Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Republican Power Play On OPPAGA

The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) serves the Florida legislature the same way the Congressional Budget Office does Congress. The OPPAGA provide unbias, nonpartisan analysis of legislation. Unsurprisingly, Republicans in the legislature want to eliminate funding for the OPPAGA.

One little-discussed budget approved by lawmakers was what could amount to the elimination of funding for OPPAGA, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, reports the News Service of Florida. Lawmakers eliminated direct spending on the auditing and review agency and put its budget into a discretionary account controlled by legislative leadership.

Translation: if the OPPAGA doesn't provide analysis slanted in favor of the wishes of the Senate President and House Speaker then kiss funding goodbye. This is a power grab. This also shows the lack of faith Republicans have in their own policy ideas. If Dean Cannon and Mike Haridopolos really believed that their ideas would create jobs, boost the economy and not have a negative impact they would be more than willing to vet legislation through the OPPAGA. They aren't so never take them seriously when they say they believe their ideas are better. Haridopolos and Cannon have forever lost credibility that they believe conservative ideas are superior. They are the intellectual equivalent of someone who says he can kick ass and then backs of of a fight.

Bless Paula Dockery for stating the obvious.

“It is unfortunate that the Legislature can’t have/fund a truly independent auditing entity that can be honest without fear of political retribution,” Dockery told the Sentinel. “While Oppaga has done some good in-depth analysis, it became clear that due to the political climate, the response to brutal honesty was pink slips.”

Side note: why does a Republican have to say this. Is there a single Democrat in Tallahassee that knows how to engage the media?

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