The guy pictured above yucking it up with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt is former Oklahoma State Representative Mike Sanders.
For 12 years, Sanders valiantly served in the State House of Representatives, fighting big government, wasteful spending, and his political rival Forrest Bennett for the prized “Oklahoma Lawmaker With The Biggest Chin” award.
Well, it looks like Mike’s hard work is finally paying off for him.
Last week, Yawn Doc reported that Sanders has been hired as the Director of the Oklahoma Broadband Office and given a nice and comfy $185,000 salary.
Sanders scored the gig despite not being the first choice for the position.
In fact, the Governing Board of the Oklahoma Broadband Office actually offered it to a more qualified out-of-state candidate!
That decision didn’t sit well with Stitt and Co., who preferred a crony from the Oklahoma Good Ole’ Boy Network to run the agency.
As a result, Stitt’s Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Cockroft – a former Oklahoma lawmaker, Batman fanboy, and renowned plagiarist – called Lyle Roggow – the guy in charge of the Broadband Board’s search committee – and left this voicemail:
Hey, Lyle, this is Josh Cockroft. It’s been a while since we’ve chatted. I’m Gov. Stitt’s deputy chief of staff now, and he asked me to reach out to you concerning the broadband office. Our understanding is that the board has interviewed someone from out of state (…) and he wanted to put, the governor wanted to put forward the name of Mike Sanders, former Rep. Mike Sanders, as a possible candidate for the director of the broadband office. Mike is willing to step in as the director. The governor has a great relationship with him and would love for him to serve in that role. So, he wanted me to reach out and see if there’s any possibility for getting the board to interview Mike Sanders for that position. So, if you can give me a call back at your earliest convenience, the number is (…). Look forward to talking with you and I appreciate it. Thank you, sir.
A few hours after that voicemail, Roggow got another phone call from Stitt’s crew. This time, they let him know that he was no longer on the Broadband Office Governing Board.
Three days after the March 3 meeting, Roggow received two calls from members of the Stitt administration. He said he did not recognize the first number and let it go to voicemail while he was at lunch. The second call came about three hours later from Stitt’s appointments director, who said the governor was removing him from the broadband board.
With Roggow out of the way, the Governing Board changed course, dumped the preferred candidate who had knowledge about implementing broadband in rural areas, and hired Sanders – an out-of-work lawmaker who spent the last 12 years in the Oklahoma legislature – for $185,000 a year. He begins his new job on April 10.
Stitt’s decision to force a political friend into a government position over a more qualified candidate may reek of cronyism and resemble something that happens in a banana republic, but in all fairness, what’s the fun in being Governor if you can’t help easy-to-control anti-government buddies and pals score jobs leading bureaucratic agencies?!
Also, you can’t blame Mike Sanders for, likely, begging Stitt and Co. to interfere in the selection process and hooking him up with a $185,000-a-year gig. What’s the fun in voting to establish a bureaucratic state agency as a lawmaker if you can’t profit from it when you’re term-limited out of office?
Plus, I’m pretty sure his chin emits 5G signals, so he does have some knowledge about broadband.