Tulsa Recall 2005: November 2004 Archives

A statement issued yesterday from the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa:




The League of Women Voters (LWVMT) has a long and proud history of supporting representative government in Tulsa. We studied and advocated Charter change from Commission to Mayor/Council representative government for 35 years (1954-1989). Therefore, the League’s Board of Directors is concerned about the current recall process and its consequences for maintaining the integrity of representative government.

The LWVMT absolutely supports the concept of citizens being able to recall elected officials. Accordingly, the LWVMT has researched matters relevant to the recall process. While the Charter authorizes the process, it does not specify reasons for recall. We believe there should be reasons consistent with state law. We also believe that the charter makes it much too easy for people, who do not even have to be constituents of a district, to initiate a recall for a councilor who is democratically elected to represent a district. -- this is clearly inconsistent with the representative form of government.

Therefore, the LWVMT urges community leaders to do everything in their power to resolve the conflict before it becomes any more destructive. Our reasons include:

Oklahoma law (Title 51, Section 93) requires that ouster of an elected municipal official must be for one of the following causes: "willful failure or neglect to perform the duties of office; public intoxication; conviction for any offense constituting a violation of a penal statute involving moral turpitude." We have heard of no allegations of such conduct by any councilor.

The Charter does not require cause for the recall of a duly elected official. This is a defect that the LWVMT would like to work with others to correct. (Ironically, the charter does require that Oklahoma statutes be followed if an appointed member of the Airport Authority or the Utility Board is to be recalled -- but not for democratically elected officials.)

A second defect in the process is that the Charter does not require that a recall be initiated by citizens of the district. This is inconsistent with principles of representative government. If any councilor’s constituents are not satisfied with that councilor's performance, there will be an opportunity to "recall" that councilor in the next General Election.

The Charter of the City of Tulsa (Article VI, Section 8, D.) states: "If a vacancy shall occur in the office of a Councilor less than one (1) year) prior to the next General Election, the Council, by a majority vote of the membership of the Council shall appoint a qualified elector of the election district in which the vacancy exists to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term." This effectively disenfranchises the residents of that district. Only if the recall election occurs before March 12, 2005, may the City Council call a special election.

From our perspective, if the recall petition process continues:

If successful, the possibility of one or more lawsuits could well delay a recall election beyond the next General Election. The process, therefore, would be a waste of time, energy and money for all parties. We should all be working together to unite our city instead of exacerbating the dispute.

Permanent and inappropriate damage to the reputation of elected officials on the basis of policy disagreements can set a precedent the city may not wish to establish.

It will become very difficult to attract qualified persons to seek election as city councilors for fear of attacks by a few who may not like a position or vote which that councilor might take.

We should be concentrating our efforts positively on healing the divisions in the community and working toward resolving the problems we face. Economic development and comprehensive land use planning need to be addressed in ways we have yet to work out. The seriousness of these issues deserves the community's attention and should not be diverted by the divisive recall process.

The League stands ready to assist the community in bringing this crisis to an agreeable conclusion.

A reader has spotted two more invalid signatures on the recall petition against Chris Medlock -- Larmon and Jo Lawson of 5739 S 38th West Ave. The address is outside the city limits; between 37th West Ave and 41st West Ave, the north side of 57th Street is in the city limits, the south side (where the above address is) is outside. (It might actually be in Sapulpa since that town's annexation of Town West.)

At the very least, the City Clerk should verify that the signers meet the charter requirement -- they reside and are registered to vote in the targeted councilor's election district.

A few more recall notes


Interesting name at the very end of the recall petition against Jim Mautino: Mary E. Hill is a member of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission.

I asked, half in jest, whether the City would be as diligent in validating the recall petition signatures as they were in validating the protest petition signatures in the 71st and Harvard case. The Tulsa Whirled reported on Thursday (jump page here) that City Clerk Mike Kier isn't sure he should be validating signatures on the preliminary petition, because while the City Charter explicitly requires validation for the supporting petition, the charter is silent about validation of the preliminary petition. The charter does however require that the preliminary petition "must contain the signatures of qualified electors residing in the election district involved equal in number to ten percent (10%) of all those voting in that election district for the affected office in the preceding general election." There's an implied responsibility to determine that the criteria have been met -- that the signatures are in fact those of qualified electors, that the electors reside in the election district, and that the number is sufficient. Otherwise what stops me from filing a list of 250 bogus names and starting the recall process against another councilor? Is it fair to put a councilor and his family through the pressure and grief of a recall -- and to put the whole city through the distraction -- if there isn't enough genuine support even to support a preliminary petition?

Someone perusing the District 2 preliminary recall petition list notes Mark Weiss on the list, address 1008 E. 19th. There's one invalid signature -- that area was in District 2 from 1991 to 2001, and is now in District 4. The list also has two Bobbitts at 4313 E 5th -- that's in District 4 as well -- two more bad signatures.

Below is a list of those who signed the recall petition against Tulsa City Councilor Jim Mautino. This list is a matter of public record and public interest, to get a sense of who supports the recall effort, and to allow the public to review the list for invalid names, invalid addresses, and unauthorized signatures. You might scan through the list, and if you see a name of a friend or acquaintance, you might verify with the person whether he actually signed it.

Keep in mind that this is a transcription of signatures and handwritten addresses, so there may be some errors. If you find one, let me know.

Will the City be as stringent about the signatures on these recall petitions as they were about the signatures on the 71st and Harvard zoning protest petition?

Even if the recalls ultimately fail, they will have served a purpose for the Cockroach Caucus. Good, reform-minded Tulsans will decide not to run for City Council for fear of facing the treatment that these good councilors are now receiving.

If the rumors are true that Steve Turnbo, Margaret Erling, and the Lortons had significant financial interests in Great Plains Airlines, then the timing of this PR blitz and the filing of the petitions against two of the Councilors who supported the airport investigation is very curious. The Council's investigating committee's report is due out this Thursday. Remember that the committee subpoenaed ownership records for Great Plains Airlines, so we may be learning on Thursday who stood to benefit financially from the illegal deal to subsidize the airline from airport funds. The recall effort seems extremely well timed to distract from what may be very bad news for those who have been active in orchestrating the recall.

We still don't know who the backers of the recall are, and whether they even live in the City of Tulsa. That list of 25 or so committee members has never been released. John Benjamin, a former Tulsa city councilor who now lives in Bixby, and a devotee of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, is going around town boasting that he's leading the effort. Benjamin recruited Randy Sullivan and Bill Christiansen to run for City Council. The head of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, which is pushing the recall behind the scenes, lives in Broken Arrow. The executive director of the Home Builders Association, which is supporting the recall, lives in Broken Arrow, and this year's president is based in Owasso.

Another interesting timing coincidence -- the filing comes the day after the Mayor's veto (on the last possible day that he could veto) of the Economic Development Commission ordinance.

It appears that Channel 8 (KTUL) had a hot tip that the recall was going to be filed. Channel 8's GM, Pat Baldwin, is a Tulsa Metro Chamber board member and has traveled on Chamber junkets to exotic places like Hawaii. (Remember that your City of Tulsa hotel/motel tax dollars go to the Chamber for "economic development", which frees up Chamber money to pay for these junkets. Money is fungible.) You may recall that without warning he pulled the plug on Channel 8's airing of a Vision 2025 debate.

It is the height of selfishness for the special interests behind the recall to press this issue (1) during the holidays, (2) during the runup to a City bond issue, (3) and when there is no good reason not to wait until the next general election to make their case to the voters.

Keep Councilors Mautino and Medlock in your prayers, but pray for their families, too. These kinds of attacks are usually taken more to heart by wives and parents and children than by the public official himself. Pray for strength and encouragement, and offer some encouragement of your own.

The City of Tulsa charter says this (emphasis added) in Article VII, Section 2.1:

If the officer sought to be recalled was elected from an election district, a preliminary petition for recall of the elected officer must contain the signatures of qualified electors residing in the election district involved equal in number to ten percent (10%) of all those voting in that election district for the affected office in the preceding general election.

And in Section 3:

If the officer sought to be recalled was elected from an election district, supporting petitions to be sufficient must contain the signatures of qualified electors residing in the election district involved equal in number to twenty-five percent (25%) of all those voting in that election district for the affected office in the preceding general election.

When was the preceding general election? March 9, 2004.

How many people voted in the District 7 council race in that general election? 0; Randy Sullivan had primary opposition but was unopposed in the general.

How many people voted in the District 8 council race in that general election? 0; Bill Christiansen had primary opposition but was unopposed in the general.

What is 10% of 0? 0.

What is 25% of 0? 0.

How many signatures would it take to trigger a recall election against Randy Sullivan or Bill Christiansen? One each.

District 2 recall: Some who signed


Some interesting names pop up on the District 2 recall petition:

  • Norma Eagleton, Democrat, former member of the Tulsa Airport Authority. She was on the airport authority when the apparently illegal deal to subsidize Great Plains Airlines was put together. Chris Medlock is a member of the Council committee investigating the airport; the committee's report is due out Thursday.
  • Darla Dean Hall, Democrat, former Councilor for District 2, and Medlock's opponent in both of his runs for office. She lost the 2004 election to Medlock by a vote of 1464 to 1021 -- Medlock got 59% of the vote, a near landslide. Darla Hall won only five precincts and one fragment of a precinct. Medlock won 13 precincts -- every precinct east of the river, and two large precincts west of the river. A story in the Tulsa County News (a westside paper) three weeks ago names Darla and her neighbor Billie Moseley as circulators of the petition. Darla's involvement in this scheme is disappointing. Once she was an advocate for neighborhoods -- a dependable vote for reason on controversial zoning issues. She opposed the Tulsa Project in 1997 and It's Tulsa Time in 2000 -- for the latter election, she and I appeared together on Channel 8 to speak against the proposed sales tax hike. The Tulsa Whirled regularly denounced her and endorsed her election opponents. Now she is doing the dirty work of the same bunch that tried to drive her from the Council. Is it just a lust to get back on the Council? Remember that she took campaign funds from F&M Bank Board members and a member of the planning commission. It looks like she's gone over to the dark side, sadly.
  • John Ogren. Ogren is a retired City employee and was Medlock's opponent in the Republican primary for City Council District 2 this year. He lost the primary by 1134 votes to 328. Another case of sour grapes, apparently.
  • Keep in mind that we don't know what the petition circulators told people in an effort to get these people to sign. We have heard reports that people were told that Medlock wanted people outside the city to pay lower water rates than Tulsans, when in fact he has asked whether outside customers are paying enough.

    I have also heard that westside pride may be involved, that some of the petition circulators were arguing that the westside deserved its own City Councilor, despite the fact that more than half the population of Council District 2 now lives east of the river. In fact, in this year's election, 1,242 votes were cast west of the river, 1,243 were cast east of the river. Darla Hall got only 23% of the vote east of the river. 41% of the voters west of the river, in Darla's home turf, were content to have Chris Medlock, from east of the river, represent them at City Hall.

    As soon as I can get my hands on it, I'll do a similar analysis of the District 6 petition.

    If the petitioners take the full 60 days to collect signatures on Medlock and Mautino, the recall election would not occur until May. If the recall vote succeeds, it would be too late to hold a special election to fill the seat, and a majority of the remaining councilors would appoint replacements. With Mautino and Medlock gone, the "Bought and Paid Four" would have the majority and they would likely appoint Darla Hall and Art Justis, who are both helping to spearhead the recall effort, to fill the vacancies -- the very candidates who were defeated by Medlock and Mautino back in March. It would also mean that two elected Republicans would be replaced by two defeated Democrats.

    If you spot interesting (or bogus) names on the list, drop me a line at blog at batesline dot com. If we find 46 bogus names on the list, the petition fails for a lack of sufficient signatures. There are at least three names with addresses that are outside the district boundaries.

Text of District 2 reason for recall


Here is the reason for recall submitted with the petition against Tulsa City Councilor Chris Medlock. I am told that the petition against Councilor Jim Mautino is identical except for the name. Note that the middle initial is wrong in the first sentence, correct in the final sentence:


Christopher P. [sic] Medlock's performance as a city councilor in District 2 has been unsatisfactory and contrary to the best interests of the City of Tulsa in the following particulars:

1. Mr. Medlock has circumvented the spirit and intent of fair and public debate by the City Council as a member of the "gang of five" that without public notice pre-decides pending issues without benefit of public hearing or participation by the Council as a whole.

2. Mr. Medlock's statements and votes reflect lack of understanding of the charter provisions pertaining to the powers of the City Council and with disregard to the executive powers reserved to the Mayor.

3. Mr. Medlock's statements and votes have shown disrespect without factual basis for non-paid volunteers on various boards and commissions and he has refused to confirm appointments of the Mayor without statement of his reasons.

4. Mr. Medlock's statements and votes reflect a lack of understanding of the economic benefits to the City of Tulsa of traditional working relationships with surrounding communities and he has significantly impaired such relationships.

5. Mr. Medlock's statements and votes reflect an anti-growth, anti-business agenda that has significantly impaired the economic health of the City.

We the undersigned citizens of City Council District 2, herein petition to recall Christopher S. Medlock as Councilor of District 2.

Below is a list of those who signed the recall petition against Tulsa City Councilor Chris Medlock. This list is a matter of public record and public interest, to get a sense of who supports the recall effort, and to allow the public to review the list for invalid names, invalid addresses, and unauthorized signatures. You might scan through the list, and if you see a name of a friend or acquaintance, you might verify with the person whether he actually signed it.

Preliminary petitions seeking the recall of Tulsa City Councilors Chris Medlock and Jim Mautino were filed today with the City Clerk's office. More details later. This is just the first phase of the process. You can find details on the recall process here.

It's interesting that this should come two days prior to the release of the findings of the Council's airport investigation. You don't suppose this is an attempt to distract from and discredit those findings?

Not entirely above board


A revealing tidbit from yesterday's Tulsa Whirled story on the re-renomination of Jim Cameron and Lou Reynolds to the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority (TMUA):

During Tuesday's interview, Henderson asked the men if they knew Herbert Haschke Jr., treasurer of the Coalition for Responsible Government 2004, which is conducting a recall effort against Medlock and Mautino.

Reynolds said he might have had legal dealings with him, and Cameron said Haschke did some estate planning for his father.

Henderson asked whether the men supported the recall effort. Reynolds said he was neutral about it, and Cameron never answered.

According to the records of the Oklahoma Secretary of State, Haschke and Reynolds are co-incorporators of "THE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION OF TULSA, INC." Haschke and Cameron were co-incorporators of "IHCRC REALTY CORPORATION" -- IHCRC stands for Indian Health Care Resource Center, of which Jim Cameron is secretary of the Board of Directors. BatesLine reported this information a month ago (here and here).

Why did Cameron and Reynolds choose not to be open and direct about their dealings with Haschke? This is one more example of the refusal of these two men to be cooperative and forthcoming with the City Council, and one more reason why the Mayor should fulfill his commitment to name two other Tulsans to replace them on the TMUA.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa Recall 2005 category from November 2004.

Tulsa Recall 2005: October 2004 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Recall 2005: January 2005 is the next archive.

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



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