In the real world, bribery isn't so complex. In Skiatook, custodial vendor Rick Enos gave $10,000 in bribes to then-Skiatook Superintendent Gary Johnson so Enos could overcharge the district $570,000.
In comparison, In the Public Interest argues there's a coordinated “pay to play” scheme involving potentially thousands of people at the highest levels of numerous state governments. In some settings, publicly declaring the existence of such a “conspiracy” would be considered a sign of mental illness, not investigative journalism.
Sadly, some gullible souls actually buy into this twaddle. Outgoing Oklahoma City School Board Chairwoman Angela Monson touted IPI's report on Facebook, vowing “to KEEP big business OUT of OKC Public Schools.” Apparently, although three-fourths of Douglass High School seniors may not graduate this year, Monson's priority was to ensure that no one competent made money educating them.
The question isn't whether private companies contract with Oklahoma schools. In a system expending billions annually, they do — for everything from textbooks to architectural work. The question is whether contracting is above board and transparent.
In the Public Interest fails to show otherwise — unless you're the type who also believes President Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim sleeper agent.
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