Republicans and Democrats have been fighting over a lot of things lately down at the state Capitol. Bills on abortion certainly have rallied passionate feelings on both sides of the political aisle. An immigration-reform measure had sharp words flowing and daggers drawn before it easily passed the House of Representatives. And, of course, the old arguments over tort reform have been volleyed back and forth in committees.
But, at a hearing of the House Rules Committee, the debate over a bill literally boiled over. It was democracy in action of the finest.
Rep. Wes Hilliard, D-Sulphur, has a nice little bill he has been basting to get into the law books. When he was called upon to serve up his bill for consideration, things really began to cook. Here is what House Bill 1428 tastes like: "A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 98.15 of Title 25, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows: The Dutch oven is hereby designated and adopted as the official cooking pot of the state of Oklahoma."
Yes, Hilliard's constituency has been baking at 350 degrees for years because the state has failed to address this critical issue. Folks were marching down the streets of Sulphur carrying pictures of Julia Child while chanting, "Hey, hey, Capitol gang, how many eggs did you fry today?"
But not to be overdone, the Republicans couldn't stand the heat in the chamber and offered up their own recipe: Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa, introduced an amendment to change the words "Dutch oven" to "Crock-Pot." When asked to explain his amendment, Sullivan responded, "In my house, we call it a Crock-Pot."
And so the Dutch oven/Crock-Pot controversy simmered on.
In the end, Hilliard's version prevailed and now the members of the entire House of Representatives will get a chance to voice their opinion on whether the state should adopt the Dutch oven or go to "pot."