Recall: Who's really for Tulsa?


This morning, the Whirled's editorial board attacked Chris Medlock for failing to file an ethics report by Tuesday's deadline. In the same edition, the Whirled quotes Medlock as saying his campaign committee (Medlock for Council) didn't file a report because it had not received any contributions or made any expenditures by the end of the reporting period on June 30, but he would voluntarily disclose his campaign committee's activity to date on Friday.

The same editorial pointed to the massive amount of money raised by the pro-recall campaign as a sign of virtue and insulted supporters of Councilor Mautino:

One thing is clear. Poor Jim Mautino's supporters are stingy. He had to borrow $1,200 of the total of $3,109.52 in contributions he reported.

Well, Whirledlings, most Tulsans -- the ordinary folks whose interests have been ably represented by Jim Mautino -- don't have a lot of disposable income to put into a political campaign. What wealth we do have is tied up in retirement accounts and our homes -- homes that lose value when we have city officials and city trusts that are more interested in developing and improving the suburbs than helping the City of Tulsa prosper.

Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock have worked to bring new business and new development into their districts, within the city limits, to the benefit of the city's coffers. Chris was instrumental in helping land the massive Tulsa Hills retail development at 71st Street and U. S. 75, in the Tulsa city limits, but strategically located to draw customers (and sales tax dollars) from Jenks, Glenpool, and Sapulpa. Jim has worked to get water and sewer extended to unserved areas in his district that have been in the city limits for nearly 40 years, and he's been working to encourage retail development along I-44 in east Tulsa, Oklahoma's most travelled stretch of road. Jim and Chris simply believe we should put Tulsa first.

The contributors to the pro-recall campaign are more interested in developing Owasso and Bixby. Greg Simmons, head of Build PAC Issues, owns Simmons Homes, which is developing seven subdivisions in Owasso, five in Broken Arrow, six in Jenks, and none at all in Tulsa. Where do you think his interests are?

Here's an indication of what's driving the Home Builders Association's involvement in recall. Last year, 2004 was a record year for housing starts in the Tulsa metro area. Yes, even though the Tulsa City Council was controlled by a majority falsely accused of being anti-growth, and despite continued challenges in the local economy, there were more new homes started last year than any year in history. But 88% of those new starts were outside the city limits of Tulsa. (See February's HBA newsletter, in PDF format.) A healthy City of Tulsa doesn't help the bottom line of home builders who are building in the suburbs. In fact, they'd rather see the City decline, because it encourages people to buy their new homes in the suburbs.

I'm happy for these businesses to pursue profits, but voters need to understand that when these businesses give money to oust two good men like Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock, it's all about their profits, not about the best interests of Tulsans.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 7, 2005 11:53 PM.

Recall: Whirled comes clean about Lorton donation; dirty tricks in District 6 was the previous entry in this blog.

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