ORU really in for it now!

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The rumors are true. Oral Roberts University government professor Tim Brooker sent an e-mail from his university e-mail address, recruiting students to work for Randi Miller, the candidate for Tulsa mayor who has been endorsed by ORU president Richard Roberts. Steve Roemerman, himself a graduate of a Pentecostal-affiliated college, obtained and has posted a copy of Brooker's e-mail. What is striking is the tone of the e-mail. Brooker isn't telling the students about an opportunity to work for a candidate; he's challenging them to prove that ORU is a mighty political machine:

Our ORU reputation has been challenged!!! President Roberts has thrown his support behind Randi Miller for Mayor of Tulsa. The opposition has been quoted as saying that "ORU is a paper tiger" and "they can't deliver what's needed to win this race.". Well guess what, we need to show them just what we CAN deliver.

Am I misremembering, or didn't Roberts state that he was endorsing Miller in his capacity as a private individual only, and not as president of ORU?

And who's the "opposition" to ORU of whom Brooker speaks? TU? Valparaiso? IUPUI? Or does he mean that Bill LaFortune or Brigitte Harper or Chris Medlock is opposed to ORU in some way?

There's a fib here in his claim of opposition trash talk. Every one of the Republican candidates has immense respect for ORU as an institution and for the energy of the ORU students who volunteer for campaigns. I've worked alongside ORU student volunteers and have been very impressed. (These students had volunteered as individuals, not as part of some faculty-orchestrated mobilization.)

The e-mail goes on to direct volunteers not to the Miller campaign HQ off-campus, but to the ORU government department office to sign up to help.

There's no good reason for Brooker to goad his students into working for one particular candidate for mayor. Each campaign would provide students with useful grass-roots campaign experience. All of the Republican candidates are social conservatives, in line with traditional Judeo-Christian values. They all respect ORU's role in the community, and all three who have been elected officials have worked to help ORU with its city-related needs, like improvements on Fred Creek.

The only reason for Richard Roberts to throw his official weight behind one candidate is to try to establish himself as boss of a political machine. Somehow I don't think the little old ladies who sent in their seed-faith offerings to build ORU had that in mind.

I'd expect ORU to make Brooker the scapegoat in this matter, but I can't imagine that a professor would send that sort of e-mail without the approval and knowledge of his superiors.


I was going to point out that I was an Evangel grad in my post, but I could not fit in that bit of fact in a way that I liked. So I’m glad you pointed it out. I remember Evangel being a fairly political place. It has strong ties to the Ashcroft family, and the college Republicans are very active. When I was there, Evangel was very careful to not cross the line I believe that ORU crossed. They encouraged the students to be active, but never directed that action. None of us are saying that ORU should not encourage, we are only saying that they should not direct.

The issue at hand is the content and origin of the email. If this it had come from the president of the college republicans, or from another student, there wouldn’t be a problem.

Dan Paden said:

...I can't imagine that a professor would send that sort of e-mail without the approval and knowledge of his superiors.

Maybe not; then again, the professor may have just pulled a bone-headed stunt. Terrible situation for a person to be in: option "A" is to be considered a political stooge, and option "B" is to considered to have extremely poor judgment.

susan said:

I wonder if ORU still has dealings with St. Matthews churches and Ewing who masterminded some of the direct mail ORU has done in past years.

I imagine the teacher that sent that e-mail will be corrected. Why is Richard Roberts, the faculty member and some of the students already backing Randi Miller when she cannot even serve in a debate without having the questions in advance?

susan said:

I wonder what Tim Brooker and Richard Roberts (ORU) thinks about how FAIR the Mayor
debates are starting off now? In a previous Tulsa World Oklahoma poll showed Medlock was indeed a leading candidate and was ranked second and Miller ranked a lot less coming in 3rd. ORU Richard Roberts and Tim Brooker must not have had
their campaign strategy in full swing yet for Miller to have come in such a distant 3rd.

At least the Democratic contenders expressed sympathy to Medlock with McCorkell and Taylor expressing it is NOT a fair situation to all of the candidates. It is already FEBRUARY and the party primaries in the city's municipal elections are scheduled for March 7.

With a Tulsa Real Estate Coalition leadership showing that much unfairness, now people will have to wonder if Randi Miller
has the debate questions well in advance. That should be the very first question in the next Mayoral debate.

The amount of campaign money raised should not hinder serious candidates like Medlock or anyone else that has had a favorable showing in the polls from being in the debate.

Let's look at the all time winner of this example
of how someone can win an election without even trying. I'll let people guess -- it involved two democrats running against each other. One spent heavily. The other candidate
did not. My point is MEDLOCK should be
included in ALL debates.

There are MANY EXCEPTIONAL people that should be
running for Mayor that would make a fantastic
next Mayor of Tulsa(like Michael Bates).

The Great Plains Airlines disaster included involvement from former Mayor Susan Savage (democrat). Don McCorkell (democrat) was also involved (go way back to 1996 and how the Bank of Oklahoma loan deal was written up -- BOK actually turned the loan deal down once but someone made the deal sweet enough for Bank of Oklahoma to see they could not lose at the cost to Tulsa citizens). Should Bank of Oklahoma have "naming rights" on a multi-million dollar arena Tulsa citizens are paying for with all that happened in the Great Plains Airlines financial mess? Tulsa World's investment in Great Plains? This is something that should not be overlooked in the debates since Tulsa citizens should not be expected to pick up the expense of Bank of Oklahoma loan deals going sour or any other deals that involve the same financial tactics as was used in Great Plains Airlines.

The South Tulsa bridge is another issue that should be discussed in the debates. What deals are being made and at what cost to Tulsa

St. Matthews Churches has the same address as
attorney J.C. Joyce. Maybe he bought all those
mailing lists from his "clients" and "former clients". Why else would a Tulsa "attorney" have all of the "church" donations from St. Matthews Churches being sent to his 515 South Main, Tulsa office? That's just another example of the shades of GREED that could be going on in Tulsa that need to come to light.

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

At the height of the 2004 elections, my pastor did a very wise thing. Just as he was going to make an endorsement from the pulpit, he went completely silent and changed the subject. I believe it was a very difficult thing for him to do, and he did it anyway.

We go to our religious leaders for spritual guidance, not for political advice. Best advice if you are a religious leader: Be wise, don't do it. One of the problems is, you can't take an endorsement like that back. If a candidate gets involved in some sort of political scandal what does the religious leader/endorser do?

Anon ORU student said:

I'm a current student at ORU, and am actually in Dr. Brookers American Government class. The way that he's explained his actions to the students is that he wants ORU to become a strong politican force. If I might paraphrase, Brooker says that he is sick and tired of pastors being afraid to get involved with political issues, and that he believes it is time for Christians to have a voice in the government again. So Brookers views are far from unclear here at the University. As to whether or not he has President Roberts approval, he frequently speaks as if he does. In fact last week Brooker told us about how President Roberts put together a meeting of many of the prominent pastors in American, and had Dr. Brooker speak to them on how they need to be actively invovled in politics. I can't say where this new President Roberts came from, but I can say that its definitely a change from having Mayor LaFortune speak in our chapel services last year.

The student who posted this provided his name and e-mail address, but to protect his anonymity, I've deleted them.

susan said:

Speaking of seed-faith offerings to build ORU,
I remember watching an ORU t.v. show with Richard and Lindsey raising money for ORU's Gabrielle Salem
residence and Harry and Cheryl (parents of Gabrielle) pledged $2 million. Wow if they pledged $2 million, you can imagine how much they must make in their ministry! I personally have never met a minister that makes even one million dollars in salary for all their hard work that pastors a church, but Harry Salem must have learned a lot from Oral Roberts how to make money in

Talking of money, I would really like for all the candidates that debate that want to be our next Tulsa Mayor
when they talk about how much things cost to be
specific if they were voted in as Mayor how they plan to pay for each improvement in Tulsa on their Mayor agenda and the cost to Tulsa taxpayers.

susan said:

I have worked for a private Christian educational
large school. The person I worked for was the top person of the school. I was his personal assistant. He was also a Col. in the Army and he flew special top secret missions still when I worked for him. We often had very important top people call our office. He served two tours in Vietnam. Everyone under his command was either a Christian or became a Christian except one soldier. The soldier that was not a Christian was an atheist. He was the only one that got shot and later died by the enemy.
I have also graduated from a public high school and a private Christian university in a different state.
When I graduated from a private Christian university, a very popular Washington Senator hired quite a few of the graduates. He was a Christian Senator and a very popular one in the state he represented. It would not matter if anyone tried to run against him, because they would lose because this Senator stood for good.

Oral and Richard Roberts as private citizens must be concerned for our future with the people in office not just in Oklahoma but for all of the people that represent us in Washington. Television viewing has gotten raunchy even on normal channels. Sometimes you can have an decent show on the cable channels then the commercials come on and you have to wonder how in the world it passed regulations with such vulgar allowed. Movies have continued to slide into even PG-13 with inappropriate words and actions. Slowly people have let their guard down. No one is taking a stand for the good moral values. Little children as young as first grade curse and use vulgar language. They hear it on television, they hear it from their parents. Dumbing down is what foreign nations that have turned their back on God want. If you have travelled to Europe, its not uncommon to see nudity on their t.v. channels or really inappropriate acts or language. Everyday on most television channels, God's name is taken in vain. Will and Grace has a script to make a mockery of the crucifix in an April showing which we hope will not air on NBC. The morals of America are continuing to slide downward.

God has blessed America. One nation under God.
Will anyone stand up for be counted for? Do we need the Ten Commandments and should we allow the removal of the Ten Commandments if it suddenly offends someone or certain people after all these years on federal property?

President Clinton was in office for 8 years and even though he never served in the military and tried his very best to avoid the draft on purpose, Bill Clinton still thinks of himself as a Christian. He had sexual affairs most of his married life, he lied to the WORLD on television, yet with the decay of decency in Ameria, many will not see the harm in what he has done. If he will lie to his own wife, lie to the American public, you can imagine all the other things he had going on that were wrong.

We have corporations that have employees spending time on the internet looking at porno.
We have countless unethical officers and supervisors in companies around the U.S. that have been stealing and lying about contracts and lying about other employees and only some of them have gotten convicted. Never in my wildest dreams would I realize a brand new general manager at an important company in Broken Arrow would be allow conflicts of interest, bias, lying and unethical behavior to hurt another employee but it happened and the General Manager is still employed. His final words to the innocent superior employee that was a Key Employee was something you could only hear from a non-christian that had no conscience. The General Manager's boss never bothered to seek facts or seek to be educated and that's how the General Manger got away with how badly he treated the superior employee. It happens here in Oklahoma and it happens in other states in the U.S.
Richard Roberts should want the student body of ORU to understand who they are voting for and what issues are important. MEDLOCK should be included in debates as well as other serious candidates that want to run for political office.

Mayor LaFortune I am sure is a very good man, but his time in office has been full of problems with the Tulsa City Council, the ARENA project that will cost Tulsa taxpayers millions, the South Tulsa bridge with many questions still to be answered, allowing BOK to swing a deal for "naming rights"
with the Bank of Oklahoma Great Plains Airlines and other financial dealings in question. Randi
Miller -- does it seem she changes her mind a lot on issues?
Maybe she has to have someone else give her answers on the issues she is trying to have a voice in her current position. Let the debates answer some questions, but be fair to Medlock and others.

The students in all of the universities and colleges need to be educated from each candidate and know why that will be voting for the candidate they chose.

Going back to when I worked for a private Christian school and for the Col., it was overwhelming how many families moved to that city just to put their children in our school.
We had several millionaires that heard of the leadership and moved their businesses and families just to have their children exposed to
good moral leadership and a good Christian

Dr. Brookers should be corrected on how he is going about it, but I do understand how Richard Roberts should be concerned that the students of ORU should make a voice for God in putting Christians in political offices in Oklahoma and in Washington.

manasclerk Author Profile Page said:

As the graduate of a TU (Trinity) and married to an ex-professor of Valparaiso (both having church-sponsored chapels on campus, the former with the Presbyterian Churches in America and the latter with the Missouri Synod), it's not hard to imagine church-affiliated colleges pushing a single candidate. They certainly often take political positions.

But I can't imagine the same thing happening at Valpo or Trinity. Or even at Wheaton.

Although I could see a similar letter going out to faculty of Calvin.

Peter said:

For the sake of accurate information, it should be understood that the email Dr. Brooker sent was not to a random collection of students or to the entire student body. The email was sent to a mailing list composed of students wanting opportunities to get involved.

It helps to keep things in perspective before making judgements on unclear situations; Bates, I think you need to mention that you only published half the story.

As for "opposition," it is true that Medlock has not opposed statements made from his camp--on air--calling ORU a "paper tiger." For ORU to respond by asking students to support Medlock's opposition isn't ridiculous at all; they feel challenged and they're answering.

(The previous comment was posted by Peter J. Jackson, from an ORU IP address.)

Mr. Jackson, I published all the story I had. I have no way of determining the nature of the collection represented by the many, many e-mail addresses on that list. Recall that I personally asked Prof. Brooker to send me a copy of the e-mail over two weeks ago. He could have sent the e-mail, along with any explanation he wished to provide about who received it, and I would have published his statement in full. He hasn't done so.

Your explanation of the list of recipients doesn't change the problem -- Prof. Brooker used the computer network facilities of a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable institution to recruit volunteers for a political candidate. He further put ORU resources at the disposal of the Miller campaign by directing volunteers to sign up at the ORU Government Department office.

I find it interesting that you write, "For ORU to respond by asking students...." It implies that Prof. Brooker was speaking on behalf of the university in issuing his challenge.

There would have been nothing wrong with sending an e-mail that said, "There are opportunities to volunteer with a large number of campaigns. Here's the contact information for each campaign." That would have served the purpose of connecting students with field work opportunities, without entangling a 501(c)(3) charitable institution in a political campaign.

One more thing: Who in Medlock's "camp" called ORU a "paper tiger"?

And by the way, I'm sure you didn't mean to be rude, but where I come from, using a person's last name in the vocative case, as you used mine, is considered rude, the verbal equivalent of a shove. Thought you should know.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 2, 2006 7:13 PM.

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