Who's behind the recall?


The recall effort against two members of the Reform Alliance majority on the Tulsa City Council appears to be moving forward, with backing from leaders of the Tulsa Metro Chamber and an attorney with connections to R. Louis Reynolds, the real estate attorney whose reappointment to the city's water board was denied by the City Council majority.

Councilors Chris Medlock and Jim Mautino received phone calls Saturday afternoon from Tulsa Whirled reporter P. J. Lassek, asking for comment on news that an organization has emerged to push for a recall of Medlock and Mautino. The group is calling itself the Coalition for Responsible Government 2004, and the registered agents for the group are Herbert P. Haschke, Jr., and Jon Davidson. (UPDATE 10/10/2004: According to the Whirled's story, the group has filed as an issues PAC with Davidson as chairman and Haschke as treasurer.)

Here's what we know so far about Mr. Haschke. He is a member of the board of the Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy (TARE), which controls the city's trash system and the trash-to-energy plant. Haschke was first appointed to the board by former Mayor Susan Savage and confirmed on October 8, 1998, and reappointed by her in 2001. His term expired on July 1, 2004, and so far Mayor LaFortune has not reappointed him or appointed a replacement for him. Stephen Schuller and Sharon King Davis are two of his current colleagues on the TARE board. Lou Reynolds, the attorney who was rejected for reappointment to the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority (TMUA), served with him on TARE until Savage appointed Reynolds to the TMUA in January of 2002.

Haschke and Lou Reynolds have another connection. On March 27, 1995, Haschke, Reynolds, and David Cox incorporated The Commercial Real Estate Association of Tulsa, Inc. Haschke is also listed as registered agent for the association.

Haschke, 65, is registered to vote at 4311 East 68th Place. That address is on the same block as 4345 East 68th Place, the address at which City Council Chairman Randy Sullivan is registered to vote. (It is believed that since his divorce, Councilor Sullivan no longer lives at that address. Sullivan's current address is not known, but he has been spotted frequently in the 91st & Yale area, outside his district.)

Haschke is president of the board of directors of Hospice of Green Country. You can see a picture of him here. (The list of guests in that article is interesting -- a who's who of leading Democratic activists and donors, including Coleman and Sharon King Davis, Jim and Sally Frasier, Jim East and Kim Holland, Norma and Steve Turnbo. And Tracy Lorton Salisbury, daughter of Whirled publisher Robert Lorton, receives a prominent mention.)

Here's a Google cache of a Texas Monthly article that mentioned a Price Waterhouse partner named Herb Haschke, who was named in a 1990 lawsuit by Willie Nelson for leading Nelson, in the early '80s, to invest in tax shelters that proved to be financial disasters that only deepened Nelson's problems with the IRS. Tulsa's Herb Haschke is a tax attorney, so this may very well be the same person.

An interesting coincidence: A search of voter registration records turns up someone in Wagoner County named Terry Haschke Studenny. We don't know at this point if this person is related to either Herb Haschke or J. Richard Studenny, attorney for the Tulsa Industrial Authority, Tulsa Airport Authority, and Tulsa Airport Improvement Trust.

(Studenny's dismissal was to be considered last Thursday, but the special meeting of TAIT -- called by Mayor LaFortune -- had to be canceled for lack of a quorum, when board member Ron Turner was prevented from returning to Tulsa because of inclement weather.)

Jon Davidson is the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Tulsa Metro Chamber overseeing the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and he is general manager of the Sheraton Hotel Tulsa, a position he has held since the fall of 1995. Some of the City of Tulsa's hotel/motel tax dollars go to the Chamber for support of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Earlier this week, Tulsa Metro Chamber CEO Jay Clemens and Chairman Bob Poe (a lifelong Democrat) met for three hours with Tulsa County Republican Chairman Don Burdick, trying to persuade Burdick to support the recall of Republicans Medlock and Mautino or at least not publicly oppose their
recall. Burdick has publicly stated that he opposes any recall and worked to get the support of Republican elected officials for a statement opposing any recall. During the meeting the chamber officals suggested (perhaps in jest) that they should get a high paying job for Medlock so that he wouldn't spend so much time and work so hard at being a Councilor. Asked to comment on this, Medlock joked that if the job was to replace Jay Clemens, and it would get Clemens out of town, he might take the position. (UPDATE 10/11/2004: Don Burdick has sent me a statement about the meeting, which you can find here.)

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 10, 2004 12:12 AM.

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