The 2009 Build PAC boys

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Build PAC is a political action committee registered with the Tulsa City Clerk. The PAC shares an address with the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Tulsa. In 2005, Build PAC Issues was the single biggest contributor to the attempt to recall City Councilors Chris Medlock and Jim Mautino. The recall effort received heavy financial support from the development lobby. The "crime" of the targeted councilors: Opposing city policies that fueled suburban growth at the expense of the citizens of the City of Tulsa.

Build PAC filed its required pre-primary report two days late. Here are the candidates that received Build PAC donations:

Rick Westcott$1,000
Eric Gomez$1,000
Bill Martinson$500
Phil Lakin$1,000

It's curious that these donations did not show up in the contribution reports filed by these candidates.

I'm surprised to see Rick Westcott on this list. In 2006, when he first ran for council, the development interests backed his opponent, Paul Prather. Westcott has been generally sympathetic to neighborhood concerns -- probably the most sympathetic of the current bunch. In 2005, he headed up Tulsans for Election Integrity, the group formed to oppose the recall that the development lobby was funding.

Another possible connection between these four candidates: I'm told that all of them have ads on Whistler's electronic billboards. (I've seen ads for Martinson and Gomez, but not for Lakin or Westcott.)

In 2008, Build PAC gave money to Emanuel Lewis (District 1 Democrat), David Patrick (District 3 Independent),
Eric Gomez (District 4 Republican), Dennis Troyer (District 6 Democrat), Bill Christiansen (District 8 Republican),
G. T. Bynum (District 9 Republican).

So there's another interesting switch: Build PAC used to fund Christiansen; now they're backing his well-heeled challenger.

It's interesting too, that the development lobby hasn't weighed in on the mayor's race -- not yet, anyway.

UPDATE: According to a post by Rick Westcott on TulsaNow's public forum, he didn't receive the contribution from Build PAC until August 28. The reporting period ended on August 24, so Westcott was not required to report the Build PAC contribution on his pre-primary report; it would be reported on the post-primary report. That would also mean that Build PAC was not required to report the contributions on their pre-primary report, although I'm glad that they did.

A problem with Oklahoma's ethics reporting system is that it is too easy for controversial donors, like the development lobby, to wait until after the reporting deadline to make their contributions, thus depriving voters of the opportunity to weigh those contributions in their decision-making process. There should be a shorter gap between the end of the reporting period and when the report is due, some requirement to report last-minute contributions, and a means to make the contributions electronically available and searchable as soon as possible.

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1 Comments

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

The Jeff Shaw Amatuer Politician Unspoken First Rule of Campaingning:

1. Confuse, obfuscate, bewilder, muddle, perplex, contort and blur every issue at every opportunity.

I know, that's not the way they teach it in school. :)

Build PAC is just covering their bases.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 3, 2009 2:35 PM.

Dewey Bartlett Jr's campaign chairman not a Tulsan, co-founded left-wing think-tank was the previous entry in this blog.

Medlock gets "A" from NRA, Bartlett didn't answer questionnaire is the next entry in this blog.

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