Friday, May 19, 2006

Just Released to the Media

Press Release

Chris Medlock to Seek House District 69 Seat

Former Tulsa City Councilor and Mayoral Candidate Joins a Crowded Field Seeking the Seat Being Vacated by Rep. Fred Perry.

Tulsa, OK, Friday, May 19, 2006:

Former Tulsa City Councilor Chris Medlock confirmed Friday that he will seek Rep. Fred Perry’s House District 69 seat, that Perry will be vacating at the end of this year, due to term limitations.

Medlock joins an already crowded field, which may include as many as four other Republicans, by the time filing closes on Wednesday, June 7th.

“We know we’re getting a late start,” Medlock acknowledged, “but we have been very encouraged by the reception we’ve received from the people in the district I’ve contacted.”

Citing his sixteen years as a resident in the district as one factor that sets him
apart from most of the announced candidates, Medlock vowed to serve the
citizens of District 69, with the same dedication and time commitment that he
gave to his constituents as a Tulsa City Councilor.

“I know what it’s like to live in this district, the importance of strong schools and strong neighborhoods,” Medlock said. “Our household is dealing with the chaos that comes from having a Senior graduating from Jenks High School, this month. I know first hand how important it is to keep the districts’ schools healthy and strong.”

“I am committed to working towards a day in the immediate future,” Medlock stated, “on which we can end the state income tax that puts Oklahoma at a decided disadvantage in competing with states like Texas, for new, quality jobs.

“Proven conservative leadership, the kind Sen. Coburn is exemplifying in Washington,” Medlock added, “could very well bring about the reforms necessary to end the state’s income tax in the very near future.

Other issues Medlock plans to make the center of his bid for the legislature include, many of the standard issues that make up the GOP platform, such as meaningful tort and worker’s compensation reform. However, he intends to use his previous experiences, both in business and government, to lend a unique perspective to the new Republican House Majority.

“Fred Perry was one of the strongest voices in dealing with the new realities, many of them disturbing, that come from the growing influence that the Internet is having on our society,” Medlock said. “Many people don’t realize it, but I’ve mastered over twenty-four software packages, as a result of my career. I believe I can bring much more than a layman’s knowledge to the issue.”

Medlock will also continue his leadership in securing the rights of individual property owners, from the threat of government use of eminent domain, for private development.

Our homes are, for most of us, the single largest investment we make in our lifetime, “ Medlock said. “Government should not be able to take our property for anything but a clearly defined public purpose, such as roads or waterlines.”


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"Bridge Builder" Battles Blight In Sand Springs

Today's Tulsa World has a story on Sand Springs efforts to use Vision 2025 monies to clear a "blighted" area of town for future commercial use. The effort has received national attention, not for the progressiveness of the project, but because Sand Springs officials have been hinting at using their powers of eminent domain to seize and demolish a black church.

In a recent meeting, the Sand Springs Development Authority scheduled no condemnation action against the Centennial Baptist Church, 123 W. Morrow Road, which has refused a city offer for its property. The church' s pastor has said in the past (including on Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes Show") that they have no intention of moving.

However, the US Supreme Court's decision last year in the case of Belo vs. New London, CT., leaves open the possibility that the SSDA could use eminent domain to force the church to sell.

The Keystone Corridor project, which is mainly funded with Vision 2025 dollars, could be substantially delayed by the church's intransigence. However, the city hasn't, as of yet, seemed willing to negotiate with the church as to a mutually agreeable solution.

What could be mutually agreeable? How about building the church a new facility as part of the commercial development. Wouldn't this be an elegant way of solving the problem? Would a neighborhood church, incorporated into the master plan of the commercial development, be a bad thing? After all, isn't that an example of the types of "mixed use" planning that most urban design types are saying need to be pursued in the future?

I imagine two things are holding Sand Springs, and more importantly the money people hoping to cash in from the shopping center to be built, back; the church is predominantly black and the infamous Cinnabar is handling the acquisitions.

The last part of today's story in the World quotes Cinnabar's Bill Bacon at length. But I find it interesting that our newspaper of record refers to Bacon as the SSDA's "program manager for condemnation," and not as the city's hired gun from the infamous Cinnabar. In fact, nowhere in the story is Cinnabar even cited.

Cinnabar, you will remember, is the company that had the contract for the federal noise abaitment program around Tulsa International Airport, but was run off last year by the Tulsa Airport Improvements Trust.

Throw in the fact that Mr. Bacon is also a principle player in the Bixby Bridge controversy, this time in his capacity as a partner in Infrastructure Ventures, Inc., and you've got to wonder why the paper wouldn't think that their readers would find these connections interesting?

Why is it that our city's monopoly daily seems more interested in not helping its readers connect the dots with regard to Bill Bacon and his partners, Bob Parmele and former Mayor Terry Young? The World's "sins of omission" are becoming painfully obvious to those of us that follow these issues closely, but I'm sure the publishers are very aware that that there are a relatively small number of us, as compared to the vast number of potential voters whom they can continue to influence to vote the paper's way.

But gee, isn't the purposeful withholding of pertinent information, resulting in the weakening of information exchange, but the strengthening of one's political position, a blatant form of bias? In fact, I find the World's bias shows far more in what they don't say in a story, than in what they do say.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that bias is inevitable. I just find it more palatable when we know the flavor before it's fed to us.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Link Problems Fixed

For those of you who may have had problems using the Title Links for this site, I've fixed the code and all should be working. Thanks to all of you who alerted me to the little bugs that need attention.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Principle of "Cause and Effect," Beyond Tulsa World's Grasp?

Basic Principle: A Rose By Any Other Name Is Not a Rhododendron.

Yesterday the Tulsa World flashed this headline on its front page:

State economy grows in April

Great news, right? Let's read on:

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma's economy continued to grow in April, helped along by major increases in oil and gas taxes.

If you're a liberal, you've just read this and thought, "So what's so wrong with that?" If you're a conservative, you may not be able to put your finger on it, but there's something in that statement that doesn't quite sound right. There's a good chance you conservatives read this lead paragraph and tilted your head to the right, causing you to resemble that dog in front of the phonograph megaphone on the old RCA logo; "his master's voice."

So let me answer, for our liberal friends, what's "so wrong" with the World's lead paragraph.

How was Oklahoma's economy helped along by "major increases in oil and gas taxes?" Increases in taxation are generally a burden on an economy. Does the writer, Angel Riggs, mean that the state's oil and gas taxes were increased, which fueled an economic recovery? Does the writer mean Oklahoma's current oil and gas tax collection rates resulted in higher revenues due to greater gross revenues that are the result of higher prices at the pump and on the average citizen's utility bill?

Let's read on:

Preliminary reports showed that the state's general revenue fund collections for April were $688 million -- $134.8 million, or 24 percent, above the same month last year.

Oh wait! Now it's becoming clearer.

When the headline writer wrote, "State economy," they weren't talking about the whole state. They didn't mean all of the small mom and pop businesses, or even the mega-corporations like Chesapeake. When a liberal paper like the World writes about "revenue fund collections," such statements must be translated into the conservative equivalent, which is "tax collections."

So here is how the statement should have read:

Preliminary reports showed that the state's general tax collections for April were $688 million -- $134.8 million, or 24 percent, above the same month last year.

Good. Now we're getting somewhere.

Let's review one final paragraph from this front-page, above the fold story and then sum up:

[Meacham] attributed steady improvement in Oklahoma's economy since mid-2003 to price increases for natural gas and oil.

Hmmm...Maybe I don't read so well, but here's my take on this comment. Oklahoma's State Treasurer is "attributing" the steady improvement in gross "tax collections" to an improvement in the state's economy, AND that he attributes the improvement in the state's economy to steady improvement in the increased costs being charged to the consumer for natural gas and oil.

Gee...I feel better all ready.

This story smacks of how the press in the former Soviet Union used to tell the masses, "Good news from the steppes, comrades! The Ministry of Agriculture reports that this year's wheat harvest set another record." This would then be followed by the standard party rhetoric designed to indicate that socialism was working, completely ignoring that bumper harvests are more the doing of the farmers who tended the crops, and God who provided the weather.

Implying that results of one industry's toil and Divine providence as indicators of successful governmental policy, stretches credulity like it was Laffy-Taffy.

The chief reasons Oklahoma's economy is in recovery are factors that lie completely outside of state's locus of control. Oil and gas prices are up because of the war and instability in the Middle-East and the fact that our elected officials in Washington, D.C. can't seem to agree on a federal energy policy that makes us less dependent on foreign sources. As such, it is beyond ironic, that Oklahoma's Democrats may be successful in maintaining control of the Governor's Mansion and the Oklahoma Senate, because Democrats in the minority in the U.S. Senate are using the threat of philibuster to block drilling in A.N.W.A.R. and other energy related reforms. But that's for another column, because I promised to sum up.

First, the World's editorial should have read;

State's Tax Coffers Grow in April

Why? Because Oklahoma's economy is not the same thing as Oklahoma's tax collections.

Secondly, the first paragraphs of the article give the casual reader the appearance that this growth is due to our tax policy.

Thirdly, as a conservative, the only good news I'm seeing in the World's story is that the argument is growing every month for the state to begin to wean itself off of the Income Tax completely. I would say do it now, but unfortunately, all it would take is peace in the Middle-East or Congress getting its act together on energy policy for us to be back in deep "item."

I'm not going to be comfortable taking a bold, conservative step like that, until I know that we have bold conservatives at the helm of the ship-of-our-state, to implement such reforms.

As for now, wouldn't it be nice to mandate that reporters and headline writers actually understand the issues they are reporting on? If not the issues, at least the basic concept of cause and effect?

Until then, they're going to try to sell us that a rose by any other name, could
be a rhododendron, if this is an election year.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cheers and Jeers I

Cheer: Kudos to Mayor Kathy Taylor for her selfless (but let's be honest, mostly symbolic) decision not to collect her $105,000 salary. Despite the fact she has her own jet and lives in a house that costs more than the homes of my immediate and extended families combined, it is a nice gesture.

Jeer: A great big "Boo-Hiss" for Tulsa World writer P. J. Lassek for her work in reporting Mayor Taylor's decsion to forego her salary. Not content with trying to score PR points for the new mayor with her legitimate action to save taxpayer dollars, Lassek decided to attempt to sell the fact that Taylor is better than previous mayors, because of the way she communicates with city employees.

This may or may not be true. However, Lassek chose City Council aide Cheral Crossland for several quotes to make the point. Here's how Lassek's work appeared in print.

"Several city employees contacted by the Tulsa World on Saturday said they thought the e-mail was a positive gesture by the new mayor.

"City Council aide Cheral Crossland said she was impressed and the news was more sincere because it was released quietly to the employees.

"To me, she's really doing the job because I think she wants to make a difference," Crossland said.

She said Taylor may be the first mayor who regularly communicates with the employees. "Before there was no communication, we always had to read what was going on in the newspaper," Crossland said.
On the surface, this seems innocuous enough, right? But what pushes these paragraphs to the edge of "Propaganda Canyon" are the facts that Lassek doesn't share with the reader.

First, Lassek doesn't tell you that Cheral Crossland's husband is a major player in the Public Works Department. Dan Crossland is Tulsa's Street Maintenance Manager, making him one of Charles Hardt's top lieutenants. Given that both halves of this double-income family derive their salaries from the city, is it any wonder that Ms. Crossland is willing to gush?

Secondly, Ms. Crossland is a friend of Ms. Lassek's. More than once, I've had to turn around during committee meetings to give the pair a "do you mind" stare, because they were so vociferously chatting behind me. Ms. Lassek is also a frequent visitor to Ms. Crossland's office, (the most tucked away and hidden office on the second floor of City Hall).

Thirdly, and perhaps most significantly, Ms. Crossland spent the previous four years as the Council aide to two councilors who have just this year left the Council. Who you ask? Why none other than former District 4 Councilor Tom Baker and former District 9 Councilor Susan Neal. "BakerNeal," as they were known to the Gang of Four (because they almost NEVER voted differently) are of course the latest acquisitions by Team Taylor. In fact, it appears the two occupy her top two staff positions.

For those that need a refresher, "propaganda" is defined as, "The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause."

When a reporter uses a personal friend who is very closely tied to a new mayor's top aides, and who has a vested interest via her job, to "propogate" information advocating the efficacy of an elected official who is a close friend and neighbor of the publisher of that reporter's newspaper and employer, then I'd say a reasonable argument can be made that this definition has been met.

Don't you think?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Whose Bread I Eat -- His Song I Sing

I've just returned from having attended the Dan Keating for State Treasurer party held at the IPE Building at the fairgrounds. While the turnout was a little sparse, no doubt due to the rain, the President speaking at the OSU Commencement, the Blues Festival and other events, the highlight of the event, as expected, was the speech by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn.

Coburn acknowledged that he does very few endorsements for other candidates. His primary qualification for such an endorsement is that the candidate must have a vision for what he wants to accomplish in the office. He will only support those that "want to do something, not to be somebody."

Dan Keating should be very honored that Sen. Coburn has such faith in him.

However, the highlight of the speech was a story he read from a source he didn't reveal. Given that the events were an unknown storyteller's recollection of a political speech he heard as a boy growing up in rural Georgia, most surmised that the writer must be former Georgia Senator Zell Miller.

My curiosity was such, as was the power of the very simple tale he shared, that the instant I got home, I "Googled" some of the key word I remembered and "lo and behold," there was the story, simply entitled, "Whose Bread I Eat -- His Song I Sing," by J. G. McDaniel, M.D.

I won't comment much on the story, because commentary would merely dilute the simple message. I would just encourage you to take five minutes, at the most, to read this story.

Click Here.

Friday, May 05, 2006

SB 1324: My E-Mail to the Senators

Thought I'd share a copy of the e-mail I sent to each member of the State Senate regarding SB 1324.


As a former Tulsa City Councilor and recent candidate for mayor, I can assure you that the issue of land use and zoning regulations are a hot-button issue in Tulsa. Attempts by a rogue element of our local development community to control both the planning commission and the Boards of Adjustment have energized citizens across party lines.

Having failed to win the support they need at the ballot box, these developers are now trying to co-opt the State Legislature to do what they couldn’t do locally; force the average home or business owner to face the specter of hiring an attorney to fight unwelcome developments that are poor fits for the area.

Local government should be granted latitude by the state to pursue development guidelines that fit the goals of the local community as a whole. Sweeping legislation that restricts a community’s ability to pursue unique policies will leave Oklahoma with cookie cutter cities and towns.

I urge you to defeat SB 1324. Let each community govern itself. This bill is destructive to that end.

Chris Medlock
I only have received two response so far. Sen. Nancy Riley wrote a succinct, "Thank you for your input."

Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso wrote,

Thanks for the heads up. I have already talked to the
attorney about this situation and plan on voting NO.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Martinson Cronies Say, "Stop Stalling."

It hasn’t even been a year yet, so it shouldn’t be hard for most of you to remember.

Then District 7 City Councilor Randy Sullivan said the “process” was a distraction. As such, he was calling for an election on the earliest possible date in which another election was already scheduled.

District 8 City Councilor Bill Christiansen said an election date needed to be set so that the city could “move on with its business.”

“If we delay [setting an election date], it will just cause more dissension in the city," Christiansen was quoted as saying.

Christiansen continued by asking the candidate in question, “What is he afraid of?” He asked if the candidate feared giving the matter to the voters.

Then District 9 City Councilor Susan (the Most Reasonable) Neal said there were “citizens on both sides of this issue with strong feelings and it will embroil the community and council in a controversy that I don't think we need right now.”

The Tulsa World editorialists were rending their garments and calling for an end to politically motivated stall tactics. Let the voters decide! Let’s get this behind us and move on!


All of this occurred just before the recall election date was set. More of note, all of this was said before the judges had ruled on the validity of the process and other questions.

Oh yeah! At the same time, then candidate Bill Martinson, as part of the special election to name a replacement following the departure of District 5 councilor Sam Roop, was making the rounds at the forums and debates, saying what an embarrassment the council was, and how he would insist on civility and decorum.

All this makes it ironic, now, to see Sullivan, Christiansen and Neal’s good buddy Bill Martinson, using stall tactics (after a judge has ruled) as transparent tactics designed to assure the re-match election between him and Jon Kirby will occur on as expedient a day as possible.

I might be shocked by this, but then, logical and intellectual consistencies are not traits that one uses, if one wants the logically and intellectually inconsistent Tulsa World to continue to refer to you as “reasonable.”

In the rough and tumble game of politics, employing such a strategy in order to attain political advantage is the norm. As such, I will refrain from criticizing their use in this matter.

What is Martinson stalling for? Most likely to ensure that the election occurs on the party runoff date scheduled for August. Given the nature of Martinson’s council district, it is very likely there will be some competitive runoff races for statewide seats. It is equally unlikely such will be the case with the democrats. In a race that was separated by 25 or so votes, this could give Martinson a substantial advantage in getting out his base.

However, I can’t let this opportunity go by without crowing just a bit, now that the shoe appears to be on the other foot. Amazing how such efforts to unseat a public official is a “distraction” when you’re the public official. Amazing how stalling can be come a legitimate tactic to save one’s job.

Then there’s Martinson’s legal eagles. The Scheme Team includes such luminary attorneys as Wilson (Where’s the Red Meat?) Busby and Paul (Just what IS your relationship with Chris Medlock, Mr. Westcott?) Prather, and you have a surreal prescription for a bad case of “who you calling a cartel?”

What’s next? Bob Poe speaking before the Press Club, holding up a photo of Jon Kirby and declaring, “powdered wigs went out of style in the late 18th Century, and we’re not going to tolerate Mr. Kirby’s attempts to bring them back?”

As for me, I’ll just keep chuckling.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Kill the Bill Vol. 1324

Coming Soon to DVD.

Getting An Aspartame High?

Yesterday, Monday, May 1st, 2006, was more than just the national Day Without Immigrants. It happened to be the day that my waste measurement, taken in the morning, equaled exactly 1000 millimeters. Yep…that would be a waist measurement of exactly one meter or 39.37 inches.

I have always considered one of my personal measures for basic fitness to be, that my waist measurement should be less than, or equal to, my inseam measurement, which is 36 inches. I’ve never had to work too hard at maintaining that standard and on the rare occasions when I’ve drifted above it, I’ve had to do very little to get back under the mark.

Well, I’ve officially had enough. I was successful in the month of January in using the South Beach diet to drop fifteen pounds, but they’ve all come back. The pressures of a mayor’s race, with the accompanying diet of pizza and donuts, undermined the effort, so that I now find myself worse than when I started.

It wasn’t always like this. Before getting into office three years ago, I looked and felt six years younger. I weighed, to my recollection, about 185 pounds. Yesterday, I tipped the scales at a whopping 218.5! It’s not just the more than 30 pounds I put on that is of so much concern. Having lost the free time I used to have to go to the gym with regularity, I have lost at least fifteen pounds of muscle. Do the math. That means I’ve put on, since becoming a city councilor, nearly 50 pounds of fat.


I recently saw a news magazine…I think it was 20/20…that showed the best way to diet is to make a very public declaration of your intention to lose. As such, I am declaring today that by this time next year…April 30th, 2007 to be exact…it is my intention to either lose thirty pounds in total weight (188.5 pounds) or to reduce my waist measurement from its current 39.37 inches, to 33.5 inches.

I am allowing myself the wiggle room with the waistline, because I recognize one of the traps to diet and exercise to be concentrating solely on pounds, and not recognizing that exercise adds healthy muscle. Being officially middle-aged, I know it will be tough to add back the fifteen pounds of muscle, but I’m hopeful.

For those of you who are my frequent critics, please consider this an open invitation, should I fail to achieve this goal, to view this as a determinant of my character. If I fail, flail away.

So there you have it. Check back periodically and see how I’m doing, and wish me Godspeed and lot’s of sugar-free treats.