Do as I say

On July 10, the Tulsa World ran a story about elected state officials who have recently collected federal farm subsidies.

The list of those receiving subsidies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture included both Republicans and Democrats, but also a few names were on the list of those who have railed against government spending, and three failed to list the subsidies on state Ethics Commission reports, according to the World.

The lawmaker with the most subsidies was Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Tuttle, weighing in with nearly $1 million paid to her and her husband’s farm in Grady County between 1995 and 2010, the World reported.

You may remember Osborn from earlier this year. She is the one who introduced a measure temporarily suspending the Art in Public Places Act, or as she referred to it in an Oklahoman opinion piece published in February:

“government spending run amok.”

And, it appears some of the most stalwart lawmakers against socialism were enticed by subsidies. Was it the alluring smell of a freshly fertilized field?

CFN comrades, take as an example Mike Ritze, Republican state representative from Broken Arrow. Even though he is a surgeon and physician, he somehow qualified for $18,400 in USDA subsidies since 1996, according to the World report. According to his website, Ritze is a fan of free enterprise: “It’s vitally important to me that private businesses are allowed to grow and flourish with minimal government intervention.”

This year Ritze introduced legislation that would allow the state to opt out of the federal Affordable Care Act,  and
he opposed all attempts to create a health care exchange in Oklahoma,
calling it the “same old path to socialized medicine.” Clearly, Ritze
doesn’t consider food as medicine.

“The
free market can adopt this approach, and we do not need any government
involvement with an exchange,” he said in a press release.

Finally,
the first dude — Gov. Mary “right-sizing government” Fallin’s husband,
Wade Christensen, an OKC attorney who married Fallin in 2009 — raked in
more than $1.96 million in subsidies since 1995, the World reported.

The
aid went toward his Blue Chip Farms located in the western Oklahoma
town of Thomas, according to the World, which got more than two times
the amount of any farm in the vicinity.

CFN
intern Bucky wonders if we’ve inadvertently discovered the secret
formula of how state departments can get budget increases in coming
years: Just ask for cuts instead!

Gazette staff

This material falls under the archives category because it was imported from our previous website. It will eventually be filtered into the proper category as time allows.

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