Last night we were contacted by a member of the OKGOP Budget Committee member about the continued lack of action to comprise an essential budget for the state Republican Party, as required by the permanent party organizational rules.
Seth Rott, of OKC, said that it's currently unclear who has the authority to call such a meeting of this committee to order? The committee was supposed to be set within 60 days of the April 6th State convention. That committee does not appear to have been appointed until Mid August (about 2 months late). Former State Auditor,Gary Jones, chaired the first & only meeting, in mid August. At that time they determined that the budget could not be compiled until perhaps November, and it was decided that the first proposed budget would be for the 2020 calendar year.
Jones Gave a serious warning to the August meeting of the Presiding State Committee, just 2 days after that one & only Budget meeting. He cited a $12,000 credit card debt as of the end of July.
Shortly after, Jones told Sooner Politics that he's resigned the chairmanship but remains a member of the budget committee.
This morning, OKGOP Vice Chair, Mike Turner, posted the following press release:
At this time, it is appropriate to have a OK GOP Budget Committee meeting before the end of this month (October). I'd expect the Committee to also ascertain whether they have any duties at all, what dollars have been transacted outside their authority, if they had authorized any offer of employment, or if they had delegated such authority. Additionally, and for the future of the party; offer recommendations that would improve financial transparency as well as sharpen enforcement of budgets and disbursements. There's nothing wrong with facts and sunlight.
Rule 14- State Budget Committee
(a) Composition, Term and Vacancies:
There shall be a State Budget Committee of the State Committee composed of the State Chairman, the State Vice Chairman, the Oklahoma National Committeeman and Committeewoman, the Treasurer of the State Committee, and the Chairman of the State Finance Committee, together with nine members, at least one of whom shall be nominated by the members of the Congressional District Committee of each Congressional District, to be elected by the Congressional District Committee as soon as possible (not to exceed sixty (60) days) after the regular biennial State Convention, whose term of office shall begin upon their election and continue until the adjournment of the next regular biennial State Convention and their successors are elected and qualified. A vacancy in any position of such elected members shall be filled for the unexpired term by election by the Congressional District Committee at any regular or special meeting thereof. Any remaining members after those nominated by the members of the Congressional District Committees of each Congressional District shall be jointly filled by the State Chairman and Vice Chairman. If they cannot agree on such appointment, then they shall be evenly appointed between the State Chairman and Vice Chairman, in the event that there is an odd number remaining, the State Chairman shall make the extra appointment.
(b) Authority and Duties:
It shall be the responsibility of the State Budget Committee, and it shall have the power and authority, to prepare budgets designating the amount, classification and priority of expenditures to be made from funds of the Republican State Committee, giving due consideration to the estimated availability of funds. By appropriate actions and resolutions it shall prescribe rules and regulation governing the fiscal affairs of the Republican Party organizations, including the procedure required for recommendations to the State Committee of amounts to be included in budgets and the incurring of obligations under such budgets. Said committee shall not authorize, directly or indirectly, any budget for, or expenditures of, funds for any candidate or candidates for any Primary election campaign, or the expenses thereof, whether such expenses incurred before, during, or after such Primary election. It shall be the duty of said committee to evaluate the procedures and
records of the State Treasurer and the State Finance Committee, and to make a report of such evaluation to the State Chairman, and State Committee annually, or more often as deemed necessary by the Budget Committee, or when requested by the State Chairman, or State Committee.
(c) CPA Financial Review:
The financial books and records of the Oklahoma Republican Party, including the State Committee, the State Finance Committee, the Candidate Reserve Fund, and all other funds established by the Oklahoma Republican Party, shall be reviewed by a certified public accountant chosen by the State Budget Committee within a reasonable time after a new chairman is elected. A biennial review shall be conducted immediately preceding the biennial State Convention and shall cover the two year period ending January 31 of the Biennial Convention year. The review shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles as established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The completed review shall be submitted to the State Chairman, the State Budget Committee, and the State Committee. Such a review may also be conducted at any other time as deemed necessary by a majority of those present and voting at a State Budget Committee or State Committee meeting, provided a quorum is present at the meeting.
(f) State Budget Committee Review:
The financial records of the Oklahoma Republican Party including the State Committee, the State Finance Committee, the Candidate Reserve Fund and all other funds established by the Oklahoma Republican Party, and in addition, a complete inventory of all equipment and all property owned or leased by the Oklahoma Republican Party, shall be examined by the State Budget Committee, and shall cover the two-year period ending with the even-numbered years. The completed examination shall be submitted to the State Chairman, and the State Committee. Such a review may also be conducted at any other time as recommended by the State Budget Committee or the State Committee.