September 13, 2013

To tell the truth for the Common Good


During the infancy of television, when those who had sets in their living rooms were outnumbered by those who did not, networks struggled to create programming for this new media.  Many radio soap operas and variety shows were adapted to TV, but the genre that went through the roof was the panel game show.

Through the years viewers have been entertained by shows with such names as Let’s Make a Deal, I’ve Got a Secret, Anything For Money, The Big Payoff, Dollar a Second and Deal or No Deal.

One show that gained viewers by the millions was “To Tell The Truth” which began airing in 1956, the same year that NBC adopted the 11 feathered peacock as its network trademark. The format of “To Tell the Truth” involved four panelists (remember Kitty Carlisle?) who competed to correctly choose which ONE of the three challengers was telling the truth.  The losers were stumped by the two challengers who were most proficient at misleading the panelists through lies and deceit.

Now, at the urging of special interest groups, Governor Fallen has called a special session to enact laws to replace House Bill 1603 after it was declared unconstitutional.  Hardly a day goes by that the Governor and the Speaker of the House don’t belittle, berate and blame the Oklahoma Supreme Court for doing its job. Despite the finger pointing and blame directed at the Court, the plain and simple truth is that the law was illegal when it was adopted in 2009.

I have studied the bill in depth.  It is clear why the Supreme Court determined that it violated the “single subject” rule.  The rule exists to prevent unrelated items from being “logrolled” in an attempt to make them more attractive to more legislators. If enough pork is put in a bill, anyone who is going to get a little bit of the pork will play “Let’s Make a Deal,” even if their pork is not related to someone else’s pork. The practice could be political blackmail since a legislator is required to cast a single up or down vote on a logrolled bill.

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