This legislative year has been like no other. And that's not a compliment. The biggest missing factor has been the due diligence to the oversight role of the state agencies. In recent years the legislature has relegated themselves to the nature of a noncustodial parent who pays a child support check, but has no say over how the kids are raised.
If the actions of the Cockroft select committee are earnest, then perhaps the people and their precious tax dollars are going to be respected and protected.
Rep Josh Cockroft and his committee has asked three top assistants of Gov. Mary Fallin to appear separately on consecutive days in the week leading up to Christmas. Chris Binge, Preston Doerflinger, and Denise Northrup have each been served supoenas to appear and bring with them specific documents and answers to certain published questions.
The biggest intrigue about The Cockroft investigation centers around motivation and willingness to follow the process. The House leadership has received 'pushback' from members who are not willing to throw more money at the scare tactics of this governor. They are not blind. They have seen enough and heard enough to know that massive waste & graft is blended into the appropriated budget. This is also an election year and image-making is already in overdrive.
Keep in mind that there is a multi-county grand jury seated and pressing a case that felonies have been committee. Terry Cline is the biggest target of that criminal process and he has been a fixture in the state govt. for decades. If he goes down, he will likely cop a deal and seek to avoid the brunt of the punishment. If he has a compelling case to provide to the prosecutors, then others may face a stiffer penalty than him. It would behoove the principals and conspirators to get into a bidding war early. That of course assumes that the Attorney General can be trusted with this case. Already there are folks insisting that only a federal prosecutor can truly do justice to this politically incestuous state govt.
The House leadership would do well to be certain that the official proceedings are conducted with full video webcasts. Even the State Supreme Court has been willing to give the citizens of Oklahoma this kind of access. If the House does not, then this will have a strong appearance just going through the motions. Every member of the house and every agency top staffer will want to see real-time coverage of the hearings and see the documentation of the process. For that reason alone, there must be a reliable internet access. And not some silly link that crashes when 200 viewers log on. The Supreme Court partnered with OETA to make sure the capacity was in place.