Tulsa Election 2011: July 2011 Archives

In 2009, incumbent Councilor Bill Martinson was defeated by Chris Trail, a well-funded challenger, a newcomer to politics and to the city limits, funded and supported by forces that didn't like an intelligent skeptic on the Tulsa City Council scrutinizing their schemes.

I recently came across Martinson's response to the Tulsa Metro Chamber's 2009 candidate questionnaire. As a response to each question, Martinson referred forward to the following reply. Given the Chamber's involvement in this year's election -- hiring a PR consultant to recruit candidates, hiring a political consultant to "advise" them on redistricting, founding a political action committee -- Martinson's words are worth revisiting. (The only edit was to turn a URL in the text into an actual hyperlink.)

An e-mail for a July 20 fund raiser for Chris Trail was forwarded to me from several sources. The invitation and message from Susan Harris, a member of the Chamber staff, clearly validate the rumors that the Chamber supports my opponent, Chris Trail, as a candidate for the City Council. The hostess for the fund raiser has ties to Kathy Taylor and her husband, Bill Lobeck. Mr. Lobeck's attendance at the event substantiates Mr. Trail's claim that he was recruited and is being supported by the Mayor. The Chamber and Mayor Taylor have previously worked with AH Strategies (Karl Ahlgren and Fount Holland) and Mr. Trail credits her with arranging AH Strategies as his campaign advisor. As much as I appreciate receiving your candidate questionnaire, I see no need to provide detailed responses since you and your team have already decided where to direct your support.

I am a CPA with over thirty years of varied business experience and have successfully managed the same manufacturing company since 1996. In addition, I have represented the citizens of District 5 since 2005. My wife and I have owned and occupied our current home since 1981 and our kids, now grown, all attended Tulsa Public Schools. While those qualifications and credentials may fail to meet the Chamber's standards, I ran unopposed last time and my only challenger this year is your handpicked candidate who recently moved into Tulsa and rented a house in my district in order to run for the City Council. This scheme, clearly designed to influence representation on the Council, demonstrates an appalling level of contempt for the value and intelligence of the voters in District 5. Perhaps they will appreciate it is they, not you, that I hope to serve and represent.

Chamber leadership typically advocates and practices blind obedience, and this situation is no exception. You, and the Chamber you represent, are free to follow and support whomever you choose, however, your membership and visitors to your web site may learn some of Mr. Trail's history from an article, "Legal Woes Haunt Candidate", published in the Tulsa World on July 21, 2009. Mr. Trail's documented legal and integrity issues aside, I fail to see how his limited qualifications and recent relocation to the City comply with the statement in your July 20 letter that "The Tulsa Metro Chamber understands the importance of a strong, responsible city government...."; especially since the City of Tulsa is facing perhaps the most difficult financial time in its history. Your attempts to establish a shadow government may ultimately succeed, although I hope the voters prevail, for I remain enough of an idealist
to believe it is still their City.

Trail won but, having served the ends of Taylor and the Chamber to eliminate Martinson, has been cast aside in favor of Karen Gilbert, who is Ahlgren's client in the race this year. I feel sorry for Chris Trail, who seems like a nice person who didn't fully appreciate how he was being used as a tool of revenge. I feel worse for Tulsa, having to make do without Martinson's analytical and financial strengths on the Council.

tgg_9655_110x165.jpgOn July 17, 2011, the Tulsa World ran a story on the 2003 appeals court ruling that levied attorney's fees on Tulsa City Council District 2 candidate Nancy Rothman because of her contemptible attempts to alienate her sons from their father and to smear her ex-husband's reputation.

(The story ran four days after the BatesLine story on the district and appeals court determinations that Nancy Rothman had plotted to have child pornography planted on her ex-husband in order to eliminate his visitation rights entirely.)

The World story reported Rothman's comments about her financial problems:

She also told the World that the handful of financial issues that she has had - including her 2006 bankruptcy, the 2005 foreclosure on her home and a 2001 tax lien that was later released - were related to her divorce.

BatesLine research into District Court records, Bankruptcy Court filings, and County Clerk records involving the home Nancy Rothman lost in foreclosure reveal large amounts of credit card debt and an ever-increasing amount borrowed against the growing value of the home she won in the divorce.

In an October 26, 2001, hearing to determine whether Nancy Rothman would be required to pay attorney fees to her ex-husband, John Rothman, for the contempt and custody trial involving her involvement in a plot to plant child pornography on her husband, John Rothman's attorney Russell Carson quantified the divorce award to Nancy Rothman:

Now, Your Honor, the September 10th, 1999 decree awarded Mrs. Rothman approximately $1.2 million in both real and physical assets. The Vanguard account was in excess of 400,000. The home, according to Mrs. Rothman's own appraisal, was 650,000. The furnishings approximately 60,000. She's got an alimony judgment of $227,000. That's $1,387,000. She has the means and the ability to pay a judgment for attorney fees in a case where every dime of attorney fees incurred on behalf of my client were incurred because of her conduct and no other.

In her June 13, 2006, bankruptcy filing, downloaded today from the uscourts.gov website, Nancy Rothman listed assets of $918,375 (including the home she won in the divorce, valued at $900,000) and liabilities of $1,030,932.35 including

  • $850,000.00 first mortgage,
  • $40,000.00 second mortgage,
  • $35,904.46 in judicial liens,
  • $80,967.66 owed on seven credit cards,
  • $10,080.00 owed in child support,
  • $10,083.14 owed to the IRS from 2000.

In a mere seven years, including nearly five years living on her own without custody of her children, these records suggest that Nancy Rothman went from at least $1,259,850 in the black to $112,557.35 in the red, a drop of over $1.3 million. (In that $1,259,850 figure, the $127,150 mortgage filed in August 1998 has been deducted from the appraised value quoted by Carson above.)

Online county clerk records point to repeated refinancing of the home for ever-larger mortgages.

The 5,423 sq. ft. home on the northwest corner of 27th St. and Zunis Ave. was purchased by John and Nancy Rothman on November 17, 1995, for $530,000 and mortgaged for 80% of its value. The mortgage release was filed on February 25, 1998, apparently leaving the house free and clear at that point.

On March 20, 1998, the deed was transferred to a trust, listed as Nancy Troub Rothman, Trustee, and John D Rothman, Trustee. On August 21, 1998, the house was mortgaged to Harry Mtg Co for $127,150. John Rothman filed for divorce on October 19, 1998.

The divorce was final and a quit claim deed filed on September 10, 1999, leaving Nancy Rothman's trust as the sole owner. At this point, county clerk records appear to indicate that the 1998 $127,150 mortgage was the only secured debt against the property.

In the subsequent five years, another eight mortgages were filed against the property:

  • December 12, 2000: Wells Fargo Fin Okla Inc, $53.827.47
  • September 27, 2001: Popular Fin Services LLC, $350,000.00, followed on October 8, 2001, by a release of the Wells Fargo mortgage.
  • March 19, 2002: Federal Bankcentre, $250,475.09, followed by the June 13, 2002: Release of the 1998 mortgage.
  • March 31, 2003: Indymac Bk, $637,500.00, followed on April 21 and 28 by releases of the 2001 and 2002 mortgages.
  • October 29, 2003: Long Beach Mtg Co., $712,000.00.
  • November 13, 2003: Cit Groupp Consumer Finance Inc, $46,500.00, followed on November 24, 2003 by release of the 2003 Indymac mortgage.
  • June 29, 2004: MERS Inc, two mortgages totaling $841,500.00, followed on September 1 and 27, 2004 by releases of the two fall 2003 mortgages.

Taking into consideration the delay involved in releasing a mortgage following a refinance, the total mortgaged amount appears in County Clerk records to have jumped in six distinct leaps, the largest being nearly $400,000:

  • September 10, 1999: $127,150.00
  • December 12, 2000: $180,977.47
  • October 8, 2001: $477,150.00
  • June 13, 2002: $600,475.09
  • April 28, 2003: $637,500.00
  • November 24, 2003: $758,500.00
  • September 27, 2004: $841,500.00

The divorce decree ordered John Rothman to pay Nancy Rothman alimony of $6,500 per month for 35 months, for a total of $227,500, child support of $2,250 per month until the children reached the age of 18 and graduated from high school, private school tuition and books for the two children of up to $15,000 per year, and all medical and dental insurance and expenses for the children.

Two obligations were imposed by the court on Nancy Rothman following the 2001 decision that found her guilty of contempt of court and gave her ex-husband custody of the children: $140 per month child support and $70,376 in attorney's fees and costs. At the time that the court awarded attorney's fees (December 7, 2001), the court found that Nancy Rothman had a gross monthly income of $8,500.

I watched the entirety of the agenda item on Tulsa City Councilor Jim Mautino's proposed revision to the animal control ordinance, from the Tuesday, July 19, 2011, Public Works Committee meeting. I'm guessing that's more than the editorial board of the daily paper or their caricaturist bothered to do before portraying Mautino as a baby throwing a "hissy fit."

Here's the video of the committee meeting on the TGOVonline website. It's also embedded below, (after the jump if you're reading this on the home page).

The entire discussion lasted 50 minutes. Of that 50 minutes, there's about 30 seconds where Mautino raises his voice, and that came after mayoral aide Dwain Midget raised his voice, three times interrupting Mautino when Mautino had the floor. Twice Councilor Roscoe Turner gavelled down Midget's interruptions, the second time saying, "Mr Midget, I'm asking you one more time; I don't intend to ask again." After Midget's third interruption, Turner told someone in the room to "call Security."

The discussion went on peacefully and productively for another 30 minutes, at which point a meeting of all concerned parties was set for Friday. That aspect of the meeting didn't get much attention.

You'd think that Midget, whose outbursts interrupted the councilor who had the floor, ought to have been the subject of the editorial and cartoon, but it seems our entrenched city bureaucrats can do no wrong in the eyes of the daily paper, particularly when they can turn the story to further the inaccurate "bickering council" meme.

Since his return to the City Council in 2009, Mautino has been pursuing a revision to Tulsa's animal control ordinance, so that outrageously abusive situations can be effectively dealt with by city animal control officials and the city prosecutor. Mautino has met repeatedly with city officials involved in monitoring, licensing, and prosecuting cases of animal abuse.

After a year and a half of talk, Mautino is pushing forward with a revised ordinance that distinguishes between licenses for hobbyists and for rescuers and which requires someone seeking a license to engage the support of neighbors. The intent is to make the ordinance somewhat self-enforcing, important because of the city animal welfare department's inability (or perhaps unwillingness) to enforce the current ordinance.

In Tulsa, you can have up to three dogs and up to five total cats and dogs without any special exemption. To have more, you must have a hobbyist exemption from the city. You must also have a hobbyist exemption if you don't wish to spay or neuter your pets -- for example, if you show your dogs and are required to keep them intact for that purpose.

What I've heard is that the terms of the exemption are practically unenforceable, particularly in this time of budget shortfalls.

In addition, it's my understanding that animal control calls must now go through 911, rather than to a separate animal control dispatch number, and because of that, Tulsa police must respond first to any animal control issues, even though the police department is not equipped to deal with animal control incidents. The result is an added burden on an already overloaded 911 system and police department.

Jim Mautino's eastside District 6 is more vulnerable to animal control issues than many parts of town. Large undeveloped areas provide habitat for feral dogs and cats and are tempting spots for irresponsible owners to dump unwanted pets. The east side is home to many newcomers to Tulsa, who come from places, like rural Oklahoma or foreign lands, where animal control laws are non-existent or unenforced.

But rather than help find a solution to meet the concerns of Mautino's constituents, the city bureaucrats responsible for animal control are working to undermine his efforts. Mautino read from emails, obtained via an Open Records Act request, from Jean Letcher, manager of the city's animal welfare department, rallying citizens against Mautino's efforts.

Instead of berating Mautino, Mayor Bartlett Jr should have been calling some of his own employees on the carpet for their uncooperative attitude.

What I saw in that Tuesday meeting fit a pattern that I've seen often during 20 years of involvement in local politics. A city bureaucrat looks at the certificates on the wall and his years of service and assumes he is the authority not merely about how things are done but the authority on what ought to be done.

So a new city councilor or a new member of an authority, board, or commission comes into office with a concern that isn't being effectively addressed by city government. The first answer from the bureaucracy is rarely, "Gee, why didn't we think of that?" It's almost always, "Nothing can be done," or, "We've never done it that way." And that answer is supposed to be the end of it.

If the councilor (or commissioner) persists, the bureaucracy attempts to re-educate the councilor, in the most condescending manner possible, to understand that his ideas are impossible to implement. Rather than saying, "Let's see how we can meet your concerns," the bureaucracy delivers the message, "Your concerns are ignorant and illegitimate."

What happens next depends on how the councilor deals with the initial rebuff. Some simply back off and tackle another issue. Some, like Tom Tuttle from Tacoma, become fully assimilated to the point where they'll defend the status quo and attack any other councilor who challenges it.

Then you have the councilors who do their own research, who dig into ordinances and budgets and case law and what other cities are doing, and they persist in asking "why not?" and presenting alternatives. From a bureaucrat's point of view, such a councilor is a pain in the posterior, a threat to their comfortable, stable existence, and must be taken down. If you can use your lack of cooperation to provoke the councilor, passive-aggressively, to the point of expressing his irritation, you win.

Since this sort of inquisitive, pro-active councilor also poses a threat to other entrenched interests, the aggrieved bureaucrat can usually find a helping hand from the various organs of the Cockroach Caucus, who miss the days when all one had to do was pull on their strings to get the councilors to do their bidding. The obligatory unflattering photo, misleading headline, twisted caricature, and tut-tutting editorial follow in due course.

It's a misunderstanding of the nature of bureaucracy to think that bureaucrats will be supportive and encouraging of a councilor's ideas for new ways to solve a problem, if only the councilor will be polite and patient. (People seeking public office really should read Jim Boren's books first.) It's not that bureaucrats are bad people, but it's a profession that tends to attract the risk-averse. You don't climb in a bureaucracy by taking risks. The exceptions to the rule are there, and they're real treasures because they're rare. Too often, bureaucrats will try to wait the councilor out -- keep holding meetings, keep delaying a final plan, until the councilor gets interested in another project or gets voted out of office.

It's a pretty good indication that a city councilor is doing what he ought to be doing if he's getting shot at by the bureaucracy and the daily paper. Jim Mautino is a good councilor, and if District 6 voters want an advocate for their interests who won't be deterred by bureaucratic foot-dragging, they'll return Jim Mautino to office this fall.

The filing period ended at 5 p.m. today. The Tulsa County Election Board has the official list of Tulsa municipal candidates on its website, but here's a list for handy reference. I've added (MON), (TUE), or (WED) to indicate the day on which each candidate filed.

CITY AUDITOR-2 (Two) Year Term

Floyd Clift Richards, 7834 S. College Pl., Tulsa, OK, 74136, 02/07/1940 (incumbent)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 1 -- 1 (One) Year Term

Jack Ross Henderson, 2014 N. Rosedale Ave., Tulsa, OK 74101, 04/22/1950 (MON) (incumbent)
Twan T. Jones, 628 N. 26th West Ave., Tulsa, OK 74127, 04/21/1971 (TUE)
Jason V. Trent II, 4956 N. Frankfort Pl., Tulsa, OK 74126, 01/28/1966 (WED)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 2 -- 2 (Two) Year Term

Nancy Lynne Rothman, 2812 E. 81st Pl., Tulsa, OK 74137, 08/29/1957 (MON)
Matthew Foster, 1739 W. 83rd St., Tulsa, OK 74132, 12/06/1986 (MON)
Judith Adams, 7357 S. Trenton Ave., Tulsa, OK 74136, 11/22/1946 (WED)
Jeannie Cue, 5313 S. 32nd Pl. W., Tulsa, OK, 74107, 01/22/1954 (WED)

Phillip Edward Oyler, 7740 Riverside Parkway, Apt 107G, Tulsa, OK 74136, 01/29/1987 (WED)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 3 -- 3 (Three) Year Term

David W. Bell, 1312 N. Canton Ave., Tulsa, OK 74115, 05/24/1945 (WED)
Randall Lee Reese, 3803 E. King Pl., Tulsa, OK 74115, 10/06/1957 (WED)

Roscoe H. Turner, 3415 E. Haskell St., Tulsa, OK 74115, 02/16/1932 (MON) (incumbent)
David Edward Patrick, 5712 E. Tecumseh St., Tulsa, OK 74115, 04/22/1951 (MON)(former incumbent)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 4 -- 1 (One) Year Term

Rocky Frisco, 1332 S. Florence Pl., Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/26/1937 (MON)
Liz Hunt, 1144 S. Newport Ave., Tulsa, OK 74120, 07/28/1971 (TUE)
Blake Ewing, 523 S. Marion Ave, Tulsa, OK 74112, 11/25/1978 (WED)

Maria Veliz Barnes, 1319 S. Terrace Dr, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/28/1960 (MON)(incumbent)
Kenneth L. Brune, 9 E 4th St, Suite 900, Tulsa, OK 74103, 08/23/1945 (MON)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 5 -- 2 (Two) Year Term

Christopher Eric Trail, 4872 S. 70th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74145, 01/29/1970 (MON)(incumbent)
Sam Roop, 1869 S 106th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74128, 02/02/1951 (MON) (former incumbent)
Karen Gilbert, 4611 S. Maplewood Ave., Tulsa, OK 74135, 08/09/1968 (TUE)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 6 -- 3 (Three) Year Term

James Savino Mautino, 14628 E. 12th St., Tulsa, OK 74108, 05/11/1932 (MON)(incumbent)
Byron William Steele III, 13380 E. 33rd St., Tulsa, OK 74134, 10/16/1949 (TUE)

Robert Arizona Gwin, Jr., 3113 S. 130th East Pl., Tulsa, OK 74134, 06/18/1973 (MON)


Steven H. Roemerman, 7406 S. 109th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74133, 06/29/1976 (MON)
Thomas D. Mansur, 10927 E. 76th St., Tulsa, OK 74133, 10/15/1946 (MON)
Elliott Leroy Parker, Sr., 3406 S. 94th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74145, 09/30/1953 (WED)

Bobby Lawton Bookout, Jr., 4925 S. 94th East Pl., Tulsa, OK 74145, 08/09/1965 (WED)
Michael Alan Rainwater, 8520 E. 47th Pl., Tulsa, OK 74145, 09/06/1949 (WED)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 8 -- 2 (Two) Year Term

Phillip Lawrence Lakin, Jr., 4915 E 104th Pl., Tulsa, OK 74137 08/05/1967 (MON)
George Gibbs, 9143 S. Canton Ave., Tulsa, OK 74137 03/02/1954 (WED)

William P. Suliburk, 6438 S. Pittsburg Ave., Tulsa, OK 74136, 09/20/1947 (WED)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 9 -- 3 (Three) Year Term

G.T. Bynum, 3607 S. Florence Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74105, 08/28/1977 (MON) (incumbent)
Robert Dale Pinney, 1326 E. 32nd Pl., Tulsa, OK 74105, 02/13/1962 (WED)
Kimberlee Flake Whiteman, 1394 E. 44th St., Tulsa, OK 74105, 02/09/1978 (WED)
Doug Rucker, 5717 S. Louisville Ave., Tulsa, OK 74135, 05/31/1952 (WED)

Mike F. Batman, 4136 S. Birmingham Pl., Tulsa, OK 74105, 07/05/1956 (TUE)


Congratulations to Clift Richards, chosen by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council to complete Preston Doerflinger's term as City Auditor. He's been elected without opposition to a full two-year term. Now he can relax and go on a summer holiday, no more working for a week or two, fun and laughter on a summer holiday, no more worries for me or you, for a week or two. (Right, Clift Richards, not Cliff Richard. But can we call the auditor's staff "The Shadows"?)

I was pleased to see that none of the council races are uncontested, particularly District 8 and District 9. Phil Lakin will face civil litigation defense attorney George Gibbs in the primary; the winner will face William Suliburk in the general.

The District 9 Republican primary is crowded, with three challengers to incumbent G. T. Bynum, including former Brookside neighborhood president Robert Pinney, Kimberlee Whiteman, and Doug Rucker. The Republican primary winner will have to defeat Batman -- convenience store owner Mike F. Batman.

Seven of nine council races will be decided at the November 8 general election. District 1 will be decided in the Democrat primary, as five-year incumbent Jack Henderson faces two challengers Twan T. Jones and Jason V. Trent II. In District 5, the Republican primary will determine whether incumbent Chris Trail, having been used and discarded by forces that only needed him to rid City Hall of Bill Martinson, can defeat his old consultant's new client (and therefore presumably the Cockroach Caucus's champion) Karen Gilbert, as well as 1996-2005 incumbent Sam Roop.

The list could still change. Candidates have until Friday to decide to withdraw, if, perhaps, they decide they could be happy supporting one of the other candidates in the race. There's also the possibility of a challenge, if it turns out that a candidate is ineligible to run.

Some interesting names on the list of candidates:

Judith K. Adams, Ph.D., is a family therapist and is a long-time conservative activist in the Republican Party. She has an surprising connection to another candidate in the District 2 Republican primary.

Republican Jeannie Cue is the sister of former District 2 City Councilor and Tulsa County Commissioner Randi Miller. Cue has deep roots in west Tulsa, but District 2, once dominated by west Tulsa, is now about evenly split between west and east

In DIstrict 4, Blake Ewing, owner of Joe Momma's Pizza, Back Alley Blues and BBQ, Boomtown Tees, Max Retropub, and the Engine Room PR, filed on Wednesday for the Republican nomination. He will face PR professional Liz Hunt and Rocky Frisco.

tgg_9655_110x165.jpgAn Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals decision provided to BatesLine reveals that Nancy Rothman, Republican candidate for Tulsa City Council District 2, lost custody of her minor children and was required to pay $70,099 of her ex-husband's court costs and attorney fees in the custody battle because she had been "actively engaged in a process of alienating the children from their Father."

In 2001, the District Court found that Nancy Rothman engaged in conduct that "was arbitrary and capricious, and exacerbated the litigation." The trial court specifically listed (emphasis added):

a. Reporting false allegations of abuse to the Department of Human Services.

b. Contemptuous and continuous denial of visitation even after numerous warnings from this Court.

c. Contemptuous and deliberate efforts to alienate and negatively influence the minor children from their father.

d. Attempts to injure and harm the Plaintiff's business, reputation, and his relationship with the minor children by attempting to "setup" the Plaintiff with illegal child pornography.

e. Filing a frivolous emergency motion when this Court ordered a one week visitation.

Regarding items a. and d., the Appeals Court wrote (emphasis added):

Among other acts of sabotage, Wife reported that Husband had sexually abused the younger child. This allegation was determined to be unfounded. The last straw was when Wife and her friend "hired" a man to spy on Husband and to find a female who would attach herself romantically to Husband, receive a key to his condo, and plant child pornography there.

A footnote to this paragraph states, regarding the man "hired" to spy on Mr. Rothman:

He testified that he agreed at first as a favor because Mrs. Rothman was helping him with his divorce. After he realized the criminal intent of the plan, he tape-recorded the next conversation, took it to Mr. Rothman who, with his attorney, gave the tape to the Tulsa Police Department the next day.

The Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the District Court's ruling, writing (emphasis added):

The overwhelming evidence supports a finding that Husband never abused or neglected his children but was falsely and intentionally accused. Wife's behavior is reprehensible in a parent....

...the record supports findings that Wife's actions endangered the mental welfare of the children; that she demonstrated a high degree of self-interest to the point that hurting the children was a casualty of her main goal, and she created unnecessarily vexatious litigation. Although Husband has greater income, Wife's is sufficient to support herself and sufficient to pay for her bad acts.

Other documents in the district court case show that in 2008, Nancy Rothman pled guilty to a contempt citation for failure to pay, over a seven-year period, court-ordered child support of $140 per month. Rothman was sentenced to six months in jail, a $500 fine, and a loss of all her licenses; the sentence is suspended as long as she complies with the court-ordered payment schedule for back child support.

Prior to posting this article, BatesLine verified that the document received was a true copy of the 2003 Court of Civil Appeals decision and that the named defendant/appellant in the case, Nancy T. Rothman, is the same person as Nancy Lynne Rothman, candidate for City Council District 2, date of birth August 29, 1957. (The "T" evidently stands for Traub, Ms. Rothman's maiden name.)

Rothman serves on the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women (appointed in 2008), serves on the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women, and served as the president of the Tulsa County Republican Women's Club. (The photo above is from the City of Tulsa website, on the webpage for the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women, and as a government work is presumed to be in the public domain.)

Here is a link to the OCIS Case Summary for the appeals court case, John D. Rothman, Plaintiff/Appellee, v. Nancy T. Rothman, Defendant/Appellant, No. DF - 97229, and a link to the Case Summary for the District Court case, FD-1998-4312, John D. Rothman, Plaintiff, v. Nancy T. Rothman, Defendant.

UPDATE 2011/07/16: Fixed links to District Court case summary.

Below is the text of the appeals court decision, extracted from the PDF document by optical-character recognition, and formatted for the web. Every effort was made to correct any errors made by the OCR software. (If viewing on the home page, click "Continue reading" to see the text of the decision.)

At the end of day one of filing for the 2011 Tulsa city elections, two districts had a single candidate with no announced opponent preparing to enter the race.

Phil Lakin is the sole candidate so far in far south Tulsa's District 8. Lakin, CEO of Tulsa Community Foundation and a trustee of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, ran a close second to incumbent Bill Christiansen in the 2009 Republican primary; Christiansen is not running for re-election. His pre-election ethics filing that year showed that Lakin received 71% of his funds from out-of-district donors, primarily (41%) from District 9.

I had plenty of differences with Christiansen, but he grew to be a solid advocate for homeowner concerns in planning and development over these last few years, and I was happy to see him re-elected in 2009. There are some strong homeowners' associations in District 8; a neighborhood association president or South Tulsa Citizens Coalition leader willing to knock doors could beat Lakin, despite Lakin's likely massive financial advantage. Voters may well feel that the massive resources of TCF and GKFF give Lakin enough of a seat at the city's policy-making table. Given a choice on the ballot, south Tulsans may reasonably prefer to entrust their seat at the table to a neighborhood leader focused on the basic quality of life issues that concern them.

In District 9, G. T. Bynum is so far unopposed for reelection to his third term. Bynum has not yet had to run hard in his political career, but that may -- and should -- change.

I like G. T., and he's always been accessible to respond to questions. I appreciate his leadership on the city's "rainy day" (economic stabilization reserve) fund and the proposal to require city lawsuit settlements above a certain value to come to the City Council for approval. He loves public policy and respects the City Council's institutional role in city government. But I've got concerns.

Bynum's defection from conservatism on a key cultural issue, equating sexual orientation to race and ethnic origin in city HR policies -- a capitulation to the cultural imperialism of the Left -- ought to draw a primary challenge from a social conservative. Bynum's support for the County River Tax increase and the inequitable downtown ballpark assessment undercuts his claim to libertarianism as well. Bynum's backing for the Economic Stabilization Reserve (Rainy Day) Fund deserves praise, but it's puzzling that Bynum never backed Councilor John Eagleton's efforts to hold departmental budget increases to the rate of inflation.

But perhaps the biggest problem with Bynum as a councilor is his day job as a lobbyist. Bynum founded a Federal lobbying firm, G. T. Bynum Consulting, in 2009, with Williams & Williams, his former employer, as his first client. Sometime this year, Bynum's business name on disclosure forms changed to Capitol Ventures Government Relations LLC, a name registered with the State of Oklahoma in 2009; Bynum's title is now listed on disclosures as managing partner.

In 2010, Bynum's single biggest client, according to U. S. Senate lobbying records, was the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which had Bynum and his partner Stuart McCalman lobbying Congress regarding female incarceration rates, the OSU Medical Center, trail rehabilitation, and Arkansas River low-water dam development. At least two of those items have direct public policy implications for Tulsa city government. (Bynum's lobbying relationship with GKFF came to an end last December.)

As I wrote last year:

To clarify my concern about Bynum representing GKFF as a lobbyist and serving on the City Council: GKFF is actively engaged in civic and governmental issues here in Tulsa, as are closely related individuals and entities. George Kaiser is a significant political donor in local elections, as is the BOK Financial Political Action Committee. Kaiser and GKFF were heavily involved in the 2007 Tulsa County sales tax increase for river improvements and in the downtown Drillers stadium deal, to name two recent examples of their engagement in local political issues. I cannot think of another example of an elected official at one level of government simultaneously serving as a lobbyist at another level of government. It would be a different matter if Bynum limited his lobbying practice to organizations and businesses that had no interest in City Hall affairs.

Bynum now lobbies on behalf of Family and Children's Services, a Tulsa non-profit, regarding female incarceration rates, one of the issues that Bynum worked on for GKFF. Family and Children's Services are 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 recipients of Emergency Shelter Grant funds, a federal block grant that the City Council allocates.

None of this is to condemn Bynum's clients or his work on their behalf, but there is the potential for a conflict of interest when a city councilor serves as a federal or state lobbyist for clients who have a substantial involvement in local public policy. The question is unavoidable -- just what do your clients think they're buying?

Potential opponents may be deterred by Lakin and Bynum's access to funds, but you can beat money with sweat in a city council race. In 2009, despite the mayor's race on the ballot and a very competitive council race, only about 5,000 were cast in the District 8 primary. Other GOP primaries that year drew less than 2,400 votes each. Turnout is likely to be lower with no mayor's race this year. For less than $2 per household, you can make contact by mail with every likely voter in your district; $10 a household buys you a barrage of postcards, push cards, and yard signs; spend more than that and you're throwing money away.

While District 9 has historically contained the core of Tulsa's "Money Belt," several Money Belt precincts were moved into District 4, and District 9 gained six precincts to the south and east from District 7, including the home precinct of District 7 incumbent John Eagleton. This area could provide a base of support from which a primary challenge could be launched.

Residents of the districts and the city as a whole would benefit from vigorous, competitive campaigns in District 8 and District 9.


UPDATE: Small businessman Mike Batman, a Democrat, filed on Tuesday for the District 9 seat. Batman is the owner of Batman's Good Food and Convenience Store at Pine and Mingo and Batman's Auto Sales east of Yale on 11th St. No other candidates filed for District 8 on Tuesday.

The Tulsa County Election Board has the official list of Tulsa municipal candidates on its website, but here's a list for handy reference:

CITY AUDITOR-2 (Two) Year Term

No candidates.

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 1 -- 1 (One) Year Term

Jack Ross Henderson, 2014 N. Rosedale Ave., Tulsa, OK 74101, 04/22/1950 (incumbent)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 2 -- 2 (Two) Year Term

Nancy Lynne Rothman, 2812 E. 81st Pl., Tulsa, OK 74137, 08/29/1957
Matthew Foster, 1739 W. 83rd St., Tulsa, OK 74132, 12/06/1986

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 3 -- 3 (Three) Year Term

Roscoe H. Turner, 3415 E. Haskell St., Tulsa, OK 74115, 02/16/1932 (incumbent)
David Edward Patrick, 5712 E. Tecumseh St., Tulsa, OK 74115, 04/22/1951 (former incumbent)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 4 -- 1 (One) Year Term

Rocky Frisco, 1332 S. Florence Pl., Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/26/1937

Maria Veliz Barnes, 1319 S. Terrace Dr, Tulsa, OK 74104, 07/28/1960 (incumbent)
Kenneth L. Brune, 9 E 4th St, Suite 900, Tulsa, OK 74103, 08/23/1945

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 5 -- 2 (Two) Year Term

Christopher Eric Trail, 4872 S. 70th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74145, 01/29/1970 (incumbent)
Sam Roop, 1869 S 106th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74128, 02/02/1951 (former incumbent)

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 6 -- 3 (Three) Year Term

James Savino Mautino, 14628 E. 12th St., Tulsa, OK 74108, 05/11/1932 (incumbent)

Robert Arizona Gwin, Jr., 3113 S. 130th East Pl., Tulsa, OK 74134, 06/18/1973


Steven H. Roemerman, 7406 S. 109th East Ave., Tulsa, OK 74133, 06/29/1976

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 8 -- 2 (Two) Year Term

Phillip Lawrence Lakin, Jr., 4915 E 104th Pl., Tulsa, OK 74137 08/05/1967

CITY COUNCILOR OFFICE NO. 9 -- 3 (Three) Year Term

G.T. Bynum, 3607 S. Florence Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74015, 08/28/1977 (incumbent)

Three previously unannounced candidates filed on Monday: Kenneth L. Brune, who appears to live in an office building at 4th and Main; Thomas D. Mansur, an environmental engineer running in District 7; and former Councilor Sam Roop, running to regain his District 5 seat.

Roop won the seat in 1996 and stepped down in 2005 when Mayor Bill LaFortune appointed him to be the City's Chief Information Officer, a job that terminated with LaFortune's re-election defeat in 2006. Later that year, Roop ran an unsuccessful campaign for Tulsa County Commission District 1, finishing third in the primary behind former District 4 Councilor Anna Falling and State Rep. John Smaligo.

Four announced candidates have yet to file: Democrat Twan Jones in District 1, Republicans Blake Ewing and Liz Hunt in District 4, and Republican Karen Gilbert in District 5.

It's interesting that between filed and announced candidates, there are primary opponents for all three Democrats on the City Council. So far only one Democrat, Robert Gwin, a former Republican, is challenging an incumbent Republican or running in a Republican-held seat.

Off-again, on-again District 3 Councilor David Patrick is trying to recapture his seat as a Democrat once again. In 2008, he recaptured the seat by running as an independent, after two straight Democratic primary losses to Roscoe Turner. In 2009, the independent strategy failed Patrick, and Turner went back to City Hall. The new City Council boundaries cost Turner three loyal, vote-rich precincts on the western edge of his old district. Turner's opposition to tax increases and support for neighborhood concerns has won him fans across the political spectrum; Patrick doesn't enjoy the same intensity of support, but he reportedly believes the demographics of the precincts added to the district favor him and hurt Turner.

There is only one announced candidate each in Districts 8 and 9. More about them in a later entry.

durer_praying_hands.jpgI have a list of 15 topics that I want/need to write about, but this afternoon it seemed more appealing to work with my five-year-old to pick up and put away the Hot Wheels, Magformers, Puzzibits, Lego and Duplo pieces littering his bedroom floor.

The long list of topics I need to tackle, far from energizing me, fills me with despair. But what makes it harder is that we are nearing the official start of Tulsa's 2011 campaign season. In the coming days, weeks, and months, I'll be writing some things that voters need to understand, but they're things that will likely cost me some friends and make me a target.

Over the last seven years, going back to the historic 2004 election that ushered in a grassroots majority on the City Council, Tulsa citizens have increasingly had a voice and a seat at the table at City Hall. The PLANiTULSA process that shaped Tulsa's first comprehensive plan in a generation from the input of thousands of Tulsans is perhaps the zenith of the progress we've made over the last seven years.

Unfortunately, the bunch that used to have unchallenged control of city government -- a group I've nicknamed the Cockroach Caucus for their aversion to the sunlight of public scrutiny -- is trying for a comeback. Between now and November, you will see a well-funded, coordinated effort to seize control of City Council and shut out the priorities and concerns of regular, working Tulsans. You can expect well-produced TV and radio ads and slick postcards that will use misdirection and misinformation to try to warp your perception of the issues and the candidates. You can expect a rerun of the "Momentum" campaign in Oklahoma City, funded with money funneled through a series of organizations to hide its origins, spent on ads that used national issues in an unprincipled and inconsistent way to elect its preferred candidates. The Tulsa version involves some of the same people, appears to be using the same funding strategies, and has already used its pull to get its preferred set of council district boundaries enacted.

If they get their way, the gains of the last seven years will be halted and reversed. We'll be back to the days of puppet city councilors that only pretend to listen to the concerns of their constituents. The key issue of this campaign: Will city government be run for the benefit of all Tulsans, or only for the benefit of a favored few?

As I look ahead to the coming election season, I feel overwhelmed. I worry about communicating the danger I see in an effective and compelling manner. I worry because many of my friends and allies who have fought the good fight these many years are on the sidelines this year, exhausted and bruised from the attacks they've endured. I worry whether I can write as much as I need to without neglecting the demands of my day job or the needs of my family.

So I'm asking for your prayers, and not only for me, but for bloggers, candidates, and campaign volunteers. Pray for endurance, perseverance, and encouragement. Pray for insight in analyzing issues and candidates and clarity in expressing that analysis to the voters. Pray for "malice toward none... charity for all... firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right." Pray that God would raise up reinforcements -- candidates, activists, and bloggers who will fill in the gaps left by those who have stepped away from the battle lines to bind up their wounds. Pray that these people would have the financial and personal support they need to bring their message to the public.

As for the Cockroach Caucus: Pray that God would "confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks," that their deceptive tactics will be clumsily executed and easily exposed. Pray for chaos and dissension in their ranks. Pray that some insiders would have an attack of conscience and expose the Caucus's inner workings to the public.

Finally, pray for the voters, that they would have the wisdom to see through deception and misdirection.

P. S. I expect there will be a lot of eyes on this site in the days and weeks to come. Election seasons always bring a readership peak. There are two great ad spaces available -- your ad will appear at the top of every BatesLine page. Ads start at $20. In June, according to the awstats analysis of my server log, BatesLine served 516,504 pages to 72,786 visitors, and that's likely to increase as interest in city elections rises.

About this Archive

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

Tulsa Election 2011: June 2011 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Election 2011: August 2011 is the next archive.

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