Posts Tagged: ‘Corruption’

State Question No. 747: Term Limits

September 27, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

State Question 747 creates term limits for all state wide elected officials. The language is as follows:

This measure amends sections 4 and 23 of Articles 6 and section 15 of Article 9 of the State Constitution.

It limits the ability of voters to re-elect statewide elected officers by limiting how many years those officers can serve.  It limits the number of years a person may serve in each statewide elected office.  Service as Governor is limited to eight years.  Service as Lieutenant Governor is limited to eight years.  Service as Attorney General is limited to eight years.  Service as Treasurer is limited to eight years.  Service as Commissioner of Labor is limited to eight years.  Service as Auditor and Inspector is limited to eight years. Service as Superintendent of Public Instruction is limited to eight years.  Service as Insurance Commissioner is limited to eight years.  Service as a Corporation Commissioner is limited to twelve years. Service for less than a full term would not count against the limit on service.  Years of service need not be consecutive for the limits to apply. Officers serving when this measure is passed can complete their terms.  All such serving officers, except the Governor, can also serve an additional eight or twelve years.

I support this measure. I believe that all elected officials should serve limited terms in office. I believe that instituting term limits in the legislature was one of the best things done for our state government in a long time.

This coupled with limits on lobbyist spending is a strong influence in preserving ethics in our government and elected officials. creating term limits also limits the ability of politicians from becoming “career politicians” who care for nothing other than getting reelected. If politicians know they will only be serving a limited time, they will work harder to pass legislation and policies that benefit the people they represent.

Vote Yes on SQ 747

A “No Gift List”: A Simple Tool to Build an Ethical Government

July 31, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

No Gift ListEarlier this year, Representative Jason Murphy of Guthrie went around our legislature to get support of a “No Gift List.” The purpose of this list is to allow State Representatives and Senators to identify themselves as legislators who will not accept gifts from lobbyists and special interests. This list would allow our legislators, the people we elect to represent us, to show they are only looking out for our interests and not those of lobbyists and special interest groups.

This effort has been met with opposition from those very same people.

This year, he did manage to get the support of six other legislators, State Senators Bill Brown, Anthony Sykes and Randy Brogdon and State Representatives Charles Key, Mike Reynolds and Mike Ritze.

It is a shame that only a total of seven legislators are willing to show their support of the voters.

What is really a shame is the lack of my opponent, Scott Martin, on that list of supporters of the “No Gift List.” So where was he when Rep. Murphy was seeking support? Probably out to lunch with one of the number of lobbyists who have wined and dined him since he was elected in 2006.

Since 2006, Scott Martin has accepted $2,966.39 in lobbyist gifts. These include everything from meals to banquets to watches to season tickets to OU football. He wasted no time in buddying up to lobbyists and accepted his first lobbyist gift within a month of being elected.

Do you really want someone who is willing to sell themselves off to the highest bidder representing you? I know I don’t.

I promise to never accept gifts from any lobbyist or special interest while I am running for office and when I am elected. I am here to represent you, the voters and citizens of House District 46. I am not here to represent lobbyists and special interests.

When I am elected, I will work with Representative Murphy, Senator Sykes and others to get this “No Gift List” passed and put into effect. We owe it to those who elected us to show our support of you.

If you would like to see for yourself who Scott Martin really serves, you can visit the State Ethics Commission’s Public Disclosure website.

The State Legislature Should Not Be Immune to the Open Records Act

July 18, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

What makes the Oklahoma State Legislature so special that they can justify exempting themselves from our State’s open records act? Why are all other government bodies under threat of litigation if they do not fully disclose all their meetings to the public they serve, while our Representatives and Senators can hold secret meetings about our future without our knowledge?

Fear. That is the only thing I can think of. I think our government is so afraid of the people that elect them that they would rather hide themselves from the eyes of the people that they serve. What else could it be?

News 6 of Tulsa recently wrote a report on this corruption in our state. They came to the conclusion that the Legislature just didn’t want their bosses looking over their shoulders.

The Newcastle City Council is required by law to disclose the subject matter of all council meetings whether those meeting are open to the public or not. The city of Norman was sued and the charges later dismissed recently because someone felt they were not living up to the letter of law. Yet at the same time, our Representatives and Senators can hold any number of meetings on any number of subjects without informing those of us who elect them.

In most all jobs, the employees are given regular performance reviews. These happen at many stages throughout the year. There are the yearly performance reviews but also some done during the year. We have chosen our representatives and Senators to do the work we want them to do. By blocking our ability to perform our performance reviews of them, we cannot do our job properly when it comes election time.

During the last week of the Legislative Session, an $80 thousand dollar a year job was created with no evidence to point to who exactly wrote it into a bill. This is the kind of corruption that these exemptions from open records breeds.

When I am elected as State Representative, I will make it a point to fight to have all Legislative meetings disclosed to the public. I will oppose any effort to exempt the Legislature from full disclosure, unless there is an obvious and unavoidable need for confidentiality.