Kathy Taylor hagiography

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I was surprised this week to see that TulsaPeople had dropped its glossy mag look for newsprint.

Then I looked more closely and saw that it was in fact Urban Tulsa Weekly that put a paper-airplane-tossing Kathy Taylor on the cover and a lengthy love song to the former Tulsa mayor (by Oklahoma City resident and Oklahoma Observer editor Arnold Hamilton) on the pages within.

Taylor mistakenly credits herself with starting the effort to revise Tulsa's comprehensive plan. In fact, that was launched in 2005, while Mayor Bill LaFortune was still in office, and it was the outcome of an initiative by then-Councilors Chris Medlock and Joe Williams for a "future growth task force" and a council-initiated study to identify the best locations for large retail developments in the City of Tulsa. It was the 2004-2006 Council, notorious for the "Gang of Four," that included funding a comprehensive plan update in the 2006 third-penny sales tax package.

As an antidote to the sweet treacle in Hamilton's story and by way of reminder, take a minute to re-read this Irritated Tulsa gem: Kathy Taylor's Un-Greatest Moments

And if you want more detail on those un-greatest moments, here are some links to past columns and blog entries:

Kathy Taylor voted in Oklahoma (in person) and Florida (absentee) in the 2000 presidential election, according to official state voter records.

Kathy Taylor's Clintonesque non-denial denials when confronted with the voter records

Kathy Taylor and Bill Lobeck get bill for back taxes and penalties from the Broward County Assessor for claiming homestead exemption in two states.

Kathy Taylor's husband's lawsuit against the Broward County assessor, over claiming a homestead exemption in both Oklahoma and Florida

Kathy Taylor keeps Council in the dark on police chief appointment, signs Tulsa up to the anti-gun-rights and global warming cause.

Kathy Taylor surrenders on a $7 million lawsuit, putting the burden of BOK's bad loan to Great Plains Airlines on Tulsa taxpayers.

Kathy Taylor's misuse of the assessment district to fund the new Drillers downtown ballpark

The Control Freaks' Squeeze Play -- the city pulling the football away from a private developer who had plans for residential and retail near the new ballpark.

Kathy Taylor, the ballpark assessment district, Will Wilkins' Lofts at 120 development, and lawsuits against the city.

Kathy Taylor refuses to confront looming budget problems

Kathy Taylor denounces city councilors on CNN for being cautious about strings attached to federal funds

The defeat of Councilor Bill Martinson funded by Kathy Taylor's husband and his business associates

Kathy Taylor pushes for the purchase of One Technology Center as the new City Hall, which winds up being more expensive to operate than she had claimed.

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Bob said:

The last four Mayors of Tulsa have been terrible. Just TERRIBLE.

Mayor Savage ruled for 10 years. She tried twice but failed to foist a new sales tax on Tulsans for a downtown Arena, along with natatoriums. Natatoriums?

She invented the abysmally bad idea of the Tulsa police car Take-Home policy which resulted in an inventory of approximately 800 police cars for about 800 policemen, and siphons $millions annually from the 3rd Penney Sales Tax.

Savage also fell under the charm of Chas. Hardt, and his idiotic idea to cease maintaining the streets in favor of letting them fall into rack and ruin, then re-build. Except, the streets deteriorated much, much faster than they were being rebuilt. Resulting in streets with the ambience of a third-world country, like Zimbabwe.

Afterall, the favored Becco and Sherwood could only handle a low-level of tempo of re-builds without actually buying some more road-building equipment, supplementing their standard Mexicans with shovels.

Mayor Savage succumbed to the hustlers pitch called Great Plains Airlines, yet failed to provide adult supervision when the airline acquired only two leased airplanes that lacked the fuel capacity to fly to either coast as promised in their sales pitch, a broken promise which eventually lead to a broken airline funded almost entirely by Oklahoma and Tulsa taxpayers. Crony capitalism: Good if you can get it.

Mayor Savage was superceded by Bill LaFortune, who brought a famous name and an empty head to the Mayor's Office. His mentor, rainmaker attorney Chas. Norman showed land attorney Bill how to craft 40 year bad water deals which benefitted the growing suburbs of Owasso and Bixby, and cut the throats of Tulsa citizens by funding the growth of retail development in these incorporated suburbs, choking off the growth in Tulsa sales tax needed to fund a declining city.

As a faux-reformer, RINO Bill did deliver the tax gravy big-time to the local ruling heavy construction company families, Flint and Rooney, and their associated connected cronies, after they ponied up about $1,000,000 to brainwash the electorate ("It's about JOBS!), with a little help from their advertising beneficiaries at Channel 862, and the ever reliable Lorton's World.

Bill will be always remembered for bringing us Vision 2025, funded by a vast army of poorer Tulsans who can never afford a ticket to the Bank of Kaiser Arena.

He'll also be remembered for declaring war on the City Council when a few diligent members decided to do their jobs, and ask a few questions: About bad 40 year water deals with Owasso and Bixby; about the perpetual players of Cameron and Reynolds playing musical chairs on the TMUA; about Great Plains Airlines bankruptcy and WHERE DID THE MONEY GO; about Vision 2025 sales tax expenditures.....

Bill's final major accomplishment was to garner only about 40% of the vote in the Republican Primary race for re-election as mayor, reflecting his Dead-Man Walking political posture when 60% of his fellow Republicans preferred someone (anyone) else.

Democrat Kathy Taylor defeated Bill LaFortune in the General Election, and got a real job for once. Tulsans had been forwarned that she might be high-maintenance, living as she did in a $28 million house, and assigned her very own private jet by moneybags husband Bill Lobeck.

Kathy proceeded to fork over $7 million that the citizens of Tulsa were not liable for to her former employer, Bank of Kaiser. King Kaiser thanks the citizens of Tulsa for their generosity.

Kathy also tried unsuccessfully to drum up more bond underwriting business for her former employer, but voters in Tulsa decided that moving sand around in a slow-moving, prairie river was like building a foundation out of ....sand. Voters said NO to King Kaiser, and his saleswomen Taylor and Miller.

She did manage to pay Leucadia National Corp. 2-3X its market value for a virtually empty downtown office building associated with a bankrupt telecommunications company, which now houses city government slugs in the highest priced per square foot office space in downtown Tulsa. Leucadia National thanks Kathy Taylor.

And, Tulsans will get to thank Kathy for the next 30 years for another patented Kathy Taylor 30 year bad deal: Providing the highest priced downtown office space possible to city government workers. They are SO deserving.....

Did I mention the hosing that downtown Business Improvement District building owners got on financing the ONEOK Stadium? Another patented Kathy Taylor 30-year bad deal to replace a perfectly adequate minor league baseball stadium with one with one-half the capacity.

Mayor Taylor chose to make her one-term as Mayor all that Tulsans couldn't afford. We will miss rides in the jet plane.....

Which brings us to current Mayor Dewey Bartlett, a RINO Republican who TWICE endorsed Democrat Kathy Taylor. Twice.

Like his illustrious predecessors, Dewey just cannot seem to get along with the City Council for some reason. His major accomplishment has been to unite the city council: Republican and Democrat, Black and White, Young and Old, Liberal and Conservative, AGAINST Dewey.

Really, a remarkable accomplishment, all in all!

A sorry economy, and flat to falling Sales Tax receipts have constrained Dewey's ability to tax-and-spend Tulsans into oblivion.

Dewey is however working hard on the margins to saddle Tulsans with Kathy Taylor-patented long-term bad deals, like structuring the bid requirements for a new long-term trash hauling contract so that only the mafia management at Waste Management can afford the capital outlays for CNG powered trash trucks.

Tulsans will be eventually saddled with astronomically increased trash rates if this trash truck hijacking is allowed to come to pass.

As things now stand, come 2013, it appears that Dewey will have a much more pliable City Council, and absolutely NO dissension, with the help of the hand-picked and taxpayer financed Metro Tulsa Chamber Pot city council candidates, with supplemental financing provided by the Mr. Mystery families, which we of course won't really get to discover until AFTER the election....when they line up to bow down, and kiss the ring of King Kaiser.

Four Mayors whose portraits grace the 15th floor of Tulsa's iconic City Hall, but should instead grace the Wanted Posters pegboard in the Federal Courthouse.

Alan Bates said:

A well needed reminder of the real story on Taylor. She was a disaster as an Oklahoma Commerce Secretary and then her made up job in the Education Department with the state in the last days of the previous administration.

Graychin said:

Rodger Randle, the mayor prior to Susan Savage, was not a winner either. Randle was the first Tulsa mayor to hold office under the 1990 city charter. That's five bad mayors in a row!

I think I see a pattern. We haven't had good leadership at City Hall since the implementation of the 1990 charter. Hmmmm..... Maybe the problem goes deeper than the mayor...?

(One could argue that Taylor was VERY effective. Her bad points seem to concern things she did that a lot of people didn't like.)

More like seven in a row, Graychin. Dick Crawford -- nice guy, but his win was a bit of a fluke. His lasting legacy was the idea of using hotel-motel tax dollars to fund the Chamber. Before him, Terry Young, whose one term in office ended in a primary defeat to an unknown.

Graychin said:

I forgot about Dick Crawford. I can still barely remember him. I'm surprised anyone else does.

I thought Terry Young was a pretty good mayor, and definitely memorable. Who can forget him in his fatigues and combat boots after the Great Tulsa Flood? But he peed off people in the sign business, among others. Calling a snow day at City Hall when it didn't snow didn't do him any political good either.

I guess we haven't had a really good mayor since Robert LaFortune.

Bob said:

I omitted one term Mayor Roger Randle in the serial Bad Mayors of Tulsa Hall of Infamy, figuring few readers would even remember that miserable failure of a political leader.

Former Mayor Roger Randle positioned his "Chief of Staff" Susan Savage to become the appointed Mayor of Tulsa when he resigned before the end of his term.

He resigned to accept the same sinecure followed by many of his fellow Democrat politicians who landed easy, cushy jobs as Presidents of our plethora of Oklahoma Colleges and Universities, among them former Governors Geo. Nigh and David Boren, and along with former SEOSU President and current Chancellor Glen Johnson, with Randle becoming President as it were of Rogers State College in Claremore.

Selected Mayor Savage was then "elected" at the next General Election to her first full term as Mayor of Tulsa. The local ruling Establishment tasked her twice with trying to foist a new hideously regressive sales tax on the citizens of Tulsa to primarily benefit the local heavy construction companies of the Rooney and Flint families.

Unfortunately for her political career, Mayor Savage failed to deliver on the tax gravy, putting the local tax hogs on a temporary diet. Her moral authority eroded by ever closer re-election victories, Savage chose not to run for re-election. Naturally, Gov. Bad Brad Henry gave her a state taxpayer funded "job" to keep her out of the OESC offices.

Faux Republican Reformer Bill LaFortune succeeded her as Mayor of Tulsa, and he along with his grinning chimpanzee side-kick, Tulsa County Commissioner Bob Dick, pimped for an unlimited sales tax increase on Tulsa voters in 2003 called "Vision 2025", with just a little help from about $1,000,000 from the donor-beneficiaries to convince Tulsans that the tax was "All About Jobs". Naturally, the Bank of Kaiser arena suffered the patented Manhattan-Flintco 30% cost overrun on public construction costs, running the $140 million estimate to a $200 million jackpot.

Bill and Bob are thankfully both gone to the political graveyard, but the sales tax stays with us until at least 2017. Renewal of the Vision 2025 tax is just coincidentally on the Metro Tulsa Chamberpots "to-do" list required of all aspiring politicians that want their money and their endorsements.

For discerning local voters, an endorsement from the Metro Tulsa Chamber Pots is about as helpful as the Kiss of Death from the lips of Mafia Don Michael Corleone.

No local sales tax is truly ever temporary, is it?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 19, 2011 12:19 PM.

Towerguy's rap sheet (UPDATED: He's back on terra firma) was the previous entry in this blog.

Tulsa Metro Chamber's 2011 election manifesto is the next entry in this blog.

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