Gary Jones for Auditor: A critical race

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While I encourage you to vote straight Republican in Oklahoma -- in every race I've looked at, the Republican is the best choice -- there are a few races where I want to underline, bold, and otherwise call attention to my endorsement, because the stakes are so high and the GOP candidate is far and away the best choice. A prime example: Gary Jones for State Auditor and Inspector.

Our previously elected auditor, Jeff McMahan, is now in prison, thanks in large part to Gary Jones's investigation, performed on his own time and on his own dime.

McMahan's appointed successor, Steve Burrage, appears to have ties to the old Stipe-Phipps-McMahan political corruption machine. From Steve Fair's blog entry about the auditor's race:

Shouldn't voters know that Burrage's bank was the one used by former State Senator Gene Stipe and Steve Phipps to funnel taxpayer dollars to their non-existent dog food plant? In the interest of full disclosure, shouldn't the paper tell voters his brother was Stipe's lawyer?

It is curious that Gov. Henry would reach into Antlers, the tiny seat of Pushmataha County in southeast Oklahoma, to pick a new auditor, when it just happened to have been home to the abstract company owned by Steve Phipps and Gene Stipe and the Rural Development Foundation that was central to the scheme. What are the odds?

Even though he's on the state's time and dime, Burrage hasn't been able to complete the Broken Arrow school district audit as scheduled. According to Jones, Burrage hasn't completed a single county audit.

I believe that we have barely scratched the surface of government corruption in Oklahoma. There are so many ways you could hide the scams and ripoffs: transferable tax credits, no-bid single-source contracts, large contracts structured into smaller ones to stay under the threshold requiring competition.

Here's a great way you could enrich yourself, if you were a county commissioner, at the taxpayer's expense: Form an LLC to handle bond management services, but be sure you aren't listed as a registered agent. As a member of the county's industrial authority, you vote to hire that LLC to handle the county's bond business. The LLC charges higher than customary rates for bond management, and you get the profits. Sure, the taxpayer gets less value for his taxes because too much is going to bond-related expenses, but you deserve it.

Now if you're a taxpayer and want to uncover such shenanigans, you need Gary Jones, CPA, as State Auditor. He has the intellectual firepower to look at a financial statement and to know where to start digging. He has the persistence to keep digging in the face of resistance. In fact, he knows that resistance means you've found the right place to dig. Gary Jones has the courage to step on toes when he needs too, even when those toes belong to fellow Republicans.

I trust Gary Jones to find waste, fraud, and abuse, so that taxpayers can keep more of their money and so that the money we send to our state capitol and our county courthouses is used truly to serve the citizens, not to line someone's pockets.

Read more about Gary Jones and his opponent on the Gary Jones for Auditor website. In this article, Gary rebuts Burrage's mudslinging attacks.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 1, 2010 12:27 PM.

Money Belt RINOs back Nancy Bolzle was the previous entry in this blog.

Rees praises Eagleton's legal skills and character, slams Morrissey's lie is the next entry in this blog.

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