What was he thinking?

by Ray Carter Modified: June 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm •  Published: June 21, 2013

Taxes fund the office expenses of state lawmakers for one purpose: to conduct state business. This is apparently lost on some.

Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, recently had his secretary email senators information promoting magnetic signs sold by Cleveland’s company, Postnet. Promoting a lawmaker’s private business is an improper use of state resources — in this case, a secretary’s taxpayer-funded time and a state email account.

Cleveland has since apologized and notified the Ethics Commission of his actions. Still, this should have been a no-brainer. State taxpayer dollars should support state purposes.

Lawmakers can promote their private businesses on their own dime. This distinction hasn’t been lost on one of Cleveland’s House colleagues, Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah. Like Cleveland, Brown owns a sign business. Unlike Cleveland, Brown hasn’t used state resources to promote it.

by Ray Carter
Editorial Writer
Ray Carter joined The Oklahoman in May 2012 after serving as Media Director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives for over seven years. A native of Oklahoma, Carter has worked in the newspaper and public relations businesses since 1998.
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