GOP leaders?


A sidebar to the Whirled's story on the Reform Alliance's town hall meeting (PDF here) announced that "GOP leaders plan rally backing Mayor's efforts". It was curious that the list of "GOP leaders" mentioned in the story -- ORU President Richard Roberts, Bama CEO Paula Marshall-Chapman, Howard Barnett, Nordam CEO Ken Lackey -- did not include any Republican public officials or any Republican party officers.

President Roberts has been largely quiet about politics until recent years. Paula Marshall-Chapman was chairman of the Tulsa Metro Chamber a few years ago, and was one of the signatories on the letter warning elected officials and party leaders not to get in the way of the Vision 2025 juggernaut. Barnett is part of the Jones family that once owned the Tulsa Tribune, and was Governor Frank Keating's Chief of Staff. I'm not aware of Ken Lackey's political involvement.

From what I could see, Republican grassroots and leaders alike were at the Reform Alliance's town hall meeting on Wednesday: Three of the six members of the Tulsa County Republican Central Committee -- Chairman, State Committeeman (that's me), 1st District Committeeman -- plus many people who volunteer for candidates and attend monthly Republican club luncheons, and many folks I didn't know who came to the event wearing Bush-Cheney, Tom Coburn, and John Sullivan campaign T-shirts and hats. I'm not aware that any of us were notified about or invited to this "Republican leaders" event.

This looks like something hastily assembled in response to the Reform Alliance's event, in anticipation that the Reformers would focus their fire on Mayor LaFortune. But the Reformers didn't make a target of the Mayor, and they expressed hope that they could work with the Mayor on the issues facing our city. The Reformers also expressed support for the upcoming general obligation bond issue, which the Whirled story said was mentioned prominently in the press release about the event for the Mayor.

I've heard that the Mayor's event was sparsely attended -- maybe 50 people present -- and that several of the speakers mentioned that the Mayor had personally called them to ask them to come and speak in his behalf. I'll pass along more info as I learn it.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 1, 2004 1:54 AM.

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