MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

November 3, 2012

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Check out Romney’s record as governor

— If the Republicans had checked Mitt Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts, they would not have nominated him. He was a very unpopular, one-term governor. Unemployment doubled and young people had to leave the state to get jobs. At the end of his term he had the largest debt in history. Romney claims the unemployment rate fell during his tenure as governor and that he created 40,000 jobs in his last year in office. As the nation s economy grew and the median income rose, under Romney Massachusetts plummeted from 36th to 47th out of 50 states in job creation and the median income declined. When he took office, unemployment in Massachusetts was below the national average. When he left office, the unemployment rate was higher than the national average for the first time since 1995. Even as his state failed to keep up, Gov. Romney slashed funding for the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program that helped hundreds of small manufacturers compete, survive, and save thousands of jobs.

In January 2011, Bain Capital (Romney owns 50 percent) purchased Sencat Technologies in Freeport, Ill., an automobile sensor company, from Honeywell for $140 million. Even though the company had shown large profits, they had almost two years to prepare for closing and the company was outsourcing to China. The workers trained the Chinese. The workers lost their retirement and all other benefits. They begged Romney to save their jobs. He said it was a smart business decision. He has bragged that he knew the best time to outsource jobs and he was impressed with the Chinese slave labor. This is how he has made his millions.

MILDRED GRAESER

Muskogee

Be smart, well-read,

but most of all — vote

The discourse in politics, locally and nationally, has degraded from being substantive to silly talk. Sound bites and pet phrases seem to mean more to voters than facts and reality. On a late night mail run for the church I met a gentleman in the parking lot of the post office. He approached me and said, “Sir, I’m sure you’re voting for Obama, but not me because he was born in Kenya.” I paused before responding, and almost walked away without saying anything at all, but something in me provoked me to speak. I asked the man how he arrived at that conclusion, and immediately he went into a rant and tirade about “taking back our country” and our country not becoming a “socialist” government. Only one example of how many in the electorate are erring on the side of soundbites and not substance, exaggerated fiction and not facts.

To complicate matters further in Oklahoma, our state Legislature is now asking voters to decide on issues in the form of state questions that they were elected to resolve as a body. State questions are usually the result of personal agendas that cannot get enough votes in the Legislature so are put to the voters to decide. Arguably, a majority of the questions have no merit and have been presented like a stone being cast from the shadows by cowardly legislators who insist on appealing to constituents’ fears and ignorance.

As a voter I hope you’re smarter than some candidates or legislators take you to be. Don’t be deceived by silver-tongued politicians who use words like “socialism” or “entitlements” to which they can barely define themselves; neither be misled by language in state questions such as “affirmative action” or “lower taxes” that tend to appeal to our emotions and not to our intellect. As the voting begins be smart, well-read and informed, and most of all, vote.

THE REV. MARLON J. COLEMAN

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church

Muskogee

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