More debate notes


The mention of former Mayor Terry Young reminded me: About three weeks ago, Terry Young was a last-minute substitution at the Tulsa County Democratic Party forum on the proposed new county sales taxes. I learned a couple of days ago that OU-Tulsa President Ken Levit had been scheduled to speak for the "vote yes" side, but was a no show. So Democratic Chairman Elaine Dodd went to Terry Young, who had only come to listen, verified that he was a supporter, then asked him to speak for the vote yes side in the forum, which also involved former County Assessor Jack Gordon, speaking for the opposition, and Sally Frazier, representing the undecided point of view.

This last Tuesday was the KRMG - Downtown Kiwanis Club debate, scheduled for 12:30. Here again, it was supposed to be Jack Gordon vs. Ken Levit, but at 10:45, a vote yes apparatchik informed KRMG that Twenty-First Properties President Paul Wilson would be speaking instead of Ken Levit. KRMG newsman John Durkee, the moderator, made a point of mentioning the sudden change during his introductions, with a hint of irritation creeping through his professional tone. The next morning, I called KRMG to talk about Channel 8's furtive decision not to air a promised debate, and at the end of the call, John Erling mentioned the sudden shift on their debate, and that he later learned that Levit had been told 10 days earlier by the vote yes PR flacks [my term, not Erling's] that he would not be doing the KRMG debate. The flacks just didn't bother to tell KRMG until the last minute.

Ken Levit is a good, honest man, and it looks to me like he hasn't been treated with due respect by the yea-sayer strategists. I suspect in the case of the Democratic Party event, as with KRMG, the PR flacks told him not to show up, but they failed to notify the people running the event.

As I write this, there may be a debate on KOTV Channel 6 Sunday night. The Mayor was originally willing to participate, but as of this morning the willingness went away. The change in attitude followed (but was not necessarily caused by) the Fox 23 debate the night before. We will see what comes to pass. The debate will follow "60 Minutes" at around 7 p.m., although the programs may be delayed by U. S. Open Tennis coverage.

And I'll close with these actual debate notes, found after a debate some days ago.

The yea-sayers continue to believe that the vote no victories in 1997 and 2000 were just a matter of packaging and marketing, and if they can just be more careful about image management, they will win this time. But the previous elections were about the merits of the proposals (or lack thereof), and I'm confident that the same will be true this time.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 6, 2003 12:37 AM.

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