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Oklahoma spent $7,000 in CARES funds on Swadley’s BBQ

6:45 AM EST on February 8, 2021

It's beating a dying, coughing, COVID-19 horse to say that we're all struggling. At the individual level, many of us (raising my own emaciated hand) haven't worked a straight job in nearly a year. And many businesses that aren't owned by Jeff Bezos are watching all they've built swirl down the toilet.

The federal government doled out money for states to help support local businesses and industries who were drowning during this completely mismanaged pandemic in the form of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). As you can imagine, Oklahoma bungled and mismanaged it from the get-go.

Check this out:

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH)--The Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT) released a 188-page report Wednesday night. This is a group that looked into how Oklahoma spent CARES Act money.

The findings in the report showed that Oklahoma LOFT had a hard time getting supporting documentation on how the $1.2 billion was spent.

[...]The report showed that a significant amount of relief funds were used for pre-existing needs and government modernization, not pandemic needs.

[...]

Some key findings from our October investigation include:

The DOC purchased items like DVD rentals, popcorn, and salt for inmates, totaling over $10,000
Other purchases included board games and a video game system.

FOX 25 also found charges made by the Governor's Joint Task Force totaling more than $20,000 on meals, including a nearly $7,000 bill for Swadley's BBQ.

(Read more at Fox 25)

I'm very much in favor of supporting local restaurants. That's the industry that I work in, so please continue getting curbside take-out and delivery from your favorite places if you can afford it, even if it's from an average-ish BBQ restaurant.

But- SEVEN THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS WORTH OF BARBEQUE?! Doing a quick look at Swadley's menu, that amounts to more than 400-pounds of sliced brisket. And you know Stitt probably only tipped with two sweaty and wrinkled dollar bills.

Then again, based on how much Oklahoma Republicans were spending on Swadley's in their unsuccessful attempt to keep Georgia red, maybe $7,000 was a bargain?

Either way. if you're going to spend an absurd amount of meat money, at least go with a TLO Approved joint like Clark Crew or Bob's Pig Shop or George's Happy Hog (RIP Ms. Ivory). Or better yet, get a ton of hot links and fried chicken from Han-D-Sak and call it a day.

YEAH, BUT WHAT ABOUT $10,000 IN DVDs???

Yeah, in addition to wondering why we're spending so much of federal Coronavirus relief dollars on BBQ, my other big question is how it is possible to spend $10,000 on DVDs and popcorn? Did the state have to pay an old late fee balance from Blockbuster? You can waltz into the neighborhood pawn shop and buy a copy of 'The Rock' or 'Jerry Maquire' for a buck. I'm not saying that the incarcerated don't deserve to watch Criterion Classics or eat artisanal snacks, but it's a pretty absurd figure to spend on a dead physical media format and one of the cheapest foods in the world.

Nobody should be shocked that an administration who came out the gate fanning their corruption like the kaleidoscopic feathers of a peacock would be wasting government funding like this, but this is absurd. Local businesses are shuttering, or waiting for their CARES money, and instead, it's being spent on a government that claims to be pro-business.

There's probably a lot more to come out of this audit, and trust. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.

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