Quinn challenges ONG franchise election (UPDATED)

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UPDATE 2011/08/25, 1 p.m.: ONG spokesman Don Sherry has posted a comment to this entry, linking to a media kit about the Tulsa ONG franchise election. He points out that there are approximately 1,400 ONG/ONEOK employees working in the Tulsa area.

Tom Quinn, a civic activist and longtime critic of Oklahoma Natural Gas, filed criminal complaints on August 16, 2011, with the Tulsa Police Department and the FBI regarding the recent City of Tulsa special election granting ONG a franchise to use city rights-of-way for the next 15-years.

Quinn notes at the end of his press release that there are more ONEOK/ONG employees than the number of votes in the election. The implication is that it's possible to arrange a low-turnout election in which the majority of voters have a financial interest in the outcome. ONG reimbursed the City of Tulsa for the cost of having a special election solely for the purpose of considering the franchise renewal.

Here's Quinn's press release:

CONTACT: Tom Quinn - 918-605-9456 - MafiaBusters@gmail.com
REGARDING: Election Fraud - August 9th Vote on ONG's Franchise Agreement


Tulsa businessman Tom Quinn has filed racketeering and election fraud charges against Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, parent company ONEOK, Mayor Dewey Bartlett and all nine Members of Tulsa's City Council. Quinn accuses ONG, ONEOK and the City of Tulsa of conspiring to defraud ratepayers by holding a special election on August 9th where only those who were likely to vote YES were informed about the process. Quinn says the vote on ONG's New Franchise Agreement was the most blatant example of racketeering and election fraud he has ever seen, and that all those responsible for this despicable act should be fined, fired, removed from office and sent to prison. ONG has an abysmal approval rating among consumers and no one in their right mind would have voted for this Franchise Agreement had they known about the election. The results of the August 9th Special Election should be thrown out and public hearings should be held so voters can make an informed decision regarding this important issue. ONEOK, the parent company of ONG, should also be investigated for bribery, price fixing, market-manipulation, off-shore banking violations, selling assets that were paid for by ratepayers and charging for gas storage and other items and services that were not used but ended up being charged to consumers. A copy of this news release has been sent to the FBI, the Tulsa Police Department, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the City of Tulsa and several media outlets.

Questions that deserve an answer:

  • Who wrote the new ONG Franchise Agreement?

  • Was Mayor Dewey Bartlett or any of his staff involved?

  • How many City Councilors were involved in the process?

  • Was the new Franchise Agreement ever discussed during an open meeting?

  • When did the City Council vote to approve this new agreement?

  • When did the City Council approve and schedule the August 9th Special Election?

  • Why did the City Council call for and approve a Special Election on August 9th when Tulsa's General Election had already been scheduled for September 13, 2011?

  • Who paid for this special election and was the cost passed on to taxpayers and or ratepayers?

  • How many registered voters live in the City of Tulsa?

  • How many votes were cast in the August 9th Special Election?

  • How many employees work for ONG and ONEOK?

  • How many ONG and ONEOK employees voted in this Special Election?

  • Were ONG and ONEOK Employees informed of this Special Election?

  • Were any news releases issued or press conferences held before the August 9th Vote?

  • Did ONG, ONEOK or the City of Tulsa post any information regarding the election on their website?

  • Were Tulsa voters deliberately kept in the dark about this important election?

  • Did the so-called mainstream media ignore news releases or play any role in this cover up?

Election Results:

Number of Precincts Reporting: 215
Number of Precincts Counted: 215
Total Number of Registered Voters: 212,266
Total Number of Votes Cast: 3,425
Total Number of ONG / ONEOK Employees: 4,077
Total Number of Votes For: 2,546
Total Number of Votes Against: 864
Under Votes: 15
Percentage of Registered Voters Who Voted: 1.61%
Number of ONEOK / ONG Employees as of September 2010: 4077
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ONEOK

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ONG spokesman Don Sherry has posted a comment to this entry, linking to a media kit about the Tulsa ONG franchise election. Tom Quinn, a civic activist and longtime critic of Oklahoma Natural Gas, filed criminal complaints on August 16, 2011, with the ... Read More


Bob said:

If Mr. Tom Quinn's charges ever make it to court, the judge that hears his case will have been put on the bench by the self-same interests that rigged the election system to allow for unlimited Special Elections during any calendar year.

I have counted up to SEVEN elections in a given year in Oklahoma, due to Special Elections shoehorned between Primaries and General Elections.

One-Of Special Elections, like School Bond elections, or the Vision 2025 Sales Tax Election, or ONG Franchise Agreement Elections, are intentionally staged as solo elections to favor their passage.

That is a known statistical advantage that the Tax Vampires have been leveraging for generations: The advocates for an issue are statistically favored by a One-Of Special Election.

The Tax Vampires have been intentionally engineering this fleecing of the taxpayers with the willful complicity of the State Election Board, and the Tulsa County Election Board.

If you think things will ever change for the better in Oklahoma, keep in mind that Manhattan Construction Company has been in business for over 100 years.

Generations ago, someone figured out it was in their best interest to rig the system with Special Elections staged at will.

Rigged the same way as the state required Campaign Receipts and Expenditures C-1 Report is not officially due until it is too late for the voters to understand who is buying an election, or renting a pandering candidate.


Don Sherry said:

Facts always trump irresponsible, false allegations. By the way, there are only 1400 employees in Tulsa. http://www.oklahomanaturalgas.com/About/NewsRoom/MediaKit/TulsaFranchise.aspx

Graychin said:

Tom Quinn was that very same "unknown" who defeated incumbent mayor Terry Young in a Democratic primary election. The result? Mayor Dick Crawford. (Who?)

As we see, Quinn is not without political skill.

Never pee off someone in the sign business. Or the newspaper business. They can bury you in bad publicity.

I hope Quinn's effort to get that sham election investigated bears fruit. But like Bob, I'm not optimistic.

Anon said:

Maybe a simple solution (unfortunately, does not help current issue) would be for our Council to pass a Charter Amendment (which places it on a ballot) that any election in which less than 10% of registered voters turn out to vote is automatically ruled invalid and must be resubmitted or dropped.

Bob said:

ONG Mouthpiece Don Sherry has been the ONG ever faithful storyteller of the Half-Truth for more years than I can count.

My recurrent all-time favorite half-truth erupting from one of Mr. Sherry's orifices is along the lines of:

ONG makes no profit on the sale of natural gas to the ONG customer base.

Of course, Mr. Sherry conveniently omits any mention of the enormous profits that the ONG parent corporation, ONEOK, makes on the sales of natural gas by ONEOK to its captive subsidiary, ONG.

Do you think that ONEOK tries to get the best possible price for ONEOK, or for its customers on gas sales to its captive subsidiary, ONG?

Can a corporation serve two masters?

I doubt it.

A substantial portion of the gas sold by ONEOK to its captive subsidiary ONG historically came from ONEOK's own production. Would ONEOK fudge the books on its cost of gas production?

And, ONEOK is also historically a very active player in the trading of natural gas futures. A couple of its energy traders actually got into a bit of trouble during the California Ratepayer rip-offs, engineered primarily by corporate villain ENRON. But Williams, Dynegy, Duke, Mirant, et al were also gaming the rigged sytem, and feeding at the ratepayer trough.

My long-term suspicion about ONEOK is that every BAD deal that its natural gas traders make on a gas futures contract ends up in the ONG ledger as a gas sale, and is then eaten by the captive rate payers.

And, every good deal that its natural gas traders make ends up in the ONEOK ledger, and goes directly to shareholder profits, and executive compensation.

Nice swindle if you can keep from getting caught. But who's going to catch them?

Commissioner Bob Anthony threatened to actually examine the trading contracts at one time.....but the matter was settled on the proverbial contract steps.

Remember, two of any three of the Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners at any one time are already owned (rented actually) by the power production companies.

Bob, I would hope that the Corporation Commission considers the relationship between ONEOK and ONG when processing rate requests. As for the Corporation Commission, I completely trust Bob Anthony and Dana Murphy. (Jeff Cloud is someone I don't know well, except that I was very unhappy with the way he campaigned against Murphy when they ran head-to-head in 2002.) Murphy, you may recall, beat Aubrey McClendon's pal Jim Roth in 2008, despite Roth's massive funding advantage, and after a primary election in which she was outspent by her opponent, Rob Johnson.

webmaster said:

Maybe a simple solution would be for our Council to pass a Charter Amendment that any election in which less than 10% of registered voters turn out to vote is automatically ruled invalid and must be resubmitted or dropped. Thank you...........

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 24, 2011 12:44 PM.

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