Monday, May 8, 2017

Leslie Osborn Never Met A Tax She Didn't Like


Here we are near the end of the legislative session and we still haven't come to an agreement on a budget. Every single Senator and Representative at the Capital was fully aware that there would be a budget shortfall this year. In fact this is the third consecutive year in a row that there has been a shortfall. What we are witnessing is a complete lack of common since on the part of our legislators. They have proven that they are incapable of following even the simple rule of the six Ps. Those six Ps are simple. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. The one constant theme coming from our elected officials, including the Governor, is generating new sources of tax revenue. That's double talk for tax increases.

What brought our attention to this story was this article . We can't help but wonder if the Chair of the Appropriations Committee wasn't the price paid for a vote to be the Speaker by Mr. McCall. Who in their right mind would put an individual who has a RINO index score of 30 into a position of so much power? It would appear that the tax and spend liberals disguised as Republicans would continue to run the state in an unofficial capacity.

We started by going to her biography page for the House of Representatives here Representative Leslie Osborn - Oklahoma House of Representatives. We even added a map of her district here
We were surprised by the lack of information available on her page. We usually find more information on the pages of Senators than we found on her House page. There are a lot of bills filed, but as she is the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, that's to be expected. Most of the bills as filed were blank and will be used for the creation of the state budget. This is normal procedure in the House.

The next article of interest we found was this State Budget Deal Remains Elusive After New Proposals Unveiled | Oklahoma Watch. As of the day of writing this article there still has not been a budget passed by the legislature. They continue to wrestle with what amounts to an almost $900 million dollar budget shortfall. The fight seems to be over the Conservatives and Democrats not wanting to raise taxes and fees. Oklahoma may be the reddest State in the Union, but its legislature sure acts like the California legislature when it comes to tax and spend on state budgets.

The next article of interest we found was this Leslie Osborn - Wikipedia. You get a good idea of her political philosophy by reading this article. We encourage you to open the link and do so. There are indications in here that she opposes funding for education at the expense of other departments. She in fact authored a bill that would have negated a bill that would have given the education system more funds at the expense of others. She also wrote the legislation that would have eliminated the franchise tax and was the author of the sweeping workers compensation reform. Both bills benefited the businesses in Oklahoma at the expense of the consumer and workers. You can see where this is going.

The next article we found was this Leslie Osborn - Ballotpedia. This is another link that we urge you to open. This covers her entire political history. Now we do know that it is an entitlement for the legislators, but the one item they get that we haven't been able to figure out is why Representatives who live within an hour's driving time of the capital receive Per diem at the rate of $156 dollars a day while they are in session. They certainly aren't spending that on gas money to drive to work. Why haven't they considered something like returning it to the State Treasurer? It would barely put a dent in the alleged budget hole, but it would be that much less on the back of the Tax Payers.

We next went to to see what information they had available. We started with the Political Summary page here Leslie Osborn's Political Summary - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We urge you to look at this link and read it. This indicates that her stand on various issues is based solely on where the political polling is standing at the time. She is avoiding making any real decisions on her own.

We next went to her biography page here Leslie Osborn's Biography - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. Once again we found virtually no information on her that didn't pertain to her political office. This is something that we will have to correct in the near future.

We next went to the voting records section here Leslie Osborn's Voting Records - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We urge you to open this link and look at her voting record. She has been consistently soft on crime and consistently for raising taxes and fees.

We next went to the Ratings and Endorsements page which you can see here Leslie Osborn's Ratings and Endorsements - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. Here is some of what we found.

Agriculture and Food
2015 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Federation 100%
2013 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Federation 100%

Business and Consumers
2015-2016 National Federation of Independent Business 100%
2014 Research Institute for Economic Development 85%
2013-2014 National Federation of Independent Business 100%

We could go on but it is just repetitious. With numbers this high she is definitely pro-business. As she is a small business owner herself, that would be expected.

2016 The Oklahoma Constitution 23%
2015 American Conservative Union Lifetime Score 73%

Once again it's repetitive.

Fiscally Conservative
2016 Sooner Tea Party 30%
2015 American Conservative Union 76%
2014 Sooner Tea Party 10%

Again it's repetitive. That's why we urge you to open the link and read the file. It's like this throughout the entire section on ratings and endorsements.

We next went to the Campaign Finance section to see what information they had available. You can see what we found here Leslie Osborn's Campaign Finances - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. What we found was disturbing. She accepted donations from Unions and special interest groups. It indicated she accepted donations from individuals but we found few. We knew we had to dig deeper.
In researching her campaign financing reports we next went to to see what they had available on her campaign finances. On the first page we looked at there were only five donations listed. Three were from individual donors. One was from a non-registered political action committee and one was from a special interest group. She also donated to local Chambers of Commerce in Mustang and Tuttle. Her largest donation caught us by surprise. She donated to the Lincoln County Historical Society even while the area was outside of her District. This cycle of receiving donations and spending was carried on throughout the campaign. She has sold her vote to the special interest groups. The people of District 47 have lost their representative government.

The next article of interest we found was this Rep. Leslie Osborn On GRDA: Should We Be In The Electric Utility Business? | StateImpact Oklahoma. This article is dated February 16, 2017. We do encourage you to read the article by clicking the link. The article brings out a very good question. Should the state be in the Electric Utility Business? We think not. For years the GRDA has been used as a final resting place for wayward politicians who were incapable of getting reelected. She has even laid out a plan to sell the assets of the GRDA to the private sector. After being told for over 24 months that we were having a shortfall in incoming revenue you would think that this would be a no brainer. The anticipated price it would receive is $1 billion dollars.

Then we found this article dated March 8, 2017 Altus Times | Oklahoma state Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, shelves bill outlining plan for Grand River Dam Authority sale. That's not even a month later. She pulled the bill. This leads us to believe that this was nothing more than a publicity stunt. The sale of the energy production facilities can be accomplished without relinquishing the other programs that are performed by state offices at the lake. She was telling people what they wanted to hear.

The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma lawmaker: Economic calamity awaits if we fail to act | News OK. She is right. We face an economic catastrophe in our state. Using her words from the article "Do we cut or invest? I believe the answer is in the middle." Using the Oklahoma energy companies as an example, she states "Oklahoma Energy companies recast themselves when commodity prices collapsed and now are they're efficiency machines." Maybe she should do her homework before she starts making statements like that. They recast themselves with the help of the Oklahoma Legislature and a big tax credit that was made permanent. Now we have the smaller producer begging to have their taxes raised in order to help with the shortfall and the large producer fighting against it saying the small producers will be hurt by it the most. She's just trying to protect the donations the big oil companies give her for her reelection campaigns. She must not think people are very smart.

In regards to the economic calamity that we may face, this has been a long time coming. Our elected officials have ignored the signs for decades. Similar to the prison system they know the problem is there, but they just want to keep kicking the can down the road. All indications are that Representative Osborn wants to close the hole in our budget off the backs of those that work for a living. Tax increases and fee increases are all they have been talking about. Rely on the oil industry to see us through these tough times. What a bunch of backward thinking that is. In fact that is the reason we are in the shape we are.

If you or any member of our legislature wants to ever see the State of Oklahoma become a prosperous self-sufficient state again, there are a few things that must be done. The first should be, even if by special session, the cancellation of the arcane law that created the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. Once that law is terminated, all funds collected by the existing turnpikes should be used to pay off existing bonds on the turnpike. Once the bonds are paid off, the roads will be converted to a toll free road and responsibility turned over to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Businesses won't relocate here because they don't want to pay tolls every time they need to go from point a to point b. It is well known that the same people keep funding these bonds year after year and that they are driving businesses away from the state.

It is apparent that she feels that as a State Representative she feels she is above the law. Doing a routine records check we found this In 2014 she was quite busy it seems as she appeared to be quite pressed for time as evidenced by an arrest for  speeding at 112 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. We can't help but wonder how many times she wasn't caught.

The next article we found highlights what these tax and spend liberals in our government won't tell you.
Tax increases can slow Oklahoma's economic growth | News OK. This article was dated May 2, 2017. We urge you to open the link and read it for yourself. We already are near the top in the leading tax collection states in the country. These proposals would put us over the top. Every single tax they approve is a job lost to an Oklahoman. No company is going to want to relocate to a state that they have to pay the highest taxes in the nation in.

Our state is doing a bang up job of recruiting and keeping businesses in Oklahoma. They've done such a good job that our federal House of Representatives has gone from six to five (sarcasm and irony alert). You can see that information here Oklahoma's 6th congressional district - Wikipedia. That is not doing a very good job at bringing in new diverse sources of employment into the state. In fact the only thing they are doing is a good job of sending our youngest and brightest out of state to seek suitable employment. How much longer will it be before we are down to four seats? One could surmise that the Governor's slush fund and the Quality Jobs Act aren't working very well.

Through everything we have been able to find there has been one item that has been missing. That item is a part of the Republican Party platform and something Representative Osborn and many of her colleagues apparently don't believe in. Not once have we seen any mention of the possibility of a reduction in force for the various departments within the State of Oklahoma. In fact all we've seen is the creation of fifty new jobs. We want to know if you ran as Republicans because you knew you wouldn't get elected any other way, or are you planning on switching party loyalty?

In conclusion we can only say that we have a politician who knows how to play the game well. She campaigns as a Conservative but votes as a progressive. She has failed in her duties to her district and to the state. She is undeserving of the position she holds and there are indications that she holds it for the price of a vote. She is living proof of why the State of Oklahoma needs a law that enables a recall of our elected officials. She is part of the problem not part of the solution. She would be doing us all a favor if she were to resign. Other members of the legislature have for the same reason.

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