Monday, December 13, 2004

What's In It For Them? (Motives Behind Recall Effort)

Just like someone with a recently broken leg, I'm growing a little weary of answering the same question multiple times a day. However, instead of being asked, "What happened to you?" I'm getting the query, "Why are these guys trying to recall you?"

It is a very difficult question to answer, because aside from Ken Neal and the editorial staff of the Tulsa World, I've never been directly told the real reasons. All we've been given are some painfully vague and subjective accusations that have little bearing in reality. This leaves Jim Mautino and I to have to do a lot of speculation based on rumors.

What I've been able to surmise, however, is that the answer to, "Why are these guys trying to recall you?" depends on just which group of "guys" you're talking about. Let's see if we can break them down to no more than a handful of classifications.

I've determined that the recall proponents (a.k.a. The Coalition for Responsible Government) truly are a coalition of groups interested in Tulsa city government. The "responsible" tag seems to be definable as government that is responsible to them.

So who makes up this coalition? Well, my analysis is that the infamous "THEY" are elements of the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), the Metro Homebuilders Association and those who don't like the city council digging into the Great Plains/Airport fiasco. Sprinkle this group with some suburban land speculators, Tulsa World interests and those ticked off that there still isn't an F&M branch bank on the southwest corner of 71st & Harvard, and you're probably getting pretty close to the truth.

Before delving into the individual groups and analyzing their disdain for me and my fellow gang members, let me offer up a few names that have been conveyed to me as activists in this endeavor at...What...Recollection?

First there is former District 7 city councilor John Benjamin. If being a councilor makes me the Honorable Chris Medlock, than perhaps we should refer to Mr. Benjamin as the Formerly-Honorable John Benjamin. I've been told by multiple sources that I trust that Mr. Benjamin has been seen strutting before a breakfast group that meets each Friday morning at the Southern Hills Marriott, that he is responsible for the recall effort. I've even heard him quoted as saying something to the effect that he is "calling the shots." I know that Mr. Benjamin claims to have recruited current District 7 councilor, Randy Sullivan, while on a ski trip in Colorado. How do I know? He told me himself. Seems they were sipping cocktails in an outdoor spa, and Benjamin waited until the alcohol, steam and bubbles to pop the question. Most interesting of all, however, is that Mr. Benjamin no longer lives in the city of Tulsa. He now resides, with his wife Laura Benjamin, in Bixby.

Another name which was let slip by a fellow elected city official is that of Josh Fowler. Mr. Fowler is the director...or something similar...of the Metro Tulsa Home Builders Association. He is a frequent visitor to council committee meetings and was rumored to have "black balled" an endorsement for me from the Tulsa Real Estate Coalition during the last election. During questioning by TREC for its endorsement, Mr. Fowler did not hide his annoyance for my efforts in supporting the neighborhoods in the 71st & Harvard issue. He also showed a penchant for not getting his facts straight, when he said there wasn't an upscale residential use for that particular property. I directed him to a development less than a mile away, know as Esplanade, which sets on almost the same sized property, adjacent to an equally busy street (Lewis Ave.). But most interesting of all, just like Mr. Benjamin, Josh Fowler is a resident of Broken Arrow.

I will endeavor, as time permits, to address each of these groups and the issues surrounding them, in separate blogs.


Anonymous said...

Prediction for a Tulsa World Editorial:

"The misguided defeat by Tulsa County Voters of the proposed Library Tax falls firmly on the stooped shoulders of Councilors Medlock and Mautino. If not for their divisive attitude, etc. etc. etc. "

You know their slant: Just fill in the blank __________________.


Anonymous said...

It's going to be a busy February, March and April for Special elections hereabouts. We're very SPECIAL here in Tulsa. We have elections called whenever they damn well please. And, Damn the cost to the taxpayers.

In February 2005, this is the annual School Bond Special Election. A silo'd election to discourage hard-working voters from taking the trouble to go vote on what is usually a bitterly cold Tuesday in the middle of the winter. But, the school teachers, and their associated tax vampire minions at city-county government, and their benefactors in the construction, architectural/engineering firms, and other associated connected entities (certain attorneys and bond underwriters, of course) that suck off of the sugar-tit of runaway school spending will be out in force. Remember, their message is: "It's For the Children".

Then, in March 2005, we'll have the Recall Special Election of Mssrs. Mautino and Medlock. Their political Crucifixion will likely occur before Good Friday, the ACTUAL Crucifixion, to provide some symbolic symmetry with the most seminal event in human history. Will they then be resurrected to run again?

Or, will their vacancies then be filled by the voting majority of members in the Cockroach Coalition? Depends on Exactly when the Recall Election is foisted upon Tulsans, right?

When April finally rolls around, the City Bond Special Election will come rolling around too as the third Special Election in three months. The probable message is that this tax is necessary to HEAL the divisions in our community inflicted by the Reform Alliance, re-build infrastructure left to languish by the misbehaving Reform Alliance, and of course, keep the concrete flowing (for the Rooney Family et al?).

Just wait and see..................

Anonymous said...

You and Mr. Mautino are being castrated for speaking out and asking questions. The same thing happens to City employees. Over time the City has developed a group of City employees in lock step with outside interests.

The citizens will not be dumb enough to recall you. The people know what is going on. I hope the citizens take the same interest in the employees of Tulsa who have no protection from abuse, etc.

Give them "H---"