Tulsa Recall 2005: March 2005 Archives

Roemerman on Record

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Steve Roemerman has joined the merry band of bloggers working to hold Tulsa city government accountable. His blog, Roemerman on Record, is only a day old, but he's already posted an insightful critique of KOTV's coverage of the recall petition signature issue, which you should read. Steve has been active politically out in Council District 6, helping get Jim Mautino elected in 2004. Welcome to the blogosphere, Steve.

If you're a Tulsa blogger, particularly if you write about local matters, and I don't have you on my blogroll, drop me a line. (Even if you already have -- I get busy and things fall through the cracks at times.) I won't guarantee that I'll add you, but I will certainly take a look at what you have to offer.

You can find video of the first of the four speeches I made at Thursday night's City Council meeting over on the Tulsa Topics media page -- click on "3-24-2005 City Council Meeting," then select either the video from TGOV or the video that Bobby of Tulsa Topics shot. And here are some more of Bobby's thoughts about the meeting, and how we should respond by focusing on the District 5 council special election.

Mee Citee Wurkor was inspired to add a soundtrack to my speech -- a song by a local punk band called the Beer Mongers. His entry on the meeting is here, with a link to his version of the video.

There were many excellent speeches. The people who spoke were inspired by a love for their city and outrage over the way the Bought and Paid Four, the City Attorney, and the City Clerk ignored the law for the sake of giving control of the Council back to the Cockroach Caucus. If you missed it, it should repeat daily through Wednesday. The TGOV schedule for next week isn't online yet, but it should look something like last week's.

In an Council meeting filled with Biblical quotations and allusions, this was my favorite. It was uttered by B. J. Benbow as a closing admonition to the "Bought and Paid Four." It was apt both for the date and for the analogy.

Purim began at sundown tonight, the feast that commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from the extermination planned for them by Haman. You'll find the story in the Book of Esther. The evil counselor Haman sought to destroy all the Jews because Mordecai, a wise counselor who had saved the King of Persia's life, refused to bow down to Haman. For Mordecai in particular, Haman had a 75-foot-high gallows built. Because of Queen Esther's, Haman's plot was discovered, the king had Haman hanged on the gallows that had been built for Mordecai, and the enemies of the Jews were routed. The holiday is celebrated with utter joy, undiminished by sorrow, and as the story is read out, the congregation blots out Haman's name each time it is read with boos, hisses, and noisemakers.

By ignoring the clear requirements of the City Charter in their rush to get rid of two of their colleagues, Councilors Baker, Sullivan, Christiansen, and Neal set precedents that may come back to haunt them. The City Clerk failed to fulfill his obligation under the Charter to verify that the petition signatures correspond to those in the voter registration records. The four councilors who voted to affirm the Clerk's finding of sufficiency not only made themselves complicit in his malfeasance (as Brad Colvard pointed out), but when their constituents start a recall effort against them, they've set a low standard for verifying the petitions.

The other precedent set tonight was calling a resolution by another name so that it could pass with only four votes. As attorney Steve Denney pointed out, the vote to affirm the City Clerk's finding of sufficiency qualifies under every legal definition of a resolution. Under the Charter, therefore, approval required a majority of the Council -- five votes -- not just a majority of the quorum present. The vote was 4-2 in support of affirmation for both petitions. The City Attorney's office had opined that this was sufficient for approval. The matter will likely end up in District Court.

The City Attorney's office said that the Council was bound by the charter to pass the resolutions calling for elections now that the petitions have been affirmed. Nevertheless Councilors Turner and Henderson voted against both resolutions, and as resolutions the 4-2 or 4-3 vote in favor was insufficient for passage, an obvious fact even acting City Attorney Alan Jackere can't deny. The vote against is justified because the vote to affirm the petitions was insufficient, as noted above. Turner and Henderson were joined by Chris Medlock on the final vote -- with all items pertaining to his recall already decided, he could safely participate in the discussion and vote on Jim Mautino's recall election. The votes against calling the recall elections will also no doubt find their way into District Court.

I have to give great credit to Jack Henderson and Roscoe Turner, men of character who would not be cowed by threats of lawsuits or the defaming they'll likely get at the hands of the Tulsa Whirled. They understand that they sit on the Council by the will of God and that they are there to do what is right, whatever the consequences. I dare say if either of them were Governor of Florida right now, he would not be playing "Mother May I" with Judge Greer. They understand that they have a responsibility to uphold the charter even if it means ignoring bad advice from the City Attorney.

If you didn't catch the meeting live, you should look for the replay on TGOV 24 this weekend -- Friday evening at 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 8 am. There were many excellent speeches, and the comments by the councilors were very revealing.

Bobby of Tulsa Topics has his initial reaction to the meeting -- "the night my faith in city government died."

We need you down at City Hall once again, if you possibly can be there, to stand up for two City Councilors who are doing the right thing, and to stand up against those who are ignoring the clear language of the City Charter to push this recall through. Meeting starts at 6, but be there early. The items are toward the end of the agenda, but they may get through the early items -- mostly routine -- very rapidly. If you're interested and willing to speak, please come early and seek out Rick Westcott, chairman of Tulsans for Election Integrity, as we'll only be allowed a limited time to make our case, and we'll need to coordinate our efforts.

If you need something to get you riled up, read Chris Medlock's latest entry about the latest blatant example of media bias in today's Tulsa Whirled.

It's back. Non-Councilor Randy Sullivan has put the recall of Councilors Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock on this Thursday's agenda. Unlike last week, all recall elements will be together at the very end of the agenda, after all other business, and there's a lot of it, because of Sullivan's hasty decision to stop last week's meeting, rather than calling a recess long enough to reassemble a quorum.

There really shouldn't be a meeting Thursday at all. It is Maundy Thursday, a night when many churches (even non-liturgical congregations) hold special communion services to commemorate Christ's Last Supper. (Maundy is from the Latin mandatus, a reference to John 13:34: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.")

This week is also spring break for many area schools, and between that and the holiday it will be a challenge to assemble the kind of crowd we had last Thursday night.

If the election resolutions are approved, the recall election would be held on June 14.

Also on the agenda is a proposed schedule for evaluating proposed amendments to the City Charter. This is not specifically about the amendment regarding zoning protest petitions that was taken off the April ballot, although that is one of the proposals that could be discussed. The Charter requires periodic charter review, and Title 4, Section 308 of Tulsa Revised Ordinances requires the City Attorney to submit a schedule by March 15 of odd-numbered years for considering amendments which would be placed on the general election ballot the following March. The Council can accept, amend, or reject the proposed schedule, but they must act by April 15.

Trust is a fragile thing.

Trust is essential to any human endeavor involving more than one person (which is to say, nearly every endeavor worthy of pursuit), but it is easily broken and once broken it is almost impossible to mend.

You can go from treasured friend to arms-length acquaintance and not realize it's happened until it's too late. It's like being demoted, but someone forgot to copy you on the memo. Good will is gone, and its absence is evident in body language and tone of voice. Warm smiles are replaced by chilly glares.

It comes down to this: Before, your actions and words were given the benefit of the doubt. Your good intentions were assumed. After, your actions and words are viewed with suspicion of dark motives, and actions and words from the past are reinterpreted in accordance with this new, negative theory of you.

And here's the worst part: Every effort you make to find out what went wrong, to mend fences, to seek restoration is viewed through the same lens of suspicion. Far from patching the hole, your efforts only dig it deeper. What sounds like a simple, reasonable explanation as it leaves your mouth reaches your erstwhile friend's ear as defensive and evasive.

(UPDATE: Dawn Summers posted a "not so random thought" a couple of days ago that captures this situation perfectly -- "I was there when we became friends, where was I when we became strangers?")

What can bring about such a dramatic change, in the absence of any intentional breach of trust? A seed of doubt, watered by imagination, is all it takes. The seed may be planted by accident, the misapplication of past experience, or it may be planted deliberately by someone seeking to destroy a friendship or an alliance.

In the battle for the Tulsa's future, the coalition of reformers is made up of people who are just getting to know each other, and the bond of trust is not yet fully formed. We are vulnerable to attack at this point, and we must guard against it.

Thursday night's City Council meeting didn't go the way anyone expected. Allies inadvertently ended up working at cross-purposes, but some observers jumped to the conclusion that there had been a betrayal, that some sort of deal had been cut to the disadvantage of the Reform Alliance. The seed of doubt was planted and imagination watered it. I'm hopeful that efforts to root it out quickly were successful.

Brethren, we need to watch and pray, because we are surely under attack. And we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt.

I don't have time to write any more than this at the moment:

Any feeling that last night's Council meeting was a defeat for the good guys is without basis in reality.

Any anger toward Councilors Turner and Henderson is entirely misplaced. They were not responsible for the adjournment of the meeting. They have been and continue to be faithful friends and allies of Councilors Mautino and Medlock, and I have complete confidence in them. If you missed hearing what they had to say this morning on KFAQ about what transpired last night, you should make a point to listen online as the broadcast replays. They were on the air between 7:40 and 8:30. 9:40 p.m. Friday is the next time that segment will air, then every 3.5 hours until Monday morning. You can hear my comments (originally made about 6:40) -- they'll next repeat at 8:40 tonight and every 3.5 hours thereafter.

Before you wake up in the morning and jump to any conclusions, you should take time to shave your suppositions with Occam's Razor.

Busy and strange night tonight.

While a special Council meeting to consider rescinding the denial of the 71st and Harvard F&M Bank final plat was going on on the 2nd floor of City Hall, opponents of the recall gathered on City Hall Plaza to rally support for Councilors Mautino and Medlock. There were at least 100 people present on the plaza and more had already gone inside to the Council chamber. Standing on one of the empty plinths on the plaza, I spoke to the crowd about their opportunity to speak before the Council, reiterating the main objections to the recall -- the failure of the City Clerk to fulfill his obligations under the charter being the foremost. Rick Westcott, chairman of Tulsans for Election Integrity, spoke briefly and emphasized the need for decorum during the meeting itself. Mona Miller led us all in some chants before we began to file into the chamber, many carrying NO RECALL bumper stickers and yard signs, and a few with homemade signs.

The chamber was standing room only -- every seat taken, and people lined up along all the walls. As we signed up to speak on the recall-related agenda items, the Council staffer informed us that the items had been pulled from the agenda. Medlock was standing next to me as I heard this, and he corrected the staffer, saying that the items would be pulled only if there were no objection from a councilor. It was clear that he was prepared to see the Council proceed to vote on recall and wanted the assembled citizens to be given a chance to speak.

As the Councilors took their seats, Medlock and Mautino received standing ovations. Bill Christiansen and Randy Sullivan received hisses and boos.

UPDATE: There will be a "No Recall" rally at 5 p.m. Thursday on City Hall Plaza. More details as they become available.

Non-Councilor Randy Sullivan has put the recall of Councilors Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock on Thursday night's City Council agenda. There will be two votes on each councilor. Tulsans need to be down at City Hall Thursday night for the 6 p.m. meeting, ready to speak out in opposition this attempt to call a recall election on the basis of questionable petitions with questionable signatures. You should be at City Hall by Thursday at 5:45 -- give yourself time to park -- and you should sign up to speak on items 3b, 3c, 7a, and 7b.

(By the way, if there's an event at the Convention Center and they're charging for parking, tell the attendant that you're there for the Council meeting and you won't be charged the $3.)

Here's the first agenda item: "Affirmation or reversal of City Clerk's determination that the petitions and signatures on the supporting petitions seeking the recall... comply with the requirements of the Tulsa City Charter." This has been listed as one of the "Mayor's Items," very early in the meeting, right after a series of appointments and reappointments that should be routine. That's why its crucial to be in the room before the meeting begins at 6:00 p.m.

As City Clerk Mike Kier admitted last Tuesday, he has not fulfilled the charter requirement that he verify that the signatures on the petition correspond with the signatures in the voter registration records. It would be irresponsible for the Council to vote to affirm, and Tulsans need to be present to make sure they hear that message loud and clear.

The second agenda item reads as follows: "Resolution of Notice to the Tulsa County Election Board of a Special Election to be held in the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 10, 2005, to recall... and directing the Mayor to call the election." Note the date. It would be illegal for the Council to act on March 17 to call a May 10 election. State law requires at least 60 days between calling an election and the election date.

Randy Sullivan has included the two election resolutions in the "Council items" section items of the agenda, no doubt intending to inconvenience citizens as much as possible by separating the items as much as possible.

The fact that the "affirmation or reversal" is not described as a resolution to affirm or reverse is a bit of legal trickery. A resolution requires a majority vote of the whole Council -- five yes votes. By not calling it a resolution, the City Attorney's office is making the case that all they need is a majority of a majority -- a majority of whatever quorum happens to be present -- three votes out of five, four votes out of six or seven. Once again the City Attorney's office is opening up the City (and us taxpayers) to a lawsuit by trying to monkey around with the law for the benefit of the Cockroach Caucus.

Please plan to be at City Hall Thursday night.

This was published on March 15, but I'm bumping the date to keep it at the top through Thursday.

Bring your camcorders


You are encouraged to bring your camcorders and digital voice recorders to tonight's City Council meeting. I have heard that there have been some technical changes to the camera and audio setup in the Francis Campbell Council Room. The kinds of glitches that often accompany such changes may prevent Cox Cable from getting a good recording for rebroadcast. So charge your camcorders and bring them along. Let's make sure every word is recorded for posterity.

In honor of Saint Patrick


St. Patrick is said to have beaten a drum hard and fast, and the din drove all the snakes of Ireland into the sea.

In honor of his feast day...

Patrick drives the snakes out of Ireland

... let's help Councilors Jack Henderson, Jim Mautino, Chris Medlock, and Roscoe Turner drive the snakes out of Tulsa's City Hall! Show up at City Hall Plaza at 5:00 p.m. and make some noise at a rally leading up to the City Council meeting which will begin at 6:00 p.m. You'll be able to pick up "No Recall" yard signs and bumper stickers.

If you appreciate the way these four men consistently stand up for the ordinary people of Tulsa, you need to show your appreciation by showing up tonight for the rally and the City Council meeting.

Illustration from Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie de Paola, a wonderful children's book about Patrick's life and legend.

I am reluctant to do this, but I have decided to enable comment moderation. I appreciate your comments, and for the most part the comments have been responsible and constructive.

Over at Councilor Chris Medlock's blog, however, it appears that agents of the Coalition for Reprehensible Government are using anonymity to post slanderous attacks on Chris, the same sort of canards that were used in the Tulsa Tribunal smear paper. I'm not going to wait until these cowbirds try to take over this nest before taking countermeasures.

This is my blog, and we play by my rules. If you want to engage in constructive criticism, that's fine, but you need to be willing to do so under your own name, and you need to supply me with a working e-mail address. Anonymous attacks will not be tolerated. If you don't like my rules, GYOB.

There is one way you can bypass comment moderation -- if you're registered with TypeKey, you can sign in, and post comments without moderation. All other comments will come through me, and I reserve the right to reject any comment for any reason.

The list of names and addresses on the recall petition against Tulsa District 6 City Councilor Jim Mautino is available via his home page. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and you'll find a link to the list and why he has posted the list on the Internet.

If you live in District 6, you'll want to take a minute to be sure that no one signed your name on your behalf.

At the top of Councilor Mautino's home page, you'll find links for signing an anti-recall petition and for volunteering to help the defeat the recall attempt.

A lot of Tulsans are angry that the Home Builders Association of Metro Tulsa, dominated by developers based in Owasso and Broken Arrow, are attempting to remove two duly-elected Tulsa City Councilors.

Even residents of the suburbs are dismayed at the HBA's push for recall in Tulsa. If you live in the 'burbs, you may wonder how you can help.

The Tulsa Real Estate Coalition (TREC) of which the HBA is a part, along with the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors (GTAR) and the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP) is not only trying to retake control of the Tulsa City Council, they have either gained or are trying to gain control of suburban city councils as well. TREC's legislative goals are simple -- defend the status quo. The only reform that will be tolerated is that which makes life easier for developers.

Of course, that's their right, to try to influence the political process by helping elect officials who will be sympathetic to their concerns.

But if I were voting for City Council in one of the suburbs -- elections are on April 5 -- I'd certainly take into consideration which candidates received funds or endorsements from TREC or its members.

A reader of this site who happens to be an attorney writes to suggest that the City of Tulsa hire a forensic document examiner to look at the recall petition signatures and ensure that the requirements of the charter are fulfilled. My correspondent says is familiar with forensic document examination from his involvement in cases involving disputed wills.

Forensic document examination is a long recognized, valid forensic science. The classic textbook is Osborn on Questioned Documents. It is very, very difficult to fool a trained forensic document examiner. A well trained forensic document examiner given known and questioned signatures can determine forgeries pretty quickly. Shouldn't the City Council engage the services of a qualified forensic document examiner to determine whether there are sufficient genuine signatures on the recall petition for there to be a recall? To me it is absolutely inexcusable for the city clerk not to have made an eyeball comparison of signatures on the voting rolls and those on the recall petition.

I'm confident that with a qualified, independent examiner, it could be done very quickly and probably for less than $5K. KFAQ says it stands for what's right, and I tend to agree. We should not be afraid of what qualified handwriting examination of the recall petition reveals. If most signatures are forgeries there would be a huge uproar. If there are sufficient genuine signatures then the recall will have to be fought and won on the merits. I myself would be willing to throw some money into a fund to employ a qualified document examiner independent from the city clerk. The city clerk should have no fear of the examination, and it should not take more than a couple days.

Someone else has noticed that on a couple of petition pages, more than one signature seems to have been signed by the same hand. For example lines 7 and 8 on this petition and lines 23 and 24 on this petition. Compare the way the last name is signed -- my guess is that in these cases one spouse signed for both.

The City would save far more than $5,000 if the petitions prove to be invalid, just in the cost of holding the special elections alone. It would also clear away the recall issue at a time when more pressing matters face city government -- passing the general obligation bond issue in April and preparing a budget for the next fiscal year.

Councilors, if you're serious about adhering to the charter, let's make sure the signatures meet the charter requirements.

The requirements of the Tulsa City Charter are plain as the nose on your face. From Article VII, Section 4, here is the duty of the City Clerk with regard to recall petitions:

Within twenty (20) days after the expiration of the time for filing supporting petitions, the City Clerk shall examine the filed supporting petitions and determine whether each petition and the signatures thereon comply with the requirements of this Article.

What are the requirements with regard to signatures in Article VII?

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.

The signature of each petitioner on the supporting petitions shall correspond with that appearing on the official voter registration books applicable to the city.

There are three requirements here involving a signature on a recall petition:

  1. The signature must be of a qualified elector.
  2. The signature must be of a qualified elector who resides in the election district. (Note that that doesn't say, "who is registered to vote in the election district." It must be someone who still lives in the district.)
  3. The signature shall correspond with that appearing on the official voter registration books applicable to the city.

So putting those two pieces together, the City Clerk has three things to verify. (1) The City Clerk must verify that each petition signature matches the signature on the voter registration card for the person whose name and address are printed on the petition. (2) The City Clerk must verify that the voter so identified is registered to vote in the district (a qualified elector). (3) The City Clerk must verify that the voter so identified actually resides in the district.

By his own admission, City Clerk Mike Kier has only performed one of the three verifications required by the City Charter.

Mayoral chief-of-staff Clay Bird's comments last night to the City Council about how things are done with state and county petitions are beside the point. Tulsa's recall process is created by our City Charter, and the City Charter places specific requirements on recall petition verification, and if they happen to be more stringent than the rules of other jurisdictions, that's the way it is.

Don't miss Tulsa Topics' excellent coverage of Bird's remarks. Bobby's entry has a link to video of the event -- and it sports a great headline.

Today's special meeting of the Tulsa City Council ended shortly after it began. I showed up about 2:20 to find the committee room packed. By my count there were over a hundred present -- two deep along the east wall, three deep along the north wall, and all along the other two walls. There were more out in the elevator landing. Many were holding "NO RECALL" bumper stickers and handmade signs. (I did not notice anyone protesting in support of recalling Councilors Mautino and Medlock.) While we were waiting for the councilors to come in, the crowd started some chants: "No recall!" "Verify the signatures!" It was a tremendous show of support.

This morning, at a Tulsa City Council committee meeting on the recall of Councilors Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock, City Clerk Mike Kier testified that he has not verified the signatures on the recall petitions against signatures in the Tulsa County Election Board registration records. Article 7, Section 3 of the City Charter states:

The signature of each petitioner on the supporting petitions shall correspond with that appearing on the official voter registration books applicable to the city.

Kier stated that he compared the names and addresses on the petitions with names and addresses in the Tulsa County voter registration database, but no comparison of signatures was performed. He stated that he is relying on the sworn statements of the circulator on each petition that the signatures have been verified. The circulators were either volunteers for or paid by Coalition for Responsible Government 2004 to collect signatures.

Both Councilor Roscoe Turner and Councilor Jack Henderson expressed reservations about the Council voting to affirm Kier's finding that the recall petitions are sufficient before the required verification of signatures has been performed. Non-Councilor Randy Sullivan, who does not even live in the district he purports to represent, spoke of the Council's duty to defer to the wishes of the citizens who live in Districts 2 and 6. Councilor Bill Christiansen also spoke of the Council's duty to set the election.

The Council committee room was packed with citizens in opposition to the recall, and there were outbursts of applause in response to statements by Councilors Henderson and Turner.

Affirmation of the City Clerk's findings of sufficiency and resolutions calling for recall elections on May 10 will be considered at a special Council meeting set for 2:30 p.m. in the Council committee room, 2nd floor, City Hall.

Here's a link to a map of the Civic Center, from the City Council website. City Hall is the 11-story building in the middle of the plaza, labeled 1 on the map. There's meter parking around the base of City Hall and a parking garage a block west.

The Council Committee meeting room is on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

If you're coming from the southeast, it's easiest to take the Broken Arrow Expressway (US 64, OK 51) into downtown, take the Houston exit, go north (right) on Houston, then east (right) on 3rd. You'll find an entrance to the parking garage on your right, and then just beyond that, an entrance to the surface parking area next to City Hall.

Here's Mapquest's map of City Hall's address (201 Civic Center Plaza). If you follow that link, there's a form beneath the map that allows you to get directions from where you are to City Hall.

The Council committee discussion of the recall petitions and elections will be part of the Urban and Economic Development committee meeting, which starts at 10:00 a.m. The special council meeting, when the Council will vote on the recall petitions and elections, begins at 2:30. For the special meeting in particular, aim to be there at 2, so you have time to find a parking spot and get into the Council committee room before the meeting officially begins at 2:30.

Now that the light's been turned on, the Cockroaches are trying to scamper under the counter.

The actual vote on whether to certify the recall petitions and call the election will take place at a special Tulsa City Council meeting at 2:30 p.m. in the Council Committee room 201, on the second floor of the City Hall tower. Non-councilor Chairman Randy Sullivan has moved the debate on those matters to a different meeting, making it as inconvenient as possible on any citizens who might wish to be in attendance. The issues will be discussed during the Urban and Economic Development Committee, which begins at 10:00 am in room 201.

The various Chamber hacks, developer's attorneys, and lobbyists will all be there, of course. Harassing elected officials on behalf of special interests is what they're paid to do. It's inconvenient for them to show up during a Council meeting in the evening, and Randy Randy seems to be only too happy to do their bidding, and only too happy to inconvenience the ordinary Tulsans who have to take off work and reschedule appointments to be in attendance.

Please do what you can to be in attendance for at least one of the two meetings, both if possible. Bring camcorders and audio recorders -- let's make sure we don't miss a word or a facial expression.

Randy's in a rush

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Council Chairman and non-Councilor Randy Sullivan has set a special meeting at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Council committee room to vote on certifying the recall petitions against Councilors Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock and scheduling the special elections for May 10. Wednesday is the absolute last day that an election could be scheduled for May 10. It appears that Sullivan is trying to ensure that there will be no TGOV TV coverage (the cameras are already committed to cover the Board of Adjustment meeting), to hold the meeting at an inconvenient time for citizens to come and express their objections, to hold the meeting in an inconvenient location, without enough room to accommodate citizens who object to the recall.

Why push for a May 10 election? Sullivan says it's to save money by holding it the same day as the District 5 election, but there would only be a cost advantage if there were a city-wide election on the same day. Whether the recalls occur on May 10 or at a later date, the city will still have to pay for poll workers for the two districts.

The real aim of rushing the recall is to dilute the efforts grass-roots campaigners and overwhelm them with piles and piles of cash. Instead of being able to concentrate on electing a reform candidate in District 5 and then working on defeating the two recalls, grass-roots workers will have to split their time and energy between three races, giving an advantage to the well-heeled special interests who are bankrolling the recall and who also have a candidate in District 5.

I have heard from people who have seen the petitions that many names were printed, not signed, do not match the signatures in the county election board's records, and in some cases several names appear to have been printed by the same hand. If true, the phony signatures ought to be disqualified.

Chris Medlock has more about Randy Sullivan's manuever on his site.

I urge you to plan to attend Tuesday's special meeting, and as many people as possible should bring camcorders and tape recorders to make sure nothing escapes public notice.

Tulsa City Councilor Chris Medlock has posted the list of names of those voters who signed the petition to have him recalled from office. The list is a matter of public record, only now it is easily accessible to the public. Chris has some comments and analysis about the list, pointing out that less than 3% of the registered voters in the district signed the petition. As I noted earlier, less than 10% of those people who bothered to vote the last time Chris's name was on the ballot signed the petition to have him recalled. I'll let you know when and if the list of signers for the petition against Councilor Jim Mautino is made available.

UPDATE: Chris Medlock has posted his account of the story that appeared in the Saturday World.

I can't remember if I've used this analogy on this blog, or perhaps just in other forums, but I've observed that the Tulsa World sometimes operates like a volleyball team, with the newsroom providing the "set" with a well-slanted news story, providing the editorial board just what they need for the "spike" -- the "facts" required to "prove" whatever point the editorial board is trying to make.

A week or so ago Councilor Chris Medlock made an offhand comment, during an off-the-record conversation with a Tulsa World reporter. He mentioned that a high-ranking city official came to him to relay an offer -- support granting an easement over city land for the proposed private toll bridge across the Arkansas River and the recall would be called off. Someone decided to turn the offhand, off-the-record comment into a news story.

About this Archive

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

Tulsa Recall 2005: February 2005 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Recall 2005: April 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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