Sunday, October 14, 2007

Richard Roberts Finds Little Shelter Here

Evangelist and Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts states in today's Sunday World that the proof that his students weren't used in an unlawful manner during the 2006 City of Tulsa mayoral primary is that students also worked on other candidate's campaigns, not just County Commissioner Randi Miller's. The Tulsa World writes:

"Here (for the Miller campaign) we were told, 'Get them over here and . . . use
every resource at your disposal.' " Roberts denies that.

He said ORU students also worked in the campaigns of other Tulsa mayoral candidates including Chris Medlock and Bill LaFortune. "I am not aware of any (university) resources being used" in the Miller campaign, he said.

I can't speak for the LaFortune campaign, but I can state categorically the sum total of the volunteer contribution to my campaign for mayor that came from Prof. Tim Brooker's team of students adds to a couple of hours, on a Saturday afternoon, by a single female student who brought her mother and father with her, to throw Tulsa Beacons that included an ad advocating my candidacy.

This lone student showed up to help out in any way she could. She seemed very nervous to be there and did not seem in the least to fit the mold of the ORU students who had worked previously on my City Council campaigns. In fact, it seemed that she had brought her mother and father along for moral support, more than to help out a candidate she had never before met.

The task she and her parents were assigned, was to join other teams that were throwing the Beacons onto the driveways of targeted Republicans who were known to be frequent voters. They left campaign headquarters in the early afternoon and returned a few hours later. Most of the teams were finishing their routes in less than an hour and a half. When the student returned with her father, she wanted someone from the campaign to sign a note telling Brooker that she had logged time working on the Medlock campaign. I signed it for her.

About an hour after they left, one of my team coordinators returned to HQ and told me that he had seen the student and her parents throwing the newspapers into yards in an area that wasn't assigned to them, and into every driveway, instead of just those of targeted voters.

We immediately wrote her off as an attempt by the university to try to cover their keesters with the IRS and were reasonably sure that we would never see her again. We didn't.

Perhaps this nervous student was for real. Perhaps she truly felt I was the best candidate of the three to support to get her extra credit. I hope I am not doing her a disservice today. However, she is the only help we got and what I am imparting here is an honest retelling of the assumptions that were made during a very heated campaign.

A check of my records shows that of our campaign workers that supplied us with their contact information, not one came from ORU. This, despite the fact that we had had nearly ten students work on my re-election effort in 2004.

So sorry Dr. Roberts, the Medlock campaign doesn't give you much cover.

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