Whirled endorses Medlock


Tulsa City Councilor Chris Medlock takes a trip down memory lane, back to his special election primary run for State House District 69 in 1994, back when the Tulsa Whirled editorial board actually liked him, and gave him their endorsement:

ON Tuesday, Republican voters in Tulsa's House District 69 will pick someone to represent them in the state House of Representatives. They should do themselves and the rest of Tulsa a big service by picking Chris Medlock.

Of the three GOP candidates, Medlock is the clear choice. At 35, he is a well-educated marketing and research analyst for the T.D. Williamson Co. ...

He is intimately acquainted with the need for adequate higher education facilities for Tulsa. He has been a staunch supporter of public school reform and new business development.

He also will provide Tulsa with another strong voice against crime. Articulate and knowledgeable on legislative issues, Medlock is exactly the kind of young person Tulsans should be encouraging to enter the political arena.

The voters in District 69 should have no hesitation in voting for Chris Medlock.

What's changed in ten years? As Chris himself notes, in 1994, he was considered the least conservative of the candidates, which would have won the admiration of the Whirledlings. Over the intervening years, Chris moved to the right, part of an even longer journey from a liberal, irreligious upbringing. Once pro-choice, Chris is now decidedly pro-life. Once a Unitarian youth minister, Chris is now part of a Presbyterian congregation. Having known Chris for nearly six years, I suspect several factors played a part: reading socially conservative thinkers and authors like Bill Bennett and Robert Bork, the experience of being surrogate dad to two teenage girls (a Russian exchange student who "adopted" Chris and his wife Cheryl, and the daughter of his late brother, who died the Saturday before his first election to the Council), and the prayers of conservative Christian friends in the Republican Party, who admired his energy, intellect, and boldness, and hoped to see those abilities put to the service of better principles.

Those prayers have been answered. Chris Medlock is the kind of city councilor we've needed for a long time, and the fact that powerful, shadowy forces have lined up to try to remove him from office is an indication of how sick and corrupt Tulsa's political culture is.

When first elected, Chris did not expect to be viewed as a radical. But as he witnessed the City's treatment of ordinary citizens, as he observed the way city trusts, boards and commissions operate, as he looked at the ineffectual economic development efforts of the Chamber bureaucracy, he could not in good conscience let the status quo continue without accountability.

Chris never expected to be at odds with Mayor Bill LaFortune expected to work side-by-side with Mayor Bill LaFortune to help the Mayor implement his promised reforms. But as Chris pursued his principled course, and as the Mayor purged voices for reform from his inner circle of advisors and chose to listen to the siren song of the Cockroach Caucus, they naturally found themselves on opposite sides of issues like economic development reform.

The Whirled and its publisher and their allies are pursuing their own interests, which are rarely and only belatedly disclosed. Chris didn't set out to alienate the Whirled, but in pursuing what is best for our city, he has come up against the cozy arrangements that suit the Whirled and the shadowy bunch backing the recall just fine.

An anonymous commenter to Chris's entry tracks the Whirled's decline over the same period. To paraphrase the Whirled circa 1994, the readers should have no hesitation in canceling their subscriptions. And the voters should have no hesitation in supporting Chris Medlock through this recall attempt.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 12, 2004 2:47 AM.

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