SOTs use non-Tulsan petition circulators, notaries

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The Save Our Tulsa charter amendment petitions -- pushing to add four at-large members to the City Council (including the Mayor), to eliminate partisan labels from city election ballots, and to hold city elections on the same ballot as national and statewide elections -- were certified by City Clerk Mike Kier earlier this week.

Attorney Greg Bledsoe, a leader of Tulsans Defending Democracy, the effort to stop the use of at-large council members to dilute geographical representation, has begun the process of examining the petitions, now that the City Clerk's office has finally complied with an open-records request he made on February 18, 2011.

The City Clerk's office finally let me look at the SOT petition documents on Tuesday, 4-5-11, despite my persistent request under the Open Records Act first made on 2-18-11 and despite being told that the documents had been digitally scanned and that with respect to petition 2010-1 (the at-large petition) the evaluation had been largely completed.

There are 7 volumes of scanned material each containing approximately 500 pages in each volume. I was able to review 100 page in Vol. 1 in about an hour. These pages contained less than 20 signers as most pages had only one or two voters and the signatures were only one page out of a four page pamphlet. The most signatures for one pamphlet was four.

11 of the circulators for these petitions were from out of state:

3 individuals from Fulton, MO, 2 from St. Louis, MO and one from each of the following: Miami, FL; Clifton Park, NY; Tampa, FL; Cincinnati, OH; Kansas City, KS; and McKees Rock, PA.

3 were from Oklahoma City and 7 were from Tulsa.

The circulators for these first 100 pages were verified by only three notaries--mostly by Linda Howard of Moore, OK (first got her comission in October of 2010) and Gregory Gray of Claremore, with one done by Rachel Fedor of Edmond, OK.

andy_griffith_show_otis_campbell.jpgAre there no underemployed people in Tulsa who could have been hired to gather signatures? Are there no notaries in Tulsa? Surely John Brock, Bob Poe, or one of the other SOTs have notaries who work for them who could have notarized the petitions. Why go to a brand-new notary who lives 100 miles from Tulsa? And did these out-of-town notaries come to Tulsa to meet with the circulators, or did the circulators drive to Moore, Edmond, and Claremore to get their petitions notarized? Were these petitions ever actually in Tulsa prior to their submission to the City Clerk?

It's strange too that no page had more than four signatures on it. If I were trying to get a petition certified by fraudulently having a few people sign over and over. Scattering the signatures over as many pages as possible would make it harder for anyone to spot multiple signatures with similar handwriting.

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4 Comments

Bob said:

Didn't Democrat AG Edmonson JAIL 3 petition circulators for the TABOR petition because they were NOT Oklahoma residents??

Okay, why aren't these out-of-state canvassers put in jail by RINO AG Pruitt?

Because he's been told to keep his nose out of it?

Actually, they jailed the leaders of the petition effort (Rick Carpenter, Paul Jacob, Susan Johnson), who had been indicted by a multicounty grand jury. Ultimately the basis for jailing them (residency requirement for petition circulators) was struck down by a Federal court.

The A Team said:

Will the Tulsa County Republican and Democratic parties be challenging this?

They both passed resolutions at their recent conventions opposing Save Our Tulsa.

Who will walk the walk and who will just talk the talk?

David Van Author Profile Page said:

In 1988, at my Republican precinct meeting, I discussed the proposed charter that created the council. It was in the shadow of an NAACP-threatened lawsuit. I really liked the City Commission that we used to empower. The tasks of running the city were divided into:
1. Water/Sewer Commissioner
2. Street Commissioner
3. Police/Fire Commissioner
4. Finance Commissioner
5. Mayor (I think that's all?)

My major concern was that District Councilors would become like congressmen(fighting for a bigger slice of the pie for their district)

In the end I was surprised that most major issues split the citywide vote by affluence. 2 or 3 wealthy districts always voted for more capital projects. It would seem the poorer districts were for lower sales taxes.

Political affiliation hasn't given the voter an indication how a councilor might lean, regarding fiscal issues. The political affiliation ought to be more telling than it has been. If a social issue emerges, I expect the affiliation will be a very important indicator

I hope we get a better govt. than the last 20 years have witnessed. I really miss Mayor Inhofe. He got so many improvements made and came in under budget and ahead of schedule. Sales taxes went from 6%, back down to 5% while Inhofe ran the city.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 7, 2011 8:37 PM.

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