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Oklahoma Centennial Commission's spending stays secretive


Gazette staff August 2nd, 2007

Before Oklahoma can blow out her 100 birthday candles, one lawmaker is asking how much the party favors cost.   Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-OklahomaCity, called on the O...

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Before Oklahoma can blow out her 100 birthday candles, one lawmaker is asking how much the party favors cost.

 

Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-OklahomaCity, called on the Oklahoma Centennial Commission to be more explicit about how much moolah is going toward 147 centennial projects announced recently.

 

"It's not enough to tell the taxpayers where their money will be spent," he said last week, according to reports. "They have a right to know how much will be spent."

 

The list came to be after Attorney General Drew Edmondson gave the commission a green light, saying $15 million in funding was not blocked by a court case and should be available Wednesday to go toward the projects. A case is in progress challenging constitutionality of legislation that divvied out $140 million to centennial and other projects.

 

The commission approved using the $15 million, but didn't spell out how it would be used or for which projects, The Oklahoman reported.

 

Reynolds picked out one project in particular, the "Venture West" 2007 Capitol Conference, according to The Associated Press: "How does giving thousands of taxpayer dollars to wealthy venture capitalists to fund seminars qualify as a celebration of Oklahoma's centennial?"

 

For once, Chicken-Fried News doesn't have a witty response. Uh, yeah, so how?

 

Commission Executive Director Blake Wade agreed taxpayers deserve to know funding specifics, AP reported.

 
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