While the holidays often make for slow news weeks, a number of interesting stories popped up.
Some were feel-good pieces, but others were in-depth looks at complex civic issues. Of particular note (and mentioned below as well) was Oklahoma Watch’s thorough examination of one instance of civil asset forfeiture in Canadian County.
Reporter Cliff Adcock and editor Ben Fenwick teamed up for the piece, which looked with great detail at the black, white and grey areas of asset forfeiture, an issue that is facing significant criticism and changes across the country.
Things we saw (and heard)
Tree counter is astonished by how many trees there are — NPR (audio)
Norman man records viral video after getting pulled over, not getting ticket — KFOR-4.
The Justice Department just shut down a huge asset forfeiture program — Washington Post.
State-level brawls over Medicaid reflect wider war in G.O.P. — New York Times.
Quotes to note
You’ve got twenty-five-grand wrapped the way it was wrapped, no job, two guys telling you that they’re going to different places, one of them is telling you they’re going to a wedding but neither one took any clothing to go to a wedding. In my line of work, we call that a clue.
— Canadian County Deputy Sheriff Mike Stilley discussing the traffic stop and asset seizure of Chao and Moua Yang with Oklahoma Watch.
This is essentially like the two worst jackasses in middle school fighting each other: mildly entertaining to watch, but ultimately has no impact on anything of importance.
— NewsOK commenter, Rob Morris on The Lost Ogle being sued by former KOCO weatherman Aaron Tuttle. 12/22/15
I’ll believe it when I see it. What share is this going to be?. . . It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the number they’ve admitted into the country. If you have photogenic raids on a few dozen illegal families and that’s the end of it, it’s just for show. It’s just a [public relations] thing, enforcement theater.
— Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, in a Texas Tribune piece on federal immigration raids, 12/24/15
The week ahead
This will be the final week of 2015, and many publications have already begun their end-of-the-year wrap ups. But here in Oklahoma, what might otherwise be a slow week will be full of speculation, anticipation and after-the-fact discussion of OU’s football playoff game on New Year’s Eve. Prepare yourself for substantial Boomering and Soonering to close out 2015.
Highlights from NonDoc
“Ted Cruz said his presidency will make me enter therapy” by William W. Savage III
“Rebuttal: Why I’m NOT a conservative Republican” by Nick Work
“State leaders seek alternative to Boren education tax” by William W. Savage III