Outrageous! What we’re getting for $38,800 a year

Note: This article was written by ROBIN READER (612) and was originally published on her website Broken Arrow Forum on November 20, 2010, and reappears here on this blog with her permission.

“I think it is appropriate that the public have as much information about exposing fraud and corruption in their government as they can possibly get.”
Representative Mike Reynolds, in his deposition 9/29/2010

In the Defendants’ Response to Reynolds’ Motion to get his CD back, footnote 2 on page 2 explains that Rep. Reynolds’ attorney, Mr. Dunn, allegedly received the CD and several  documents from “an anonymous man who walked into Dunn’s law office with a package addressed to Representative Reynolds.  Reynolds testified that he then uploaded these unverified and mysteriously obtained documents to an FTP website maintained by the Oklahoma House of Representatives and which various media outlets have access to.”

Dunn confirmed this story, absurd as it sounds.  How the anonymous man got the documents, and how he knew to take them to Dunn’s law office, is still a mystery.  But if Reynolds’ story is true, then what Reynolds is saying is that he, a state Representative, published on the official House of Representatives website, information that he didn’t know the source of and had not spent one minute checking the accuracy of.  He then, according to his testimony, alerted all of his media contacts that is was there.  It turns out this information is highly defamatory regarding some individuals.   Update 7/28/2011:  Now we know that the information Reynolds put on the House website was not only unverified, it was also false.  The Jones audit calls the information leaked by Reynolds “an unauthorized document purporting to be a ‘draft report'”, and refutes all the accusations of intentional wrongdoing made in the Combs audit.

Reynolds’ excuse for putting defamatory, unverified information from an unknown source in the hands of the media:  “The public has a right to know.”  He explained in his deposition that he doesn’t need to verify the information; he believes he can rely on the media to do that.  Of course we know we can rely on the media to put “reportedly” in front of anything they print, like that makes it ok.

Ritze and Reynolds showed their disapproval for former Speaker Benge last week, by being the only members of the House to stay seated instead of standing with the other members to show their appreciation for Benge.  Maybe it’s not so much his policies that created the rift.  Maybe it’s his disapproval of their misuse of House resources (the FTP site) and their position as Representatives to create a perception in the media that is politically favorable to their candidate for auditor.  Reynolds’ deposition hinted at his illegally trying to issue a subpoena as a member of the House, without it being approved by the appropriate committee.  I doubt that issue came out of the blue.

Ritze and Reynolds should both be investigated by an ethics committee for their role in influencing the audit and leaking misinformation to the media.  I hope the House leaders are aware of their underhanded activities.

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“I’m interested in procurement practices in every school district in the state of Oklahoma.” Rep. Reynolds

Walta:  So is your answer then that you just don’t have an interest in like Skiatook or any of the other audits in reference to monies that perhaps were being wasted for schools? I mean, why wouldn’t you get involved in those?
Reynolds:  Oh, I probably will if it takes, if Mr. Burrage is the state auditor next year or the year after and he’s taken two years to get to those, I’ll probably take an interest in those, too.
Walta: But those are finished.
Reynolds: Oh. Are they?
Walta: Yeah.

    • Fifteen (15) articles in CapitolBeatOK about Broken Arrow’s invented controversy
    • Two (2) about Skiatook’s real half-million-dollar corruption, one of which mentions Broken Arrow in the first sentence, before Skiatook.

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A Very Loosely Defined Thing

On Page 94 of his deposition, Reynolds is questioned about the leadership positions in the House of Representatives

Luthey:  Out of those 62 members of your party, how many are in the leadership of the house?
Reynolds: Oh, my goodness. Well, I tell each member of our caucus that you’re all a leader of
your district.  So I don’t know.
The leadership of the House would be a very loosely defined thing.
Luthey:  The House has a Speaker?
Reynolds:  Yes, it does. Constitutionally.
Luthey:  Is that you?
Reynolds: No, sir.
Luthey:  Does it have a Majority Leader?
Reynolds:  I don’t believe we do have a Majority Leader.
Luthey:  Do you have a Floor Leader?
Reynolds:  Yes, we do.
Luthey:  Is that you?
Reynolds:  No, that’s not.
Luthey:  Are there Assistant or Deputy Floor Leaders?
Reynolds:  I think we have Assistant Majority whips. I don’t think — that’s probably what you
might be referring to as a Floor Leader.
Luthey:  No, I’m referring to Assistant or Deputy Floor Leaders for the Majority.
Reynolds:  I don’t, I don’t think we do.
Luthey:  Is there a chief whip for your party?
Reynolds:  No.
Luthey:  Do you have a whip?
Reynolds:  No.
Luthey:  Do you have deputy whips?
Reynolds:  No.
Luthey:  Do you have assistant whips?
Reynolds:  No.
Luthey:  Are there Committee Chairmen in the House of Representatives?
Reynolds:  Yes.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Oklahoma House of Representatives Leadership

Speaker of the House:  Kris Steele
Majority Floor Leader:  Daniel Sullivan
First Assistant Majority Floor Leader:  Ron Peters
Assistant Majority Floor Leader:  Lisa J. Billy
Assistant Majority Floor Leader:  George Faught
Assistant Majority Floor Leader:  Dennis Johnson
Assistant Majority Floor Leader:  Charles Key
Assistant Majority Floor Leader:  Todd Thomsen
Assistant Majority Floor Leader:  Harold Wright
Majority Whip:  Skye McNiel
Deputy Majority Whip:  Marian Cooksey
Deputy Majority Whip:  Fred Jordan
Deputy Majority Whip:  Steve Martin
Deputy Majority Whip:  Randy McDaniel
Deputy Majority Whip:  Leslie Osborne
Deputy Majority Whip:  Mike Sanders
Deputy Majority Whip:  Colby Schwartz
Deputy Majority Whip:  Weldon Watson

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