THE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRMAN FAILS TO FOLLOW THE OKLAHOMA STATE CONSTITUTION
We as citizens of the State of Oklahoma must ask ourselves if we are doing enough to protect ourselves from the vultures the fly around the halls of the State Capital in Oklahoma City. Judging by this year's budget battle the answer is clearly no. We remember the words of the Chair of the Appropriations Committee from May 2, 2017 in this article Tax increases can slow Oklahoma's economic growth | News OK. She also says "Energy production is a foundational element of Oklahoma's economy, but there are signs some state lawmakers are taking it for granted." She is correct. What she failed to mention is she is one of them. This is said just three weeks before they violate the Constitution and pass some of the biggest tax increases in state history. Once again they have failed to take any action towards expanding the economic base of the state. It's like nothing in the state matters but oil and gas. That is sheer lunacy.
We started by going to www.ok.gov to look at her official biography page here Representative Leslie Osborn - Oklahoma House of Representatives. We found little information available on this page. It makes you wonder what she's hiding.
We next went to www.votesmart.org to see what information they had. We started by going to the biography page here Leslie Osborn's Biography - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. There is some additional information here, but it is clearly obvious that she prefers to keep her private life private.
We next went to her voting records page here Leslie Osborn's Voting Records - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We urge you to open this link and read the documents provided. This covers every vote she made while a member of the House. As we said in an earlier report, she never met a tax increase she didn't like.
We next went to the ratings and Endorsements page here Leslie Osborn's Ratings and Endorsements - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. Here is some of what we found.
2012 Oklahomans for Life, Inc. 100%
Agriculture and Food
2015 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Federation 100%
2013 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Federation 100%
Business and Consumer
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. The high numbers indicated here are indicative of an individual who is more concerned about the pocket books of business have than they are of those that put her into office. This is disgraceful.
2016 The Oklahoma Constitution 23%
2015 American Conservative Union 73%
2015 The Oklahoma Constitution 63%
2014 American Conservative Union 70%
2014 The Oklahoma Constitution 49%
2016 Sooner Tea Party 30%
2015 American Conservative Union 76%
2014 Sooner Tea Party 10%
She sure likes to spend the people's money. She proved that by not giving us a balanced budget this year.
We next went to the Campaign Finance section here Leslie Osborn's Campaign Finances - The Voter's Self Defense System - Vote Smart. We will concede that she received numerous donations from individual donors. The total amount was just over $24 thousand dollars. What is disturbing is that she received donations from every special interest group in the book. These donations amounted to over $150 thousand dollars. Why is the Chair of the Appropriation Committee accepting donations from industries that she should have known that their tax credits would be in question this year? This raises a serious ethical question. Did she accept the money and work to stop the cuts or did she accept the funds knowing all along she couldn't stop the cuts. This is something that is in need of further investigation.
The next article of interest we found was this Leslie Osborn - Wikipedia. There is a lot of good information contained in this article however many details of her political career have been left out. She was the author of the bill that changed the Workman's Compensation reform in the state. To this day many Oklahoman's who have been injured on the job suffer along with their families because of these changes. They benefitted the companies and not the workers. She has gained notoriety in other ways while in office. In 2011 she was featured in a story outing a handful of legislators that were allegedly cheating on their spouses. She was linked to Representative Dan Kirby in a long running illicit affair and was in the middle of an accelerated divorce at the time.
In 2014 she was arrested for speeding. It seems that she didn't feel that doing 112 miles per hour was against the legal limit of 70 miles per hour. The arrest was made by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The case rocked along for a few months before being set for trial and the settled by bond forfeiture without ever setting foot inside the courthouse. To us this sounds a lot like special treatment for an elected official. Speeds that high are usually charged with not only speeding but careless and reckless driving too. This is one of many speeding tickets she has received over the years.
The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma lawmaker: Economic calamity awaits if we fail to act | News OK. This is one of the most honest statements she has ever made as a legislator. We are forced to ask, why didn't she and her fellow legislators act on it? Here we sit as a state depending on oil and natural gas to fund a majority of everything, including their campaigns for re-election. Are they dreaming of the boom days of the 80's? Can they not see that a rig count as indicated in this report
Rig count dips in Oklahoma | News OK, of only 120 active drilling rigs in the state will not fund their excesses forever? Their reliance on oil and gas has cost this state more than they realize. Since 2000, we have lost enough jobs and population that we have also lost a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. When are you going to start thinking about diversity in our economy?
The next article of interest we found was this Rep. Leslie Osborn On GRDA: Should We Be In The Electric Utility Business? | StateImpact Oklahoma. We would encourage you to open the link and read the article. Her bill was not perfect by any means, but it does raise a very valid question. How much is the state spending each year on the GRDA? Why did the scenic rivers become part of the GRDA and not the Parks Department? It has long been known that the GRDA has been a retirement home for disgraced legislators. We shouldn't be in the electric business.
Then we found this article Rep. Leslie Osborn: Three lessons from the 2017 Oklahoma Legislature | Opinionfeatured | tulsaworld.com. Right off the bat she indicates that she is a tax and spend liberal. Her statement of "We have a revenue problem." doesn't stand the smell test. What we have is a spending problem. As a business owner and Chair of the Appropriations committee she may think she can dazzle people with her brilliance, or baffle them with her bull crap, but some of us outside of the corrupt halls of the State House do know how the budget is put together. For over two years now our legislators have failed to heed the warnings from the State Treasurer of declines in our revenue intake. Their response was to inflate the budget with more tax dollars than we have coming in. This is sheer stupidity on the part of the Governor, the Senate and the House. The state didn't see an increase in collections until April of this year. Now the citizens are going to suffer from the illegal tax increases they passed.
The next article of interest we found was this Oklahoma Education Association - Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Oklahoma) biography. This article indicates just how amiable to unions and other special interest groups she is. Throughout her political career she has worked to benefit her corporate donors. We find this practice to be not in the best interest for her constituents or for the State of Oklahoma.
We can only conclude that Rep. Leslie Osborn is part of the problem not the solution. She has failed to closed the phony budget gap. She has failed to pass must revenue bills in the allotted time. She has failed to heed to the principals of the Oklahoma GOP platform and she has failed as a leader. There is absolutely no reason she should be allowed a chairmanship in the upcoming session, nor reelected in 2018.