Friday, July 23, 2010

Tulsa World Endorses Ken Miller For Treasurer

By The Tulsa World's Editorial Writers ~ Fulfilling the obligations of state treasurer isn't about being politically conservative, moderate or liberal. Rather the job is about looking out for the fiscal interests of the state through careful investments, maximizing savings and generating income.

In that regard Oklahoma has had two outstanding treasurers in the past decade. Robert Butkin and Scott Meacham both ran the office in a nonpartisan fashion. Oklahomans have a chance to continue along that path.

State Rep. Ken Miller, R-Edmond, who is seeking the Republican nomination for treasurer on Tuesday, has a reputation as a fiscal conservative. He also has significant other qualifications for the job not the least of which is his role as chairman of the powerful House appropriations and budget committee over the past several years. In that post he worked closely with leaders in both parties to set spending limits on a $7 billion budget for state government during particularly trying times. He seeks to replace Meacham, a Democrat, who is not seeking a second term.

Miller holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Oklahoma and teaches economics at Oklahoma Christian University. He also has worked in private-sector banking and corporate finance. He was elected to the House in 2004.

Miller is opposed by former state Sen. Owen Laughlin, a former banker and an attorney from Woodward. The winner of Tuesday's primary will face Democrat Stephen E. Covert of Midwest City.

Miller does not believe the office should be partisan, and he does not believe the office is broken. But he does believe that no matter who held the office before, the next treasurer always has the opportunity to do better.

Miller is a proponent of transparency in government and if elected would put even more of the state's spending on line for citizen review. "That makes us spend better. Sunshine always helps." Miller, of course, is right. Open government is better government, especially when it comes to state finances.

When Republican voters stamp their ballots for state treasurer Tuesday they can feel confident knowing that Miller will hit the ground running if ultimately elected treasurer. He is a solid candidate with the background and the energy to get the job done.

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