Will Oklahoma choose a tax-and-spend Republican for governor?
The WaPo is in love with Mick Cornett, the leading GOP candidate for governor in Oklahoma. He's a tax-and-spend mayor of Oklahoma City who has raised taxes to, among other things, fund whitewater rafting.
Cornett raised sales taxes to fund parks, bike trails, a "multistory ropes course and slide," a streetcar network (much more expensive than buses), and a $45-million "whitewater rafting" center. When I was thinking about the streetcars and the whitewater rafting and the bike trails, it suddenly occurred to me: Cornett didn't think he was mayor of Oklahoma City; he thought he was mayor of Disneyland! He thought his job description was to build attractions, and he confused paying visitors with taxpayers.
Mayor Mick Cornett (photo: Ed Schipul via Flickr).
The Romans used to do the same thing, only instead of calling it welfare and water parks, they called it bread and circuses.
Cornett ... prevailed even though as mayor he pushed for higher taxes, questioned congressional efforts to hastily overturn the Affordable Care Act, supported a local gay rights ordinance and co-wrote a letter with liberal New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urging the federal government to spend more money on transportation and public works projects. He also backed state tax increases to pay for teacher pay raises.
So, Cornett may be liberal on taxes, and Obamacare, and gay rights, and spending, but he's conservative on...sorry, what was the question again? Oh, here's one more factoid:
In 2009, he campaigned aggressively for a 1-cent increase in the sales tax to fund $771 million in economic development and wellness projects. (He also made headlines for inspiring a citywide diet, in which he claims 47,000 residents lost a combined 1 million pounds.)
A citywide diet? We aren't smart enough to decide what to eat for ourselves, we need Cornett to tell us what to eat? If citizens lost one million pounds, and had taxes raised by $770 million, that's $770 a pound. Surely there must be a more cost-effective way of dieting without government spending.
Cornett actually isn't quite the GOP nominee for governor yet; he is in a runoff against another GOP candidate who wants "sentencing reform" (i.e., to empty the jails), so GOP voters will have a choice between the pro-tax and the pro-crime candidates. Personally, if I lived in a concealed carry state, I'd take my chance with the pro-crime candidate. At least then I might be able to defend myself against someone trying to take my money.
It's amazing that in a conservative state like Oklahoma, a Republican could get away with not just raising taxes, but raising taxes for such obviously frivolous projects. Whitewater rafting and rope courses are great, but there is a private sector fully capable of funding such projects. The WaPo, in its usual brilliant analysis, says that the GOP is becoming more moderate in Oklahoma because of "Millennials" (the newest generation brainwashed with the latest pedagogical techniques) and Hispanics (who may or may not be able to vote...but probably do!).
Brainwashing and population transfers. Coming to a voting booth near you.
Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.