Whether it’s a feeble attempt by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to sue over another state’s ability to enact its own laws (Colorado), the blatant attempt at a cover-up after a botched execution (Clayton Lockett), or burning through state money in numerous unsuccessful lawsuits dealing with such pressing issues like keeping a slab of marble on the Capitol grounds, it’s obvious to the people of Oklahoma that Pruitt is not truly concerned with his responsibility to protect Oklahoma’s interest.
Now Pruitt’s office wants to refuse to allow Oklahoma Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones – an elected representative of the people and a member of the same political party – the access and ability to perform an audit of the Attorney General’s office over hurt feelings from statements Jones made in a previous news article. Jones, a Republican, continues to be the seemingly only voice of reason in Oklahoma Republican leadership by calling out the ridiculousness of the legislature’s inability to manage a budget and create revenue streams and the irresponsibility of actions of various state agencies – namely the Attorney General’s office – to make fiscally responsible decisions when Oklahoma is facing one of the worst budget crises ever.
Time and again we see news of Pruitt’s ethical violations, obvious cover-ups, and lopsided arguments that not only benefit special interest groups and wealthy campaign or Super PAC (political action committee) donors, but also are detrimental and wholly irresponsible to the people of Oklahoma. The disappointment sets in when evidence and coverage of these deplorable and irresponsible actions are drowned out by political rhetoric from the entirety of the Oklahoma Republican Party in an effort to create as much distraction – even if purely by accident and idiocy – as possible so that their constituents can’t see the source of the fire for all of the smoke.
“Scott Pruitt has proven time and time again he can’t be trusted as a good steward of taxpayer funds. He wants to outsource a job to a third-party that could very likely be partisan-based or benefit one of his campaign contributors or contributors of his PAC or Super PAC instead of allowing the State Auditor and Inspector, the chief financial officer of the State of Oklahoma, to do the job he was elected by the people to do. This shows a complete lack of respect for ethics and accountability in elected office and a lack of responsibility for taxpayer dollars especially during a revenue crisis. We say shame on the Attorney General’s office for even suggesting such an outlandish proposal,” stated Russell Griffin, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office has not undergone a comprehensive audit since 2009 and we can only begin to speculate what Pruitt is afraid Jones might find once the books are opened.
Read Oklahoman article: Oklahoma attorney general seeks to select own independent auditor (January 4, 2016)