Nancy Rothman responds

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I didn't hear any complaints until six days after I added an update to my entry about the Republican Women's Club of Tulsa County and their decision to exclude opponents of the proposed Tulsa County sales tax increase for river projects from a luncheon at which that was the topic of discussion. That update was added the afternoon of September 7, following a phone call from County Commissioner Fred Perry, the person the head of the RWCTC had chosen to present the arguments for and against the tax. The update consisted of my summary of what Perry had told me about the rationale behind the format chosen by club president Nancy Rothman, followed by my reaction.

I was surprised that the one person who complained not only didn't agree that the RWCTC's decision to exclude the opposition was unfair but told me that my comments about that decision were "unfair and inappropriate." There were a few e-mails back and forth, and it became clear that we weren't going to see eye to eye on this.

The specific complaint was that my comparison of Nancy Rothman's decision to exclude the tax opponents for the sake of party harmony to the harmonious political discourse in the ruling party of North Korea was over the top. I meant to be over the top. In the words of Rush Limbaugh, I was trying to illustrate absurdity (promoting harmony by suppressing one side of the debate) by being absurd.

But I did wonder if perhaps I went too far. Nancy Rothman made a bad decision, but perhaps the decision was made from noble, if misguided, intentions.

Nancy Rothman sent out a press release today responding to what I wrote 13 days ago. Here it is in its entirety.

A Response to Michael Bates of Batesline.com
Press Release

THE FOLLOWING IS A RESPONSE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF RWCTC TO A BLOG POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 5TH:

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Republican Women of Tulsa County (RWCTC) presented a program on the Proposed River Plan/Tax at its monthly luncheon.

The purpose of this meeting was neither to provide an exclusive forum for either side of this issue nor to conduct a debate, but to put forth as much information as possible on the plan itself, since few have had the opportunity to read the proposal in its entirety. The presentation on the corridor plan was provided by a professional engineer who was involved from the inception of the project.

As a club, we have remained neutral on the issue; we are aware that our membership is divided, even if the party has already stated its position. The group also wanted to address some of the issues that have been brought forth by both the proponents and the opponents of the issue. This program was merely meant to educate our membership and guests, not to sway anyone one way or the other.

The RWCTC asked Commissioner Fred Perry to make the presentation, since he had not come forward in support or opposition of the issue, and because we believe him to be an honorable man who would, in fact, present all of the information in an educational rather than an editorial format - as he was asked to do.

Again, the intent of this meeting was not to make an argument either for or against the proposal, but to provide our membership and guests with as much complete and unbiased information on the details of the plan and on the arguments - both for and against - as possible. It is my belief that we succeeded in that endeavor.

In his online personal commentary (blog), posted Sept. 5, Michael Bates stated, "...Regarding the RWCTC event, Perry told me that Ms. Rothman is a professional mediator who feels that the Republican Party is too divided and contentious, so she didn't want to have a debate. I would think that, as a mediator, she would understand the importance of each side feeling that their concerns were fully aired and given a fair hearing. Perhaps her mediation sessions consist of her picking one side to argue both sides of a dispute.

"To be fair to Ms. Rothman," he continued, "there are political parties that do a much better job than Republicans of maintaining unity and harmony. For example, the Workers' Party of Korea presents a united front on every issue. You never hear a dissenting voice on any issue; if you do, you never hear from it again. Perhaps she has the WPK in mind as a model of the Republican Party's future."

Unfortunately, this attack by Mr. Bates is a perfect example of a few within the party who employ bullying tactics in an attempt to shut down open dialogue and instill fear in those who don't agree with them. Sadly, this is only one example of this type of conduct that has been occurring within the Tulsa County Republican Party for the past several years.

Mr. Bates is correct in that I am a mediator. I believe that mediation is a proven process that is beneficial in many areas where there is dispute. Mediation is not, however, beneficial when one side uses bullying tactics to instill fear, attempting to beat people into submission if those people do not conform to the bully's whims. The real message he is sending is, "Conform to me and my way of doing things, or I'll demonize you and destroy your life."

If the purpose of this intimidation is to put a chilling effect on future speakers, it will not work. As for myself and the Republican Women of Tulsa County, we will not bow down to this type of threat, intimidation or harassment.

It is interesting to note that at no time did Mr. Bates ever attempt to contact me to inquire about the program, nor did he attend the program.

The spirit of intimidation within this party in Tulsa County is a seed that is tearing the party apart. Its aim is to pit people against each other, and to destroy anyone who advocates for open and honest communication and dialogue. It not only promotes infighting within the party but drives good people away and fosters a lack of respect within the community. How can anyone expect to lead and govern in this manner? Furthermore, how can a city expect to thrive and grow when high reader ratings (such as the example displayed here) are built up by tearing people down?

This response is not intended to cause further division. The Tulsa County Republican Party is made up of a diverse group of people and there will always be differences within the party. These differences, however, are not so deep that we cannot find common ground to work and move forward together in unity.

Nancy Rothman,
President
Tulsa County Republican Women's Club

I started to write a point-by-point reply, and I will probably do that at some point, but for now, I think I'll just let Nancy's comments stand without comment from me and instead open the floor for your comments.

UPDATE (9/22/2007): B. J. Benbow, a Republican woman who received Rothman's press release, sent a reply to Rothman, and copied me on it. Here's Benbow's specific response to Rothman's accusations:

After reading your account of Mr. Bates' article I agree with him. You do not claim that he was not factual and that you really did want a DEBATE. You simply attacked him (might I say bully).

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7 Comments

Day Dreamer said:

Well, Michael Bates is to my knowledge rock-solid, rib-rocked Republican as you can get.

Ms. Rothman sounds like either a mid-town Elitist or mid-town Elitist Wannabee, who would in the Banana Republic of Tulsa be equally comfortable as a Democrat or a Republican as long as her cronies still control the strings of power.

It is a fact that Mr. Perry openly supported as quoted in our local-daily-miserable-excuse-for-a-newspaper for a VOTE on the Kaiser River Tax.

Having an open advocate of the Kaiser River Tax present a "dialogue" is about as one-sided as the North Korean People's Workers Party conferences in Pyongyang or YingYang or wherever the heck they bother to even have their Party Conferences.

Long Live the Chairman!

XonOFF said:

Intimidation???
Threats???

Attempts to shut down open dialog???

Bullying tactics???
Instilling fear???

Attempting to beat people into submission???

"Conform to me and my way of doing things, or I'll demonize you and destroy your life." ???

...where shall I start???

I almost forgave her for her position that Fred Perry might actually be able to give both sides of a proposal which he voted to bring to us. But, this backlash is more over the top than anything you stated about how they might compare to the WPK, and was a more accurate description of what was going to occur than what she now states about your tactics.

Shame on you Michael Bates, never, ever suggest free and open discourse.

David S. Author Profile Page said:

I bet Rev. Orta could use her

shadow6 said:

Sorry, Fred Perry's not neutral. He is one of the three votes on the county commission that decided to put us through this media blitz mess. Now we have to devote time, resources, and angst to opposing this unfair tax. It matter not that he is waffling now.

"Let the people decide" is a bogus statement. There is almost 300 million dollars on the table. The special interests are trying to decide for the people, with their media blitz. I knew, when I heard that Belvedere lady use that statement at the library that we would see a massive media campaign like Vision 2025.

I VOTED for Fred Perry in the hope that I would not have to worry about this kind of stuff. I have other things I want to do with my life than oppose this tax initiative, and listen to all those dammed ads.

At a public meeting at the south Tulsa Library, Fred Perry let an INCOG fellow anesthetize the crowd for about an hour, then say that due to limited time, public comments would only be 2 minutes, if you had signed up to speak. However, he called on UNELECTED people in the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce,TYPro, INCOG and others to pitch this plan. Dan Hicks got hostility and 2 minutes.

Fred Perry had an opportunity while he was commissioner-elect to jawbone the Bell's decision, and threaten to review the issue when he took office. Nada.


Sorry, I'm done with Fred Perry. The ONLY think that might save the guy is if he came out in opposition to the river tax, and worked energetically to kill it. And if he found a way to have the county crawl on their bellies to Bell's, begged their forgiveness, and offered them about 10 million to re-establish the park, and a 99 year dollar a year lease.

john Author Profile Page said:

Good thing this was for women only, I'd hate to see you try and make a point only to get tased like some crazed Florida student.

webworm Author Profile Page said:

Let's face it....Nancy is a Susan Neal Wannabee, but lacks the guiles
that have brought Ms Neal to where she is today: A Republican In Name Only (that's a RINO, for the unwashed out there), serving the Left Wing Bottom Feeders of the Taylor-Frame-Lobeck-Lorton
crowd......

Day Dreamer said:

Reading through Ms. Rothman's comments, she must be drinking the Mid-Town Elitist Tax-me-More Kool Aid, claiming she was one:

"who advocates for open and honest communication and dialogue".

Whew!

She invites a pair of partisan ADVOCATES for the Kaiser River Tax, invites NO ONE from the NO River Tax side, and has the temerity to call that "open and honest communications and dialogue".

Well, last year after the GOP resounding national defeat in the November 2006 election, Michael Bates weblogged that the root cause of the defeat were the Wheeler-Dealers who had supplanted the Square Dealers in the party leadership, those apparently like Mrs. Rothman who "talk the talk" of GOP Principles of Smaller Government/Less Taxes, but when the the money is talking, she doesn't "walk the walk".

Bring back Charlotte Harer, as Chairman of TCRWC, and retire Mrs. Rothman.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 20, 2007 7:39 PM.

John Piercey's Vision 2025 financial summary was the previous entry in this blog.

Is it for the children? Is it for the young professionals? is the next entry in this blog.

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