Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Periscope: Bingman Needs a Wake-Up Call

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Periscope: Bingman Needs a Wake-Up Call

Article excerpt

Each legislative session brings forth a lawmaker who proposes something so crazy she gains instant notoriety or one who validates the Peter Principle.

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, is taking a serious run at the trophy. His comments have included such clear non sequiturs that we're left wondering if he was listening at all or if he maybe had some earbuds going and was rocking out to some Vanilla Ice tracks.

At the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber's legislative breakfast last month, Bingman tried to explain that Medicaid money was really just a loan and that Oklahoma shouldn't take it. I'm still trying to figure out how he got there; last I checked we all pay federal taxes, including one on the pay stub for Medicaid. And the federal government sends that money back to the states to help poor people get health care.

OK, maybe he just hadn't had enough coffee yet. But on Monday, he issued this written response to Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address: "I'm grateful to the governor for her efforts to work with members of the Legislature on the issues that matter most to Oklahoma. Her focus on jobs and the economy will allow us to build an even stronger business climate, and her support for priorities like government reform will help us in our efforts to craft a more efficient and effective state government. I share the governor's enthusiasm for our future and look forward to working with her as we address the challenges facing our state."

Bingman might as well have said, "The governor gave a speech today and I support her love of lima beans and endorse her passion for pointillism."

The governor didn't say anything about jobs and the economy and the business climate. The three critical points in her speech had to do with education, prisons and health. She also mentioned finding a resolution to the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum debacle and considering which tax credits should disappear. …

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