Judge mandates recall for July 12

| | Comments (13)

At about 3 p.m. today, District Judge Ronald L. Shaffer ruled against Tulsans for Election Integrity and Tulsa City Councilors Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock and for the Coalition for Responsible Government 2004 and ordered the Tulsa City Council to call recall elections for the two targeted councilors. I have not seen the ruling, but I have been told that Shaffer ruled that the City Clerk fulfilled the Charter's requirement to validate the petitions (even though he admitted that he did not compare the signatures to those in the election board records as the charter requires) and that the Council's vote to affirm the City Clerk's findings was not a resolution and therefore did not require a majority of the Council to approve it. Under Shaffer's ruling, the Council has no discretion and is obliged to call the election.

And so they did. Acting City Attorney Alan Jackere rushed to have the election resolutions added to the "New Business" portion of the agenda for tonight's council meeting. Is this a violation of the Open Meeting Act? Jackere will say that it isn't, but here we have a contentious issue on the agenda, and proper notice wasn't given either to the general public or to the interested parties who spoke to the issue at previous meetings. Jackere instructed the Council that they could be arrested for contempt of court if they disobeyed the judge's order, so the vote was 6-0, with Medlock and Mautino recusing themselves, to call the election for July 12.

Was the timing of the ruling deliberate? The quick turnaround between the judge's order at 3 and the start of the council meeting at 6 gave TfEI's attorneys no time to file an appeal or to seek a stay of Shaffer's order until the appeal could be heard.

I never expected a ruling against the pro-recall forces in Tulsa District Court. In hindsight, TfEI should have sought a change of venue to some western Oklahoma district, beyond the Tulsa Whirled's circulation area. I suppose some would say it's rude to suggest that a judge might not be impartial, but judges are human, and judges go to parties, serve on charitable boards, and rub elbows with the high and the mighty, and they're as likely as not to see the world through the same filters as everyone else in their social circles. I lost my confidence that local judges would ever rule against the local power structure when Judge Jane Wiseman ruled that the Vision 2025 ballot was not logrolling, and in her ruling contradicted the rationale she used about 10 years earlier to invalidate the county jail sales tax ballot.

Appeal would still be a possibility, but in the meantime, it's time to get serious about fighting and winning the recall election.

13 Comments

Just when I thought it was safe to pull my No Recall sign out of my yard. I was just thinking/hoping, yesterday, that this was all going to go away and that I could take my sign down. I guess I'm still little nave and I guess the sign stays up.

mark said:

Is there ANYONE in a position of authority who is NOT on the take?

Doug said:

This is when true grassroots efforts rise up. The Inner Circlers (IC) can manipulate the Machine to this point, but how far can they go to stifle the will of the people?

The next few months will definitely not be a political off-season for Tulsa.

Doug

mad okie Author Profile Page said:

maybe besides recalling Sullivan, Christiansen, we need to include the "acting" mayor and this judge

red head Author Profile Page said:

Well, Mr. Medlock should send all district 2 residents by 71st & Harvard. The bulldozers have arrived! Just watching them destroy this corner is enough to make a person ill.
F & M may help Medlock win the recall vote just by hurrying their building plans.

marked, there's no bribery involved here, nor do I believe there's necessarily a conscious decision to favor one side. You have a highly political issue, and both sides present a plausible case. On the one side you've got all the "right" people and institutions -- e.g, the newspaper, the acting City Attorney. On the other side you've got a bunch of nobodies and naysayers. To whose arguments will you be inclined to give the most weight?

I read the decisions in the two cases involving ballot logrolling, and if Judge Wiseman had applied the same standard in 2003 that she applied in the jail tax case, the outcome would have been different. Same judge, same law, a more egregious violation of the law -- how do you account for the difference in outcome?

Annette said:

Ok, we sit here and stew, lets do something besides gripe! I am all for starting a recall on my very own Mr. Christiansen. Anyone want to help? Where do we go and what do we do?

marked said:

MD: Send me the opinions and maybe I can help. The only thing I can say is, if I was a judge, I'd apply the law.

I still think the recall effort is stupid.

Warren said:

I've kept an open mind on this Medlock/Mautino recall for a long time. I take neither the Tulsa World nor Batesline at face value.

Nevertheless, after reading what there is to read, I now support recalling Medlock and Mautino. They are destructive elements in our city council.

mad okie Author Profile Page said:

"destuctive elements" to people like Sullivan (who doesnt live in his district now, and didnt at the time of the election) and Christiansen who is under investigation by the FAA... yeah, THEY are the problems alright... apparently you like a corrupt city gov't

Mautino and Medlock are any thing but destructive. Unless by destructive, you mean they care more about their constituents than powerful Tulsa forces, that they take their job as outlined by the city charter seriously, then yeah guess they are. By that definition Id say we need more destructive councilors, not less.

Warren said:

With more like these two, you would rarely reach a quorum. Then again, maybe a collection of fractious officials would neutralize each other. But I doubt it.

Mike said:

I'm beginning to be more in favor of returning to the City Commission form of government, espcecially if we can't get rid of slugs like my own councilor, Tom Baker. Enough of the Cockroach Caucus, already!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 28, 2005 10:54 PM.

FLIR of flying was the previous entry in this blog.

Lear Jets and "kerchunk" is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Contact

Feeds

Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
Atom
RSS
[What is this?]