More McMahan fallout

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Mike McCarville helpfully reminds us of convicted felon Lori McMahan's defense of her husband, convicted felon and disgraced former State Auditor Jeff McMahan, during McMahan's re-election campaign against Republican nominee Gary Jones:

"But I'm not going to sit by and let Jones drag a courageous, honest public servant through the mud with appalling lies and outlandish innuendoes. It would be almost impossible for me to respond to them all, but here are Gary's five most shameful lies, along with the truth."

McCarville notes that those shameful lies "formed the basis of the federal charges against her and her husband, and their convictions on conspiracy and bribery counts."

McCarville also has a poll on his homepage, asking whom Gov. Brad Henry should appoint to replace McMahan. Jones is leading the pack with 50%, followed by Robert Butkin with 17%.

Butkin, a former State Treasurer and a Democrat, left to head up the University of Tulsa's law school, then resigned from that post last year to help out with his family's oil and gas business. Butkin cleaned up an extremely tarnished State Treasurer's office and built a reputation for competence and integrity. He would be an excellent choice to finish out the Auditor's term. But Butkin and his wife have three small daughters, and it's unlikely he'd be willing to go back to commuting between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, even if only for two years.

If the Governor is set on appointing a Democrat, another possibility for a caretaker to finish out the term would be Tulsa's own City Auditor, Phil Wood. Wood set a standard for openness, taking the initiative to launch the first website for city government documents and information on his own dime and doing his own web programming. Although he's a loyal Democrat, he operates his office in a non-partisan fashion. As with Butkin, the big question is whether he'd be willing to commute to Oklahoma City.

Jones remains the best choice to complete McMahan's term -- he has demonstrated strong popular support in two elections and is willing and able to do the job.

McCarville reports rumors that Antlers banker Steve Burrage is a leading candidate for appointment as Auditor. I know nothing about Mr. Burrage, but my first thought was, Didn't Gene Stipe and Steve Phipps have an abstract company in Antlers?

Michelle Byte has started a blog to track the auditor appointment: appointgaryjones.blogspot.com.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 19, 2008 11:35 PM.

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