Ron Peters, Money Belt candidate for Tulsa County Commissioner

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Former House District 70 representative Ron Peters has announced his candidacy for the Tulsa County Commission District 3 seat being vacated by retiring Commissioner Fred Perry.

In 2003, Peters was one of six Republicans to support a state lottery, breaking ranks with the vast majority of the GOP caucus. Had Peters and one other Republican voted no, the lottery would have failed. In 2004, Peters was one of only five Republicans supporting casino gaming, and once again, had two of the five defected to the other side, the measure would have failed.

In a 2006 UTW column, I singled out Peters as an incumbent in need of a Republican challenger, mainly for his bills that would have damaged local control and homeowner input into land use and zoning issues. That year, Peters co-sponsored two bills (SB 1324 and HB 2559) to interfere with city policy on special exceptions and historic preservation districts.

Ron Peters, who represents House District 70 in midtown, is one of those who need to go. Off the record, his Republican colleagues will tell you that he is one of the least cooperative, least trustworthy, least principled members of their caucus. They'd be happy to see him go.

Peters was one of a half-dozen Republicans who broke with the party to support the lottery and the introduction of full-fledged casino gambling, with all their accompanying social ills.

SB 1324 and HB 2559 are not his first assaults on homeowners' rights and local control of land use issues. In 2005, Peters and Crain co-authored HB 1911.

In addition to the Board of Adjustment provisions that made their way into SB 1324, the earlier bill would have removed notice requirements for property owners within a redevelopment (i.e., urban renewal) district. Owners would not have had to be notified about public hearings regarding redevelopment plans affecting their property. It also would have removed a requirement for redevelopment plans to be approved by the City Council.

Peters hasn't had a challenger since he first won the seat in the 2000 Republican primary. A conservative Republican challenger could unseat him, if only one would step forward.

Peters' list of endorsers on his announcement press release reads like a who's-who of midtowners who regularly push for higher taxes and less democracy. Don Walker was co-chairman of the failed Vision2 Tulsa County sales tax scheme. Larry Mocha, has an op-ed in the Sunday paper pleading for Oklahoma to implement Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

Many on Peters' list supported the failed and divisive 2005 recall attempt against Chris Medlock and Jim Mautino; compare his supporters to the list of donors to the pro-recall Coalition for Responsible Government 2004. Or compare the list on Peters' press release to this list of supporters of "Save Our Tulsa" and this list of advisory board members for "Tulsans for Better Government," both groups that pushed for the election of at-large city councilors, a move that would have concentrated power in wealthy midtown neighborhoods at the expense of the rest of Tulsa.

The first name on Peters' list is Bob Dick, the former County Commissioner for District 3. Conservatives were happy to see Dick retire in 2006. In 2005, I wrote a column for UTW cataloging the County Commission's fondness for sole-source contracts under Bob Dick's leadership. In 2002, the Tulsa World reported on Dick's "dear friend" John Piercey and the loans he had obtained through the Tulsa County Industrial Authority (whose board consists of the three county commissioners) to buy apartment complexes.

Based on his record and his list of supporters, I'd suspect that Peters will vote to put another county tax on the ballot, will work against transparency and competitive bidding in county government, for gimmicky approaches to economic development, will support the appointment of anti-neighborhood types to the three county seats on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, and will subordinate the needs of unincorporated Tulsa County to the wants of Midtown Tulsa's Money Belt. Those of us who believe in limited, transparent, and responsive government will be looking for a better candidate for the Tulsa County Commission District 3 seat.

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1 Comments

JHW said:

I didn't think we could do worse than Fred Perry but obviously I was wrong.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 10, 2013 9:17 PM.

Tulsans Against Chloramine invite mayoral candidates to Tuesday meeting was the previous entry in this blog.

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