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Fun Fact: House Speaker’s Chief of Staff is also an Energy Industry Attorney

9:49 AM EDT on November 3, 2017

Remember last week when Cory Williams trolled House Speaker McCall's propaganda conference?

Towards the end, while an obviously flustered McCall rambled to the media, Cory turned and had an odd exchange with someone off camera. Check it out:

That someone was McCall's Chief of Staff Rick Rose. He's the Speaker's influential right hand man, and has earned more than $13,000 a month on the taxpayer's dime to help set this year's disastrous legislative agenda and craft the awful policy that's come with it.

The reason Cory snarkily asked "How's oil and gas?" is due to Rose also being employed as a member attorney for Mahaffey & Gore. It's established "a reputation as one of the pre-eminent energy law firms in Oklahoma." Basically, they're an oil and gas law firm that specializes in oil and gas law.

The photo from his bio page makes him look like one of the bad guys from Scent of a Woman:

Although it looks bad, having such a clear conflict of interest doesn't appear to be illegal. In fact, it's pretty damn common. Oil company lemmings have infiltrated and bought out the Oklahoma political system a long time ago. Hell, Glenn Coffee even served as Senate Pro Tem while holding a side gig as an attorney for Phillips Murrah representing a variety of big business, corporate GOP interests. Remember him and his fever blister?

Coffee was, and still probably is, much more powerful than Rose will probably ever be. The only knock is the Senate Pro Tem gig only earned him $38,000 a year, not the 13K a month that Rose pulls in.

Even though it appears Rose isn't breaking any ethics law, I thought it would be interesting to get an ethics attorney's point of view on the situation, so I hopped on Google to find one. Unironically enough, this law firm was one of the first search results for "Oklahoma Ethics Attorney."

Yep. He has "experience and expertise to guide you through the complex and ever-changing landscape of political and ethics laws in Oklahoma." Once again, oil companies have infiltrated all aspects of the Oklahoma political system. Even our ethics laws aren't safe. We're screwed.

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