Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pork Politicians Revealed: Addicted To Swag

via Sooner Politics.org - Editorial Read the article at SoonerPolitics.org http://www.soonerpolitics.org/editorial/pork-politicians-revealed-addicted-to-swag

Pork Politicians Revealed: Addicted To Swag

House Committee rejects bill to cut spending on non-essential trinkets and swag

Feature, by Jamison Faught, of Muskogee Politico -
  Late last night, (just before midnight) the House Joint Committee on Appropriations & Budget (JCAB) rejected a measure designed to cut non-essential agency spending on promotional items and other trinkets (the "anti-swag" bill).

  Presented by Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee), the bill could have saved as much as $30M, which could have avoided additional cuts or paid for half of a $1000 teacher pay raise. Instead, JCAB members shot down the measure, specifically objecting to cutting items such as FFA trophies (which could be paid for by private funds) and stress balls for veterans.

The final vote was 5-21.

These members felt that nonessential promotional spending should be cut, and should be commended:
  • Jon Echols (R)
  • John Paul Jordan (R)
  • Jason Murphey (R)
  • Terry O'Donnell (R)
  • Todd Russ (R)
​These members felt that nonessential promotional spending is just too important, and shouldn't be cut:
  • Scott Biggs (R)
  • Chad Caldwell (R)
  • Dennis Casey (R)
  • Josh Cockroft (R)
  • Jason Dunnington (D)
  • Katie Henke (R)
  • Scott Inman (D)
  • Steve Kouplen (D)
  • Ben Loring (D)
  • Scott Martin (R)
  • Charles Ortega (R)
  • Leslie Osborn (R)
  • Pat Ownbey (R)
  • John Pfeiffer (R)
  • Eric Proctor (D)
  • Dustin Roberts (R)
  • Mike Sanders (R)
  • Earl Sears (R)
  • Shane Stone (D)
  • Emily Virgin (D)
  • Kevin Wallace (R)

Editor's Note:

Blogger, Jamison Faught added;​
  "It's a shame that so many so-called Republicans are rejecting efforts to make the easy cuts (nonessential spending) and instead push for tax hikes."
  Perhaps no other piece of legislation could be more emblematic of the problems with the current legislature.  This is one place where the people of Oklahoma are not detrimentally impacted (unless your snowflake kids need a participation trophy to make them feel that life is worth living.
  This is a case of our Conservative Platform Caucus being defied by both Democrat and Republican camps. It's very difficult to see a narrative to compromise whereby all 3 camps in the legislature give up some of their goals in order to balance a difficult budget gap.
  As things stand, your family will have to endure painful increases in taxes; decreased core state functions, and spare our kids of the deficit-spending "bonds"; so that some district politician can get some free 'pr' face time in front of local groups, and present yet another shiny trinket to make us all feel real special.
  In reality, this 'swag' is more about letting a local incumbent us state funds to endear himself to targeted constituents of his.
  My mother once scolded me; 
​"Nothing good happens at that hour of the night!". I now agree with her a good bit more than I used to.

from Sooner Politics.org - Editorial http://www.soonerpolitics.org/editorial/pork-politicians-revealed-addicted-to-swag

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Politicians' Donors Revealed

via Sooner Politics.org - Editorial Read the article at SoonerPolitics.org http://www.soonerpolitics.org/editorial/politicians-donors-revealed

Politicians' Donors Revealed

  The Oklahoma Ethics Commission has created an online resource for citizens to review the campaign reports of elected officials.
  State law requires that candidates for elected state office make complete reports at least quarterly, if they are raising money or spending funds. Failure to make these reports can get a politician in significant trouble. Making a false report could result in fines and/or incarceration.
  Often a candidate will present himself to voters as a staunch supporter of a particular set of values and priorities. But when in office, his votes and public policies will betray that campaign posturing. We are seeing a good deal of that at the state capitol, this weekend.

  The Guardian website allows the public to type a candidate's last name and search all records and reports for campaign activities. 
   There will often be several quarterly reports as well as supplemental files. These reports will list campaign contributions and campaign expenses paid. 
  The website is a bit clumsy and redundant. It's a government service and has all the inefficiencies we have come to expect from our government. But it is an improvement in transparency.
   Knowing who funded your local politician is the best way to know how he will vote, in office. Check the list of contributors.

  One prominent conservative group, Tulsa 912 Project, has expressed strong displeasure, at the actions of several lawmakers who courted the support of members of the grassroots group, last year.  President & Founder, Ronda Vuillemont-Smith has archived the political publications of several lawmakers and plans to publish some very strong statements in the weeks to come.
   Several of the Republican Lawmakers' reports show that they had close ties to an indicted campaign operative, Fount Holland. Holland is accused of several felony counts of violating statutes associated with campaigns. Holland also led one of the largest state campaign consulting firms, AH Strategies.  Holland also operated Majority Designs, along with his associates.

from Sooner Politics.org - Editorial http://www.soonerpolitics.org/editorial/politicians-donors-revealed

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Twitter Diplomacy At The Capitol

  If you aren't following social media, you're not getting all the nuance and posturing going on between Democrats & Republicans in state government.
  SoonerPolitics created a special facebook page to make it easier to see all the negotiating which is spilling over onto social media. We're following over 100 accounts of key individuals at the state capitol, and we're loading them in real time, to a Facebook page called; "Capitol Chatter".
  There has been a very dramatic and draining process going on at the capitol, this year. There are also more press conferences, media blasts, and even an occasional public apology.
  Some key players are using the medium to sell the various solutions. Some are focusing on the weaknesses of the other options.
​  Those interested in the budget drama would do well to 'Like' & 'Follow' the Capitol Chatter Facebook page. If there's a feed we're missing, send us a message on that page and we'll do our best to improve on our coverage.

from Sooner Politics.org - Editorial http://www.soonerpolitics.org/editorial/twitter-diplomacy-at-the-capitol