Kathy Taylor aide slams Rick Santorum

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A press release by Kathy Taylor's campaign manager may have accomplished what no amount of celebrity Republican endorsements have been able do: Motivate grassroots conservatives to go to the polls to vote for a man they despise as a RINO, just to make sure Taylor and her inner circle don't get Tulsa City Hall as a platform for their far-left views for the next three years.

A few days ago I received an announcement that Jim Inhofe and a number of Republican state legislators from Tulsa would be appearing at a press conference to reiterate their support for Dewey Bartlett Jr. Didn't strike me as particularly newsworthy. Bartlett Jr has only managed to get the endorsement of Republicans who haven't had to work with him on a daily basis at City Hall. He has yet to win the endorsement of any city councilor who has served alongside him during his time as mayor.

When I mentioned at the kitchen table that Rick Santorum would be speaking in Tulsa to endorse Bartlett Jr, my daughter (who had been very impressed by Santorum's speech at ORU last year) expressed her disappointment. Thanks to Vision2 and the "lawfare" waged against friends of ours on the City Council, there aren't any Bartlett Jr fans in our house. (No Kathy Taylor fans, either.)

If I had had time to go to the event last night, it would have been fun to ask Santorum what he thinks of a mayor who signed a non-discrimination ordinance equating sexual confusion with race, ethnicity, and religion, who then worked to drive the three Republican councilors who voted against that ordinance out of office, who supports giving city benefits to same-sex couples as if they were married, and who backed a massive tax-and-borrow corporate welfare package. That would be the guy you just endorsed, Senator.

I understand what Santorum is doing here. As far as he knows, as far as he's been told, a conservative Republican mayor is in danger of being defeated by a liberal Democrat. Helping with a timely endorsement gives him some credit with Bartlett Jr and local GOP leaders, credit he can redeem when he runs for president in 2016.

This, by the way, is precisely the mechanism by which the Republican runner-up in one presidential season becomes a front-runner in the next. There isn't some RNC subcommittee that decrees, "Well, he finished second last time, so this time it's his turn." The guy who finished second has already built a nationwide network of supporters, and by using his national visibility to help local and state Republican candidates and party organizations, he's adding to the number of people who will feel obliged to support him when he runs again.

A Democrat cannot win a city-wide office in Tulsa if the Republican manages to turn the race into a partisan affair. Bartlett Jr won in 2009 by tying Barack Obama around Tom Adelson's neck (even though Bartlett Jr endorsed Obama donor Kathy Taylor for re-election earlier in that same year), and he's trying the same approach this year. He needs Republicans who don't pay attention to City Hall to show up at the polls and vote the party line.

Taylor needs conservative Republicans who are rightfully disgruntled with Bartlett Jr to stay home. She needs them to see her as non-ideological, non-threatening, maybe no better than Bartlett Jr, but no worse. Kathy Taylor needs to downplay her enthusiastic participation in Michael Bloomberg's coalition of gun-grabbing mayors, her decision to sign Tulsa up for the global-warming snake-oil caravan, her generous support of Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and other far-left candidates. She's trying a theme that Michael Dukakis tried, without success, in 1988: Competence, not ideology.

But Taylor's campaign manager just let the mask slip.

Taylor Campaign Manager Monroe Nichols released a statement Thursday, criticizing Santorum's participation in local events.

"At a time when rape is up in Tulsa, it is shocking that Dewey Bartlett would bring a DC politician with an abysmal record on women's issues here to try to tell Tulsans what is important to them," Nichols said, sticking to the campaign's current strategy of focusing on Tulsa's crime rates under the Bartlett administration.

(Here's the full press release.)

Pro-life conservatives recognize Nichols's use of left-wing code words. "An abysmal record on women's issues" is code for being consistently pro-life and anti-abortion, as if killing unborn children is the only issue women care about. Nichols exacerbates the gaffe by connecting Santorum's pro-life record with the frequency of rape in Tulsa, as if defending unborn girls and boys against the violence of abortion is an act of violence against women.

Nichols's remark is revealing not just because Taylor's campaign manager holds those views about Santorum, but evidently no one else in the Taylor campaign has enough respect for pro-life conservatives to understand how offensive Nichols's statement would be to Tulsa voters. This wasn't an off-the-cuff remark, but an edited press release.

Someone without left-wing blinders would realize that the Republicans who are most unenthused about another Bartlett Jr term are the same sort of Republicans who helped Santorum to a first-place finish statewide and here in Tulsa's 1st Congressional District in Oklahoma's 2012 presidential primary. By unmasking the Kathy Taylor campaign as hostile to our most deeply rooted concerns, Monroe Nichols may have roused these conservatives to show up on election day, clothespin firmly gripping the nose, and vote for Bartlett Jr, just to keep Kathy Taylor and her liberal pals out of office.

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2 Comments

Graychin said:

The most dedicated culture warriors among Tulsa voters no doubt were already prepared to turn out strongly for Bartlett, despite his many shortcomings. After all, he carries the Republican brand in this supposedly non-partisan election and has shown no inclination to stray from orthodoxy on social issues.

But social conservatives may not fully appreciate what a polarizing figure Rick Santorum can be when he comes to town and hugs Dewey Bartlett Jr. He will probably motivate more Democrats to get out and vote for Taylor than he will the subset of Republicans who put social issues first when they vote.

If Nancy Pelosi came to town to endorse Taylor, wouldn't the Bartlett camp be wise to make an issue of it? Hence, if it's smart for Bartlett to align himself with Santorum to motivate conservative Republicans, it's equally smart for Kathy Taylor to point out that connection to Democrats. Smarter, maybe.

Roy said:

Months ago I had resigned myself to my family not voting for mayor this election. If the local Phants would not distance themselves from the Donks' deadly diseases, why should we aid either?

But as election day approaches, I have found more and more force in the argument that Taylor is not only far worse, even extreme, than Bartlett in serious areas. Further, even if inconsistent with many other of his positions/official decisions, Bartlett opposes slicing and dicing children.

I think my family will go to the poll with an actual clothespin on at least my nose. And vote.

If (as I predict) Taylor wins anyway, perhaps the Phant control group will take notice of the clothespins.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 25, 2013 6:53 PM.

Dan Keating: Time for Dewey Bartlett Jr to go was the previous entry in this blog.

Terry Simonson: Tulsa murder rate isn't so bad, when you don't count all the killings is the next entry in this blog.

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