Tulsa Election 2006: October 2005 Archives

Greg Bledsoe put together this list of the members of Tulsans for "Badder" Government (Greg's name for the bunch behind the at-large council scheme), what they do or did, and where they live. The number at the beginning of each line is the council district in which that person lives -- 0 means that person doesn't live in Tulsa. (I've added a few details, and cleaned up the formatting.)

9 - Chip McElroy, 1964 E. 45th PL -- CEO McElroy Manufacturing, supporter of Mayor Lafortune, hosted campaign kick-off rally, Trustee Univ. of Tulsa.

9 - Ted Sherwood, 3802 S. Delaware Av -- trial lawyer.

9 - Len & Patty Eaton, 2617 E. 26th PL -- Len, former Pres/CEO BOk, Patty former Water & Sewer Commissioner under at-large system, ran unsuccessfully for Mayor as independent in 1986 against Tom Quinn and Dick Crawford.

2 - Howard Barnett, 6742 S. Evanston, just south of SHCC -- former chief of staff to Gov. Frank Keating, investment banker, managing director of TSF Capital, LLC.

0 - David Riggs, N. of Sand Springs, Osage Co., not a resident of Tulsa -- trial lawyer, former representative from Sand Springs, partner in the Riggs Abney law firm, which represents numerous government entities, mainly Tulsa County related: Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority, Emergency Medical Services Authority, Tulsa County Criminal Justice Authority, Tulsa County Juvenile Trust Auth.

9 - Robert LaFortune, 4444 Oak Rd -- former Mayor under at-large system 1970s, uncle of present Mayor and on his campaign committee.

9 - Ray & Nancy Feldman, 2120 E. 46th St. -- Ray lawyer, Nancy

2 - Tom Hughes, 6887 S. Evanston Av, just south of SHCC, Dist. 2 -- CEO Hughes Lumber, Member Tulsa Metro Chamber Board.

9 - Jim Hewgley Jr., 2454 E. 30th, -- former Mayor under at-large system, member LaFortune reelection committee.

2 - Norma Eagleton, 3210 E. 65th St, next to SHCC, Dist. 2 -- lawyer, former Corporation Commissioner, former Finance Commissioner under at-large system, on board of Tulsa Co. Juvenile Trust Auth, along with Jack O'Brien; the authority is represented by Riggs Abney law firm.

9 - Paula Marshall-Chapman, 2427 E. 41st, CEO Bama Pies, Trustee Univ. of Tulsa, Member Metro Chamber Board, Co-Chair Finance, LaFortune reelection committee, contributed $5000 to pro-recall group.

9 - C.S. Lewis, III, 2932 Woodward Blvd. -- lawyer Riggs Abney law firm, which represents numerous government entities - mainly Tulsa County related, former OU Board of Regents and former general counsel and member of the Executive Committee of the Metro Chamber.

9 - Dewey Bartlett, Jr., 50 Woodward Blvd. -- President, Keener Oil, District 9 City Councilor, 1990-94, unsuccessfully ran for Mayor against Susan Savage 1994 & against Tom Adelson, State Sen. Dist. 33, 2004.

9 - Sid Patterson, 2642 S. Columbia Pl, former Street Commissioner under at-large system in 1950s and 1970s, founder and first president of Up with Trees.

9 - Rob Johnson, 2539 S. Birmingham PL, lobbyist, Public Opinion, Inc.
(http://election.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/ok97/lbforms04/L03333/5043/), represents Tyson Foods & others, former State Representative, Dist. 71 (overlaps much of Council District 9).

9 - Kathy Taylor, 2805 S. Columbia PL, lawyer, current Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce & Tourism, married to William Lobeck, CEO Vanguard Car Rental, former CEO Thrifty-Dollar Car Rental, both are Trustees of the Univ. of Tulsa.

9 - Joe Coleman, 2645 E. 41st, former Street Commissioner under at-large system and Architect, supporter of Tulsa Project 2001.

7 - Jack O'Brien, 5926 E. 53rd St., Dist. 7, former Finance Commissioner under at-large system, 1960s and 70s, member with Norma Eagleton on Tulsa County Juvenile Trust Auth., which is represented by Riggs Abney law firm.

2 - Randi Miller, 6924 S. 32 W. Ave, current Tulsa County Commissioner, former City Councilor, Dist. 2.

0 - Chad (Charles Hughes) Moody, (Jr.), 10914 S. 188th E. Ave., Broken Arrow, former Asst. Dist. Attorney under Tim Harris, attorney at the law firm of Rodolff and Todd.

Note that with four exceptions, everyone lives in District 9 or in the same square mile as Southern Hills Country Club, which is in District 2. Two members live out of the city, one member lives in District 7, and then there's Randi Miller, who lives west of the river. I've heard that Commissioner Miller has withdrawn her support for the plan, which makes sense because the at-large scheme would make her native westside irrelevant in both district and citywide elections. The westside population would amount at best to only a third of a district if the number of districts is cut to six.

Of the names on this list, Len and Patty Eaton, Norma Eagleton, and Tom Hughes each have a son who was a classmate of mine at Holland Hall (Alex, Rick, and Jeff, respectively), and Chip McElroy was in that same class at HH through 6th Grade -- he finished up at Edison. (Chip and I were also in the same Cub Scout den.)

I'm disappointed to see Dewey Bartlett Jr.'s name on the list. He was a neighborhood-friendly city councilor during his time in office. Under the plan he supports, his Bartlett Amendment would never have passed. It requires that any significant widening of Riverside Drive to be submitted to the voters as a separate ballot item. Perhaps he now deplores his own Council legacy.

Notice that this group includes Rob Johnson, a lobbyist for one of the companies responsible for chicken poop in our water supply. Perhaps he considers defending Tulsa against water pollution an example of narrow-minded, parochial politics.


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Tulsans for Better Government, the campaign to emasculate representative democracy in Tulsa, has a website. Who registered the domain?

Registrant ID:5256203-SRSPLUS
Registrant Name:Straxis Straxis
Registrant Organization:-
Registrant Street1:11236 S. Mulberry Lane
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Jenks
Registrant State/Province:OK
Registrant Postal Code:74037
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.9187608800
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:info@straxis.com

Nice to know the folks from Jenks are so interested in Tulsa's form of government.

Meanwhile, a commenter over at MeeCiteeWurkor's place makes a good point about the effect of the at-large council scheme:

If this idea goes through rich citizens will have bought a third of the votes on the council PLUS have their own council district vote. They would only need two of the six districts to vote with the at-large members to over-ride the other four districts.

That seems to be the idea.

UPDATE: A reader did some googling and found that that Jenks address belongs to Jeffrey Beasley, president of Straxis Technology LLC. He gained recognition back in May for being one of the top five fundraisers in the second week of the Tulsa Metro Chamber's annual Resource Campaign. Straxis joined the Chamber in April, and Jeff Beasley is the "crew leader" for the Policy and Governance committee of TYpros, the Chamber-controlled knockoff of YPTulsa, the independent young professionals' organization. (The co-leader of that crew is Michael Willis, who serves on Mayor Bill LaFortune's staff.)

UPDATE 11/2/2005: Jeff Beasley emails to say:

Please update your blog to accurately reflect our companies address and location.

Straxis Technology, LLC
507 S. Main, Suite 400
Tulsa, OK 74103
p. 918.585.6900

I'm glad to post the additional information, but I didn't post anything inaccurate. What you see above was the current domain registration record for tulsansforbettergovernment.com when I posted this entry on October 29. And here is the current domain registration record for straxis.com:

Straxis 11236 S. Mulberry Lane Jenks, Oklahoma 74037 US

Registrar: DOTSTER
Domain Name: STRAXIS.COM
Created on: 12-FEB-02
Expires on: 12-FEB-12
Last Updated on: 17-SEP-04

Administrative, Technical Contact:
, jeff@jeffbeasley.com
11236 S. Mulberry Lane
Jenks, Oklahoma 74037

Domain servers in listed order:

I'm glad that Mr. Beasley has decided to relocate his business to downtown Tulsa, and I note that earlier today -- 6:35 a.m. local time! -- he updated the domain record for tulsansforbettergovernment.org to reflect the new address.

Domain ID:D107914061-LROR
Created On:21-Oct-2005 12:05:53 UTC
Last Updated On:02-Nov-2005 12:35:41 UTC
Expiration Date:21-Oct-2006 12:05:53 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:TLDs L.L.C. d/b/a SRSPlus (R78-LROR)
Registrant ID:5256203-SRSPLUS
Registrant Name:Straxis Straxis
Registrant Organization:-
Registrant Street1:507 S. Main Suite 400
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Tulsa
Registrant State/Province:OK
Registrant Postal Code:74103
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.9185856900
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:info@straxis.com

Presumably he'll get around to updating the address on his company's domain record at some point.

The Jenks address appears to be a home address -- a JEFFREY S BEASLEY was registered to vote at that address as recently as last year.

Three Republicans have already declared their intentions to seek office: Councilor Chris Medlock, Mayor Bill LaFortune, and former Republican Party Vice Chairman and District 11 State Senate nominee Brigitte Harper. Councilor Bill Christiansen is widely expected to run, as long as his Benjamin'n'Burdge stablemates on the Council (Randy Sullivan and Bill Martinson) can fend off an audit comparing the actual records of fuel purchased and sold at his Jones Riverside Airport business to the fuel flow fees paid to the airport authority.

Despite the widespread disappointment in Bill LaFortune's performance as mayor -- less than 40% support for reelection in his own party according to the latest SoonerPoll.com survey -- no Tulsa Democrat has seized the opportunity to challenge a vulnerable incumbent. That says a lot about the weakness of the Democrat bench in Tulsa. It may also indicate that the Democrats who would have a shot at winning are too dependent on the same oligarchy that seems content with keeping LaFortune in place.

The name of Don McCorkell, former state rep, has been floated as a great Democrat hope. McCorkell is an attorney, but if the online court records are accurate, he doesn't seem to have practiced in about 15 years.

What has McCorkell been up to? In 1996, he finished second to humorist Jim Boren in the Democrat primary to face Jim Inhofe's first Senate reelection bid. In 1997, he was a lobbyist for CFS. He was an early investor and member of the Board of Directors of Great Plains Airlines, buying 10,000 common shares for $10 in December 1998, another 95,000 shares for $95 in October 1999, and 790,478 shares for $790 in May 2000, for a total of 915,478 common shares, about a sixth of the total. On July 1, 2000, he became one of the first four preferred shareholders in Great Plains, purchasing 11,676 preferred shares for $35,028, coincidentally the same number of shares and the same date as Steven Berlin and Great Plains Chairman David A. Johnson. (Steve Turnbo was the fourth of the first four. Berlin and Johnson also each bought 790,478 common shares in May 2000.) He is listed as a 1999-2000 registered lobbyist for the Tulsa Industrial Authority, which is mixed up in the mortgaging of Air Force Plant No. 3 for Great Plains financing. The listing indicated he terminated his lobbyist registration in that period.

Because of his service on the Great Plains Airlines Board of Directors, he and fellow board members have been personally sued by William Stricker, from whom Great Plains bought Ozark Air and its aircraft in March 2001.

It's been rumored that McCorkell is one of those who received in payments for services rendered to Great Plains more than he invested in Great Plains, but we'll have to wait until the records are released until we can know for sure.

Lately he seems to have been interested in multi-level marketing, which seems to be a good fit for anyone involved in the Great Plains deals. Anyone able to convince an entire state legislature to part with $30 million for a risky airline venture can probably talk people into being MLM downlines. He was or is president of something called Casafina International LLC, which was launched in October 2003. Here's the plan for CasaFina associates, and here's his letter to prospective vendors. Here's a bit of pre-launch hype.

Rodger Randle won his 1988 race for Mayor by holding meet-the-candidate coffees in living rooms all over town. If McCorkell runs, will he be the first candidate to use in-home "business opportunity presentations" as a campaign technique?

At least one group of Democrats seems despondent over the lack of someone credible to carry the Democrat banner next spring.

The Tulsa City Council voted tonight to set new election dates for the 2006 election season, in order to comply with new state laws designed to put enough space between primary and general elections to accommodate military absentee voters. The primary will be March 7th, general will be April 4th. These dates are closer together than the original dates, but by moving our dates to March and April, Tulsa qualifies for the same exemption that allowed Oklahoma City to keep their dates as is. Filing period will be Monday, January 9, through Wednesday, January 11.

(UPDATE: Fixed general election date, per comment from City Attorney Alan Jackere.)

Also tonight, the Council voted 4-3 to conduct fuel-flow audits to determine whether some aviation fuel vendors at Tulsa's airports have been underreporting sales to avoid paying the city all the fuel-flow fees they owe, in accordance with Section 203 of Title 1 of Tulsa Revised Ordinances. Henderson, Mautino, Medlock, and Turner voted yes, Martinson, Sullivan, and Neal voted no, Christiansen recused himself (his business sells aviation fuel at Jones Riverside Airport), and Baker was absent. Without a fifth vote, the motion failed. I have been hearing rumors about this for several years. If true, the city is being cheated out of fees that we are owed, and we have to wonder how the Tulsa Airport Authority managed not to notice for so long.

No confidence in LaFortune

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A poll of 500 likely Republican voters taken by SoonerPoll.com, commissioned by KOTV and the Tulsa World, shows Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune has the support of less than 40% of likely voters in his own party. There were as many undecided as supporters of LaFortune, and 37.1% of likely voters in his own party don't approve of his performance.

These are startlingly bad numbers for an incumbent Republican, and they point to either a primary defeat for LaFortune or a loss in the general election. GOP voters are notoriously loyal to their elected officials, and having less than 60% support in your own party would be a danger sign; less than 40% is a catastrophe. I can't think of a Republican incumbent at any level who survived to reelection with less than 40% party support four months before an election. Even George H. W. Bush's numbers were better than this.

Here's the KOTV story on the poll. KOTV and the Whirled have conflicting reports of Chris Medlock's approve/disapprove numbers -- the Whirled has it at 38.6% approve, 34.5% disapprove; KOTV reverses the numbers. Either way, Medlock has a tall hill to climb. It's interesting that he has about the same approval numbers as Bill Christiansen and Randi Miller, and much higher disapproval numbers, but has two to three times the support for Mayor. That suggests that Medlock's support base is pretty solid.

More analysis later.


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You've probably noticed the new LaFortune for Mayor logo and slogan -- "LaFortune continued." Over the transom comes the first ad test using the new slogan:


Effective? What do you think?

Who's picking up the Bill?

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It was the end of today's Republican barbecue, and I walked down the hill toward the pond to round up my kids and get them into the car. As I did, I noticed Mayor Bill LaFortune and his wife Kathy about to get into a big, beautiful, new silver SUV, a Dodge Durango. (Yeah, it's got a hemi.) What caught my eye was the Crown Bristow dealer's tag still on the tail of the vehicle -- no permanent tag yet.

The managing partner of Crown Bristow is Henry Primeaux, who used to own Crown Auto World, a major collection of dealerships near 46th and Sheridan in Tulsa. ("Sam's is still next door." Remember?) Primeaux also is co-operator of the Tulsa Talons Arena Football 2 team. Primeaux is on Bill LaFortune's re-election campaign committee.

Several possibilities came to mind. The LaFortunes may have bought or leased the Durango, or the campaign may be leasing it, but if so, why not buy or lease it from a dealer based in the City of Tulsa instead of 40 miles away? Or, Primeaux may have provided the vehicle as a loaner for the campaign or for the Mayor's personal use -- either way, there are ethics reporting requirements that would need to be met.

That the LaFortunes would buy such an expensive new vehicle seems doubtful, given this story: Sunday's picnic featured an auction, and several of the items auctioned were lunches with an elected official, with the elected official paying. Organizers tried to get both declared Republican mayoral candidates to participate. Councilor Chris Medlock agreed to treat the winning bidder to a meal. Mayor LaFortune insisted that the auction organizers find a restaurant that would feed him and the winning bidder for free. The organizers tried but couldn't find a place willing to "comp" the Mayor, so they dropped both mayoral candidates from the list of lunches to bid on.

UPDATE Monday 10/10/2005: The Crown Bristow Durango was spotted and photographed in the Mayor's parking space at City Hall.

UPDATE Thursday 10/13/2005: I was imprecise in my use of the phrase "dealer's tag": I was trying to describe the temporary, cardboard tag featuring the dealer's logo, mounted in the space where a permanent license plate would go, not a permanent plate with the "DEALER" designation on it, which is for vehicles retained by a dealership for its own use. "Temporary tag" would have been a better choice of words. Also, it was not my intention to suggest any wrongdoing or impropriety on the part of Henry Primeaux or his business. I've been told that the SUV was sold to Bill LaFortune's father at a normal market price. If an in-kind contribution had been made to the campaign, the burden would be on the campaign, not the donor, to make the necessary ethics disclosures.

Lazy Tulsa update


I've got to be up early this morning, so I'm going to be lazy and point you to some good blogging elsewhere. I'm going to be so lazy, I'm going to link to home pages, not individual entries:

MeeCiteeWurkor -- some great blogging about the upcoming Mayor's race.

Chris Medlock's MedBlogged -- speculation about whom the Democrats will run for Mayor and responses to the latest Whirled spin.

Our Tulsa World is covering the airport investigation -- including a look back at an earlier Council debate on the issue -- and the IVI toll bridge.

Steve Roemerman is cooking chili and swooning over a frequent Council speaker.

Bobby of Tulsa Topics has some envy-provoking photos of snorkeling in Cozumel.

Red Bug of Tulsa Chiggers is writing about LaFortune's reelection bid, the OU suicide bomber, and how the education lottery lost the word "education".

Visit the Tulsa Bloggers page to see the latest contributions by bloggers who follow Tulsa news.

Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune announced today that he is running for re-election. The announcement occurred on the shop floor at McElroy Manufacturing, and the press release only went out early this morning. I should have pictures and video for you later today.

Who was there? Only one other elected official, Sheriff Stanley Glanz. Nearly every member of the Mayor's staff. A small group from the Firefighters Union, who are supporting LaFortune's reelection. A few business folks: Henry Primeaux, Jono Helmerich, and Chip McElroy, head of McElroy Manufacturing. Bill's uncle, former mayor Robert LaFortune. Employees, wearing new McElroy T-shirts, were gathered around the periphery of the area where the announcement took place.

Who wasn't there? City councilors, state legislators, county commissioners, the Mayor's wife and children.

The Mayor's speech consisted of a series of statements beginning with the phrase, "I'm excited." He was interrupted by applause once, when mentioning that Sheriff Glanz was back in control of the Tulsa County jail. Only about half of the McElroy employees applauded when everyone else did.

There was a barbecue buffet set up for employees and guests.

If it hadn't been for the people who were paid to be there, I don't think there would have been much of a turnout.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa Election 2006 category from October 2005.

Tulsa Election 2006: September 2005 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Election 2006: November 2005 is the next archive.

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