Tulsa: October 2011 Archives

This is old news, but new to me.

We're just back from a brief fall break jaunt to Table Rock Lake, a short trip that included brief stops in Siloam Springs and Eureka Springs on the way there, paddleboating, playing at tennis (and violin) in a giant bubble, a providential encounter with a classic car club (mostly Packards and Cadillacs from the '20s), dinner in an old-English-style restaurant on an old-English-style Main Street in Hollister, Missouri, a timeshare presentation, a visit to a Civil War battlefield, a drive down a 9-foot-wide highway, a moment with some buffalo, and over-indulgence at a classic Route 66 cafe with a neon "EAT" sign out front. More about all that in due time.

A surprise from the trip was the discovery that QuikTrip is no longer in the Springfield, Missouri, market. One QT that had been a frequent stop for us on trips to and from the Branson area was at US 65 and MO 14 south of Springfield. Like the QT near the eastern terminus of the Turner Turnpike, this one shared a building with a Wendy's. Today I was surprised to see that it had become a Casey's General Store. The Casey's convenience store chain is based in Ankeny, Iowa, with over 22,000 employees and 1600 corporate-owned stores mainly in Iowa and adjoining states.

It surprised me that a company as dynamic as QuikTrip would pull out of a market. According to news reports, QT announced in March 2011 that it was selling its five Springfield area stores to Casey's. QT had been in the market since 1994. QT is still in the Phoenix, Tucson, Tulsa, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita, Des Moines, Omaha, and Atlanta metro areas. There's only one outlier on the map: A store in Columbia, Mo. According to the QT website, the company has "580+ stores in 9 major metropolitan areas" with over 10,000 employees. (Perhaps they count Phoenix and Tucson as a single metro area.)

A October 19, 2010, CSPnet.com story mentioned that the stores would be sold:

QuikTrip Corp. is looking to sell its five Springfield, Mo., convenience stores, company spokesperson Mike Thornbrugh told The Springfield News-Leader. He said QuikTrip is focusing its efforts on very large metropolitan markets, and Springfield no longer fits the company's plans.

Elaborating on the theme in an April 21, 2011, story in the Evangel College student newspaper, The Lance:

According to Michael Thornbrugh, manager of public and government affairs, QT will be "expanding into larger metropolitan areas where each market can hold 80 to 120 locations. The new QT locations are about 5,700 square feet while all the locations in Springfield are 4,200 square feet."

The current economy did not play a role in QT closing some of their stores; Thornbrugh said that QT is growing during the tough economic times. Springfield was a good and profitable market for QT.

Management and staff at the store located next to Evangel have expressed sorrow and disappointment about the QT closing its doors. Many from the Evangel community have been patrons of QT, which opened its doors on March 31, 1995. Thornbrough had this to say to the Evangel community: "Thank you for your loyalty. We will miss the opportunity to be your choice convenience store."

With QT's increasing emphasis on ready-to-eat food, it would make sense to have a large and tight cluster of locations that can be serviced by a regional kitchen facility.

In contrast with QT's major metro focus, Casey's began with locations in small towns of 5,000 or less.

According to Convenience Store News's list of the top 100 chains, QuikTrip is the 19th largest convenience store chain in America, Casey's is 12th.

AND ANOTHER THING: Did anyone else think that new talk radio billboard west of Sheridan on the BA was a QuikTrip ad at first? Put three guys in QuikTrip-red polo shirts on a billboard, and it's likely to trigger an unintended association.

A couple of readers have emailed to express their concerns about the imminent introduction of chloramine into Tulsa's water supply. I am only beginning to study the issue, and it seems there may be reason to worry.

Rather than make you wait until I've thoroughly researched the matter, I've decided to present the concerns expressed by one of these readers, with her permission. I would be glad to post knowledgeable answers to her questions and other points of view on this issue.

Jeanine Kinney made the following remarks at the October 4, 2011, City Council committee meeting:


The Health Department's, the Water Department's and The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) are claiming that Chloramine is safe for all everyday uses, drinking, bathing & cooking et cetera. Yet, the EPA itself admits that it has no Respiratory, Digestive, Skin & Epidemiological studies on the Human Health effects of Chloraminated water. The limited Cancer studies on Chloraminated water are so few that they are considered inadequate for assessment. Even though these studies show some evidence that Chloramine itself is a carcinogen, NO determination can be made from those handful of studies. The fact is there are not enough scientific data to know if Chloraminated water is safe for any uses for Human Beings.

Thousands of people all over the country and even in other countries have reported severe and life threatening respiratory, digestive and skin symptoms whenever they are exposed to Chloraminted water. These people have proven by avoidance and re-exposure that the Chloraminted water is the culprit for their symptoms. They do not have these symptoms when they are NOT exposed to Choramine and as soon as they are re-exposed their symptoms return. These symptoms fall into exactly the "gaps" in the scientific data about Chloramine's safety and the Respiratory, Digestive and Skin studies that DO NOT exist.

In addition to the immediate health effects that people are reporting from Chloraminated water is the grave concern about the emerging science in the very little known Disinfection By Products (DBP's) of Chloramine. These DBP's are NOT yet regulated, but are turning out to be many magnitudes more toxic than those of Chlorine. (THM's & HAA's)

Finally, Chloramine is much more corrosive to plumbing, lead pipes, copper pipes with lead solder and brass plumbing fixtures, which contain lead. Lead is being leached into drinking water because of the corrosive effects of Chloramine on combinations of these metals. Sometimes the level of lead leached into the drinking water is extremely high. Children from Chloraminated water districts are showing high levels of lead in their blood. And for those of us concerned about our environment, Chloramine is much more toxic to fish, frogs, amphibians and to other aquatic life. Water main breaks with water disinfected with Chlorine rarely does any damage unless the level of Chlorine is extremely high. But with Chloramine, however, even small traces from breaks and leaks, as well as from people washing their cars or watering their lawns can wipe out fish, frogs and amphibians in nearby ponds, streams and lakes. WHY RISK OUR FRAGILE ENVIRONMENT IF THERE ARE BETTER ALTERNATIVES????? And there are alternatives that are safer like:

Enhanced Membrane Pre-Filtration OR

Combinations of Alternative Disinfectants & Disinfection Techniques OR

Mixing well water with surface water to dilute the DBP's (Disinfection By Products) OR

Air Stripping of the THM's (Trihalomethane's), to name a few!

In closing today, I really want to believe in my heart that each of you 9 City Councilors took your position on the City Council in order to help, protect and look out for the best interest of the people of Tulsa. I plead with you to help protect the health of Tulsa's water consumer's. Please oppose the use of Chloramine as it has not been studied for the very health effects that people all over the country and all over the world are reporting.

A week later, on October 11, 2011, Kinney was at another City Council committee meeting to attempt to get answers to her questions about chloramine:

There was a Tulsa City Council meeting, Tuesday, October 11, where discussion with the Deputy Director for the Public Works Department, Clayton Edwards, & City of Tulsa Ammonia (Chloramine) conversion project leader, Joan Arthur took place. There was not one member of the TUMA (Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority) Board present for discussion. The meeting was set regarding the postponing the implementation of using Chloramines in the Tulsa public water system. The following concerns were attempted at being discussed, however, the meeting was terminated after a couple were asked and still yet unanswered.

Numerous email's & phone calls have been received regarding input and interest in Tulsa's conversion to Chloramine. Chloramine is to be used as a secondary disinfectant for Tulsa water utility consumers and those in surrounding areas, who do and will, purchase water from the City of Tulsa.

You state that Tulsa thoroughly researched the potential impact of the Stage 2 D/DBP rules and the alternatives available to meet the new regulations, for the last ten years. I would like to know exactly what treatment processes were evaluated and why these processes's were ruled out?

You state that the byproducts in some parts of the city, are projected to exceed or be very close to Stage 2 DBP standards. What data are these projections based on? Which parts of Tulsa are "problem" areas and/or areas where the levels of byproducts are projected to exceed standard levels? By how much are these areas expected to exceed the standards?

You state that a small amount of ammonia will be added to the water. Yet, no one, not even the EPA, knows if even a small amount of ammonia is safe since there is NO data regarding how much ammonia is safe in drinking water.

You state Chloramine is less reactive in the distribution system. Yet chloramine, forms many disinfection by products that are much more toxic than the currently regulated, THMs and HAAs. Some examples include iodo acetic acid, NDMA'S and nitrogen containing DBPs, according to the journal AWWA, February 2001. (NDMA is a probable carcinogen)

Using chloramine as a residual does not "adequately" protect people from re-contamination due to water line breaks, road work, construction with water lines and home plumbing leaks. It is also a greater hazard to the environment. Water main breaches and run off into storm sewers, lakes or ponds, kills fish, frogs and other aquatic life.

Chloramine is much more toxic to aquatic life than an equal dose of Chlorine. The edition of even small amounts of Chloramine to aquariums or fish ponds quickly results in death for fish as well as frogs, amphibians and other organisms. This has never happened with Chlorine unless unusually high concentrations of Chlorine were present in the tap water.
You state that trihalomethanes are linked to bladder cancer. The data shows that it takes 70 years of chronic exposure to trihalomethanes, to see a 1.7% increase in the incidence of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is the easiest type of cancer to treat and has the lowest mortality rate.

You state that the maximum residual disinfectant level (MRDL) of 4 mg/ L is approved by the EPA. However, the EPA based this MRDL on studies that are incomplete. The EPA simply substituted data for chlorine, to fill in the "gaps" in the studies on chloramine, since the studies on chloramine were never completed. The EPA has ASSUMED that chlorine and chloramine have similar health effects, but studies from OSHA and NIOSH, prove otherwise.

Chloramine is a much more potent respiratory and dermal irritant than chlorine. It has different chemical properties and reactivity than chlorine.


You state that you will be monitoring the lead levels in the distribution system for one year. Will you test water samples in homes, apartments, office buildings, schools and other building's in and around Tulsa? And if so how many residences & building's will be tested? How frequently will they be tested & in what manner will they be tested? (When samples are collected, will you take a first draw? Or will your flush/run the water to clear out the pipes? Flushing can miss the lead that may be present in the water, due to chloramine's corrosive effects on plumbing that contains combinations of copper, lead and brass).

You state that chloraminated water is safe for all everyday uses. However, there are NO skin, respiratory or digestive studies nor is there any epidemiological data to prove that statement. It is in fact your opinion. You can verify that these studies DO NOT EXIST, by looking chloramine up in the IRIS, published by the EPA. The EPA DID NOT study the dermal, respiratory, ocular, and digestive effects of chlorimanated water. The limited cancer studies on chloraminated water are considered inadequate for assessment. There is some evidence that chloramine itself is a carcinogen but, we do not know for sure if it causes cancer, what type and at what levels.

The truth is, that there is not enough data to know if chloraminated water is safe for ANY uses, for human beings. Until those studies are done, NO ONE can say that chloraminated water is safe. No studies = WE DO NOT KNOW!


You state that currently 30% of all municipal water treatment systems rely on chloramine disinfection and that chloramine has been used for over 90 years. Still, ONLY studies will prove if chloramine is harmful to human health!

You state that neighboring cities like Oklahoma City, Norman, Sand Springs, Lawton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Denver, and St. Louis have converted their water disinfection process over to Chloramine. That DOES NOT PROVE THAT CHLORAMINE IS SAFE!

There are numerous cases in Pennsylvania, California, Washington DC, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, Dallas, Vermont, Massachusetts, Colorado, Maine, Arizona, Florida, Oregon, Colorado, in which citizens are reporting serious health effects as a direct result of using Chloraminated water for drinking, bathing, cooking and other everyday uses of their tap water.

Where is the data supporting the finding that the reported health effects from Chloramine are "isolated?" How do you know the similar symptoms have not occurred in any of the cities using Chloramine that Tulsa has contacted? Did you contact hospitals and clinics, to ask if there had been increased reports of skin, respiratory or digestive symptoms, since the addition of chloramine to their water? How many cities and how many consumer's and residents were contacted? Until you have that information, you DO NOT KNOW what effects Chloramine is having on those residents.

Please do not put Chloramine in our water at the expense of the health of Tulsan's. We are already going to be paying more for an unsafe disinfectant when we should be paying more for a safe alternative!


The EPA collection of frequently asked questions about chloramine.

The website of Citizens Concerned About Chloramine (CCAC)

Wikipedia article on chloramine

Last week the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group published a detailed history of George Kaiser's fortune, a fortune built with care to avoid paying taxes, according to the story's author, Bill Allison.

Allison co-authored The Cheating of America, a 2001 book on "wealthy individuals and powerful corporations avoid taxes." The article quotes figures from that book on Kaiser's success at avoiding federal taxes:

In 1997, the Internal Revenue Service sent Kaiser and his companies tax bills for more than $72 million in back taxes, interest and penalties, covering individual and corporate returns filed from 1986 to 1992. Kaiser filed returns showing his personal income averaging negative $860,000 between 1986 and 1991; his holding company, GBK Corp., and its subsidiaries reported an aggregate loss from 1989 to 1992 of $507,000--some years it made money and paid taxes, others it claimed losses and paid none.

The article tells the story of Kaiser's acquisition of Bank of Oklahoma, which started with a bad acquisition by BOK, followed by a federal bailout:

Bank of Oklahoma had largely avoided making rash loans during the state's oil boom economy that led so many other savings institutions--including savings and loans, 162 of which shut down during the crisis--from going broke. But in 1984, Bank of Oklahoma bought Fidelity Bank N.A., an Oklahoma City-based bank whose books were loaded with bad loans. Kaiser, who was a shareholder and served on Bank of Oklahoma's board of directors at the time, favored the deal, which didn't work out so well. Fidelity's bad loans were a drag on Bank of Oklahoma, which, after declaring a quarterly loss of $51 million in 1986, turned to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for a bailout. The FDIC deemed it essential to the state's economy, and rather than shut it down bailed it out the bank for $130 million. Five years later, after returning the bank to profitability, the FDIC sold it to Kaiser--for $61 million.

The deal was a profitable one--by 1998, his shares in the company were worth some $917 million; on April 26, 2011, when the bank issued its last proxy statement, Kaiser's shares were worth more than $2.1 billion, while his foundation held another $251 million of its stock.

According to Allison, the money to buy BOK came as a loan from Kaiser's GBK Corp., which the IRS called a dividend. The IRS's tax bill of more than $48,000,000 was settled for less than $12,000.

Allison links to a 2007 Forbes article in which Kaiser supports Warren Buffett's call for higher marginal income tax rates. But surely higher marginal rates only provide incentive for the sort of tax avoidance that Allison has documented in this article.

I have to take issue with the headline on Allison's article: "Barack Obama's other billionaire: How George Kaiser turned Oklahoma into his personal tax haven." Allison's focus is on Kaiser's avoidance of federal taxes and doesn't mention Oklahoma taxes. However, as long as we're on that subject:

OCPA's AccountAbilityOK online database of Oklahoma spending, revenues, payrolls, pensions, and tax credits shows that George Kaiser claimed over $29.5 million in state income tax credits for fiscal years ending 2009 and 2010, nearly all of it for venture capital investments. BOK Financial Corp and Subsidiaries claimed $10.5 million in Oklahoma tax credits for FY 2010; the bulk of it, $8.3 million, was the Space Transportation Vehicle Provider tax credit.


The American Planning Association has named Tulsa's historic Swan Lake neighborhood one of ten Great Neighborhoods for 2011, part of the APA's annual recognition of "Great Places In America." (Hat tip to KRMG News for the story.)


From the APA's citation:

What dominates this attractive and popular neighborhood are the well-maintained sturdy bungalows built along tree-lined streets between 1920 and 1930. Apartment buildings, which meshed with the development's middle-class appeal, appeared on outlying streets as early as 1918. One innovative apartment complex built in 1929 featured a courtyard at its center to provide outdoor recreation space for its tenants. Duplexes and garage apartments -- many from Swan Lake's earliest days -- continue to attract singles, young couples, and empty-nesters.

Once a spring-fed watering hole, Swan Lake eventually became a community gathering place and the site of a 1910 amusement park. Today the lake and surrounding park, a popular bird watching spot, are the focus of neighborhood attention as residents raise funds to restore a 1920s stone fountain.

Finding solutions to commercial encroachment is another focus of residents. The neighborhood is within easy walking distance of the very popular Cherry Street retail and restaurant corridor, several medical facilities, and other businesses. The Swan Lake Neighborhood Association, which initiated a successful effort to add a historic preservation zoning overlay, supports efforts to keep commercial development on the perimeter of the neighborhood from expanding into the residential district.

Another positive feature noted by APA is the mix of housing: More expensive, larger single family homes around the lake and around the southern end of the neighborhood, a mix including smaller bungalows and brick apartment buildings through the northern half of the neighborhood. This is a neighborhood where you could find housing suitable for any stage of your life. The couple that spends $100 for dinner and drinks on Cherry Street lives in the neighborhood; so does their waiter and their bartender and the barista who makes the lovely designs on their after-dinner lattes.


Historic preservation has helped to preserve that diversity of housing stock. You can see what happens without that protection by heading north of Cherry Street -- affordable bungalows and brick apartment buildings replaced by $300,000-plus townhomes (which are now selling at a deep discount from their peak prices). Speculation replaced affordability for which there was a demand with luxury which apparently lacks strong demand at the moment.

Note the balance in the APA's description -- walking distance of popular shopping districts is a good thing, but protection of the residential area against commercial encroachment is important, too, especially since new commercial development is likely to be larger in scale, be less attractive, require more off-street parking, and use lower quality building materials and techniques than the commercial development from the 1920s and 1930s along Cherry Street.

The APA specifically salutes legislative efforts to prevent that encroachment:

  • Organized in 1983, Swan Lake Neighborhood Association launched a successful campaign (1992) to list neighborhood in the National Register of Historic Places (1998)
  • City approves neighborhood petition for Historic Preservation overlay zoning for Swan Lake and adopts design guidelines (1994)
  • Residents support legislative efforts (2011) to close loophole permitting commercial development within boundaries of Historic Preservation Zoning districts
  • City council places a moratorium, to expire December 1, 2011, on use of planned unit developments to amend zoning in historic districts
  • As part of implementing its recently adopted comprehensive plan, PLANiTulsa, City allocates $300,000 to develop three small-area plans, including one that incorporates those parts of Swan Lake adjacent to commercial and medical corridor

I discussed the HP / PUD loophole at length back in May, when the City Council voted for the temporary change to the zoning code to close that loophole. The sunset clause was a vain attempt to placate the build-anything-anywhere lobby and keep them on the sidelines during the election. As I predicted, the Council's pusillanimity on this issue did not inoculate them from opposition and defeat, despite their hopes to the contrary. The new council, elected with chamber and developer money, is unlikely to remove the sunset clause or even to extend the moratorium.

It's probably too much to hope, but before the new council is seated the current council could, without going back to the TMAPC, vote to remove the sunset clause from the ordinance. (The TMAPC made a recommendation on the proposed ordinance back in May; they would not need to be consulted again.) It would be a positive legacy for the outgoing councilors -- protecting the integrity of a nationally recognized neighborhood, a jewel in Tulsa's crown, keeping speculators from killing the Swan that laid the golden egg.

If you want to know what the build-anything-anywhere lobby will do, given the chance, just look at Bumgarner's Folly, the big vacant lot south of 14th Street between Troost and Utica Avenues. Already, developers have eroded HP-zoned neighborhoods along Utica by razing protected homes for parking as part of PUDs for large office buildings.

Last week, at the Forest Orchard neighborhood association candidate forum, I asked Ken Brune, the Democratic nominee for the District 4 council seat, "Do you think the HP boundaries ought to be respected, or are they negotiable for the right project?" Brune's response: "I think it depends upon the project.... I think that those decisions have to be made on a case by case basis as to whether you make any changes with regard to the rules. The rules are there, the rules need to be followed, unless of course a certain project that there be an exception.... " His opponent, Republican nominee Blake Ewing, has made several clear written statements on the moratorium and on historic preservation in general:

Does he support the moratorium on PUD's in HP Districts?

Will he vote to extend it if no small area plans are in place to protect HP District boundaries when it is set to expire in December?
Yes, though I really want to see us get to work on those small area plans.

In today's Wall Street Journal's William McGurn explores Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser's motivations in his involvement in Solyndra. Some excerpts:

The George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa, Okla., was the company's largest shareholder. The family foundation has attracted attention because it is set up as a "supporting organization" for the Tulsa Community Foundation. Supporting organizations provide donors with generous tax deductions while they are not required to give away the 5% of assets that, say, a private foundation must....

No doubt Mr. Kaiser's charitable giving has done some wonderful things for Tulsa. Unfortunately, when it came to a politically fashionable cause, Mr. Kaiser's concern for the taxpayer simply vanished. In its place was a much less appealing ethos, which he alluded to in the same Rotary speech where he spoke about "guilt."...

...As Mr. Kaiser appreciates, an oil man who denounces fossil fuels will be lionized even as he continues to make millions off them, in the same way that a billionaire such as Warren Buffet earns praise for calling for higher taxes. But if you are a businessman such as David and Charles Koch, and you use your wealth to try to preserve the economic freedom you believe will help others move up the ladder, you will soon find yourself branded as an enemy of the people.

"We're all familiar with the greedy businessman who pushes taxpayer subsidies to enrich himself," says Scott Walter, a former domestic policy adviser in the Bush administration who now writes for PhilanthropyDaily.com. "Solyndra tells us we might want to start paying more attention to the businessman who's already rich--but seeks to salve a guilty conscience by putting taxpayers on the hook for his pet causes."

(If you're not a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal, you can read McGurn's entire piece for free by entering the site via a Google search for the title, "Solyndra and a Billionaire's Guilt Trip.")

McGurn's last paragraph quotes Scott Walter's article on Philanthropy Daily, "The Other Solyndra Scandal," which is worth your attention. Walter goes deeper into the special nature of GKFF and the tax advantages of this arrangement vs. direct charitable giving or setting up a traditional foundation. Effectively, you can set aside money for charitable purposes and take the tax deduction now, but wait until much later to decide how to spend it, maintaining control over the money in the meantime. (Idle thought: If you needed the money at some future time, could you take it out? What would be the tax consequences? Penalties, or just taxable at the time you withdrew it?)

A couple of excerpts from Walker:

Kaiser explains that "there's never been more money shoved out of the government's door in world history and probably never will be again than in the last few months and the next 18 months, and our selfish, parochial goal is to get as much of it for Tulsa and Oklahoma as we possibly can."

Is this zealous grab for other people's money greed? The dollars at issue weren't voluntarily donated by generous fellow citizens, nor were they knowingly risked by venture capitalists gambling with their own money. No, the dollars Mr. Kaiser sought to get his "selfish" hands on were tax dollars that his fellow citizens were compelled to provide, supposedly for the common good....

Why isn't it greedy and improper when a billionaire with enormous charitable resources - $4 billion in the George Kaiser Family Foundation as of 2009 - manipulates tax dollars into a dubious hobbyhorse project of his? Especially when that hobbyhorse is a for-profit company in which the billionaire's foundation is the largest stockholder? And when the billionaire's foundation ends up, at bankruptcy time, ahead of the taxpayers in the line to recoup something from the cratered company's assets, even though federal law appears to make it illegal to put private investors ahead of taxpayers in such circumstances?

I am still trying to get my mind around the motivations and actions surrounding George Kaiser, GKFF, and TCF. Solyndra is just the latest episode in a long-running drama that includes -- on the negative side of the ledger -- Great Plains Airlines (and the taxpayers' ultimate payback of money we didn't owe to Kaiser's Bank of Oklahoma), the downtown baseball stadium (and the heavy-handed approach to its surrounding development), the mediocre candidates Kaiser has backed for public office in Tulsa, the county river tax, and -- on the positive side -- RiverParks trails improvements, supplemental funds for beautification for new public construction, financial support for the comprehensive plan process and the city government efficiency study, purchase and preservation of the Blair Mansion and grounds, support for the Tulsa Fab Lab, and financial support for countless worthy projects and programs.

It's a complex picture. I don't buy the idea that Kaiser is all about building his own wealth. I don't buy his explanation of his success as "dumb luck," and I don't think he does either. Some describe Kaiser as very hands-off when it comes to spending his money, and that he lets himself be driven by what the community wants, but that doesn't entirely square with the facts either. (And who has the standing to define what the community wants for him?) Even if his motivation is purely altruistic, his vision of the good may be entirely at odds with that of his intended beneficiaries. Potentially, he could be a kind of cultural imperialist, with Oklahoma as his mission field.

Leverage and control are two recurring themes. It's a commonplace in Tulsa that money from GKFF comes not with strings attached, but with chains.

Because of his connection to Solyndra, who George Kaiser is and what he wants is a matter of curiosity for the rest of the world. Because of his economic power and his focus on Tulsa, who George Kaiser is and what he wants is a matter of critical concern for Tulsans.

Mainstream media sources like Bloomberg News and the Washington Post have been digging deeper into the bankruptcy of federally-subsidized Solyndra, looking particularly at George Kaiser, whose venture capital companies were involved in Solyndra's financing, and his George Kaiser Family Foundation, which held a large stake in the failed company. A few brief links:

Bloomberg News: Obama-Backing Billionaire's Charity Sought Solyndra in Tulsa

Washington Post: Investment in failed solar firm Solyndra raises questions about nonprofit's purpose

Philanthropy Daily: The Other Solyndra Scandal

New York Times, April 25, 2005: A Tax Benefit for Big Donors Often Bypasses Idea of Charity

Michelle Malkin: Solyndra Watch

KGO: Roseanne says guilty bankers should be beheaded: I imagine generous fundraising for President Obama's re-election would qualify a banker for a pardon from this modern-day Madame Defarge.

Consider this a placeholder. Will come back and add excerpts and my own thoughts later. In the meantime, read these stories for yourself.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa category from October 2011.

Tulsa: September 2011 is the previous archive.

Tulsa: November 2011 is the next archive.

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