A lengthy mayoral survey -- on behalf of Bill Christiansen?

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A survey firm called me yesterday evening. It was a very lengthy survey about the upcoming Republican primary for Mayor of Tulsa, and it seems likely that it was on behalf of Tulsa City Councilor Bill Christiansen's campaign for Mayor, as there were many specific questions about him, his record, and his background, but none for any other candidate.

The phone number was 304-250-3311. The agent had a slight Hispanic accent and asked for me by name. She identified herself as being with Promark Research.

There were several interesting aspects to the survey:

Susan Neal, former District 9 City Councilor and current aide to Kathy Taylor, was included in the list of options for voting in the primary.

I was asked if I approved or disapproved of the City Council as a body. This is a misguided question: The Council isn't monolithic. I generally approve of the performance of some councilors but not of others, but that response wasn't an option.

Several questions had a long list of options, from which you could pick only one. Asking to rank importance of each option probably would have produced more useful data.

"Protect property rights against zoning laws" was one of the option for "most important issue facing Tulsa." I've got to think this was garbled in translation.

The end of the survey was a combination push-poll and sensitivity test. After an initial ballot question (who would you vote for in the Republican primary for Mayor?), a series of 10 questions were read, all of which began with "If you knew that" and ended with "would that make you more or less likely to vote for Bill Christiansen?" This series was followed by another ballot question -- a way to see if any of the statements moved one's vote.

There were several items in that list that caught my attention, specifically:

b. If you knew that as a City Councilor Bill Christiansen voted against raising the assessment on property owners to finance a downtown ballpark...

Christiansen actually voted for establishing the district and the assessment back in July 2008. He voted against the assessment roll last month. See Steven Roemerman's comments on Christiansen's ballpark votes:

e. If you knew that Bill Christiansen was strongly supported by the Tulsa Firefighters Association and the Tulsa Police Officers Association...

I asked the agent whether these endorsements had been publicly announced and was told "yes." Christiansen isn't even in the race, no such endorsements have been made, and there's no such thing as the Tulsa Police Officers Association.

f. If you knew that Bill Christiansen led the fight to stop construction of the South Tulsa toll bridge which would have increased traffic on Yale and ruined a neighborhood...

It would be fairer to say that the South Tulsa Citizens' Coalition led that fight.

h. If you knew that Bill Christiansen supported a plan to require City Councilors to take unpaid days off in solidarity with city workers who are required to take eight unpaid days of furlough...

Has he actually announced this? Or is he poll-testing something he may announce, if it polls well enough?

These last two items don't exactly shine with conviction and leadership:

i. If you knew that Bill Christiansen supported Mayor Kathy Taylor's $451 million tax increase to fix our city streets...

j. If you knew that Bill Christiansen did not vote for Kathy Taylor's increase of property taxes and sales taxes; all he did was support sending the measure to the voters of Tulsa...

MORE: Tulsa resident Mike Ball writes a letter to the daily paper about the editorial condemning Bill Martinson's budget alternative:

I just read your Saturday [June 20] editorial entitled "Nuts!" and was disappointed. You seem to have the same dismal understanding of finance exhibited by Bill Christiansen when he gets that, "...help! Space aliens have stolen my brain, and I don't know what I'm going to say next" look. What part of the presentation didn't you understand?

(You can view Martinson's presentation and his rebuttal to the FOP president on Councilor John Eagleton's website.)

Continue reading to see the full list of questions. Numbering is my own. Consider all of this a paraphrase, as I could only take notes so fast.

1. How likely are you to vote in the September Republican primary for mayor? Extremely likely, very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely?

2. On a scale of 0 (not very) to 10 (very), how interested are you the election for mayor.

3. Right direction / wrong track (somewhat or strongly)?

4. Approve or disapprove of Kathy Taylor (somewhat or strongly)?

5. Approve or disapprove of the City Council (somewhat or strongly)?

6. Most important issue for Tulsa

  • Control illegal immigration
  • Strengthen economy and protect jobs
  • Protect property rights against zoning laws
  • Develop the river
  • Keep local taxes down
  • Revitalize downtown
  • Improve public education
  • Fight crime and improve public safety
  • Controlling city government spending

7. Tulsa's economy

  • Strong and growing
  • In recovery
  • Growing but not strongly enough
  • Slightly on the downside
  • Approaching recession
  • In recession

[Agent states that Kathy Taylor isn't running for re-election.]

8. What is the most important quality that the next mayor should have?

  • Fiscal conservative
  • Experience in city government
  • Social conservative
  • Consensus builder / problem solver
  • Fighter for what's right
  • Vision and strong leadership skills
  • Influential and well-connected
  • National advocate for Tulsa
  • Real-world business experience
  • Proven record of getting things done

9. Which statement comes closer to your opinion?

A. More important to have a mayor that is not currently on the city council -- need new blood, outside perspective
B. More important to have a mayor that has legislative experience on the city council

10. Which candidate comes closest to your opinion?

Candidate A thinks the next mayor should focus on making Tulsa a world class city, developing initiatives and projects to improve the quality of life and make Tulsa a great city for the future.

Candidate B thinks the next mayor should focus on getting Tulsa through these difficult economic times making sure that city government runs effectively and proved quality services without wasting or misspending taxpayer dollars.

11. [For each of the following possible candidates:] Have you heard of this person? Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion? Somewhat or strongly?

  • Chris Medlock
  • Susan Neal
  • Dewey Bartlett Jr.
  • Clay Clark
  • Tom Adelson
  • Bill Christiansen

12. For what single reason do you have an unfavorable impression of Bill Christiansen?

13. Do you consider Bill Christiansen to be a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative?

14. If the Republican primary election were to be held today, for whom would you vote in the following list?

  • Susan Neal
  • Chris Medlock
  • Dewey Bartlett Jr.
  • Bill Christiansen
  • Clay Clark

15. If for some reason your first choice was not on the ballot, which candidate would receive your vote?

[Agent read the same list, minus the answer to question 14.]

16. Have you heard about a controversy regarding Bill Christiansen's dealings with the Tulsa Airport Authority?

17. Has what you heard caused you to have a more or less favorable opinion of Bill Christiansen?

18. Going to read a series of statements about Bill Christiansen's character or a position he's taken on an issue.

[Each statement was followed by "would you be more likely or less likely to vote for Bill Christiansen, followed by a "strongly or somewhat" question. You could say "no difference" but the option wasn't offered by the agent.]

a. If you knew that Bill Christiansen has served for the past seven years on the Tulsa City Council...

b. If you knew that as a City Councilor Bill Christiansen voted against raising the assessment on property owners to finance a downtown ballpark...

[I told the agent that this statement was untrue.]

c. If you knew that Bill Christiansen was strongly committed to strengthening public education and that his wife has been a public school teacher for [X] years...

d. If you knew that Bill Christiansen was a small business owner with 30 employees who knows first hand the challenges faced by small business...

e. If you knew that Bill Christiansen was strongly supported by the Tulsa Firefighters Association and the Tulsa Police Officers Association...

[I asked the agent whether these endorsements had been publicly announced and was told "yes."]

f. If you knew that Bill Christiansen led the fight to stop construction of the South Tulsa toll bridge which would have increased traffic on Yale and ruined a neighborhood...

g. If you knew that Bill Christiansen served for six years in the Marine Corps Reserves...

h. If you knew that Bill Christiansen supported a plan to require City Councilors to take unpaid days off in solidarity with city workers who are required to take eight unpaid days of furlough...

i. If you knew that Bill Christiansen supported Mayor Kathy Taylor's $451 million tax increase to fix our city streets...

j. If you knew that Bill Christiansen did not vote for Kathy Taylor's increase of property taxes and sales taxes; all he did was support sending the measure to the voters of Tulsa...

19. If the election were held today....

  • Chris Medlock
  • Susan Neal
  • Dewey Bartlett Jr.
  • Bill Christiansen
  • Clay Clark

Demographic questions:

20. Age

21. Education

22. Very conservative, somewhat conservative, somewhat liberal, very liberal

23. How often do you attend church?

24. Abortion: Pro-choice or pro-life? Somewhat or strongly?

25. Gun control: Which statement is closest to your views?

1. Current laws too restrictive and interfere with 2nd amendment rights
2. Current laws just about right
3. Current laws are too weak to protect people


26. Are you employed outside the home or retired?

27. Can I confirm the name of the person to whom I am speaking?

28. Is your phone number listed?

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 29, 2009 5:39 PM.

Bryan Osborne running for District 8 City Council was the previous entry in this blog.

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