Copycat Christiansen?

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At Thursday's City Council meeting, District 8 City Councilor Bill Christiansen read a proposed resolution concerning the south Tulsa toll bridge. The resolution outlined a compromise position that would allow a bridge to be built, but not under the current arrangement between Tulsa County and Infrastructure Ventures, Inc. (IVI).

It sounded very familiar to me. That's probably because it was nearly identical to a plan that Cliff Magee, Christiansen's opponent in the Republican primary, put forward on January 23. Dave Schuttler linked to it on Our Tulsa World at 4:41 that afternoon. The Tulsa Beacon featured a story about Magee's plan in this week's issue, which went to press on Tuesday. Christiansen's plan first saw the light of day on Thursday's Council agenda.

It's an annoying reality in politics -- you can put forward a great idea, and your opponent can rip it off and claim it for his own. If your opponent has the support of the local power structure, he may even get away with it.

Magee's plan is better than Christiansen's copy in one important respect. Both plans involve setting up a public trust, but Magee would have the City of Tulsa as the only beneficiary of the trust, while Christiansen would include the county and other municipalities.

I am hoping that south Tulsa voters who are concerned about the bridge are also concerned about the bigger political picture that makes deals like IVI's possible, that they won't settle for someone who backs them on their pet issue, but will support candidates who will work with other reformers for positive change at City Hall.


Bob said:

In his political career, Bill Christiansen has done more waffling than Waffle House or IHOP.

Likewise, I too read the link provided by Dave Schuttler at Weblog Our Tulsa World several days before Christiansen mis-appropriated Cliff Magee's new idea to give everyone a Win-Win on the South Tulsa Bridge project.

Tulsa needs some new leadership, both in the Mayor's Office, and on our City Council.

Magee is one of those leaders making some sense.

Mr. Bates and the author of the other comment should go to for the whole truth.

Bob said:

The Tulsa County-Infrastructure Ventures Inc. Toll Bridge deal is symptomatic of the many problems in our local government bodies. Politicians trading favors to benefit their political benefactors is nothing new. However, the brazenness of their thievery of the public purse is breathtaking in its latest audacity.

The IVI deal is a bad deal for the public. It is being promoted by Commissioner Bob Dick to favor his long-time close buddies, whose political career they carefully shaped and promoted using their money, and with the willing connivance of our monopoly local propaganda organ, the Lorton's World.

Likewise, Councilor Christiansen has aspirations for higher office, using the influence of our local political Svengali, Jim Burdge. Christiansen reportedly wants to be on the County Commission, when Mr. Dick or Ms. Miller leave office.

The City Council is a mere stepping stone for his ambitions.

Joseph Wallis said:

Well, I read that page and I really think we are splitting hairs here. The idea was Covey's first. However, Magee was the first to add it to his campaign platform. I view it as effective political manuevering. I think it goes back to the first comment about Christiansen waffling. If he felt so passionate on that stance, he shoud have added it publicly to his campaign platform sooner. In fact, his Tulsa World comments were luke warm at best. he just said Covey's plan should be considered. Then in the next sentence he stated he wants the alignment changed. No where in there did he say "I support Covey plan" waffle waffle.

I have the displeasure of Christiansen serving my district, and due to his complete lack of follow up on my neighborhood issues, I will be doing all I can to make sure he doesnt see another term.

Joey Author Profile Page said:

Michael Covey writes at

"Michael, Mr. Magee's claims are simply without merit. Councilor Christiansen has been working with STCC on the Resolution for over a month. STCC fully supports the language of the Resolution and STCC fully supports Councilor Christiansen's efforts regarding the Resolution."

There are more details there about how Mr. Magee is the one that "copied" ideas about the bridge.

Neither "side" has a monopoly on good ideas.

Bob said:

Mr. Covey is a Christiansen supporter. And, it's the Political Season. Period.

Mr. Magee's website under the Press Releases and Issues links gives full attribution to Mr. Covey's thinking on the Bridge alternatives.

The Private Toll Bridge proposal fronted by Commissioner Bob Dick is a symptom of far deeper problems in our local Government, long ruled by a small power elite and their connected clique of contractor, builder/developer and realtor cronies.

Looking at the Bridge from a higher altitude, what you find that the STCC ran right smack into is an intransigent, opaque power structure than runs roughshod over anyone that gets in their way of doing business.

Witness, too the distress of the Homeowners for Fair Zoning over the 71st and Harvard F&M Branch and office park dropped into Guier Woods residents very own back yards.

Or, the Tax-payer Rape, Ruin and Run gambit to fund Great Plains Airlines, brought to you courtesy of serial pep rallies crafted by their leading cheerleader - The Lorton's World. The Lorton's World was the largest equity owner of the airlines, a little fact that they just sort of overlooked mentioning until just days before the company's demise.

The #1 REASON for:

1) The Recall of Medlock and Mautino; and,
2) Buying off of Councilor Sam Roop with a $92K per year City job.
3) The proposal to gut the city council's (The Grass Roots Citizenry)influence by adding 3 At-Large councilors.

is to plain and simple eliminate an effective Check-and-Balance against the same group that's been running Tulsa for their personal financial benefit for the past 50 years.

And the local Rulers don't like it one little bit that some independent voices started asking a few too many questions starting with the Reform Alliance a.k.a. the Gang of Five minus 1.

That's it, simply stated.

Joey Author Profile Page said:

Simple, I guess. But it's getting hard to keep score:

Bad = intransigent, opaque power structure = Lorton = IVI ?= Christiansen

Good = Reform Alliance = STCC = Michael Covey ?= Christiansen

Let's get this straight: Covey was a good guy for being the voice of the STCC but now he's making a bad decision by supporting Christiansen? Christiansen is a bad guy for being controlled by "them" but now he's making a good decision by supporting the STCC? Sam Roop was a good guy when he followed Medlock but now he's a bad guy because he works for the Mayor?

If someone really is controlling everything that goes on in this city, I sure wish they'd do a better job keeping track of everyone!

Bob said:

STCC's SPOKESMAN is endorsing Christiansen. NOT the STCC itself.

While identification of group through its SPOKESMAN is natural, in your arithmetic equations,

STCC = Covey is not correct math.

Covey is a member and a Spokesman of STCC, but he's not the group. His outspoken support for a individual candidate probably wasn't the best move if he wants to be seen as an zealous advocate for the STCC's narrow interests.

It's natural that both Christiansen and his opponent Cliff Magee want to embrace the position of the STCC "Move That Bridge" campaign. STCC is a potential block of motivated voters.

Yet, your equation:

opaque power structure = Lorton = IVI ?= Christiansen is a mathematical PROOF. Here's how:

The Lorton World's represents 4 generations of Old Oil Money translated into control of the city's only mass-circulation daily newspaper. That's a significant forum for shaping and twisting public opinion through their serial half-truths and editorials mislabeled as news stories, The World deployed serial puff-piece "news" stories about how wonderful an "investment" Oklahoma and Tulsa taxpayers should make in Great Plains Airlines to give us "non-stop flights to the east and west coasts", all the while hiding the Lorton's World secret majority equity interest in Great Plains Airlines. Oops, forget to disclose that juicy little fact until just days before GPA crashed and burned.

Just another greedy, grasping local family trying to add another story or two to their Edifice of Wealth. That's what greedy, grasping people DO.

IVI is Parmele and Bacon, owners of Cinnabar. Through Cinnabar they are are allied with Tulsa County Commissioner Dirty Bob Dick, a central player in the Tulsa County Ring allied with Steve Alter/Matrix. Bob Dick's "dear" friends at Cinnabar feasted over $40 million from the tax-payers plate through the TIA Noise Abatement program. And, got the land acquisition contract for the current Tulsa County Jail, courtesy of Dirty Bob.

Christiansen took $1,000's from the board members of F&M Bank prior to his last campaign. The Lorton's have been principal shareholders of F&M. Follow-the-Money.

Christiansen voted both ways on the F&M 71st and Harvard re-zoning request. Against it, and then FOR the Rezoning when "threatened" with a lawsuit by the Lorton's attorneys. Mr. Waffle Milquetoast on Rye.

susan said:

Don McCorkell, Mayoral candidate(democrat).. his name is in the Tulsa World...Don McCorkell, and seven other former directors of the Great Plains Airlines (David Johnson, Steven Berlin, Tom Kimball, Tammie Maloney, Jeff Sullivan, Burt Holmes and John Knight. What a way to
start his race for next Mayor of Tulsa! Wonder what other deals he has made he has gotten in trouble over?

No statement about Tulsa World majority
interest in Great Plains Airlines in their news today.

I doubt we will see an editorial from Ken Neal on that one!

Bob said:

A couple of things about McCorkell interest me.

1) He had a career as a professional politician, then went into business, and apparently is now very rich. His credentials as a politician also show him unusually adept at spending OPM: Other People's Money.

For instance, his proud ownership of the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program legislation has resulted in the involuntary transfer of $100,000,000's of taxpayer money to companies in the form of Corporate Welfare, paying companies for hiring people that they were going to hire anyway. A REALLY dumb idea in good to fair economic times. Maybe a plausible idea in a deep recession or economic depression.

2) Yesterday's Lorton's World news article concerning the bankruptcy trustee's lawsuit against him as a director of Great Plains Airline
quotes him as having "invested $1 million, which I lost in the airline".

My recollection of Mr. Busby's report on GPA is that the shareholders invested approximately $1.5 million TOTAL, while the taxpayers "contributed" $40 million. It's possible his $1 million also included a side loan, but it's not recited in Busby's report.

3) His radio spots agitating to "help the poor little school children", which as Mayor he has absolutely no responsibility for and no authority over, will further endear him to the militant teachers union, and is probably intended to soften us up for another tax grab akin to to Oklahoma City's "MAPS for Kids" sales tax program. Maybe that will come from the $.004 that didn't bribe Boeing into coming to town.

4). His record also shows he was a sponsor of HB 1017, which rewarded the militant teachers union illegal walk-out with greatly increased tax funding of their failing schools.

All in all, a certified Tax Vampire.

Hang onto your purse if he gets elected Mayor.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 28, 2006 6:10 PM.

Oh, are you in for it now! was the previous entry in this blog.

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