Say what you want about Oklahoma Oil Overlords and their GOP allies, but you have to admire their resolve. During these tough, unprecedented times, with oil prices reaching record lows and the world gripped by a pandemic, they're still working as hard as they can to sabotage Oklahoma government, and screw over the Oklahoma people.
Earlier this week, while he was out doing his part to infect his fellow Oklahomans with the Coronavirus, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin "Super Spreader" Stitt hammered through the appointment of Elliot Chambers – the CEO of a bankrupt oil company that still owes the Oklahoma Land Commission money – to lead the Oklahoma Land Commission. It's the agency that oversees the state's multi-billion-dollar land asset portfolio, and generates over $100-million a year to education through oil and gas royalties.
The Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office voted Tuesday to appoint former White Star Chief Executive Officer Elliot Chambers to head that state agency, despite Chambers' oil and gas company having shorted the state agency on royalty payments.
The vote was 3-0 with Gov. Kevin Stitt, Lt. Gov Matt Pinnell and state Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur voting in favor of the appointment.
The other two commissioners, State Auditor Cindy Byrd and Schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, were conspicuous by their absence.
Anyway, in all fairness to Stitt, I can see why he made the move.
1) Appointing white, unqualified, affluent white men to oversee state agencies has turned into one of the hallmarks of his governorship.
2) It's difficult to find an oil company executive willing to work in state government who isn't part of a corporate bankruptcy right now.
This is how Stitt justified it in a comment to The Oklahoman:
"We know he's the right guy for this service," Stitt said. "Unfortunately, sometimes politics get involved and people inside of the agency are pushing for one of their people and end up causing some controversy."
Yeah, that's it, Kev-O. It's all politics. It has nothing to do with the corrupt absurdity of you choosing a guy who led a company that owes a debt to the Oklahoma Land Commission to lead the Oklahoma Land Commission. The people who actually have experience working for the agency – and who aren't as motivated to rip off the Oklahoma people – were just pushing for someone who, we assume, didn't just lead a company that still owes the agency money into bankruptcy. Seems totally believable.