Saturday, October 9, 2010

Editorial: The Oklahoman Gets It Wrong...Again

Steve Fair
The following editorial was written by longtime Republican Party activist and official Steve Fair of Duncan and appears on his blog, Fair and Biased. His work also appears in several southwestern Oklahoma newspapers.

The Oklahoman has gotten it wrong AGAIN on the State Auditors race!

In 2002, The Oklahoman endorsed Jeff McMahan.

In 2006, the paper took no position in the Auditor's race - even after evidence of McMahan's misbehavior and crooked dealings were presented to the editorial staff.

McMahan resigned in June 2008 after being convicted on charges of bribery and conspiracy.

Governor Henry appointed Antlers banker Steve Burrage to complete his term. In their October 8 edition The Oklahoman recommended Burrage be elected Auditor saying he was a known quantity.

What is a "Known Quantity?" According to Webster, it means someone whose character, personality, and behavior are recognized and understood. So, a "known quantity" doesn't necessarily mean a person of strong character, convictions or values- it just means they are "known." They could be a crook, a liar, a cheat and be a "known quantity."

That begs the question- just how much does The Oklahoman know about Steve Burrage and if they knew some of the things listed below, why did they leave them out of their endorsement in today's paper?

The editorial fails to mention that Burrage contributed $2,300 to the John Edwards presidential campaign, $1,000 to the Andrew Rice campaign and is clearly a partisan Democrat? In fact Burrage and his family gave $13,000 to the failed Edwards for President campaign. Edwards and Rice are LIBERAL DEMOCRATS! Is this the type of ideology we want from an elected official in Oklahoma? 

The Oklahoman fails to mention how Burrage has clearly botched the Broken Arrow school audit. They also left out the fact Burrage is years behind in performing county government audits. All this, while he travels the state at taxpayer expense to speak to civic clubs on how good of a job he is doing.

Shouldn't voters know that Burrage's bank was the one used by former State Senator Gene Stipe and Steve Phipps to funnel taxpayer dollars to their non-existent dog food plant? In the interest of full disclosure, shouldn't the paper tell voters his brother was Stipe's lawyer?

Why hasn't The Oklahoman polled county elected officials across the state asking them their opinion of the job Burrage is doing? Several county elected officials have stated they have been "cussed out," by the Auditor. That is inexcusable behavior from an elected official- period! Where is that in the op/ed?

The office of State Auditor is arguably the most important statewide office Oklahoma voters will decide in November. The Auditor is the people's watchdog and makes sure tax dollars are spent where they are supposed to be and are properly accounted for. It's critical we have someone above reproach in that office.

Burrage fails that test. It's disappointing The Oklahoman again has failed taxpayers by endorsing a known quantity. The last 'known quantity' they endorsed for the race- McMahan- wound up in prison!

In 2010, a known quantity ain't good enough!

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