One of Oklahoma’s lean and mean legislators (and Sexiest Power Man nominee), Thad Balkman, is hot over a few Democrats not liking one of his proposed bills.
House Bill 2634 – the Paperwork Reduction Act of 2006 – failed to pass the House Government Reform Committee during a late meeting yesterday…
“Why would anyone want to maintain the status quo in Oklahoma’s government by encouraging inefficient paperwork and red tape?” said Rep. Thad Balkman (R-Norman) who authored the measure. “This was surprising move by Democrats, since this measure would streamline paperwork. I’m not sure why anyone would want to encourage more red tape and bureaucracy.”
Balkman notes three rascals who voted against this vital legislation:
Democrat committee members Rep. Terry Harrison (D-McAlester); Rep. Jerry McPeak (D-Warner) and Rep. Joe Sweeden (D-Pawhuska).
Those damn Democrats! Bucking Balkman! Thwarting Thad! How dare they! The wily bastards!
And wily they must be to stymie Balkman’s measure, since the House committee that rejected it is made up of nine members; a majority, Republicans – two of which are chairmen. (Thad conveniently forgets to mention that in his press release. No doubt to reduce paperwork.) What the bill actually does is put the onus on state agencies to spend time and money out of their existing budget to find ways to, get this: (rtf)
… eliminate, reduce, consolidate, and simplify the number, type, and length of reports, data, statistics, and other information required of any other agency, political subdivision, or individual by the agency.
In other words, Rep. Balkman wants each agency to evaluate the reporting mandated of every other agency and compare it with their own… at their cost. That doesn’t seem very efficient to me. Wouldn’t that be better done from a central point of evaluation?
But, like almost every bill introduced by Republicans this session, the most important part is the sugary-sounding name.
The Paperwork Reduction Act of 2006 is part of the House Republican leadership’s “Real Opportunity for Oklahoma Families” agenda this year.
I’ve got to hand it to Repubs, they know how to sell. And that’s the big difference between them and Dems. While we all know they are often feeding us a line of crap, Republicans at least make it sound tasty. Good politicians are like chefs; good presentation makes people want to eat whatever slop you dish out. A snappy slogan presented well is just as successful selling legislation as it is selling hamburgers or used cars.