Thursday, July 2, 2015

Going Down Corruption's Road At The Capitol

Hickman's failure to discipline the House becomes a Democrat talkingpoint
Consider this editorial, from the Oklahoman...
  THE legislative process in Oklahoma has degenerated into a system of strong-arm, blackjack tactics or political payoffs.
  Administering the heavy-handed arm-twisting or doling out plums to get the required votes on the floor of the House or Senate for legislation geared, all too often, to benefit themselves or special interest groups are members of the leadership teams who run the Legislature.
  The result has been a bunch of wild-spending lawmakers who have rejected most efforts at reform and efficiency in government. They have financed their continuing money binge by passing record tax hikes in three of the last four years, adding more than half a billion dollars a year in taxes on the backs of taxpayers.
  And the lawmakers have given the state's national image a black eye by winding up each session in recent years with all-night, chaotic, marathon sessions with passage of a vast majority of the more than $2 billion in spending bills each year.
This session was no exception. Once again citizens were subjected to the sorry, sordid spectacle of lawmakers accomplishing little or nothing during almost six months, and then passing appropriation bills in a frenzy as the constitutionally provided 90 days run out.
Fox25 follows up on McBride scandal
  The Legislature has become the shame of Oklahoma. Most citizens are fed up. Enough is enough. Voters would be justified in cleaning house because most of the legislators not bent on self-serving interests act like sheep, meekly or blindly following the dictates of their leaders.
  They lack the gumption or courage to stand up to leaders who arrogantly abuse positions of power.
But citizens need some targets with faces for pointing fingers of blame. So we have come up with our candidates for the worst lawmakers in the Legislature...
  That essay of frustration was written of the Democrat legislature, in 1998. But you'd have little trouble comparing it to some of our more recent legislative behavior.
  Now let's look at today's news. Speaker Hickman helped his construction company's business partner gain a seat in the House. Mark McBride was recently exposed for threatening a young former employee with life in prison because Mark heard rumors that the young man was hurting his business reputation. McBride was willing to call of the dogs if the former employee would simply move out of state.
Fox25 confronts Rep. McBride
  When the local TV news team exposed the recording of McBride's blackmail threats, we all awaited Speaker Hickman's actions to call an investigation of his construction partner and see where house disciplinary action would take the issue.  Instead we have today's report that Speaker Hickman will do nothing.
  It now becomes the Democrats' issue, not just in McBride's next election, but in every house member's re-election bid. See, this isn't just about McBride's bad behavior; its about the trustworthiness of all of the Republicans who refuse to hold Hickman accountable.
In 2002, a tacky voicemail message cost the entire GOP
  If you don't believe one belligerent voicemail can lose an election in a "safe" Republican district, may I remind you of my own house district's history. Chad Stites' obstinate gave the Democrats a rare victory in Republican south Tulsa when he simply berated a clerical worker via voicemail, without threatening a trumped up criminal charge. In the 90s, the Democrats went on to lose power progressively and within a decade they were essentially impotent. And the same can happen to the GOP if we don't hold the legislature accountable. And it becomes all of our responsibility. Your legislator's vote for leadership posts IS YOUR BUSINESS!. Call your representative and your senator, now! They won't bring up this issue but you need to.
"Administering the heavy-handed arm-twisting or doling out plums to get the required votes on the floor of the House or Senate for legislation geared, all too often, to benefit themselves or special interest groups"
  And if they aren't holding Speaker Hickman accountable, they surely won't be part of the solution. All your hard work for government reform will have failed because of good 'ol boy corruption.  The Democrats will certainly capitalize on the Hickman-McBride partnership, not only in the 2 house districts they occupy, but in every competitive race in the state. McBride and Hickman could easily set back gains in "Little Dixie" and urban districts where Republicans are already facing strong opposition. 

David Van Risseghem

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