A name for this bunch


I have struggled with what to call this cluster of special interests which has been trying to run the City of Tulsa without public input, and preferably without public debate. The "Developers, Chamber, and Establishment" party was one awkward attempt at labeling them. I've used the term "bad guys" as shorthand -- not very descriptive. Trying to label them by referring to the F&M Bank rezoning controversy is problematic, because it was just one skirmish in an ongoing struggle.

But now a name suggests itself, thanks to the revelation about this City Council working group which has been discussing strategic public policy issues behind closed doors. Disdain for public debate and public scrutiny is the defining characteristic of this faction. When the Whirled complains that the new Council is going to be contentious, they mean that the Council will debate the issues in view of the public. The heart of John Benjamin's complaint about Chris Medlock's vote against Randy Sullivan for chairman -- his vote and Jim Mautino's shattered the illusion of unanimity, revealing a difference of opinion that shouldn't be aired.

They don't like the light of public scrutiny, so they conduct their business in the dark. But just because we can't see what's going on, it doesn't mean that they aren't there, contaminating public policy out of sight.

Why don't they like the light? Here's a link to reputable 2000 year old opinion on the subject. They know they aren't serving the interests of all Tulsans. They're serving the interests of a favored few, but they don't want us to know that.

I hereby dub this faction of Tulsa politics the Cockroach Caucus.

At present, there are two councilors who are definitely aligned with the Cockroach Caucus (Sullivan and Baker). Two of the Cockroaches (Patrick and Justis) were eliminated in the election.

Another two (Christiansen and Neal) that have shown some independence in the past, and seem to have good motives, but based on their vote on the Council consensus last Thursday and other actions and pronouncements, they also seem to have aligned themselves with the Cockroach Caucus. Let's hope that changes.

I will take nominations for an appropriate name for the good guys, the faction supporting fairness, openness, and running the city in the interests of all Tulsans. The winning suggestion will win praise and accolades on this website.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 19, 2004 12:46 AM.

Council group meets secretly to discuss development issues was the previous entry in this blog.

Julie DelCour's Whirled column is the next entry in this blog.

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