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Mary Fallin is vacationing… errrr… working in Italy

9:26 AM EST on January 31, 2017

While the people of Oklahoma continue to deal with an unprecedented budget crisis, leading to drastic financial cuts to education, public safety and other essential state services, our royal governor Mary Fallin has been hard at work in beautiful Florence, Italy speaking to GE employees about Oklahoma innovation.


Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin gave a keynote address Monday in Italy on government's role in accelerating innovation at the annual meeting of GE's Oil and Gas Division. GE opened a $110 million global research center last year in Oklahoma City for oil and gas, something Fallin mentioned in prepared remarks provided by the governor's office. More than 120 employees work at the research center, the company's 10th worldwide.

We've accused Mary Fallin of many things over the years – a detailed knowledge of government and innovation has never made the list. Seriously, why would GE do this? It doesn't make sense. It would be like sending James Lankford to Venice to talk about BDSM.

Before we get to that answer, let's move on to the other question you are asking. How much did this cost taxpayers? The Oklahoman was eager to explain:

GE's two-day oil and gas conference in Florence, Italy, also attracted speakers from BP, Chevron, Total and ExxonMobil. GE's oil and gas division, led by Lorenzo Simonelli, is based in London.

GE paid for Fallin's travel and accommodation, said spokesman Michael McNutt. The company also paid for her security detail's hotel, while the state paid for the security detail's travel...

Accompanying Fallin on the trip was Michael Teague, Oklahoma's secretary of energy and environment. His travel and accommodations were paid for by the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, McNutt said.

Oh. GE paid for it? Now this really doesn't make any sense. Mary Fallin's tenure as Governor has been marked by gaffes, amateurism, and general mismanagement. Her idea of innovation is installing a motion-activated toilet in Hipster Boo Boo's trailer. Why exactly would a huge, profitable corporation pay for someone to go to Italy and talk about things she knows nothing about?

I think I know the answer. Check out this article from 2015...

General Electric Co. has qualified for up to $13.9 million in state job creation incentives for creating as many as 230 new jobs over the next 10 years at its new $125 million oil and gas research center in Oklahoma City...

Gov. Mary Fallin also agreed in 2013 to give General Electric $3 million from her Quick Action Closing Fund, a pool of economic development incentive money created by the Legislature in 2011 to help lure new jobs to Oklahoma.

Oh yeah, crony capitalism! I always forget that's how Mary prefers to do business. Don't you love it? Subsidizing healthcare for lower-income Oklahomans? Sorry. Big government is bad. Offering shelter to the poor and homeless? Sorry. That leads to complacency and a poor work ethic. Giving teachers a raise? Sorry. We can't afford it. Providing $3-million in taxpayer money for a billion-dollar corporation to move some jobs here? Sign me up and send me to Italy!!! Bon voyage!

Seriously, what a turd sandwich. Someone needs to flush her down one of those innovative motion-activated toilets.

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