For Immediate Release
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
Latest Indictments Should Wake Up Oklahoma’s Leadership
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, — AUGUST 15, 2023 – Like the rest of the United States, many Oklahomans tuned in last night to hear that the former president has now amassed a total of 91 felony charges. This tragedy of destruction against America’s democracy has left Oklahomans feeling completely exhausted. While this is certainly understandable, it does not alleviate the need for everyone to focus on and pay close attention to what is happening in our home state.
“If anything, Oklahoma’s elected officials should more clearly understand that no one, regardless of title or elected position, is above the law. Corruption on any level must never become a normal way of running a city, town, state, or nation,” said Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.
The FBI, under the umbrella of the US Department of Justice, is investigating Gov. Kevin Stitt and Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters, for misuse of federal funds meant to help everyday Oklahomans.
“A federal audit released last year criticized how Stitt’s administration spent COVID relief dollars meant for education. According to the audit, $31 million out of $39.9 million of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) was misspent in Oklahoma. Intended to assist parents in helping educate their children, monies were spent buying Christmas trees, vintage arcade games, televisions, gaming systems, and other non-education related items,” Andrews said.
While Stitt is certainly responsible for returning funds to the US government, Walters, too, must be held to account. He was serving as Secretary of Education while also helming an outfit that promotes private school vouchers.
“We must also look closely at the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. While they are “working out the kinks” in the new ‘Plate Pay’ system, the OTA is projecting to lose $10 million on plates that were blocked or altered, $7 million on new car purchases with dealer tags, and another $11 million in unregistered plates. These numbers reflect only this fiscal year,” stressed Andrews.
She also said that Oklahomans also must not forget about the Swadley’s debacle. Given a no-bid contract and seemingly unlimited state resources, the company walked away from Governor Stitt’s deal with considerable tax-payer funds and no indictments to date.
“With all of these indicators, why, then, are parents taking Stitt and Walters at their word when it comes to tax credits (read: vouchers) for private schools and homeschooling children? The Oklahoma Tax Commission has no guidelines on how this will be handled and there are no built-in safeguards for accountability,” said Andrews.
“The adage that all politics is local has never been more true than it is today in Oklahoma. So while the major news networks are focused on a failed former president, the people of Oklahoma must focus on the failings of the current leadership in Oklahoma and hold these individuals accountable,” concluded Andrews.
For more information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party, visit the party website at okdemocrats.org, or call party headquarters at 405-427-3366.