Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office wants to hire a full-time person for a Washington D.C., gig to act as a liaison for the state. Nondoc.com’s Tres Savage reported that the administration would begin the hiring process in September.
If you’re thinking, “don’t we elect people to represent our interests in Washington?” you’re not alone. So, why? We know this person isn’t going to work for free. We’re all about small government and state sovereignty, right?
Deputy Secretary of State Donelle Harder told Savage it’s about making sure Oklahoma receives all the federal dollars we can. Sounds good. Sure enough, Oklahoma uses federal money. And yes, we’ve missed some of that in the past.
If you’re wondering why the governor’s office is somehow wanting someone to make sure the state captures federal funds while being opposed to capturing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds a la Medicaid expansion, welcome to the club.
Oklahomans have been paying into Medicaid for years without getting anything in return. It’s pretty ironic that the state is going to fund a liaison to help capture federal dollars, you know, everything except the millions we’ve paid into one particular federal program.
The thing is, if this job finds untapped money for the state, it’s a good thing. It’s fair to ask, though, is this not something that can be done from home with some folks already on payroll? In the digital age, are the people in our state government unable to connect to those in D.C.? Are the staffs of our D.C. representatives not big enough to make sure we don’t fall through the cracks? We hope with all the oversight boards and committees the state is creating to watch over our state dollars we can put the same kind of care into making sure this new job pays dividends.
Is it just about rubbing elbows with the right people? To be fair, the current White House staff probably likes a good schmoozer. Hey, that’s not bad. How about we call it the office of the Schmoozer General?