Paying tribute to the Mayor

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I received a couple of interesting letters over the transom today.

Remember the million bucks or so Kathy Taylor spent on her own campaign for Mayor? Turns out she didn't contribute to her own campaign. Instead, she lent money to her own campaign, and she and a friend are sending out letters asking Tulsans to help pay her back.

Several people who supported one of Taylor's opponents received a letter from Joseph L. "Jody" Parker, Jr., Taylor's campaign chairman. That link will take you to a PDF image of the letter; here's the text:

FROM THE DESK OF JOSEPH L. PARKER JR.

May 18, 2006

Dear _______

First let me thank you for your commitment to Tulsa and its future. You are one of a handful of people who make financial commitments to candidates for public office. Without your support our system would surely falter.

I would like to ask you to consider making a contribution to Mayor Taylor's campaign fund. As her campaign chairman I am responsible for reducing the deficit in her campaign account which arose because of her sizeable loan to the campaign.

Kathy will serve our community steadfastly and is already working tirelessly to improve Tulsa. She believes deeply in Tulsa's potential. It is my hope that she will not have to focus on campaign funds and be distracted from important city business.

I would like to thank you in advance for considering a contribution to the Taylor for Tulsa campaign. The citizens of Tulsa owe you a debt of gratitude for your efforts on behalf of their city. Any amount you could send would be greatly appreciated.

Warm regards,
(signed)
Joseph L. Parker, Jr.

This letter from Taylor herself, on campaign letterhead, was received by someone who supported her campaign:

May 22, 2006

Dear ______

I truly cannot thank you enough for your past support.

It is a privilege and honor to have become the 38th Mayor ofTulsa. From the beginning of this campaign, we shared a common vision to Make Life Better. I deeply believe in the potential of this city. I believe in our hard working city employees, our neighborhoods, our schools, and our citizens. I look forward to bringing fresh leadership to City Hall.

A LITTLE MORE HELP

As you clearly know, this past race was fast and furious. Your past support allowed me to have the proper resources to win this most important race. As with many campaigns, we still have a few loose ends to tighten up. I know it's a lot to ask, but I'm asking you to consider sending another contribution so we can finish this cycle and start working on the true needs of the city. I realize that I am asking a great deal. Please consider matching your previous donation or any amount you can send would be greatly appreciated.

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

These past few months have been extremely exciting. We have made historic gains here Tulsa. [sic] The stakes had never been higher and we did a fantastic job. Again, I want to thank you for your friendship and support over these past few months, it means so much to me to know I can count on you.

With sincere thanks,
(signed)
Kathy Taylor


Gotta love how she capitalizes "Make Life Better" -- I'm surprised she didn't put a ™ next to it.

From these letters I gather that Kathy Taylor is the only creditor to the Taylor for Tulsa campaign. If so, that means that any amount contributed to Taylor for Tulsa will wind up in Taylor's personal bank account.

Something else that seems funny: Parker suggests that Taylor will be distracted from her mayoral duties if she can't raise the money. And Taylor herself seeems to say that she can't start working on the "true needs of the city" until she's been paid back for her loan to the campaign. It's hard to imagine that someone with a $25 million house and a multi-million waterfront house in Florida would be worried about getting back a million. Is she not as well off as she seems? Is she worried she won't be able to fill the Lear Jet's fuel tanks? Maybe she should reconsider not taking her salary.

In any event, there's something to be said for contributing to someone who's already won the election -- no worries that your contributions will go for naught. In fact, a post-election contribution could open some doors, in accordance with a principle she articulated during the campaign to the local bilingual weekly La Semana del Sur:

Taylor did not shy away from questions regarding her donations to Republicans, saying, "There are times, both in business and in politics, when you need a seat at the table," describing her contributions to members of the opposing party as a method of facilitating dialogue rather than an indication of ideological support.

So there you have it, Tulsans. You can Make Life Better™ for yourselves. If you were so foolish as to support one of Taylor's opponents, you now have the opportunity to make amends, to "facilitate dialogue" and acquire "a seat at the table," while relieving the Mayor of distracting financial anxiety.

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Michael Bates has an interesting article on Mayor Kathy Taylor's post-campaign attempts to recoup the personal funds she loaned to her campaign committee. It seems that the Mayor, now that she is in a position to do favors, is asking... Read More

11 Comments

Dan Paden said:

Boy, if that don't just beat all...

jimmie said:

How can you raise money for an election that has already occurred?

Paul Tay said:

I am gonna contribute 200.01 clams, just to go public. Where do I send da dough? I need some access, pronto. I got a really good deal on a whole load of cop bikes from some Third World country I need to unload, quick. They need inner tubes. But, hey, no problem. We can take care of da details later. I hope nobody's lookin'.

Twatch said:

Tribute, Tribute to whom do I pay Tribute.

Hail to Queen Taylor.

I wonder if $50 Grand would get you a night in the Taylor Mansion. Nah, I feel like throwing a Tea Party would be more appropriate.

Bob said:

Contractors, vendors and other purveyors to the city government will find her funds plea mighty irresistible. Especially those that can recoup all of their contributions to her campaign in just ONE of the ubiquitous and OFTEN-USED Change Orders.

Let's see how that might work.

--Contribute $5,000 to help retire her campaign debt.

--Then, get one little change order approved for $10K on your little $100K city contract. You've cleared $5K, even after the $5K contribution to the Taylor-for-Mayor campaign chest.

Could that be how it REALLY works?

redbaron said:

This is a fantastic idea. Man if only I had thought of it first.

Let's see if I can get this right.

This would be like me lending myself money to pay for a new computer. Then I call CompUSA, where I bought the computer, and ask them to pay me back? Otherwise I will stress over my new hobby of computers unless I get the money back that was originally mine?

Wow.

Bob said:

The U.S. Justice Dept. calls it "Pay-to-Play".

For a $5K investment in the retirement fund for the Mayor's campaign "debt", the player recoups $10K from the ubiquitous CHANGE ORDER granted by the city public works dept. minions under her domination, and clears another $5K for their trouble.

NICE swindle. Happens all the time. It's also called "clean" graft. Hard to prove.

That is why above all, CHARACTER counts in our public officials.

susan said:

Replay Kathy Taylor's campaign ads that were on television......
about Tulsa needing a mayor that has good business skills ....Tulsa needing a CEO.

Then replay LaFortune comments as though Mayor
LaFortune knew EXACTLY WHAT SHE WAS UP TO AND THAT SHE WOULD BE DOING THIS TOO....

She spent all that money to only win by just a few points.

sbtulsa said:

not sure whether i'm more nauseated by the attempt to continue campaign fund raising after the election is over or the initial act of putting one million dollars plus of personal funds in to a campaign that used to cost less than $100,000 (pre lafortune).

take taylors salary from the state (secy of commerce) and combine it with her salary her second hubby paid her at the rental car company. add them all up and and see how long it would take her to earn that mill plus for the campaign if she had no living expenses. she used hubby's money for the campaign. i'd rather have a mayor who earned his/her campaign money by direct donations. taylor did not. she married in to a windfall.

i don't respect her.

John Coman said:

Sometimes I wonder if the voters of Oklahoma and Tulsa don't get exactly what they deserve. I'm going to start campaining for a benevolant dictatorship. At least we wouldn't have to blame ourselves.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 24, 2006 4:21 PM.

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