The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord Everest, member at large; Scott Briggs, Vice President of Administration, OPUBCO Communications Group; Owen Canfield, Opinion editor; and Ray Carter, chief editorial writer.

To submit a letter to the editor, go to this page or email

  • Rep. Tom Cole's laudable effort to keep Social Security afloat

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Mar 29, 2015

    NO, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole isn’t bored and simply looking for a challenge. Instead Cole, R-Moore, says his decision to try to come up with a way to keep Social Security afloat is based on a firm belief that it can be done. “The problem is it’s easily fixed,” Cole said in an interview last week. “It’s the politics that’s hard.” In 2014, 24 percent of all federal spending went to pay for Social Security. When you add in Medicare, Medicaid, welfare and other benefit programs, and the interest on the debt, these programs combine to eat up two-thirds of all federal monies. And yet reform proposals routinely get shot down in Washington. Recall President Barack Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission, which

  • Oklahoma education rally should offer plan, not platitudes

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Mar 29, 2015

    Education event set for Monday at Capitol

  • Oklahoma ScissorTales: Will this be a new beginning for OU?

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    WITH sanctions having been leveled against additional fraternity members for their involvement in a racist chant, here’s hoping the University of Oklahoma can do what OU President David Boren said Friday: come through having learned and grown. Boren expelled two members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity soon after a cellphone video went viral March 8 showing SAE members singing a racist song on a bus. The fraternity was disbanded and members forced to move out. An OU investigation into the genesis of the chant and the involvement of members resulted in about 25 being disciplined. The punishments, which Boren said had been accepted by all involved, included permanent withdrawals, community service and cultural

  • Many downsides generated by Colorado marijuana experiment

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    A look at legalization of marijuana, one year later

  • Administration's regulation-generating machine is humming along

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    THE Obama administration’s regulation-generating machine is humming right along, with hydraulic fracturing and greenhouse gases in the cross hairs most recently along with climate change “deniers.” We keep trying to remind ourselves, just two more years and maybe things will get better. The administration on Friday ended a busy week of edict-issuing by rolling out new comprehensive rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. The good news is that not much federal land has been made available for oil and gas drilling, despite President Barack Obama’s assertions to the contrary, and so these rules from the Interior Department won’t be as damaging as they might otherwise.

  • Oklahoma road funding providing much benefit

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    DURING the past decade, Oklahoma’s transportation system has been provided a guaranteed and slowly increasing amount of state funding. This year’s budget shortfall has led some to suggest a portion of those funds should now be diverted to other needs. State government’s financial challenges are real. The needs of nontransportation agencies are often legitimate. Still, lawmakers should think long and hard before stalling or reversing the progress made in Oklahoma’s transportation system. State history, and the experience of other states, shows how quickly transportation neglect can become an impediment to economic growth. Pennsylvania is one of the few states consistently rated worse than Oklahoma for structurally

  • Allegedly fraudulent worker the latest blow to Oklahoma veterans agency

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    THE discovery that its chief investigator allegedly was a fraud is the latest gut punch to the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which has made news for the wrong reasons in recent years. A righting of the ship must be the agency’s foremost mission. That job falls for now to Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, who in January was appointed by the Oklahoma Veterans Commission to become the agency’s executive director. Deering had already been serving as Gov. Mary Fallin’s secretary for veterans affairs, but moved into the top VA post days after the agency’s previous executive director, John McReynolds, resigned under pressure.

  • Concerns intensifying over man-man causes of Oklahoma quake swarm

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    CONCERNS are intensifying over man-made causes of the recent Oklahoma earthquake swarm. The key question is how this will affect a state economy for which oil and gas exploration is vital. Not long after “The Big One” in late 2011 (a 5.6-magnitude earthquake centered in Lincoln County), suppositions about links between exploration and seismic activity rose to prominence. After all, something must be causing a sudden increase in such activity! Why not connect it to a new and different thing that humans are doing? But earthquake swarms have happened before in this state; they commonly happen now in regions of the world where oil exploration can’t be blamed. Still, the threat is real enough, and the science is legitimate

  • Democrats go to extreme with filibuster of human trafficking bill

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    IT says much about the growing extremism of the national Democratic Party on social issues that, given a choice between helping victims of human trafficking or funding abortion, Democratic senators are making the latter a higher priority. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act would increase penalties for those convicted of slavery, human smuggling and sexual exploitation of children. It’s a bill that should pass easily with bipartisan support. Indeed, the bill is sponsored by Democrats and Republicans, and nine Democrats voted to pass it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But then Democrats announced they had belatedly “noticed” a provision regarding a ban on taxpayer funding of abortion and said they were

  • ACT plan would make Oklahoma a national outlier

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    A push is underway at the Legislature to eliminate seven end-of-instruction (EOI) tests now required for high school graduation and replace them with the ACT or a similar national test. Yet the vast majority of states that require all students to take the ACT also require state tests. If the Oklahoma proposal is a good plan, then why aren’t more states using it? That question deserves an answer. Twelve states require 100 percent of their high school students to take the ACT before graduating. Almost all also require additional state tests, according to publicly available information. Wyoming is an exception.

  • Voters should have a say in Oklahoma liquor laws debate

    The Oklahoman editorial | Published: Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    COULD Oklahoma’s archaic and cumbersome liquor laws finally be modernized? It appears public demand for change is generating pressure. And lawmakers may finally tackle this tough issue — but not until next year. Even so, any movement is encouraging. This year, freshman Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, filed legislation to allow liquor stores to sell refrigerated strong beer. It was an admittedly small change. Yet Bice found taking even that step would have repercussions because it upset the balance between liquor stores, which can sell strong beer but cannot refrigerate it, and convenience stores, which can sell cold beer but only low-point beer.

  • Growth in spending for major U.S. federal welfare programs can't be sustained

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Mar 23, 2015

    SEVERAL U.S. presidents, including Bill Clinton, liked to style themselves as “The Education President.” Clinton was also delighted by the gratuitous designation of “America’s First Black President.” The real first black president is often referred to on these pages as The Great Divider. But Barack Obama easily qualifies as “The Welfare President.” Clinton grudgingly agreed to reform the nation’s welfare system in 1996, under intense pressure from congressional Republicans. They wanted a change from welfare to workfare. Clinton didn’t want to go along, but he also didn’t want to be a one-term president. What’s happened since the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act

  • A wish for a constructive resolution to OU fraternity uproar

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Mar 22, 2015

    Court fight would be unfortunate

  • Bills represent some steps in the right direction on Oklahoma criminal justice reform

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Mar 22, 2015

    THE move toward smarter corrections-related policies is a slow one in Oklahoma, although it is indeed underway, as House Speaker Jeff Hickman points out. Before he became speaker last year, Hickman, R-Fairview, spoke of the need to ease the prison population because conditions are unsafe for inmates and corrections officers. In his leadership role, he has continued to cite the benefit of lawmakers adopting a “smart on crime” approach instead of simply being tough on crime. Hickman has offered House Bill 2179, which would make it easier for offenders to obtain a commercial driver’s license once they have been released from prison. Presently ex-convicts must pay off all fees and fines before getting a suspended license

  • Oklahoma ScissorTales: Lawmakers making a simple issue difficult

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Mar 21, 2015

    HOW can something so simple be so difficult? The chairman of a state Senate committee said this week he wouldn’t give a hearing to a House bill that would ban text-messaging while driving. Why? Because “We have an agreeable bill that has passed the Senate,” said Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton. Yet the Senate bill, as the Tulsa World reported, was approved as a “committee bill” under new Senate rules and was assigned to the House Rules Committee instead of somewhere more fitting such as the Public Safety Committee. As the World noted, the rules committee has often been where bills are sent to die. The committee’s chairman isn’t ruling out giving the bill a hearing. We certainly hope that happens.

  • Obama plan: Reward Iran, punish U.S. energy?

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    THROUGHOUT his presidency, Barack Obama has sought to curtail oil and gas production in the United States. Now he’s seeking a deal with Iran that would allow that country to open the spigot on oil exports. It says much about this presidency that Obama shows more zeal for restricting the actions of law-abiding U.S. energy companies than he does for combating a terrorist-supporting, nuclear arms-seeking rogue nation. To pressure Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions, sanctions were imposed that limited its ability to export oil. Those sanctions may be lifted under the agreement now being pursued by Obama. The Wall Street Journal reports this could “translate into half a million barrels or more a day in Iranian crude heading into a

  • No pressing reason to spike A-F school grades in Oklahoma

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    System easily understood, not unduly punitive

  • Oklahoma kids can't afford for DHS workers not to follow protocol

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    Breakdowns contributed in death of 2-year-old girl

  • OKC superintendent must quickly address school discipline issue

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    SUPERINTENDENT Rob Neu gave a presentation to the Oklahoma City School Board on Monday night. When he finished, one board member asked a single question. There was no additional discussion. Perhaps that’s because there really wasn’t much more to be said. Simply put, the district has a serious problem when it comes to disciplining students — particularly those of color. Neu pledged to do something about it, as he should. According to district figures, at least 20 percent of students at six city high schools were suspended during the 2012-13 school year. They ranged from 22 percent of students at U.S. Grant and John Marshall high schools, to 32 percent at Oklahoma Centennial.

  • Single event won't undo positive image Oklahoma has cultivated

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    FROM a purely historical, chamber of commerce perspective, the problem with Oklahoma’s image outside its borders was that the state had no image — neither good nor bad. Apart from a smattering of associations with cowboys and Indians, Rodgers and Hammerstein and success on the college gridiron, Oklahoma suffered from a form of anonymity. That’s all changed, thanks in large part to tornadic tragedies and a team called the Thunder. With nationwide exposure from a University of Oklahoma fraternity’s racist chant, worries are being expressed about the state’s image. Naturally, chamber of commerce executives are concerned that the Sigma Alpha Epsilon video will hurt the state’s efforts to attract new business.