Former governor David Walters, now running an electric-power business, offered up some ideas at the Oklahoma County Democratic Party convention in March. The list is here, and I've picked a few to highlight in this space.

Prohibit office holders from "free ride" elections. The general citizen does not understand how we can elect someone who then spends all of their time running for another higher office. Officials should like other employees either do the job they were hired (elected) to do or resign to pursue higher office.

Actually, the general citizen does understand it, and doesn't particularly like it. I'd support this in a heartbeat.

The State of Maine has successfully implemented a system that operates off a taxpayer checkoff that allows candidates to opt into a publicly funded campaign so long as they do not run negative campaigns. This remarkable program, too involved to describe here is taking special interest financing and the constant requirement for fundraising out of the legislative and statewide races in Maine.

What's clever about the Maine system is that by making candidate participation voluntary, it seems to sidestep Buckley v. Valeo, the 1976 Supreme Court decision that, among other things, voided government spending limits on campaigns. One problem is a lack of funding: barely 10 percent of Maine taxpayers actually check off the $3, and the state has to make up the difference. I have my doubts about this concept, but at least one political scientist has come around to endorse it after seeing it in action.

Appoint, with Senate confirmation, more positions that are currently elected statewide. The Governor's job needs to be strengthened (classed as one of the weakest in the country) and we have no business having Superintendents of Education, Auditors and Inspectors and Insurance Commissioners out beating the bushes for contributions and running political campaigns. Elected officials are not known for bold risky moves and Oklahoma needs its government to be bold in order to take the great leaps needed to catch up and get off the bottom of too many lists.

Well, some of them are known for bold risky