Medlock excluded from real estate mayoral forum

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The Tulsa Real Estate Coalition (TREC), a collection of metro-area real estate and development special interest groups, including several that funded the recall effort against Chris Medlock and Jim Mautino, are holding a mayoral candidate forum Monday night at the Southern Hills Marriott hotel. They've invited LaFortune, Miller, McCorkell, and Taylor, but have excluded Medlock, even though he had four times the support of Miller in the last public opinion poll. Brian Hunt, chairman of TREC, was quoted in Friday's Tulsa Whirled as saying, "There are 12 people in the mayoral race, and our leadership decided there was only time to hear from those who could receive an endorsement," coalition Chairman Brian Hunt said.

I think that quote contains a Freudian slip. The official line is that Medlock is not "a leading candidate," but the polls belie that, and to his credit, the Whirled's Brian Barber mentioned their poll showing Medlock well ahead of Miller. The statement above reveals the real issue -- TREC wouldn't give Medlock their endorsement even if he were the prohibitive front runner.

Some members of TREC don't like Medlock because he believes in putting Tulsa's interests first, encouraging new development and redevelopment within the city limits of Tulsa, rather than using the City of Tulsa's resources to accelerate growth in the suburbs. (Note that that doesn't mean Medlock wants to or thinks he can stop growth in the suburbs. It means he wants to apply Tulsa's resources to Tulsa's interests first.) The developers that control the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa are heavily invested in the suburbs and don't want Tulsa to be run by leaders who put Tulsa first.

By way of response, the Medlock campaign is going to hold a rally across the street while the forum is underway:

The TULSA REAL ESTATE COALITION didn't invite Chris to participate in its Mayoral Candidate Forum to be held on Monday, Feb. 6th. So we're going to hold a rally ACROSS THE STREET! Come help us give the Real Estate Coalition a 'reality check.'

Where: 2352 E. 71st Street (Block west of 71st & Lewis)

When: Monday, Feb. 6th from 5 PM to 6:30 PM.

Bring a positive attitude and let's have some fun showing these folks who the "front runner" really is!

On a personal note, I'm disappointed to see Brian Hunt involved in this. I first met him when he and his wife lived in the Lewiston Gardens neighborhood in midtown. If memory serves me correctly, they were supporters of Anna Falling, an early reform-minded councilor who was trashed by the good ol' boy network. Time changes everything.

I tried to call Brian on Friday, when I learned of the news, and I left a message. He hasn't called back. I wanted to ask him some questions for a column I will be writing about this:

  1. How was this decision reached? What individuals constitute the leadership that made this decision?
  2. What specific votes or actions disqualify Medlock from receiving TREC's endorsement?
  3. Does TREC have a platform or a statement of legislative goals with regard to City of Tulsa policy?
  4. Is the debate open to the public? To the press? To all members of the organizations that participate in TREC?
  5. Have the candidates received questions in advance? If so, what are they?
  6. Who will decide on the endorsement?

There's a discussion about TREC's snub over on the TulsaNow forum. Someone wrote, "The group knew that they weren't going to endorse Medlock because of his history of attacks on developers, so why bother to invite him to a meeting about who they were going to endorse?" I responded with a challenge:

History of attacks on developers? Name even one. I realize your characterization is considered the conventional wisdom, but there's no substance to it.

Too many good people -- Bonnie Henke and Betsy Horowitz are a couple of good examples -- have been smeared as anti-growth and anti-development when all they were after is a consistent application of the rules, and some serious thought about whether the current set of rules and plans best meet our city's needs.

It's a sign of the intellectual bankruptcy of Tulsa's old guard that the best argument they can muster is to shriek "Anti-growth! Anti-developer! Ward politics! Naysayer!" like some deranged mynah bird. This move [TREC's action] is another example of their approach to public discourse -- stick your fingers in your ears.

The rally would be a great way to remind the TRECkies that Tulsa wants a Mayor who puts Tulsa first, a Mayor for all of Tulsa.

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The Tulsa Real Estate Coalition didn't invite Chris Medlock to participate in its Mayoral Candidate Forum to be held on Monday, Feb. 6th. So the Medlock camp is going to hold a rally across the street! The Medlock camp is... Read More




Mike said:

I will be there, with my Medlock for Mayor sticker on my lapel. I, too consider Brian Hunt to be a friend. I also called him Friday, and he actually returned my call, but we never hooked up. I will try again tomorrow.

The official line is that Medlock is not "a leading candidate," but the polls belie that

where are these polls of which you speak?

The Tulsa Whirled has run two mayoral polls through Their October poll had LaFortune at 39%, Medlock at 13%, Miller at 5%, and Bill Christiansen at 5%. Their December poll put LaFortune at 43.8%, Medlock at 16%, Miller at 4.2% -- the Whirled cited those numbers in Friday's story. Those are the only publicly-released poll results to date. If you're going to exclude Medlock from a forum based on poll numbers, you'd have to exclude Miller as well.

susan said:

LaFortune signs are everywhere! If there are spacing and placement rules from the election board, the LaFortune signs may be placed against the rules. If it was mowing season, the signs are placed where city mowers cut grass.

susan said:

It will be interesting how the Tulsa World newspaper will handle the publicity for Kathy Taylor. Obviously, the Lorton's are personal friends of Kathy serving in connections with the boards of the Univ. of Tulsa and MANY social connections.

It's also interesting how the private release of Chris MEDLOCK'S UNIVERSITY OF TULSA transcript got into the hands of the Tulsa World and how the Tulsa World somehow learned:) with Mr. and Mrs. Lorton just happening to also be on the Board of Trustees of T.U. that Chris Medlock was a class credit short of completing his master's degree from T.U. Tulsa Community College had a problem with "transcript tampering" and that student(s) was convicted.
Did the Tulsa World ever say who their "source" was for printing Chris Medlock did not graduate with a master's degree?

Kathy Taylor has many social connections with the Univ. of Oklahoma ( she probably helped with her social connections David Boren get president of the Univ. of Oklahoma -- yes he definitely wanted that job and has done a good job getting a lot of wealthy donors to contribute to the university).
However, many Tulsans have no clue who Kathy Taylor is or why she thinks she could handle being the next Mayor of Tulsa.
Steve Largent could have received a campaign donation from Kathy Taylor because of Steve Largent's Washington connection. Steve just happened to eventually get a very lucrative job in Washington, DC after losing to Brad Henry.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 5, 2006 12:46 PM.

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