Tulsa District 4 Republican primary: For Blake Ewing

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This is the only election I get to vote in tomorrow, and I'm voting for entrepreneur Blake Ewing for the Republican nomination for Tulsa City Council District 4.

In the 2009 primary, I endorsed legendary Tulsa musician Rocky Frisco in his race to unseat incumbent Eric Gomez, who had beclowned himself in a number of ways during his term of office. Rocky ran a good race, but fell short. Gomez went on to get beat in the general election by Maria Barnes, whom Gomez had defeated in 2008.

Rocky's political philosophy is pretty close to mine, although he's more of a libertarian than a conservative. On local issues, he favors having city government focus on basic services and letting Tulsans keep as much of their own money as possible, rather than taxing it to pay the politically connected. In an ideal world with instant runoff voting, Rocky would get my first place vote.

In the real world, we have a three-way race this year with no runoff. Rocky has not run as vigorous a campaign this year, limited by the theft of his car earlier in the summer and a heavy schedule of performances around Tulsa. At the benefit to help him replace his car last Friday night, Rocky indicated that his time at various campaign forums had depleted his enthusiasm for serving on the City Council. He had kind words for both of his opponents, and he said he'd like to see Blake Ewing win.

Blake Ewing, Joe Bates, and Rocky Frisco, September 9, 2011. Photo by Trish Molina. Copyright 2011 Aithne Studios. Used by permission.

Blake Ewing, Joe Bates, and Rocky Frisco, September 9, 2011. Photo by Trish Molina. Copyright 2011 Aithne Studios. Used by permission.

Blake Ewing and Liz Hunt are the two candidates who have actively campaigned for the District 4 Republican nomination. Ewing is clearly the best choice. A creative entrepreneur, Ewing has built a group of businesses that employ over 100 workers, breathing new life into historic Blue Dome District buildings. He has personal experience with the ways that city government can help or hinder someone trying to start or grow a business.

What I appreciate most about Blake is his frankness and willingness to speak his mind. I don't always agree with him, by any means, but he is willing to think out loud, to think outside the box, and to defend his ideas in depth. Most politicians are content to speak in platitudes; Blake Ewing is willing to talk specifics. You can see that spirit at work in his personal blog.

In building his businesses and in running this campaign, Blake Ewing has come face-to-face with some of the ugliness of Tulsa politics and the establishment that works hard to defend its death-grip on the city. That can be said about many of my acquaintances, but Blake is one of the few people willing to speak out publicly, as he did about his interaction with political consultant Karl Ahlgren, whose services Ewing chose to reject.

While I was disappointed to see that Blake Ewing was one of the recipients of a contribution from TulsaBizPac, the PAC of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, which provides contract services to the City of Tulsa, I was pleased with his decision to give the $1,000 to a non-profit, an organization called CQ Missional, a Christian organization that "helps people discover their role in making the world a better place." In an email, Blake wrote of the group:

Their aim to grow leaders out of young adults in Tulsa is something I'm also passionate about and I'm eager to see what these future leaders do for our community.

It's one thing to serve at the point of need. It's a whole different thing to train and empower young adults to be outwardly focused and intentional about serving their community. I believe in this organization and am proud to share the $1000 with them. The long term impact they could have on the city of Tulsa and the world around it is too amazing not to support.

I love the idea that they are training people to impact their community. They are helping to form a new generation of leaders and servants, dedicated to changing the world. I wish them safety in the journey and pray that their nets be full and their compass true.

When I issued my campaign finance transparency challenge, Blake Ewing readily accepted, as did Rocky Frisco. I never heard back from Liz Hunt or from any of her Karl Ahlgren stablemates. (In the Democrat primary, Maria Barnes accepted the challenge; never heard from Ken Brune.)

Blake Ewing has used local vendors for campaign materials and services. Liz Hunt's mail pieces came from Oklahoma City's Majority Designs, evidently a condition of her consulting relationship with Karl Ahlgren, who is now described as her "general campaign consultant."

Blake Ewing would not be anyone's rubber stamp on the City Council.

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Happy election day! Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In two districts (1 and 5), the primary will determine a winner. In all districts, the primary will determine whether we'll have good representation or not-so-good representation at City Hall whe... Read More

Blake Ewing, Joe Bates, and Rocky Frisco, September 9, 2011. Photo by Trish Molina. Copyright 2011 Aithne Studios. Used by permission. Of the seven City Council races on today's ballot, the District 4 race, the only one in which I'm allowed to vote, i... Read More

1 Comments

The A Team said:

Blake Ewing's signs were all over the right of ways today.

Poor form for someone who is supposed to be such a "class act".

Nobody's rubber stamp?

I witnessed his rubber stamping of the TARE Trash contracts firsthand at the public hearings where he was going full pitchman to shove the once a week volume based plan down the public's throat while serving as a citizen's representative on Kathy Taylor's refuse and recycling task force.

Considering he served on this trash task force and his signs are illegally littering the right ways in large numbers, that just adds insult to injury.

As far as I'm concerned, Blake's a fake. All sizzle, no steak.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 12, 2011 8:35 PM.

Tulsa District 9: For Robert Pinney was the previous entry in this blog.

Tulsa Election 2011: Primary election day is the next entry in this blog.

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