Stillwater News Press

October 25, 2010

Letters: On elections, war, the city and Cowboy fans

Stillwater NewsPress

— I am a life-long Nebraska Cornhusker fan from Lincoln, Neb.  Over the years I have attended football games at a number of fine universities across the country, including many in the Big XII Conference.  Throughout these trips, most of the hometown fans have been cordial, but some have not.

This last Saturday, my father and I made our first trip to Stillwater to see our Cornhuskers play the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  Within minutes of our arrival we were greeted warmly with handshakes and sincere “welcomes” from virtually everyone we met. 

As the day progressed, we were overwhelmed by the grace, warmth and overall friendliness of the OSU fans.  ... to all the people we met in and around Boone Pickens stadium, we have never been so impressed with a fan base outside of Lincoln.  Even after the game that didn’t go the home team’s way, everyone continued to be wonderful hosts!

I purchased several OSU t-shirts at the stadium and will wear them with pride.  With Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten Conference next year, I am saddened by the fact that it will be unlikely Nebraska will play OSU in Stillwater again anytime in the near future.

I also regret waiting so long to make my first trip to your fine city.  With that being said, I will have a new favorite team in the Big XII conference next year!  I hope you win them all!  From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for a truly wonderful experience.  GO POKES!

Nathan Weinhold

Lincoln, Neb.

Thanks from Husker fans

Just a letter to let people know what a great place Stillwater is.

This was our first trip here and what a good one it was. We went to NU vs. OSU football game. We walked through campus and visited a few bars Friday night.

Had a great time and everyone was so welcoming. We met lots of nice people throughout our stay.

We've been to lots of different towns and stadiums and this has to be one of the best. Thanks for a great time our only regret is since leaving the Big 12 we won't have another opportunity to come back. OSU should be proud of their fans!

Terry Cardwell

Nebraska fan from Kansas

Against 746

I am casting a no vote for state question 746 concerning Voter ID.

The main reason is that Oklahoma is a small town type of community in most places. The poll workers and election judges know many in their precinct, especially those in the smaller communities outside of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Stillwater and Lawton.

If passed, the law will require all voters to present their current, government-issued, photo ID card or their Voter ID card (yeah, the little card that lists your precinct and polling place that is issued once when you register and is paper-based).

I suspect that this law will not even be followed in the small towns like the where I grew up in Noble County. Even though the election judges will be trained to check ID's, it is going to be awkward for them to enforce on a old friend, neighbor, or relative.

I predict that this will cause many not-so-close elections to be challenged due to this failure. All it would take is a sore loser crying foul because old election judge Betty did not check Joe Farmer's ID.

This will cost more money for the county and state due to the extra time and labor it will take to sort out the mess it will create.

Please join me in saying no to this unnecessary law. With virtually no cases of actual in-person voter fraud statewide, this state question falls into our old saying, If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Kirsten Tautfest Minasian



I wish to endorse Ryan Smith for District 34.  I believe Ryan Smith will serve the citizens well, with common sense decisions in difficult situations.  He is a businessman with 25 employees, here in Stillwater.  With an 80 percent win in the (sic) runoff elections, I feel we can't go wrong to vote for Ryan Smith.

 endorse Gary Jones, who has uncovered fraud in city and state government and will do a good job as investigator and auditor for the state of Oklahoma. His opponent was appointed to fill the vacancy when the former auditor was sent to prison.

Gary Jones and wife Mary Jane live at Cache where their children went to school. I've known Mary Jane all her life and they are good people.

I endorse John Doak for insurance commissioner against a woman appointed by the governor when the former commissioner was sent to prison. John Doak is well qualified to serve us as insurance commissioner for the state of Oklahoma.

 There are 11 questions on the ballot.  I will vote against 744 and 746. I believe the other nine are needed in state government and will serve to correct some outdated laws. Election Day is only a short time away and your vote is needed. Vote Nov. 2.

Vera Long



For Williams

I am writing on behalf of State Representative Cory Williams, District 34, who is running for re-election in what I consider to be one of the most important races for our community this election season.

I supported Cory in 2008, and I am even more supportive now that I have seen what he has been able to accomplish in such a short time as a freshman legislator.

I believe economic development to be one of the most key and relevant issues of the District 34 race. So while reading the Sunday Oklahoman on Oct. 10, I was frustrated to see the disturbing results of the RIED report, which claims to score Oklahoma legislators based on how they vote for economic issues. In this particular scorecard, Cory Williams received a 33 out of 100 - a failing grade. Knowing that the RIED report lacks bi-partisan legitimacy, I immediately knew that this score regarding Rep. Williams' economic development record was further from the truth.

Rep. Williams co-authored SB 1640, the Oklahoma Retirement Communities Act, and fought hard to save our tax dollars when MerCruiser left town. SB 1640 is a bill that was co-sponsored by Rep. Williams and Sen. Halligan to use Stillwater as a pilot for the Certified Retirement Communities program. This is an initiative supported by both Republicans and Democrats to bring jobs to Stillwater and give a healthy, economic boost to our community - all at no expense to the taxpayers. This is the biggest economic development plan that Stillwater has seen in a long time, and it's a done deal. Rep. Williams' hard work has paid off, and we will all see the benefits.

The truth is that the RIED (Research Institute for Economic Development) report is a partisan report that has haunted Democratic candidates for years. Allegedly, the mission of RIED is to promote economic growth through the evaluation of business, industry and economic growth issues considered by the Oklahoma Legislature, but measuring votes is subjective. I'd like to point out a few things that Stillwater citizens should know about RIED:

-    RIED is comprised of 21 board members, who incidentally are also registered Republicans.

-    In 2009, RIED issued failing grades to every Democrat in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In 2010, 36 of 39 House Democrats received a failing grade.

-    The two largest employers in the House are Democrats, and both received failing grades each year.

-    RIED refuses to make public their methodology for scoring and evaluating legislators, and offers only vague explanations on their website.

 I hope that the citizens of Stillwater will take the time to learn more about the RIED report and its lack of credibility, and I'd also like to encourage citizens to learn more about Rep. Cory Williams and what he has done to further our interests at the State Capitol. While he is facing a partisan opposition, he really has won the respect of Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike, making him an ideal candidate to continue constructive work in the State House. You can read more about Rep. Williams' past legislation and future plans at I hope you will support Rep. Cory Williams and give him your vote on Nov. 2.

Angela Spotts

chairwoman, Payne County Democrats



SQ 744 supporters propose paying for it by eliminating tax exemptions, wasteful spending and political perks.  If legislators had the political will and public service attitude to do that, SQ 744 would not be needed.  If the politicians at any level of government do not have the will to change their attitude and behavior, then the only thing we can do is replace them.

J.L. White



For 744

It is imperative to vote yes on 744 to break the yoke of servitude for our children.

Our children compete for jobs internationally and must be competitive. Our weak- kneed, no new tax legislators do not have the backbone to make tough choices unless mandated.

State Question 744 allows three years for the legislators to study the top performing states in America and then develop tax structures to pay for excellence. They do not have to cut services.

We are one of the lowest taxed states in the nation considering all taxes paid and are getting the outcomes of such a system. This is not adequate for my grandchildren and I am willing to sacrifice to advance.

Changes will require longer school years and get back to the small class sizes required by HB 1014, which Henry Bellmon championed and provided the money to move toward excellence. Henry Bellmon came from a farm and knew if he was to get top milk production, his cows had to be fed adequately for top production.

I served in the Oklahoma Senate when the courts required “least restrictive environment” for people born with disabilities. Previously we had warehoused disabled people in state institutions. It cost, but it took a mandate to make the Legislatures do what is right.

Oklahoma's children are better than being at the bottom of the barrel. I am willing to pay more taxes.

Ed Long


For Cowan

One can expect to see negative campaigning at the state and national levels, but when it hits home in Stillwater and the local campaigns, it is troubling. 

Shouldn’t candidates be able to campaign on their own values and records?  That is exactly what James Cowan is doing.  He is running a truthful and dedicated campaign for the office of Payne County assessor.  He is not going around town stating negative comments about his opponent. 

He has stated at public meetings and in private conversations throughout the county that he is looking forward to working with current staff in the county assessor’s office and anticipates gaining knowledge and experience from those that currently hold positions. 

He knows the current employees are vital to making sure the office operates smoothly and efficiently.  The citizens of Payne County can count on James Cowan to be truthful, hard working, and dedicated to the success of the Payne County assessor’s office. 

He is one to learn from others and not make rash decisions, such as letting employees go, without first getting to know them and their work ethics. 

The current employees should stop worrying about losing their job and concentrate on electing the most qualified person for the position of Payne County assessor — James Cowan.

Galen and Kay Porter



Last summer we were told that the city of Stillwater couldn’t afford to mow all of our parks because they were short of funds. Still, a city employee or employees, driving a city vehicle and using city gas can go and pull up political signs that are on private property and the owners of the signs had permission to put the signs on the property. It might not have been quite so stupid, if they had pulled all political signs but no, they were very particular on whose signs they pulled. I guess the good side of this, if there is one, it has rained and the signs will be easier to put back into the ground.

Judy German



It is a mystery to me why the president is allowing this Afghanistan war to continue and continue.

We are losing brave men and women (19 this week), we cannot afford the war in both lives and dollars, and the majority of the American people are against this war. So why are we still there?

If by some change the Democrats should maintain control after this upcoming election, I hope the president makes the changes he promised when he was campaigning for the presidency.

This war is a disaster, and it is time to get out.


Nancy Andrews