Oklahoma Political News Roundup

Grassroots power. The Oklahoma Democratic Party is trying to keep funding the staff people that were part of Howard Dean’s 50-state grassroots party-building strategy. That program is being laid down, apparently — despite its demonstrable success for the past two campaign cycles. I could go off on that tangent for a rant, but back to Oklahoma — Oklahoma Dems would like to keep this now experienced staff around to help the party continue to build and, I dunno, do better next time. So if you’re inclined, donate here

Inhofe back to business. The Oklahoma Gazette reports that Inhofe is going to focus his time and energy on dismantling the 527s that he thinks did him dirty in his recent reelection campaign. He won by a considerable margin, but no matter, he’s on the warpath. I’m sure this new mission he’s taken on will do lots of good things for the people of Oklahoma.

Little Axe Case remembered. In 1981, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State came to the aid of two Little Axe, OK, families who were being attacked for their objections to denominational prayers in the local school. Oklahoma City minister, and blogger at Mainstream Baptists, Dr. Bruce Prescott, interviewed one of the victims on his radio program, and AU picked it up on their site, and prominent science blogger and atheist PZ Myers noted it at Pharyngula as well. Both posts generated lots of comments.

And therein I learned that Joann Bell, the longtime director of the Oklahoma ACLU was one of those Little Axe women who fought the school board and the whole town. I’d heard about the Little Axe story, even saw it detailed in a documentary, but never realized that it was that Joann Bell that was involved.

Keeping it wild. In the Gazette I also see news that The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma is initiating a new project in OKC and Tulsa to get more young professionals and families involved in their work to save wilderness areas.

Waiting for justice. A documentary has been made about the survivors of the Tulsa Race Riot (thought to be the worst racist massacre in U.S. history in which a successful black community was destroyed) and their desire for reparations Before They Die. I’m not sure when this film was released, but it’s been shown in Tulsa, and recently in New York City. If it hasn’t been shown publicly in OKC, it should be.