Chamber of Secret Endorsements?

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I heard an interesting rumor on Saturday from two different sources about City Council endorsements by TulsaBizPac, the Tulsa Metro Chamber-affiliated political action committee, so I sent an email to Shiela Curley, Vice President of Communications for the Tulsa Metro Chamber. Here's the text of the email:

Dear Ms. Curley,

I'm hearing reports that TulsaBizPac has made its endorsements. I'm writing to ask if you can confirm or deny each of the following assertions:

1. TulsaBizPac has endorsed three candidates
2. TulsaBizPac will give each endorsed candidate's campaign $2,500.
3. Endorsed candidates have been instructed not to disclose the endorsement until after the primary.
4. TulsaBizPac has endorsed Jack Henderson in District 1.
5. TulsaBizPac has endorsed Chris Trail in District 5.
6. TulsaBizPac has endorsed G. T. Bynum in District 9.
7. TulsaBizPac has made no endorsements in the other races

Thanks for your time,

Michael Bates

I'll let you know what she says.

There's one further piece to the rumor: That no endorsements have been made in some of the other races because they're "too close to call" based on polling data.

This is fascinating, if true. After all the talk about the "bickering" City Council, the only three rumored endorsees are sitting councilors.

I'm surprised not to see ANY of Karl Ahlgren's candidates -- Nancy Rothman, Liz Hunt, Karen Gilbert, or Phil Lakin -- on the rumored list.

And why would an organization want to keep its endorsements secret? In such a situation, it would suggest that the organization is aware of its lack of respect in the community, that the organization is not seen as a trusted civic voice, but just another special interest group, just another city vendor with its hand out for city dollars.

If you thought your endorsement would be well regarded, you'd jump right into a too-close-to-call race, in hopes that the endorsement would push your candidate over the finish line. But if you thought your endorsement would cause more harm than good, you'd quietly slip them the money just after the deadline for pre-primary reporting, and you'd pick candidates who were likely to win any way, in hopes of earning their gratitude and loyalty with your contribution.

Finally, wouldn't you want to give the maximum contribution of $5,000? And if you didn't, does that indicate that you just weren't able to raise the money you expected to raise?

I look forward to hearing a response from Ms. Curley, and I'll pass it along when I do.

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TulsaBizPac, the political action committee formed by Tulsa Metro Chamber, a city contractor, to influence the selection of the public officials who will decide whether those contracts will continue, has announced an odd assortment of full endorsements... Read More

4 Comments

The A Team said:

When are the C-1's due?

The Monday before the primary at 5 p.m., but they only have to include contributions received up to 14 days before the primary. In the electronic age, that deadline should be much closer to election day. Federal and state campaigns are required to make last-minute reports; so should city and county candidates.

Bob said:

The intentional very late filing date for the C-1 (Campaign Receipts and Expenditures Report) is representative of another rigged system in Oklahoma politics.

Since the cut-off for reporting only have to include contributions received up to 14 days before the primary, the intentionally late Big-Money contributions coming from the ruling Establishment intentionally get omitted from the Primary reporting.

So, we cannot really tell who actually owns these candidates. But, don't we already know who owns city council candidates of the ilk of Phil Lakin? Does King Kaiser come to mind?

We are plagued with a rigged campaign finance filing system, along with permanent Ad Valorem taxes, which fund a permanent cycle of construction projects (read Manhattan and Flintco) at TCC, Tulsa City-County Library, Tulsa Vo-Tech, and Tulsa City-County Health Dept. These represent further Oklahoma negative Superlatives, of which are state is tops in the worst measurement of government efficiency and effectiveness.

Jennie said:

Curley doesn't seem to be very good at getting back with people. So far, I'm hearing a lot of crickets coming from the chamber ...

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 15, 2011 12:54 AM.

Tulsa Playboys kick off Johnnie Lee Wills centennial year, September 10, 2011 was the previous entry in this blog.

Coburn, Boren, Lucas, Lankford honorary hosts for AUL 40th anniversary gala is the next entry in this blog.

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