Tulsa Election 2009: October 2009 Archives

Some mayoral substance

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Mike Easterling has a good story on the Tulsa mayor's race in the current issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly. Former Mayor Rodger Randle described the temporal challenges the mayor faces, particularly when it comes to the community meetings that demand most of a mayor's evenings:

Randle said he often considered his attendance at events for smaller groups more important than his obligation to show up for functions thrown by bigger, better-known organizations. His rationale for that line of thinking was that most of those older, well-established civic groups in Tulsa already were secure in the knowledge that they would have a voice in how local issues are handled. Many newer, outside-the-mainstream organizations are still searching for that assurance, Randle said.

"A lot of them don't know if they're considered to be an inclusive part of the community or not," he said.

Randle's attendance at their functions often signaled to those groups that they were, and he relied on that goodwill for the support of those groups when the time came to pass a civic initiative, such as a bond issue.

"Often, your success was linked to how much those different groups felt they were part of the city," he said.

I refer you once again to the high levels of disagreement, particularly in north, east, and west Tulsa, with the statement, "City leaders in Tulsa understand my community's needs," and the high levels of agreement with the statement, "I do not feel included in the planning process. People like me are always left out."

Randle also emphasized the importance of neighborhood quality of life to the overall health of the city, and so a mayor needs to look beyond the headline issues.

The article goes on to include substantial thoughts from three of the candidates on some issues that haven't received much attention in the race to date, including PLANiTULSA and urban development. Although I haven't had the chance to speak with any of the candidates on these issues, I was pleased to see some ideas I've espoused here and elsewhere being expressed by the candidates. More on the specifics in a later post.

Steven Roemerman has a post up on Dewey Bartlett Jr's belated denials that he was a member of Tulsans for Better Government, the group that in 2005 unsuccessfully circulated a petition to change the Tulsa City Charter to reduce the number of City Council districts to six and add three at-large council seats to be elected citywide. The divisive proposal failed to gain enough signatures to make the ballot.

According to Roemerman, Bartlett Jr now says "that he really had no knowledge of the at-large councilor idea, that he thought he was signing up for 'one of these kind of good government uhh, let's help somebody get elected' groups."

Roemerman did some digging, speaking to two attorneys who were involved in the group. He received apparently contradictory information, with Bartlett Jr apparently saying he agreed to join the group but denying he knew it had anything to do with at-large councilors and the attorneys apparently saying that he was never on the list of advisory board members, despite the October 2005Tulsa World story and TBG website to the contrary.

I've posted a couple of comments to a thread about Roemerman's story on TulsaNow's Tulsa Forum:

I find it interesting that, like Randi Miller and Kathy Taylor, Dewey Bartlett Jr made no objection to the use of his name by Tulsans for Better Government in the fall of 2005, when the group was actively collecting signatures for their petition for the at-large councilor charter amendment and these names lent some credibility to the effort. Each of the three only claimed to have been misinformed about or unaware of the purpose of the group when they became candidates for mayor. The petition drive stalled, Mayor LaFortune appointed a citizens' commission on city government as a way to give his pals on TBG a face-saving way to terminate their faltering effort. The at-large plan received support from only a few commissioners; the final report rejected the proposal.

A Tulsa World story on October 27, 2005, focused on Tulsans for Better Government's petition drive for at-large councilors and included a list of advisory board members. Dewey Bartlett Jr's name was on the list. You'd think someone would have mentioned to Bartlett Jr that his name was in the paper in connection with a controversial proposal. Or he might have noticed that this group he was asked to join had generated some opposition.

At a mayoral forum before the primary, sponsored by the Republican Women's Club, Chris Medlock pointed out that the same group pushing non-partisan elections -- Tulsans for Better Government -- started out pushing for at-large councilors. Medlock said that Bartlett Jr had been a charter member of that group. Bartlett Jr did not speak up to deny involvement, defend his involvement, or even to say, "I have no idea what you're talking about." It's as if he hadn't yet figured out that the at-large issue and the group that pushed it were political liabilities.

Greg Bledsoe, who headed the group Tulsans Defending Democracy, has also weighed in on Bartlett Jr's denial. I agree wholeheartedly with his conclusion:

For Bartlett to say what he is now saying about TBG means he really was seriously uninformed and naive in 2005 or he is not telling the truth now. Either indicates to me a serious question about his qualification to be mayor. If naive--I guess that he will follow others leads rather than decide for himself--indicating to me that the folks who formed TBG in 2005 will most likely be telling him what to sign up for in 2009.

Bledsoe also tells an anecdote which neatly encapsulates the spirit of the Money Belt that motivated the at-large councilor proposal:

The attitude of the TBG folks is best expressed by one of their principals to me at a cocktail party--"I long to return to the day when you could drive a golf ball from your front lawn and hit the lawn of every other member of the city commission."

MORE: Here's my October 26, 2005, column on the Tulsans for Better Government proposal, which explains the political context behind the at-large councilor idea. I think this was the first column in which I used the term "Money Belt," which I defined as "that band of affluence stretching from Utica Square to Southern Hills." Toward the end of the column I elaborate:

Councilors Henderson, Mautino, Medlock, and Turner are each devoted to the needs of their own constituents, but they've also worked together to ensure that the citizens of the historically neglected east, west, and north sections of our city receive the city services they are owed.

And that seems to be what really bugs the bunch behind the at-large council proposal. It's the Money Belt denizens backing this plan that tend to take a parochial view, seeing Tulsa as a small, close-knit, fabulously wealthy town centered on Utica Square. Neighborhoods like West Highlands and Garden City, Rose Dew and Wagon Wheel, Sequoyah and Suburban Acres may as well be foreign countries to them.

The quote from a TBG member that Greg Bledsoe relates reflects that same parochial attitude. The Money Belt isn't a conspiracy, it's a subculture. Its boundaries aren't precise, and not everyone within those boundaries is a part of the subculture, but its existence is reflected in election results (mayoral elections and tax initiatives alike), in mayoral appointments, and in Collective Strength's survey results from last summer.

From our local League of Women Voters, a chance to hear from (almost) all of our citywide candidates, on Friday, October 30, 2009:

The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa (LWVMT) and the Brookside NA will sponsor a mayoral candidate forum at All Souls Unitarian Church, 29th and Peoria, at 6 p.m. on Friday, 10/30. Tom Adelson, Dewey Bartlett and Mark Perkins have agreed to participate. This will be followed by an Auditor Candidate forum at 7 p.m. Note that this may be the only time during this campaign when citizens will have the opportunity to listen to (and pose questions to) the two candidates for City Auditor.

The two candidates for City Auditor are 21-year incumbent Democrat Phil Wood and Republican challenger Preston Doerflinger.

The LWV Tulsa calendar lists some other mayoral forums that the organization is co-sponsoring:

  • October 26, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m., Clinton Middle School, cosponsored with the Tulsa County News (the weekly paper for southwest Tulsa)
  • October 27, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m., Cox Communications, broadcast live on Cable Channel 3
  • October 28, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • October 30, 12 noon - 1:00 p.m., Aaronson Auditorium, Tulsa Central Library, with Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry and Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice

Roscoe_driller-sm.jpgYou may feel that there's no hope for a decent outcome in the Tulsa mayor's race, but there's still a chance to elect more proactive, independent-minded, taxpayer-friendly, and neighborhood-friendly city councilors. Two of the key races are in Districts 3 and 6, where two former incumbents with grassroots backing are trying to unseat the current councilors, who enjoy heavy funding from out-of-district interests.

Phone calls and door-knocking by grassroots volunteers can help make up for a lack of funds, but only to a point. A candidate still needs to send mail to ensure that his message gets to every voter in the district. Printing and mailing a postcard can cost as much as $1 each.

Roscoe Turner, running in District 3, has a PayPal account set up to make it easy to donate. Just click the button below to start the process. You can donate with any major credit card or with your PayPal account.

If you'd rather write a check, make it payable to

Roscoe Turner Campaign
3415 E. Haskell St.
Tulsa, OK 74115

JamesMautino.jpgIt's a bit more work to contribute to Jim Mautino, running to regain his seat in District 6, but it's worth the effort. Make checks payable to Friends of James Mautino for District 6 Councilor and mail them or drop them off at this address:

Friends of James Mautino for District 6 Councilor
14628 E. 12th St.
Tulsa, OK 74108

If you mail a check, call the candidate to let him know. It will help him plan end-of-campaign activities if he knows how much money will be coming in. Here are the phone numbers

Roscoe Turner: 918-834-7580
Jim Mautino: 918-437-2642

And both candidates could still use your help knocking on doors, handing out flyers, and making phone calls. It looks like it'll be a great weekend for walking neighborhoods. Call them at the numbers above to ask how you can help.

The Pearl District Association is hosting a forum featuring the two candidates for Tulsa City Council District 4: Eric Gomez, the incumbent, and Maria Barnes, the previous incumbent. If you're particularly concerned about land use planning, zoning, urban revitalization, and neighborhoods, this is the forum to attend, as the Pearl District audience asks great questions. Here's my column about the 2008 forum, featuring the same two candidates, and here's the audio from last year.

The forum is tonight from 6:00 to 7:30, at "The Boathouse" -- the Central Center at Centennial Park, 1028 E. 6th St. (just a bit west of Peoria).

I have put together a very crude map showing the variation by precinct in the results in last month's Republican primary for Mayor of Tulsa. The base map is from the University of Oklahoma Center for Spatial Analysis. I added dots, using colors to indicate Dewey Bartlett Jr's share of the vote in each precinct: Under 40%, 40%-49%, 50-59%, 60-69%, 70% and over. Because percentages get strange with small numbers of votes, I didn't map precincts with less than 25 voters. The file is a PDF, 1.7 MB.

I'd love to have the GIS tools to show shaded precinct areas or shaded circles of a size proportionate to the number of votes, automagically driven by the numbers in a database, but for now you'll have to make do with this handcrafted map.


Do you see a familiar pattern?

MORE: A 1998 Tulsa World story showed a similar pattern in the home addresses of then-Mayor Susan Savage's appointees to city authorities, boards, and commissions:

The World study found that 73 of Savage's current board appointments, or 58 percent, live in Districts 8 and 9, areas that generally cover the south and southeastern parts of the city.

While midtown and southside make up the bulk of Savage's appointments, just 16 of the 127 Savage appointments, 12 percent, live in the north and east sides of town.

Fifty-five Savage appointees, or 43 percent of the total, live within two miles of her Maple Ridge residence [18th and Owasso]....

The story indicated that District 9 had 53 appointees, District 8 had 20, District 2 and 4 had 15 appointees each, District 1 and 7 had 8 each, District 3 had 4, District 5 and 6 had 2 apiece. Unfortunately, the map that accompanied the story is not on the web, but it shows that nearly all of the District 4 appointees came from the far western part of the district (near Savage's home), and nearly all of the District 2 appointees lived in Precincts 46 and 47, midtown precincts that were moved to District 4 in the 2001 redistricting.

Last Tuesday, I received an e-mail from the Tulsa County Republican Party with the title "An Open Letter to All Republicans from Dewey Bartlett Jr." The introduction says the letter is "the outcome of meetings between the [Tulsa County Republican Party] elected officials and the Bartlett [Jr] campaign officials," which calls into question whether Bartlett Jr himself was involved in the composition of this letter, although presumably he signed it.

Attached below the Bartlett Jr statement was a note that Bartlett Jr had finally signed a pledge opposing non-partisan elections, which puts him at odds with his friends at Tulsans for Better Government, who circulated the charter change petition, and the Tulsa World editorial board.

RepublicansForKathy-DeweyBartlettJr.jpgReading between the lines, it appears that Republican Party officials used the leverage of their endorsement to get Bartlett Jr on the record on matters of conservative principle, with hopes that they can hold him to this statement on specific issues. While the endorsement of party officials is normally automatic for the winner of the Republican primary, this year we have a nominee who had already endorsed the Democratic incumbent for re-election. I think it's fair to say that the only Republican Bartlett Jr would have endorsed for mayor is Bartlett Jr.

I have heard that county party officials have been under relentless pressure to issue an endorsement, and this statement gives them a pretext for changing course. Unfortunately, several of his statements don't square with his recent public record, and others are ambiguous enough that he could adhere to the letter of the agreement while violating its spirit.

You can read the entire statement at Roemerman on Record. Here are a few of the items that either run contrary to Bartlett Jr's record or need more specificity:

Public Safety: Strong public safety is my first priority. I will hire more police to combat crime with existing revenue streams. I will collaborate with Sheriff Stanley Glanz to be sure we are fighting crime with all means and resources necessary. I believe in enforcement and punishment, not the latest social program to treat criminals. Any increases in the police and fire budgets will go to protecting Tulsans or fighting crime.

Collaborating with the sheriff makes sense on most issues, but there are times -- the jail contract, for example -- when the sheriff's interests and the city's interests don't line up, and at those times, city elected officials have to look out for the interests of the citizens who elected them.

I'd like to know whether Bartlett Jr will support 287(g) certification for the Tulsa Police Department. I'd also like to know whether Bartlett Jr agrees with Councilor Bill Martinson that public safety's growing share of the city's general fund budget is cause for concern. I'd like to know from all the mayoral candidates: Where were you when this issue was before the City Council back in June?

Taxes: I pledge not to raise our taxes. Taxes should always remain low, and now more than ever we simply cannot raise taxes.

This promise doesn't square with Bartlett Jr's vote last June, as a member of the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust (TAIT), to raise our property taxes by agreeing to an unjust $7.1 million settlement with Bank of Oklahoma in the Great Plains Airlines lawsuit. Had he voted against it and persuaded two of his fellow trustees to join him in opposition, the settlement would have failed, the legal process would have moved ahead, with the possibility that the parties responsible for the GPA disaster would be held accountable legally, financially, and politically. Instead, he praised the tax hike, praised Kathy Taylor for coming up with the scheme, voted for it, and then endorsed Kathy Taylor for re-election. When he personally had the power to stop a tax increase, Dewey Bartlett Jr supported and praised the tax increase.

Bartlett Jr's promise leaves a lot of wiggle room. He can propose putting a tax increase before city voters on the grounds that he wants to give the voters a chance to decide whether to raise their taxes. When Tulsa County comes back with a 4-to-Fix sales tax renewal (which would now raise the overall tax rate, since the City of Tulsa's streets tax in the same amount will go into effect when 4-to-Fix expires) or another stab at the river tax, Bartlett Jr can endorse it without literally breaking his promise.

As we've noted before, putting a tax increase before the voters is not a neutral act. Tax votes are expensive: Expensive for the county election board, expensive for the proponents, and expensive and time consuming for the opponents. Those interests that will benefit financially from the tax hike will pour money into supporting its passage, while opponents will struggle to raise 1% of the money to get their message out. It's a classic case of concentrated benefits vs. diffuse costs.

A meaningful promise would have been to veto any council resolution for an election that would raise the overall rate of taxation on Tulsa taxpayers and to oppose publicly and energetically any attempt by other jurisdictions (e.g. Tulsa County) to raise the overall sales tax rate.

Tom Adelson has actually voted for significant state tax cuts on several occasions, including the one that was finally passed in 2006 -- yes, that's the year he and other Democratic state senators got ticked off at Gov. Brad Henry for going behind their backs to cut a deal with House Republicans.

Bartlett Jr never has, as far as I am aware, ever opposed a local tax increase, and that alone makes Bartlett Jr's promise ring hollow. (Neither Adelson nor Mark Perkins has ever opposed a local tax increase either, as far as I know.)

And as Dan Hicks has noted, tax increases have an easier time passing when Republicans are in office. That's because the local Republican Party leadership will energetically oppose a tax increase pushed by a Democrat, but when the tax backers are Republican officials, some party leaders believe the party organization must back the elected officials at all costs. The Tulsa County Republican Executive Committee voiced opposition to two attempts to raise the city sales tax to build a downtown arena, in 1997 and 2000. That was when Democrat Susan Savage was mayor. But when Republican Bill LaFortune was mayor and two of the three county commissioners were Republicans, the Executive Committee did not take an official stance on what was a much larger tax increase than the two that the party leadership had officially opposed.

Last week's Tulsa Beacon had a front-page story about Bartlett Jr's pledge not to raise taxes, but the same story notes that he's been endorsed by Tulsa County Commissioners Fred Perry and John Smaligo. As a Republican legislator, Perry had taken the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes," as a County Commissioner Smaligo stated, "The commissioners believe in solid conservative economic principles that when you raise taxes, you hamper commerce and industry," and yet they both voted to put the Tulsa County River Tax on the ballot. Both of them justified their decision to put the tax on the ballot as giving the voters the chance to decide.

Fiscal Restraint: I will manage the budget, making sure we cut unnecessary spending. I will utilize internal and external audits to find out where we can reduce the size and waste in our government.

That's great, but I'd like to know how Bartlett Jr reconciles that position his endorsement of Kathy Taylor, who rejected efforts by fiscal conservatives like John Eagleton who was working long before the economic downturn to keep the growth of the city budget within the rate of inflation. Had Eagleton been successful, the current budget crisis would be considerably less painfull.

"One Tulsa": We cannot ignore any part of town. We must improve our entire city and be sure that each part has proper investment and service. I will work with, not against, the city councilors to achieve this goal.

This promise doesn't square with Bartlett Jr's endorsement, as a member of Tulsans for Better Government, for a proposal to reduce the number of City Council districts from 9 to 6, and to add three at-large City Council seats that would be elected citywide.

Nearly all the members of Tulsans for Better Government were District 9 residents. The proposal would almost certainly have resulted in three more Midtown Money Belt denizens on the council at the expense of representation north, east, and west Tulsa. Winning an at-large seat would require significant resources, and the larger districts would make it harder for grassroots candidates to compete and win. West Tulsa, already just barely providing one half of the population of Council District 2, would have been reduced to a third of a district, easily ignored at election time.

Had this plan, endorsed by Bartlett Jr, been enacted, it would have made it harder for the entire city to have its voice heard and for districts beyond Midtown to have their needs and priorities considered.

Bartlett Jr's promise to work with the city councilors also doesn't square with his clear statement of disrespect in his announcement speech, with its reference to "partisan bickering."

Pro-Life: I am 100 percent against abortion. We need to encourage our faith communities to continue to help pregnant women cope with the challenges of motherhood and eliminate this terrible practice. I also support the efforts of others, such as Catholic charities, in their fight to stop abortion.

That's commendable, and I am unaware of anything contradictory in Bartlett Jr's record. It's an important issue to me and to most conservative Tulsans, whatever their party registration. Adelson has consistently voted against key pro-life legislation aimed at increasing respect for the sanctity of human life and reducing the number of abortions in Oklahoma. Adelson's consistent pro-abortion position will make it very hard for Republicans dissatisfied with Bartlett Jr to split their tickets in Adelson's favor.

There is a question, however, that I wish Bartlett Jr had addressed, dealing with the mayor's actual powers and prerogatives dealing with pro-life issues: Will you, as mayor, veto any attempt to provide funding through the city to Planned Parenthood or any other organization that performs abortions, makes abortion referrals, or advocates for abortion rights?

In the 1990s Planned Parenthood sought CDBG funding for their clinic. That's federal money allocated by local governments. Although the Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma does not perform abortions in Tulsa, they do refer patients to abortion clinics, they lobby against pro-life legislation in Oklahoma City, and their Arkansas clinics provide abortion services. Money is fungible, and city funds for one of their more legitimate functions frees up donated money for their pro-abortion activities.

Second Amendment: I personally keep and bear arms. This right is a city issue, contrary to what some liberals might say. I will not support limiting our Second Amendment right.

This promise doesn't square with Bartlett Jr's endorsement of Kathy Taylor, who joined the Mayor's Coalition against Illegal Guns, a group founded by liberal mayors with the aim of repealing the Tiahrt Amendment. Bartlett Jr was proud to support Taylor's re-election and, as far as I can find, never protested her participation in this anti-gun-rights group.

The National Rifle Association's political wing has endorsed Tom Adelson for Mayor, on the strength of his pro-gun-rights voting record in the State Senate.

Property Rights: I support property rights of the individual from eminent domain abuse. People are allowed to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in this county and I will stand behind individual property rights which are so essential to this principal [sic].

Eminent domain abuse is in the eye of the beholder. I'd have liked some specifics: Will you veto any ordinance or resolution that authorizes eminent domain for private redevelopment? Was the City right to use its power of eminent domain to clear land for TU's new grand entrance on 11th Street?

Signing on to a statement of vague principles is easy. Bartlett Jr's recent record has enough worrisome aspects that Republican voters should insist on specific commitments before jumping on the Bartlett bandwagon.

Some time ago, Steven Roemerman sent a set of questions to all incumbent councilors to get their opinion on high speed rail, whether Tulsa needs it and how it should be funded. So far three have responded: District 2's Rick Westcott, who was reelected with a primary victory, District 9's G. T. Bynum, who faces perennial candidate Roger Lowry in the general election, and District 6's Dennis Troyer, who faces Jim Mautino, the former councilor he beat in 2006.

Dennis Troyer's responses to Roemerman's questions were almost incomprehensible, but Roemerman generously gave the councilor a chance to revise and extend his remarks. Instead of improving on his first answer, Troyer opted to send a second response as strange as the first.

You'll have to read Troyer's words for yourself, but it appears that Troyer wants to get rid of the Third Penny sales tax as a way of funding high-speed rail. (I don't get it either.)

Roemerman also gave Jim Mautino the chance to respond. The contrast is striking: Mautino's responses are thoughtful, concisely stated, and grounded in principle. I especially liked this point:

Successful rail systems rely on connections to high density population areas with strong urban Public Transportation Systems.

Mautino has traveled widely, including time in Europe and larger U. S. cities. When you take an inter-city train in Europe, the whole journey can be car-free because the stations are in major centers of activity, and there are public transit systems (bus, rail, or a combination) to connect the main-line stations to many other places in the city.

That's not the case in most of the U. S. Using a downtown-to-downtown rail link for a typical trip between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, you'd need to drive downtown, find parking, and then find a rental car on the other end to take you to your destination. Assuming the rail trip itself can be cut to an hour, there's still the added overhead of getting from your point of origin to the train network and from the train network to your real destination. It's almost always going to be faster to drive point-to-point, no matter how fast the train goes.

I also appreciate Mautino's clear position on new or higher taxes -- no -- and his clear position on priorities -- streets, public safety, education.

I might be inclined to dismiss Troyer's disorganized and unprofessional response, except that it is characteristic of his service as a councilor. Just as it would be inappropriate to wear Crocs to a formal occasion, It's inappropriate for public figure to send out a sloppy and barely considered response to a media inquiry. In fact, Troyer wears Crocs to city council meetings, but he appears to leave his thinking cap at home.

Jim Mautino's term as councilor was the only time in the history of the City Council that District 6 has had real representation -- someone there to look after the interests of far east Tulsa residents at City Hall. Mautino took time to research issues, drawing on his experience as an American Airlines maintenance instructor, quality assurance auditor, and neighborhood leader to come to a conclusion and to advocate for his conclusion in council debates.

Troyer, meanwhile, has been a rubber stamp for the mayor's office, developers, and unions. Troyer has been happy to support the continued trashing of Tulsa's front door -- I-44 between 193rd East Ave and 145th East Ave.

JamesMautino.jpgMautino not only looked out for his district's interests during his two years in office, he also worked with other councilors on strategic issues affecting the entire city. One example: Mautino pushed for sewer service to an industrial area that wasn't served by city sewer. The move allowed for further development and job growth in the City of Tulsa. Mautino was also a strong advocate for new retail within city boundaries to help generate more sales tax revenue.

I urge you to vote for Jim Mautino if you live in District 6, ask your friends in the district to vote for him, and donate and volunteer for his campaign. District 6 needs him, and so does the rest of Tulsa.

Yet another linkfest: I washed, dried, folded, and distributed seven loads of laundry yesterday, so I'm lagging behind. Meanwhile, Tulsa area bloggers are turning out plenty worth reading.

In a post titled, "Why I am a Republican," Man of the West relates the evolution of his political philosophy, having started out as a Ayn Rand-inspired Libertarian, then moving to a conservative perspective under the influence of the Bible and writers like Francis Schaeffer. He had been registered as an independent, but "In registering Independent, I began to see, I, and other conservatives like me, were actually making it easier for the Republican Party to continue its slide into political and philosophical incoherence." He came to see the Republican Party as the only hope for promoting and electing officials who would pursue conservative policies.

So I changed my registration to Republican. I vote in the primaries, and I always vote for the most conservative candidate available. But please understand: it's not the Republican Party per se that matters to me; it's the election of conservative candidates. The Republican Party is not my nation, and certainly not my God. The Republican Party is merely a vehicle. And if and when that vehicle isn't getting me where I want to go, I feel free to abandon it, or its candidates.

And that brings him to the impending election:

At the time of writing, there's a candidate for Tulsa mayor--Dewey Bartlett, Jr.--that campaigned in the primary as a "conservative," despite having previously endorsed a pretty liberal Democrat for re-election, despite having supported some very questionable local governmental maneuvers, and having, in his first ads, made rather obvious reference to local conservatives via referring to people's partisanship and "bickering." In my estimation, he appears to have less loyalty to the Republican Party than I do--I certainly never endorsed Kathy Taylor's re-election--and is running as a "conservative" for no other reason than that he knows that being a liberal is political poison in this city. In his case, the vehicle isn't getting me where I want to go, and I refuse to put any "gas"--money or time--into it.

Elsewhere in the Tulsa blogosphere:

Steven Roemerman doesn't like Lucky Lamons's legislation to require pseudoephedrine to be sold only by prescription and he points out the unintended consequences of restrictions on pseudoephedrine sales. (I agree with Steven that phenylephrine -- the drug being substituted for pseudoephedrine in many cold products -- just isn't as good at unblocking sinuses.)

Don Danz has some sweet photos of his boys, including his middle son's third birthday and his smallest learning to pray.

Scot Law remembers his uncle, pianist Larry Dalton, in the latest episode of Goodbye Tulsa.

The Pioneer Woman has some reassuring words for those suffering from the October Homeschooling Blues.

Stan Geiger takes a closer look at what the stimulus money coming to Oklahoma is actually stimulating:

From down the turnpike, Steve Lackmeyer's OKC Central blog presents a post on Oklahoma City's future by Nick Roberts. Nick thinks the core-to-shore plan needs to be reworked, but beyond his interesting ideas on that topic, I really like this guiding principle that he sets out:

In order to visualize Downtown OKC in 2020 we have to visualize Downtown OKC in 2000, and 1990, and so on. Most importantly I think we need to visualize Downtown OKC in 1920, 1930, and 1940. OKC needs to go back to the future to a time when it had excellent downtown parks, a great streetcar network, and downtown vibrancy.

A few links to tide you over:

Tulsa Gal has a photo-filled post on the history of the Tulsa State Fair. The aerial shots showing the evolution of the fairgrounds are fascinating.

Tulsa TV Memories has a page devoted to the Tulsa State Fair, including the classic1965 radio jingle that inspired Tulsa Gal's blog entry title. The page includes memories of TV news remotes from the fairgrounds.

The cover story in last week's Urban Tulsa Weekly has more on Tulsa State Fair history and its 2009 incarnation.

Here's the Tulsa State Fair homepage, with links to schedules and info on exhibits, entertainment, and parking. There's a lot you can do for free, once you pay to get in the gate. For example, the Oklahoma State Fiddle Championship is on Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, and the Mandolin, Finger-style, and Flatpicking Guitar Championships are on Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, both on the Coke Stage, southeast corner of the QuikTrip Center (aka the IPE Building).

Natasha Ball is having an identity crisis and thinks -- thinks -- she needs a makeover to fix it. You can help her reach her goal -- or if you prefer, you can help Holly Wall reach her goal. And don't miss Tasha's weekly list of what to do in Tulsa this weekend, which hints at a gut-wrenching Tulsa State Fair experience from her childhood. (To this dad, who can't stomach twirly rides, it sort of sounds like just desserts.)

Mad Okie, Steven Roemerman, and Man of the West each have some thoughts on the place of party loyalty in a city election. More from Mad Okie on the topic here.

Man of the West was inspired by a recent trip to Barnsdall to take some photos and muse about his vision of the local church as the heart of its neighborhood. I enjoyed his photos of Victory Baptist Church, which is housed in a lovely two-story school house which once was home to Pershing School. (Maybe next time he visits, he can get a closeup of the cornerstone of that building.)

In case you missed it from early last month, Jason Kearney has a post on the accident that killed bicyclist Barbara Duffield and why the immigration status of the driver who killed her matters.

MORE: Irritated Tulsan has 25 Warning Signs the State Fair Is in Town.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa Election 2009 category from October 2009.

Tulsa Election 2009: September 2009 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Election 2009: November 2009 is the next archive.

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



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