By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Newspaper
President of Walters Power International and former Oklahoma Governor, David Walters was guest speaker on Friday the 13th during the Oklahoma County Democratic Party Noon Luncheon. The weekly event is held at the landmark Boulevard Cafeteria on N. Dewey in Oklahoma City.
The Governor delivered his message laced with his typical use of wry Walters humor.
OCDP Chair Joe Hartman introduced Walters and emceed the event before a group of about 40 Democrats, including Oklahoma Democratic Party (ODP) Chair Mark Hammons, former State Rep Wanda Jo (Peltier) Stapleton, former Lieutenant Governor candidate Cathy Cummings, Central Oklahoma Labor Federation President, Tim O’Connor and candidate for US Congress Tom Guild.
“I’m enjoying the presidential race, but like many of you, I’m confused by it,” Walters said. “I’ve got this terrifying fear that our values, our population and our voters in this nation are somehow shifting to a less compassionate, humane and more a ‘who cares I’ve got mine you go get yours’ kind of mentality with the rise of these Republican candidates.”
He added, “I use twitter to talk about politics where I’m limited to a 140 characters or I’d go on all day,” he smiled.
Walters said he felt the GOP was having some problems with their candidates, referring to an article in the Washington Post that day about the GOP leadership being on the verge of hitting the panic button. “They’re just out of their minds with what’s going on I think.”
Walters and his wife Rhonda recently hosted a fundraiser at their home for the local chapter of the Sierra Club, where he and others addressed environmental concerns in Oklahoma.
“Democrats were frustrated with the state policies related to the environment,” he said.
Walters said that there is latent anger and that the voters know that they’ve been lied to. “I believe that, because you can’t go from zero to 850 earthquakes and know that we’re injecting disposal wells full of lubricants. And then walk around, which we did for about five years, saying ‘If we could only figure out what was causing this’.
“It’s putting us in danger of having a devastating earthquake,” he stated. “They’ve got plenty of money to be able to clean this water up and to stop this ridiculous profiteering at our expense and at our danger.
“I think now voters are calling BS on this and there is power in riding that wave,” he said.
“Everybody feels that they’re not being talked to directly and they understand that you can solve it. We are upset by the continuing assault on renewable generation.
He pointed out that Oklahoma is one of the first states in the nation to tax solar rooftop installations and one of the first to back off of solar incentives.
He said, “Many utilities companies around the world are getting with the program and trying to figure out how to promote distributive generation and how to get involved in renewables and how to take advantage of this shift in technology, but not here.
“Why not here?” he asked.
Walters believes there is insufficient pressure on state office holders.
“Our Sierra Clubs scrambles to raise a little money so it can be a voice, while their national office files a lawsuit,” Walters said. “We’ve got to find a way to get them more resources so they can be our more prominent voice on these environmental matters.”
The Governor praised Hammons for recently challenging Gov. Mary Fallin.
Hammons submitted a complaint last week over several issues, including a possible violation for the involvement of the governor’s office in an investigation of a Tulsa surgeon by the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.
“If she’s got time to go to the medical examiners board and take care of Gov. Perry’s big contributor, why doesn’t she have time to get 200,000 people insurance who would automatically be covered under the ACA (Affordable Care Act), or getting our teachers off the bottom of the national wage scale,” Walters asked.
“An automatic is to get candidates that will speak to that – they’re not always going to win. But let that freedom wash over you, because now you can be a truth teller. Go out there and talk about the Affordable Care Act. They only talk about the expense without any of the benefits.” Walters said.
“We want to know what we should do about mental health – a hundred million dollars would appear like magic in the mental heath department because it would free up other expenses that the Affordable Care Act would take care of if we expanded Medicaid.”
Walters says these situations are opportunities for his party to have their voices heard and that finding good candidates is the best way to do it.
“We need truth tellers. We need to find people that will tell the truth, and spread the message,” he continued. “When you lay the issues out in crystal clear detail, I think voters would be for it.”
Walters also congratulated the ODP on their efforts to allow Independents to vote in Democratic primaries.
On November 16 during a press conference at the state Capitol, Hammons stated, “Yesterday, over 260,000 registered voters in Oklahoma had no voice selecting who would be on the general election ballot. Today, the Oklahoma Democratic Party is giving these Oklahomans a voice.”
A Hillary Clinton supporter, Walters says he likes Bernie Sanders and the “conscience that he brings about base level issues and the passion that he brings to those issues.
“I hope we can do that in our races.”