Sunday, February 27, 2005

Recall Effort Taking Its Toll

Here's to the Tulsa World yet again. Yesterday's story with the headline, "Medlock claims link of recall, toll bridge," by Tulsa County beat writer Susan Hylton is a real head scratcher. [ has an interesting entry on the issue, too.

Is this news? Or another assist by Tulsa's newspaper-of-record to paint me with a broad brush dipped in paints from designer Schnake Turnbo's "lunatic fringe" collection?

How the World learned of the phone call is interesting in and of itself. In a word...well, actually in two words...I have to say, "my bad." After being interviewed by city beat writer P J Lassek about something else that now escapes me, we began chatting about the rumors and odd whispers flitting about the recall effort.

Ironically, one of the rumors we spoke of now has a tinge of irony to it, which was that political consultant Jim Burdge (rhymes with "purge" or "regurge") was the minormind behind the now infamous Tulsa Tribunal. However, in our conversation, I did tell Ms. Lassek of my cell phone conversation with a high-ranking member of the administration, which occurred just before Christmas. In fact, it occurred on the evening of December 21st, as my wife and I were driving our niece Brittany to meet up with her mom's family in Ponca City.

While the conversation was interupted several times by dropped calls each time our SUV would venutre into a valley on the Cimmaron Turnpike, it was posited to me that if I were to agree to support the condemnation of City of Tulsa land, needed to clear the way for a private toll bridge pushed by Infrastructure Ventures, LLC, that would span the Arkansas River, near 121st Street and Yale Avenue, that there was a good chance the recall effort against me could be made to "go away."

Unlike Susan Hylton's account, it was never intimated that such an agreement was a guarantee. The feeling I was left with was that the people interested in the bridge project (not necessarily the principals of Infrastructure Ventures, but possibly those that would indirectly benefit) might be able to make such an occurance occur.

[Note: Susan Hylton says I said that William Bacon, the chief honcho for IV, LLC, was involved in the recall effort. Check your tape Ms. Hylton. My recollection was that I said John Benjamin was deeply involved in the recall effort and that Mr. Benjamin was also involved in economic development strategies for the City of Bixby. No municipality would benefit more from this bridge than Bixby. Draw your own conclusions.]

Let me make three strong statements about the phone call.
  1. It happened. I'd be happy to take a polygraph if necessary. In fact, my wife and niece both heard my side of the conversation as we drove along.
  2. I do not believe that the administration official is in cahoots with the recall forces. I think they were approached because of a reputation for discretion. They were bringing forth this offer in order to give me a chance to end recall, if I had no concerns about the proposed bridge. I do not wish to punish them by giving the name of someone I feel was acting in good faith.
  3. There is no way to know if the offer was real, or merely a bluff. My point to both Ms. Lassek initially, and Ms. Hylton secondarily, was that there are some crazy rumors and offers flying around City Hall ever since this Recall Madness began.

I find it less than surprising that they returned to my smiling campaign photo (eschewing the "smirking councilor" visage they have favored of late, while making sure the word paranoid was placed strategically in the photos caption. As we all know, most readers will read the headline and the photo caption before ever venturing into the text of the story.

This all seems part and parcel of the new recall strategy, which is to paint me in the words of Councilor Randy Sullivan, as the "King of Accusations." longer am I a dictator, a fascist, a cartel boss, a gang member or a terrorist. I have asceneded to royalty. I may now add "King" to my list of titles. Makes me want to run out and buy lots of purple clothing.

[Family note: Britanny has been going about telling her friends at school that she is a "Cartel Princess." It's been a running gag with the two of us for several weeks. Upon reading my draft of this posting, she asked, "Now that you're a king, does that make me a real princess?" We have decided that the Kingdom of Accusation (pronounced ack-cue-zah'-see-ahn) is in France, most likely near the province of...where else...Britanny.]

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Cabbage Rolls Are Good, But the Place Mat Leaves a Bad Taste.

Thanks to KFAQ for breaking the story about the fact that Tulsa restaurant and local institution, Jamil's, has been utilizing a place mat for each patron that reproduces the gaseous David Ad-verill editorial first printed by the Tulsa World on February 6th. (I'd link to it, but I don't have Michael Bates' legal connections...yet.)

I thought I was being pretty insulting when I insinuated that the piece was noticeably devoid of logic and was really effective only as a four-color advertisement for recall. Little did I know that it would soon be the underlayment for dishware at a BBQ joint. What next? Will people get the opportunity to test their mental dexterity by trying to follow Mr. Ad-verill's meandering rationale while parked next to an MTTA bus? Hey...why not? Think about it...if the ad successfully inspires a voting citizen to support recall, they could probably just leave their car momentarily, step onto the bus, and get the driver to sign them up to volunteer. [For those who haven't heard, one of the recall petition circulators was a bus driver who it is rumored, solicited signatures from his riders]

I guess my campaign strategists are going to have to analyze whether or not Jamil's customers are the type to get their opinions from a placemat, or if they're prone to influence from other opinion sources, such as trash liners, disposable diapers or those paper floor mats you get when you take your cars to the shop.

We know Michael Barone now believes that blogs are the newest force in politics. Can disposable paper products be the next big thing?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Very Unscientific Results Are In

Yes, I know that internet polls are slightly less accurate than the presidential exit polls taken in a swing state, but I still find the results of the poll to be encouraging.

They've asked the question, "Do you support a recall of city councilors Chris Medlock and Jim Mautino?

With over 10,000 votes now in, the results are as follows:

Yes - 26%
No - 67%
"Why did you waste your time to even participate in this poll?" - 7%

In fairness, I suppose there are a lot of people that haven't yet made up their minds, and I should be greatly appreciative to them, because it most likely means they either don't take the Tulsa World, don't actually read the Tulsa World for news, or have become like a lot of other citizens of our truth starved city, know to take their opinions (even the ones that double as news stories) with a block of salt.

Anyway, this poll either shows that our support is great or someone with way too much time on their hands now has a very sore index finger from pushing "ENTER" thousands of times.

Many thanks to all of you who supported us.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses"...nor Internet Service!

Since we're running into trouble for referencing material that wasn't the fruits of our own minds, all credit for the title of this entry goes to St. Mathew...who got his inspiration from God-the-Father-and-Source-of-All-Things. [Trust me...if they send me a "cease and desist" letter, I'm going to jump!]

Well, details are sketchy, but word has come to me from the volunteer who is maintaining the web site for, [the issue PAC formed to defend Councilor Mautino and me], has received a threatening letter from the Tulsa World. As such, they have given us 24 hours to pull all offending links to their site, or they will pull us from their server.

Part of our entrenched, battle weary mindset makes us want to strike back at the craveness of this private business. But upon further reflection, they are just another citizen (corporate in this case) that is in the way of the Lorton's and their agenda. As such, it serves no one for us to trash them for protecting their business from litigation surrounding a fight that is not theirs'.

Because the TFEI site is integral to our efforts to use alternative media to quickly respond to recall efforts and more importantly, to raise money and register volunteers, we'll most likely comply for now.

But if anyone knows of an affordable service provider that would throw a letter from an overly arrogant media outlet into the trash "like yesterday's newspaper," let us know.

More as things develop.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

"I'm Not Threatening...It's the World That's Threatening" the original quote is, "I'm not's the world that's crazy," but this seemed more appropriate.

Last Saturday evening, I was the lucky recipient of one of the famous letters by the "Lorton Family's Little Newsletter," better known to most in Northeast Oklahoma as the Tulsa World. Click here to see a .jpg version of the actual document.

If you think this type of threat wasn't taken with a great big, [GULP!], than you don't know what they pay a city councilor in Tulsa, OK gets paid (see story below).

The thing that is most interesting isn't that the World has decided to protect what they view to be copyrighted material, but rather the timing of their inquiry. Some of you may still want to cling to your illusions that our paper of record is the unbiased and free press formed by your hours of watching "Lou Grant" rather than doing your homework. However, this paper is locally owned and quite willing to use its influence to make or destroy those in our community the Lorton's like or detest, in that order.

To send this letter right in advance of the deadline for the filing of the recall petitions convinces this public servant (complete with Target logo on the back of all of my suits and sweaters) that our morning paper wants to hamstring our ability to comment on their obvious bias.

If that wasn't the case, don't you think our friends at the Coalition for Responsible Government would have been sent a similar letter for their blatant use of unquestionably copyrighted World material that was used in the now infamous Tulsa Tribunal? Click here for examples. The photo alone is directly from the World's website.

If that isn't enough to convince you, then how about the CfRG's own website that is comprised almost exclusively by World articles copied and pasted onto pages that reside on CfRG's own web server? Click here and view their sins [but be prepared to have your innocence sullied].

The only way to explain CfRG's blatant use of World content (and they can't claim they are directing readers to the World's own free site) is if they have blanket permission by the paper to use all of the content. If that is the case, what does that say about their objectivity on the issue? Remember, they've claimed they don't support the recall in principle [I'd provide a link to the column where they made that claim, but it might get me sued, and I like my house and dogs].

Bottom line, folks. This is a sordid little network for sordid little people and they will use their sordid little threats to protect their sordid little network.

Bloggers of The World unite! You have nothing to lose but those assets not protected by bankruptcy laws!

Q: Are You Unemployed?

With all the talk and rhetoric and spin surrounding Sam Roop's departure from the Tulsa City Council this week, I thought this question needed to be addressed. There has been a great deal of commentary on the radio and the public forums that Sam took the Mayor's offer of a high paying job because he's been unemployed for over a year.

If that is true about Sam, then it must be true about me, too. Right?

Wrong. Let me make this very clear. I am not unemployed. I have a full-time job. It is called being the Tulsa City Councilor for District 2. The job pays a whopping $18,000 per year (if you don't count the 4.7% voluntary reduction in pay that all councilors took in sympathy with the city's workers, who had to take a similar reduction in pay when this city hit the financial skids).

I put in between thirty to sixty hours a week in my full-time job. Now that recall has raised its selfish head, I'm still putting in similar hours, but much of it is now spent playing defense, rather than working directly for my district.

You might say I'm nuts for putting up with so much grief for so little financial reward. I'll leave that argument to Dr. Phil or someone else equally qualified (yes...I know...I know).

The one thing I'll never stand for is for someone to say I'm unemployed.

I love my job and the people I work for!

The "Stirring Dwarfs" File Recall Petitions

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

As proof that movies sometimes slant our view of history, I thought the preceding quote was made by Admiral Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy, after he was asked why he didn't share the great glee of his compatriots upon the receipt of news that the attack on Pearl Harbor had been a rousing success.

In fact, due dilligence has shown that the quote is attributable most likely to the screenwriters of the movie, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" which I saw many times when I was in 7th grade.

This makes me once again recognize the danger of the possible impact of the historical revisionists in Hollywood. However, that blog post is for another day.

Today we learned the the Coalition for Responsible Government has filed the second round of recall petitions with the Tulsa City Clerk. I am bombarded right now with requests for interviews and calls of support. Too much so to write a detailed assessment of the day's news.

However, I did want to call to the attention of both our supporters and detractors, the quote and it's relevence in this "historical drama."

As for the "Stirring Dwarfs" reference? It is from a larger quote from William Shakespeare's "Agamemnon", which says:

"A stirring dwarf we do allowance give
Before a sleeping giant."

Where the "sleeping giant" refers to one who refuses to fight. I hope we won't be accused of being a sleeping giant when this issue comes before the people.

The fight has begun in earnest.

Monday, February 07, 2005

David Ad-verill

Many thanks to Michael Bates, who even from the road, deftly but briefly pokes push pins in the gaseous editorial by David Averill of the Tulsa World.

Entitled "The Anti-Growth Agenda," Mr. Averill demonstrates a better grasp of the surreal than Salvador Dali or Rene' Magritte ever did. Admittedly, there are no melting pocket watches or trains racing out of the livingroom hearth, but still, if one reads Mr. Averill's piece armed with the actual facts, one catches themself reading and re-reading his prose to reassure oneself that they did, indeed, read it right the first time.

To believe Mr. Averill, State Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso, the former mayor of that town and a man who walked Tulsa's westside neighborhoods for me during my last election, really attended a press conference with the mayor of Tulsa and other state legislators, in order to keep me and Jim Mautino in office so that we can subvert Tulsa's development to the betterment of Owasso.

That would mean that Sen. Brogdon, a deeply religious and honorable man, let alone public servant, would have had to have lied when he called the efforts of the Coalition for Responsible Government "selfish" people who don't respect our nation's principles.

Not only that, he would have to be aided by Sens. Pruitt and Mazzei of Broken Arrow and Bixby, as well as numerous suburban state representatives, while simultaneously plotting to stand next to Tulsa legislators like Sen. James Williamson and Rep. Fred Perry, who apparently aren't as shrewed as their suburban counterparts and mistakenly think we're worth keeping in office for the good of the city. That, or they are really representing Tulsa districts, but want to see the city fall into ruin for the same mystical reasons that Jim Mautino and I are apparently trying to subvert Tulsa's growth. Gosh we must all be some really spiteful elected officials.

So what gives? Is Averill's editorial really a waste of newsprint as Michael Bates purports? Does a man who is supposedly granted the honor of writing each Sunday's front page, above the fold editorial really believe his own convolutions?

Probably not. At least I hope not.

It is likely that Averill wrote the piece on the direction of the publisher. It wasn't really even intened to be read in whole. Rather it serves as a half-page, four color advertisement to grease the skids for the faltering recall petition process. After using the prefix "anti" twelve times to my count, including in the headline, the reader needs to do no more than look at the heading, the subhead listed in the photo above, and to see the picture of me with my mouth agape (which is a refreshing change from the "sneer" and/or "smurk" that the prefer to usually feature).

One can almost hear the Michigan State underclassmen, who are earning beer money for Ladies' Night at the local watering hole by making recall calls to the voters of Districts 2 and 6, saying, "Yes sir, I know you've told me twenty times this week that you don't support the recall, but did you see that really compelling photo of the cartel leader with his mouth agape on the front page of your Tulsa World's opinion section? Can you really justify keeping a man who is so apparently incapable of breathing through his nose as your representative in City Hall?"

The World can spin that they're not for recall, but those who breathe the air here on earth, rather than the murky atmospheric mix of David Averill's home planet, know better.

That wasn't an opinion was a free advertisement for the CfRG2004. David, you're not much of an opinion writer, but you're an even worse copy writer.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Q: DId You Delay the Arena Project?

Tulsa’s newspaper of record, The Tulsa World, has gone a long way in
perpetuating a myth that has been repeated ad nauseum by the marketing
wing of the Coalition for Responsible Government 2004, that is seeking to recall Jim Mautino and me.

In his now infamous speech before the Chamber of Commerce (the first infamous speech in September, not the second one in January), then Chamber chairman Bob Poe made the outstanding claim that the “Gang of Five,” (a.k.a. “The Medlock Cartel,” the “Three Stooges With Two Extra Stooges” and “the Council Rump Caucus”) was costing the citizens $10,000 a day, by delaying the condemnation of Peggy Jones’ Denver Grill. One of several businesses to be condemned to make way for the new arena, many councilors, including myself, were uncomfortable in making the final condemnation before we had been able to see the independent appraisals on which the city’s offer to Ms. Jones was based.

I had asked for copies of the appraisals over a month before the public hearing, but had been given a song and dance by the Public Works employee, Tony Lombardi. When we never saw the appraisals, I again asked Public Works manager, Mike Buchert, when we might get to see the appraisals. He told me it wasn’t standard practice to let the councilors see them. I asked why not? He didn’t have much of an answer.

The World took issue with our asking for time to review the appraisals, and took up for Buchert in an editorial on September 13, 2004, entitled “Impasse.”

The anonymous writer even went so far as to remark that I had become “testy,” giving the reader the impression that good and conscientious pubic employee Buchert graciously offered to go “upstairs” to get the appraisal right then and there.

Those in attendance at the meeting, or watching it on television, could see that I was very calmly asking my questions and it was Mr. Buchert who became testy. By the following week, the council got to see the appraisals in an executive session and later that same day, approved the condemnation. In that same time span, Mr. Buchert had been overheard shooting his mouth off to some buddies in the VIP tent at the LPGA Golf Tournament.

Being overheard by a citizen isn’t necessarily bad, but this one happened to be radio talk show host, Michael Delgiorno. Larry Payton of Celebrity Attractions backed up Mr. Delgiorno’s account of the boasting and within a few days, Mr. Buchert was removed from his position overseeing the arena construction for the city. Paul Zachary replaced him.

In the days following the condemnation vote, the World took another shot, trying to convince the public that we had gone through a worthless effort by insisting on seeing the appraisals. The did so in an editorial on September 18, 2004 entitled “Finally.”

In this, another anonymous writer (or perhaps the same one) wrote:

Councilor Chris Medlock made a show of asking a city staffer if it is true that the holdup on condemnation was costing the city $10,000 a day. Medlock charged that Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bob Poe had made that claim.

City staffers assured Medlock that with the condemnation action that the city is on its original schedule for clearance of the arena site and that council reluctance to condemn had not delayed the project.

Medlock had choice words for Poe and the Tulsa World editorial board. Poe and the World have been critical of the majority on the council led by Medlock.”
Even though she knew condemnation was inevitable, Ms. Jones became somewhat emotional after the council took the final vote, and to his credit, Mr Zachary followed Ms. Jones out of the Council Room to console her.

Not knowing where he was, I asked if Mr. Zachary could come back to the podium to answer some questions. You hear the questions and the answers he gave below:

"Mr. Paul Zachary Confirms Bob Poe Was "Incorrect."

As you can hear, from this exchange, Mr. Zachary confirms what Kirby Crowe, the project manager for the Vision 2025 projects, told the V2025 Sales Tax Overview Committee earlier that same day. That the Council's actions had not delayed the arena construction by a single minute, let alone by a complete day.

Bob Poe's declaration before the Chamber at the State of the City address was just one more fabrication by man who never lets the facts get in the way of a selfishly motivated public diatribe.

The facts also haven't prevented the pro-recall forces, (if you can call a handful of development types a force) from perpetuating the myth to bolster the mythological tales they are telling to the people of Districts 2 and 6.

So the answer to the question posed in the title of this entry is, "No...we never delayed the arena...and we never cost the citizens tens of thousands of dollars through our actions."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

We Have Been Remiss... saying thank you to all of our wonderful supporters who have lifted us up during these stressful times. May we always be worthy of your faith.