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ScissorTales: In Oklahoma City Council races, holding office not necessarily a ticket to keep it

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: April 6, 2013

An idea whose time has come?

After years of debating the idea, lawmakers are giving another go to legislation that would target those driving without insurance. Senate Bill 691 would prevent uninsured drivers from recovering any monetary damages after auto accidents. The bill passed the Senate 31-9 and just passed a House committee on a 10-6 vote. State Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, said the idea behind the bill is simple: “If you're not participating in the system that you're required to by law, then you shouldn't benefit from it.” A 2011 report from the Insurance Research Council says about 24 percent of Oklahoma's drivers were uninsured in 2009, the latest year of data. Yet those drivers can file claims on others' insurance, even as their own actions drive up the cost of others' insurance. We suspect most Oklahomans will like this bill. Perhaps this will be the year it finally becomes law.

Money well spent

Liberals often appear surprised that so many citizens are skeptical of the efficacy of government intervention in the economy. Apparently, many Americans pay attention to results while many liberals mostly focus on intentions. Consider the famed Obama stimulus plan. The Weekly Standard notes a government website has detailed the results of a stimulus grant awarded to Indiana University to study “Barriers to Correct Condom Use.” The study was to be “one of the first to examine under controlled conditions the role of cognitive and affective factors and condom skills in explaining condom use problems in young, heterosexual adult men.” The description alone will cause many to consider it a waste of time and money — and they're right. The study spent $423,500 and created no jobs whatsoever. Yet somewhere we suspect there are liberals who remain baffled that anyone would think this wasn't money well spent.

Out of focus, again

Rutgers University officials knew months ago that men's basketball coach Mike Rice had gone over the line in the treatment of his players. In November, the athletic director was given a videotape of Rice kicking players, throwing basketballs at them and using an anti-gay slur. The AD decided in December, with the school president's blessing, to fine Rice and suspend him for a few games. Only after the video aired this week on ESPN did Rutgers decide to act, by firing Rice. The athletic director, Tim Pernetti, needed to be shown the door, too, and finally he stepped down Friday. Originally it was reported Pernetti's job was safe because he had helped get Rutgers admitted to the mighty Big Ten Conference — thus securing additional millions in annual revenue for the school. Never let it be said that big-time college athletics programs don't have their priorities in order.

ID please

We've often scoffed at those who claim having to present identification when voting is somehow an unreasonable, monstrous burden. Given how often people have to show photo ID today for all sorts of activities, it's hardly unprecedented. In fact, many establishments selling beer and liquor now card everyone who enters — and we do mean everyone. Blockheads, a Manhattan bar recently noted in The Wall Street Journal, has a zero-tolerance ID policy. Senior citizens buying a drink have to show ID, just like a 21-year-old. A bartender at High West Distillery in Salt Lake City's airport once carded a 96-year-old customer. If retirees are able to survive an ID requirement to ensure the legality of beer purchases, why should anyone object to ensuring the validity of the voting process?

by 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...
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