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Senator Dickerson Asks Baseball Commissioner for Help in Dealing With Governor Keating's Insensitive Statements

Citing his handling of Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, State Senator Larry Dickerson is asking the commissioner of Major League Baseball for advice in dealing with Governor Frank Keating and the inappropriate comments that he often makes.

Commissioner Bud Selig recently suspended Rocker for making a variety of offensive statements in a recent news interview. He also ordered the baseball pitcher to undergo sensitivity training.

"I was just impressed with the way Commissioner Selig handled a very sensitive issue and thought his expertise might be beneficial to Oklahoma," said Senator Dickerson.

Governor Keating has been under fire this week for remarks he made in a speech at Oral Roberts University. In that address, the Governor suggested that Democratic state legislators didn't "have religion" and jokingly said "homicide" was the best way to deal with Oklahoma's teachers association.

In his letter to Commissioner Selig, Senator Dickerson wrote:

"Like the Braves and the City of Atlanta, Oklahoma is plagued with a public figure who can't seem to open his mouth without saying something inappropriate. His thoughtless statements have angered, upset and hurt many Oklahomans, in addition to tarnishing the image of our great state. The public official of whom I speak is Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating.

During his tenure as state chief executive, Governor Keating has referred to teachers as "slugs," labeled low income Oklahomans as "white trash" and suggested that many rural Oklahomans are either "illiterate or on drugs."

Just last week, the Governor told an audience at Oral Roberts University that Democratic state legislators didn't "have religion." When asked how one should deal with Oklahoma's teachers union, Governor Keating replied, "Homicide."

In this time of heightened concern about violence in our public schools, a student would have been suspended for making a similar remark, but our Governor continues to make such irresponsible comments without any threat of sanction.

It would take several pages to document all of the Governor's insensitive statements, but as you can see, Oklahoma has its own John Rocker-like problem.

We were impressed with the way you dealt with Mr. Rocker and his insensitive statements, suspending him and ordering him to undergo sensitivity training? We would appreciate any advice you might have for dealing with this problem. Given our Governor's history, it may even take
a personal visit from you to have an impact on him."

Contact info
Senate Communications Division - (405) 521-5605