August 3, 2015
Oklahoma State Auditor
Topic: His controversial ideas on how to fix the bureaucracy of the Oklahoma State Legislature
BIO (followed by Tulsa World article)
Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones has spent much of his adult life seeking to expand government accountability and improve the delivery of government services. Gary is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner. He was elected to his first term as State Auditor in 2010.
Born at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Gary attended Lawton Public Schools and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Accounting degree from Cameron University.
Gary spends much of his time traveling across the state to speak to various association groups, government auditors, and public officials on ways to improve internal controls to both preserve and safeguard public assets. In 2013, Gary implemented the State Auditor’s Intercession Program in an effort to assist residents and local officials improve transparency, address areas of concern, resolve disputes, and avoid the costly expense of a Special Audit.
Despite a decrease in appropriated funds to conduct various audits of public entities, under Gary’s leadership the State Auditor’s Office has increased the quantity of audits it conducts without sacrificing the quality of the work product and he’s doubled the number of CPAs on staff. The State Auditor’s Office received a clean review in January 2014 with a rating of pass in its Peer Review conducted by the National State Auditor’s Association.
Gary and wife Mary Jane have been married for 37 years and live on their farm southwest of Cache where, together, they raised two children, and built their cow-calf operation for over 30 years. Mary Jane retired in May, 2011, after a 36-year career teaching kindergarten.
Their daughter, Kelly Gilland, is a math teacher at Cache High School. Son Chris is a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves. The Joneses have three wonderful grandchildren.
In a related article published by the Tulsa World Mr. Jones refers to the legislature as "Positioning and Pandering."
From Tulsa World opinion page:
By GARY JONES TulsaWorld.com
Much of what is going on at the Oklahoma State Capitol this year can be described in two words. "Positioning and pandering".
A little more than a year ago politicos in Oklahoma were focusing on 2016, the year when political dominoes were to start falling with the end of Dr. Tom Coburn 's second U.S. Senate term, which he pledged to be his last.
Thanks to newly implemented statewide official terms limits, passed by the voters in 2010, over a half dozen statewide office holders would have a free shot at the open U.S. Senate seat. Add to that the dozens of Oklahoma state senators and representatives from the class of 2004 facing term limits themselves in 2016.
But as we now know Dr. (Tom) Coburn changed the entire landscape of Oklahoma politics in 2014 with his announcement to retire early, catching many politicians off guard and not ready to give up their current office to make a run for the vacant Senate seat.
That being said, 2016 politics in Oklahoma will be all about presidential politics. 2018, on the other hand, will be politics on steroids for Oklahoma voters.
Back to our two words: Positioning and pandering. While the 2018 election is three years away, those in the Oklahoma Legislature that are term-limited have only this session and next to focus attention on themselves and use their current positions to raise campaign funds. That gives the 2016 term-limited legislators 15 months to "position" themselves. Special interest and lobbyists have little use for term-limited lawmakers who can not carry their water.
The term-limited statewide (office holders) have a longer timeframe to position themselves. Filing for 2018 doesn't begin until April of that year. Don't be surprised to see announcements as early as late 2016. That's right, we may see candidates announcing for 2018 before the 2016 presidential race is decided.
Finally to the second word, "pandering." With the drastic change since 2006 of Oklahomans now voting overwhelmingly Republican, candidates can't seem to run to the right fast enough.
So don't be surprised to see potential candidates focusing on issues that will appeal to the most conservative Oklahomans, Republican primary voters. Most who understand the Oklahoma political landscape expect 2018 races to be decided in the Republican primaries.
Last of all, the so-called political experts say "Money is the mother's milk of politics." That being said, watch potential candidates as they pander to the donor class in order to milk them for political contributions to fund their campaigns.
So, as you watch the activities at 2300 Lincoln the next 15 months, ask yourself: "Is it what's best for Oklahoma or what's best for the politician?"
Gary Jones, a Republican, is the Oklahoma state auditor. He originally posted this on his Facebook account.
No Division Council meeting this month!!!