Election 2014: Random thoughts

| | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)

Dear James Lankford, your scaremongering about a runoff to raise money is shameful. Unless the nominee is caught in a Minneapolis airport restroom with a wide stance, there is no way the GOP will lose Tom Coburn's seat. Your November opponent will either be a very liberal pro-abortion state senator who proposed frivolous amendments to a pro-life bill, the perennial candidate who ran against Coburn in 2010 and got only 26% of the vote, or the perennial candidate who listed his occupation as "plasma donor" when he filed for State Senate in 2004. If any of those three potential opponents worries you, you either don't have the guts to represent us in Washington, or you have plans for a Minneapolis restroom rendezvous.

Three of the seven candidates in this race have experience in elective office -- a member of the U. S. House, a former mayor and leader in the State Senate who has run a statewide campaign, and a former Speaker of the State House. It's normal for a primary with three credible candidates to go to a runoff.

P. S. Tom Coburn has not endorsed you to succeed him, although you are trying very hard to give voters that impression. Coburn expressed dismay about the bad things independent groups are saying about you, and Coburn expressed dismay about the bad things your independent-expenditure pals are saying about one of your six opponents.


Dear judicial candidate Jill Webb: A quote from Mary Fallin and a reference to the Constitution on a postcard is not going to fool conservative Tulsa County voters into voting for the female "partner" of a female Unitarian minister, endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, to be a District Judge. Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have all sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, but their actions show that they redefine the meaning of that commitment in a way that would be unrecognizable to the Framers of the Constitution. Your Clintonesque account of your personal life ("happily married to a minister") seems plainly intended to create a false impression, and it suggests that you have a rather flexible relationship with "telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."


If you want my vote for Tulsa City Council, one of the worst things you can do is tell me that former Mayor Susan Savage wants you to win. Savage was one of the worst mayors we've had when it comes to neighborhood empowerment and sensible zoning. Yes, she encouraged the registering of neighborhood associations, but she and her team worked against neighborhoods trying to build effective influence at City Hall over zoning issues that affected their property value and quality of life. Ask residents of Maple Ridge Central about how the Savage administration thwarted their efforts to protect their historic neighborhood. Her 1997 "Tulsa Project" plan would have sacrificed the area we now call the East End or Hodge's Bend to become a parking lot of a soccer stadium. That proposed tax increase failed, as did her tax hike proposal in 2000. While she brought speakers to Tulsa to talk about urban design, she didn't expend the political capital to move any ideas forward, not if it risked alienating her Chambercrat and developer backers. Ultimately, it took the neighborhood-friendly Gang of Five City Councilors to fund a new comprehensive plan. The most Savage would do was to fund three pilot small-area plans; fifteen years later we're still fighting resistance to implementing the recommendations of those plans.


Another thing you can do to make me regret my endorsement is to send a letter that refers to the "constant petty bickering" of the 2009-2011 City Council. The reality is that the nine councilors got along very well with one another and worked together across partisan lines. The problem, from Dewey Jr's point of view, is that they were united in their distress with Dewey Jr's actions and his refusal to build a cooperative working relationship. So Dewey Jr and his Chamber and developer buddies promoted the "petty bickering" meme and redrew the district lines to separate these councilors from the citizens who knew and appreciated them. The same people who wanted them gone want you gone, too, and for the same reasons.

There is a repeating pattern: A new reformer comes to the Council and arrogantly thinks, "The reason my bozo predecessors got tossed is they refused to be intelligent and polite in their approach. I'm going to be intelligent and polite and everyone will love me and accept my ideas." Guess what? Your "bozo" predecessors thought the same thing about their predecessors. No, the problem is that their ideas and your ideas are threatening to certain special interests, and they will paint you as a troublemaker and a petty bickerer so that low-information voters can't wait to toss you out of office.

To repeat what I wrote five years ago:

Lakin's critique of some current councilors reminds me of what I've heard from other councilors in the past about their predecessors. The gist of it: "If they'd just be nicer, people would pay more attention to the substance of what they're saying." Many of the councilors who have said that in the past have later learned the hard way that as soon as you challenge the power or the budget of some entrenched interest, everyone will think you aren't nice, no matter how nicely you make your case. The newspaper will run pictures that make you look angry. The mayor will accuse you of bickering. And then some council candidate will come along and tell you that if you'd just be nicer, people would pay more attention to the substance of what you're saying.

Have some respect for the councilors who blazed this trail before you. Because of their willingness to take risks and endure ridicule and defamation, the Overton Window is open a little wider for you.


And finally: If your bulk-mail house doesn't know how to remove duplicates from your address list, you need to get a better bulk-mail house, one who won't waste your mailing and printing budget.

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Election 2014: Random thoughts.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.batesline.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/7241

2 Comments

Graychin said:

Not even being caught with a "wide stance" in a Minneapolis airport rest room - or even an OKC rest room - would keep the Republican candidate from winning the US Senate seat over a Democrat.

Resistance is futile.

Nathan said:

Mayor Savage hasn't endorsed Elissa K. Harvill. Nor has any of the other local political elite. If one wants a real citizen legislator, I would suggest considering her in District 4. It is a three-person race, despite what the Tulsa World would have everyone believe.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 22, 2014 10:25 PM.

Oklahoma's Common Core Four was the previous entry in this blog.

Montereau v. Ken Yazel: Leashing elected officials through deprivation of legal counsel is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Contact

Feeds

Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
Atom
RSS
[What is this?]