The drama began when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to the state. They demanded that the “Ten Vegan Commandments” should be displayed in all Oklahoma classrooms. Their counter proposal is in response to a House Bill introduced by Rep. Jim Olsen that proposes placing the Ten Commandments in classrooms. 

In PETA’s press release, it appears that the letter was sent to Olsen, not Walters. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop the contraversial state superintendent from capitalizing on the cultural war topic.

Walters’ response was posting a video of himself eating a McDonald’s burger in which he says, “The burgers are great here in Oklahoma, and you’re welcome for lunch anytime.” 

This garnered significant attention on social media. Although many Oklahomans are wondering why Walters’ didn’t take the opportunity to highlight local fast-food chains like Sonic or Braums.

PETA replied to the video, saying, “This is disrespectful, defensive, and out of touch with constituents faced with ill health and a climate crisis and those hoping to abate cruelty and violence on factory farms and in slaughterhouses.” 

In Other Walters News

The day after his beef with PETA, Walters released a letter he sent to U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin. The note states that the border crisis puts Oklahoma families at risk. Walters says that the number of immigrants crossing the border has put a strain on state school finances. 

In the letter, Walters places blame on immigrant families for failing public schools’ statistics and deflects fault from state officials who chose to divert public school funds to pay for private school tax credits.

Additionally, the state has been the epicenter of several federal money mismanagement instances, from new teacher sign-on bonuses to COVID-19 relief funds

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Immigration Influence on Taxes

Governor Kevin Stitt often boasts about lowering taxes. He frequently says, “We need more taxpayers, not more taxes.” From July 2022 through July 2023, Oklahoma saw a net population increase of 34,553, according to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Roughly 23,500 of that number moved here from other states. That leaves an influx of around 10,000 that came here from another country. 

Per the American Immigration Council, immigrant households in the state paid $663.1 million in state and local taxes, totaling over $1 billion combined with federal. 

Drug Enforcement at the Border

The letter to Mullin also brings up the issue of fentanyl that finds its way into the country.

A report from the Drug Enforcement Administration says the majority of fentanyl that flows into the U.S. is from China. Mexico is the second-largest foreign supplier. However, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, fentanyl is the 6th most seized drug at the border. 

The latest federal border security bill, led by Oklahoma’s own Sen. James Lankford, was shot down by his fellow Republican lawmakers. Biden believes Republicans killed the bill because former president Donald Trump thinks “it’s bad for him politically.”

Walters’ letter to Mullin concluded with, “Do not sell our conservative principles to Joe Biden. No amnesty, no exceptions to shutting the border down.”

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