The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

May 2, 2014

Quite contrary

Gov. Fallin’s retaliatory behavior disrespects the legislative process

ENID, Okla. — When Mary Fallin was running for her first term as governor in 2010, she bragged of working across the aisle as a lawmaker.

“Being in the Oklahoma Legislature for four years, I was actually able to pass over a dozen pieces of legislation into law,” Fallin said in a debate at the University of Central Oklahoma.

“And I was a Republican in a Democrat House and with a Democrat Senate and a Democrat governor.”

Flash forward four years, and the Republicans are fully in control at 23rd and Lincoln. Ironically, members of the GOP aren't having the same level of success as Fallin did in the Legislature.

Mary was quite contrary on Tuesday, vetoing 15 bills with less than five weeks remaining in this year's session.

“Unfortunately, the progress has stalled at the Capitol,” Fallin told the Capitol press corps. “I’m asking the Legislature to work with me.”

Wait a minute: The 15 vetoed measures all originated in the Republican-controlled House. State Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, didn't understand why Fallin vetoed two of his bills that were directly requested from the governor's office. That is strange.

And legislators were so frustrated with Fallin's attempt to quash their gun bill they overwhelmingly voted to override her veto.

This obstructionist approach is embarrassingly wrong. These bills passed a significant level of review among the Republican ranks. This isn’t the Beltway where Fallin recently experienced partisan gridlock firsthand in the U.S. Congress.

This vindictive kind of retaliatory behavior is unacceptable for a state official. It’s not good government, and this my-way-or-the-highway mentality disrespects the legislative process.

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