After two months of unpleasant headlines and finger-pointing, the Oklahoma Grand Old Party (OKGOP) held two committee meetings in the past two days, to resolve some very timely issues. The State GOP Budget Committee finally had a 2nd working meeting on Friday night. It was a closed meeting with no teleconference accommodations. The looming task involved setting a structure for oversight of spending. A debt of about $20,000 had amassed since April.
Joe Beffer was officially designated as the new Budget Committee Chairman, replacing former State Auditor and past Party Chair, Gary Jones. Jones stepped down from the chairmanship this fall, due to other business commitments, but remains a budget committee member. Beffer is a Bartlesville banker. A follow-up budget committee meeting will be set where a final proposed budget will be drawn up and sent to the presiding State Committee of the GOP, for approval and enforcement.
Unofficial sources indicate that party spending has radically dropped and all staffing of the headquarters is provided by party volunteers and unpaid state party officials. Still other sources indicate that several in leadership have donated to a special fund to erase the party debt substantially, if not in whole.
Observers confirmed that in this set of meetings, Chairman David McLain and Vice Chair, Mike Turner, have demonstrated a commitment to cooperative fulfillment of their roles in party leadership. Both seemed relieved and optimistic of the potential for electoral advancement in the crucial 2020 electoral calendar.
"We all now have shared responsibility and ownership in our success. Everyone deserves to see advancement, and that was the message that brought unity to the room. The chair and vice chair along with the budget committee, and executive committee seem dedicated to getting the work done and not relitigating the past."
Sources commended the party's legal counsel, AJ Ferate, for chairing the two meetings with competence and objectivity. One source told SoonerPolitics that while the specifics of the meetings were kept confidential, the participants want the grassroots party members, supporters, and the general public to know that optimism prevailed and no one was interested in finger-pointing when the more pressing matter is to make effective adjustments quickly and focus on Victory in 2020. An atmosphere of humility was prevalent, as there is plenty of blame to go around when institutional dysfunction occurs over a period of time.
We asked about some of the unusual expenditures of the party, over the past 6 months and if they would be repaid to the party? I was not given an answer, but I was told that any data like that would eventually show up on govt. documents required by the state ethics commission. Several other significant donations will also be listed, according to some observations.
A former party director, John Roberts; helped navigate the timely duties of the Executive Committee, to properly call the party into Convention in the Winter & Spring series of Precinct, County, and State meetings. The division of delegates will remain the same as last year. Tulsa County will retain the distinction of the largest delegation, due to high voter support of Gov. Kevin Stitt, of Tulsa.