A look at the Sour Grapes Gang (part 1)

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I've got a lot of other things to accomplish tonight, so I will be parceling this out as I get time. I will be on 1170 KFAQ tomorrow morning at 7:10 a.m. to talk about the list.

So here is part 1 of some observations and identifications from the list of donors to the Coalition for Reprehensible Government 2004 (CFRG). (Thanks to meeciteewurkor for hot-linking some of the names in the list to further information.)

The biggest donor is Build PAC Issues, which shares an address with the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa, 11545 E. 43rd Street. Why didn't the last-minute Build PAC donation of $13,600 come directly from the Home Builders, since there are no contribution limits and no restriction on corporate contributions? My guess is that this is a vehicle for concealing contributions. The PAC won't have to report contributions for the quarter until July 31, so we won't know where that money really came from until long after the election is over. This is a loophole in the state ethics laws that needs to be fixed. A PAC contributing to a campaign should be required to report contributions and expenditures on the same schedule as the campaign, so that voters can know who is funding a candidate or an issue.

Next on the list is Ameristar. This donation appears to be pure vendetta against Councilor Jim Mautino. Ameristar was dumping dirt and reshaping the terrain in the Mingo Creek floodplain, and Mautino insisted that the company provide the legally required compensatory storage to protect downstream property owners against flooding. Recall appears to be, in part, revenge by Ameristar for not getting its way immediately. If there's a theme to the list of contributions, most are expressions of toddleresque rage at not always getting one's way at City Hall.

Next we have the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors (GTAR), which gave a single contribution of $5000 last October, one of the earliest contributions. Word is that there was considerable dissension among the membership about the contribution, which may be why GTAR is one of the few larger contributors that didn't cough up again this spring. Or perhaps they just found a way to give in a less obvious fashion. Northeast Oklahoma Real Estate Services is a subsidiary of GTAR -- NORES runs the Multi-List System (MLS) in the Tulsa area -- and it gave $2,000 on May 26.

The Commercial Real Estate Association of Tulsa was incorporated in 1998 by Herbert Haschke, treasurer of CFRG, David Cox, and land use attorney Lou Reynolds -- the member of the water board whose reappointment was initially rejected by the City Council before Sam Roop's defection.

Paula Marshall-Chapman is CEO of the Bama Companies and was a member of the board of the Tulsa Metro Chamber until forced to resign in order to remain on the City's Economic Development Commission, which oversees the Chamber's economic development contract with the city. (The resignation was forced by an Attorney General's opinion which forbids board members of an organization to oversee public funds going to that organization.) Marshall-Chapman also wrote an op-ed last fall defending the Tulsa Whirled in the controversy over its tardily-disclosed financial interest in Great Plains Airlines.

Associated Builders and Contractors PAC gave its $4,000 contribution back in November -- yet another contribution from a developer-related individual or organization, which accounts for well over half of the contributions to the pro-recall campaign.

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I was reading a recent post on MeeCiteeWurkor.com about the phone calls to District 6 residents falsely claiming that Jim Mautino will be retiring. I made some phone calls and verified that these phone calls ARE being made to residents... Read More

3 Comments

Joel said:

A small story to watch out for in the corruption of local govmt. is how the Tulsa World has been quietly hammering away at County Treasurer Dennis Semler. They've been running smear stories on him with leads from fired worker who were purged from the previous Treasurer's administration (who had his mistress and other on the city payroll). The World is positioning him in a light that would anger conservatives... fishy. Looks like they're setting up one of the last honest civil servants for a fall.

The A Team said:

Not to mention the fact that these Contractor special interest groups have reputations for the exploitation and abuse of certificates of non-compliance regarding their Worker's Compensation Insurance(IMO, It is the Insurance equivalent of tax evasion), somewhat lax methods for the verification of Proof of Citizenship in their Workforce, and average pay scales that are below the median income for Tulsa County and significantly lower than the City of Tulsa according to the latest Census figures available.

Bob said:

Now we know who is behind the recall movement. Since the U.S. Supreme Court recently gave developers carte blanche to use eminent domain, what is to stop these guys from removing any homeowner from his or her home?

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 5, 2005 9:17 PM.

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