Oklahoma Eagle endorses Special Judge Cliff Smith to become the Associate District Judge. He has handled a docket of high-profile cases involving everything from murder to domestic violence. He is a straight shooter and brings a lot of common sense to the bench.

State Questions

            State Question 793 vote NO

State Question 794 vote Yes

State Question 798 vote No

State Question 800 vote No

State Question 801 vote No

We recommend retain all state judges.

Eagle Endorses McGee And Hotvedt For State Rep.

The Oklahoma Eagle endorses the candidacy of Kara Joy McGee for Tulsa city council District 4 and Carly Hotvedt for State Representative, District 67 in Tulsa. Both candidates are hardworking, smart and progressive individuals who will do a great job representing Tulsa.

 

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