Discover more from Oklahoma Columnist, by Clay Horning
Has anything happened while I'm away?
Just the Big 12 hitting a home run, Ryan Walters being a dodo (again) and millions more dollars Kevin Stitt didn't have to give away
NICEVILLE, Fla. — Hi all, the great Gwenda and I have been in Florida most of this week and will be home soon. I am, however, still tardy with an explanation for my lack of new posts this week. Upon our return, I promise to quickly get back into the swing of things.
Right now, I’ll try to coax a few words out of this keyboard.
• You may recall, in this post, I opined that Oklahoma, by choosing to exit, has actually played a large part in creating a Big 12 it might never have chosen to depart. I also wrote that Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark, since succeeding Bob Bowlsby, has been knocking it out of the park.
Well, as you probably know, he’s done it again, adding Arizona, Arizona State and Utah, after already adding Colorado, thereby making the Big 12 an eventual 16-school conference.
It’s a master stroke.
The Big Ten may always draw more media money because the upper Midwest’s population will always dwarf the Great Plains’, but that doesn’t mean the Big 12 can’t soon become the No. 2 conference in the nation or even No. 1 should Nick Saban ever retire.
The raw numbers make the conference uber-formidable.
Also, among its 16 teams, you’d think at least two might hang in the top 10 each season and find their way into football’s new 12-team playoff where, you never know, a national championship could be won.
I mean, you never know, it’s a 12-team playoff.
Then there’s this:
As a men’s basketball conference, already the best in the nation, thanks to Houston and Arizona, it should improve. As a women’s basketball conference, thanks to Utah (and perhaps Arizona), it should improve. As a baseball conference, with the Arizonas coming in, it should improve. As a softball conference, with the Arizonas and Utah coming in, it will absolutely improve.
The Big 12 may have lost its headliners, but emerge a better conference anyway.
• So Ryan Walters knocked out a Tweet with a video message I can’t bear to watch and these words attached:
“China will not be allowed in Oklahoma schools.”
Such a bumbling, freaking, idiotic, clod-headed nimwit.
Here’s part of an Oklahoman story about it.
In a video posted Wednesday afternoon on X, formerly known as Twitter, Walters said, "I've been looking more and more into what's going on in Tulsa Public Schools, and it's just been unbelievable to find out that they are one of the only schools in the country taking money from the Chinese government."
Shown in the video sitting in an automobile, Walters asserted that China was giving money to Tulsa Public Schools "in order to undermine our United States government, our country. It's unbelievable." He added: "...we cannot allow influence from hostile governments in our schools to undermine our institutions."
He provided no elaboration or substantiation in his 45-second post, but a spokesperson said Walters was referring to a Chinese educational program known as "Confucius Classrooms."
You know what this means?
No more globes in our schools. No more world maps.
If they still keep encyclopedias in school libraries, the “C” book will have to be removed, which is bound to upset the smart kids in the chess club (and the less smart kids in the checkers club).
God, what a dummy.
• Also, remember how attorney general Gentner Drummond had had it with governor Kevin Stitt, among other things criticizing him for taking on huge legal fees trying to continue his never-ending fight(s) with the Tribes. Well, over at The Frontier, because they do the hard work, a number has emerged.
Check it out.
Nearly $2 million in state money meant to ensure Oklahoma is receiving its cut from tribal gaming operations was used to pay law firms representing Gov. Kevin Stitt in legal fights with the tribes, payment records show. The money came from annual fees tribal nations pay the state to regulate gaming operations in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said he is looking into whether the funds were properly used to pay for legal counsel for Gov. Kevin Stitt in several lawsuits.
More than $1.9 million in gaming compliance program funds was paid to outside law firms representing the governor in legal actions over the past three years. The figure, which is more than previously reported, comes from state payment records reviewed by The Frontier.
The money to pay legal fees came from the state’s gaming compliance fund, a separate pot of money from the exclusivity fees the tribes pay the state for the rights to run gaming operations in Oklahoma. Tribes pay more than $1 million a year into the gaming compliance fund.
Between Swadley’s, the ClassWallet program Stitt was happy to administer through Walters, others scandals not momentarily on the tip of my tongue and his war with the tribes, how much taxpayer money has our governor set on fire?
Lots and lots and lots.
Tens of millions. More?
Where the tribes are concerned, from McGirt, to gambling, to other compacts, it’s all unforced errors, all unnecessary and nothing that keeps any swath of Oklahomans — unless one governor can be called a swath — up at night.
You want to believe he’s misguided.
But you have to believe it’s a vendetta.