Do elected officials who are not transparent with public information regarding financial deals – especially deals for $300 million – belong in office?

As parents or teachers know, if a child is hiding a cookie from view – or anything else he knows he's not supposed to have – upon being caught, the child immediately looks flustered. The child will deny the presence of the cookie in a small hand, even when crumbs are scattered across the shirt and chocolate may be on the lips. It's the proverbial cat and canary grin.

Is it an instinct for self-preservation that causes humans to deny guilt, even in the presence of evidence?

Politics is as far from childhood as anything, yet the non-verbal reactions and comments of Gov. Kevin Stitt regarding the agreement with Los Angeles-based Canoo to locate an electric vehicle company in Pryor seems to resemble a child caught with a hand in the cookie jar.

It was Canoo’s CEO who valued the deal at more than $300 million.

When the state reporter for CNHI – the parent company of the Stilwell Democrat Journal, Westville Reporter, Tahlequah Daily Press and many other newspapers – contacted Stitt for details about the deal, she was told, “The details are private.”

This seems to be a violation of the Open Records Act, but the Governor's Office nevertheless denied the request. It makes an observer want to ask, “What have they got to hide?”

Canoo is a risky investment as a start-up company that has not yet manufactured any vehicles, so will there really be 2,000 jobs as promised? Will the cars work, be purchased, or fail and be another dark spot on Oklahoma’s sunny disposition?

Time will tell. But the people of Oklahoma have questions, and if the Governor’s Office sticks to secrecy, then the polling place is where citizens should have something to say.House