In 2012, Oklahoma lawmakers provided a $2 million appropriation to a privately run youth livestock show. The appropriation wasn’t publicized. It drew much criticism when it became public, particularly since it appears the money was obtained by cutting much-needed prison funds.
It’s since been learned that the appropriation was a bailout. The private livestock show had run up debts it couldn’t pay. A lawsuit was filed to reclaim the state funds.
This week, the lawsuit was tossed. Apparently, no lawyers were notified of the hearing and no one showed up. Now the lawsuit will likely be re-filed. The controversy, and legal expense for the state, will continue — all because legislators didn’t want to publicly acknowledge how they were spending taxpayer dollars.
They should have kept in mind the old admonishment: What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light.