It was July 10th that Mayor Kathy Taylor sent her company's Learjet 31a [Mayor Force One] to pick up Tulsa City Councilor David Patrick in Colorado. Patrick was fetched because Taylor needed insurance votes to get the Business Improvement District past the City Council that would supply the public financing component of the new downtown ballpark for the Tulsa Drillers. Taylor was in one heck of a hurry, if she was willing to pop for $4,500 in jet fuel to get Patrick Back. BOk must've shared that imperative, if they were willing to send a very senior manager on the flight to bring Patrick back to the council and ready to vote "the right way."
It was Tom Kivisto that took Kathy Taylor's spot on the BOk Board when she resigned to run for Mayor of Tulsa. It was Pete Boylan, another BOk board member and Stan Lybarger, the BOk President that served as Taylor's chief salespeople on the new ballpark for the Tulsa Drillers.
In fact, 8 out of the 11 "Ballpark Players" as cited in a July 13th Tulsa World story by PJ Lassek had or have direct ties to BOk. They are Taylor, Lybarger, Boylan, attorney Fred Dorwart, attorney Margaret Kobos, Stacy Kymes [who fetched Patrick with Taylor's jet], Eric Kessler and Kivisto. Only City Councilor Eric Gomez, John-Kelly Warren of "The Channels" fame and Jim Adelson didn't have any "direct links" to BOk.
But Adelson and his wife Ellen serve on the University of Tulsa Board of Trustees along with five members of the BOk Board. Those five are Sharon J. Bell, Chet Cadieux, Joseph W. Craft, III, Kivisto and Steven J. Malcolm.
Also on the TU Trustees with those five BOk Board members are Robert and Roxanna Lorton of World Publishing and Bill Lobeck, Mayor Taylor's husband and the other owner of that jet that fetched David Patrick. Another TU Trustee is Steve Turnbo, CEO of Schnake, Turnbo and Frank Public Relations.
Remember that World Publishing was the largest preferred stock holder and Turnbo was the largest common stock holder in the failed Great Plains Airlines. Remember also that it was Taylor and her City Attorney, Deidre Dexter [who used to work for Dorwart] that negotiated the Great Plains settlement.
During the July 10th City Council meeting, Taylor, Boylan and Lybarger repeatedly touted the fact that half of the ballpark's $60 million price tag would be supplied by private sources of funding. The Tulsa World reported in their Saturday edition that "Kivisto and SemGroup had discussed but not committed to a $7.5 million contribution and naming rights for the stadium, said Mayor Kathy Taylor."
Was this $7.5 million part of the $30 million sold to the Council? Kivisto left BOk effective July 16, just six days after the July 10 vote. Did Mayor Taylor or any of the BOk Board members selling the Business Improvement District and the ballpark and the need to rush a vote KNOW that all was not well at SemGroup and the money wouldn't be there? Pulling Kivisto's $7.5 million would have made the private contribution $22.5 million, which is less than the public contribution of $25 million.
According to Reuters:
Thomas Kivisto, who helped found SemGroup, had been on the board of directors of
BOK since 2006. Kivisto stepped down from the top job at SemGroup last week
after a cash crunch stemming from its oil hedging program forced it to consider
a bankruptcy filing.
BOK engaged in regular hedging transactions with
SemGroup, which trades over 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil. As of Dec. 31,
2007 SemGroup had hedged 21 million barrels of oil and some natural gas with
BOK, the bank said in its proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange
As of Dec. 31, 2007, the short value of these hedges with
SemGroup was $130 million, BOK said in its proxy filing.
BOk, Taylor, Boylan, Kivisto, Kaiser, Lybarger and a slew of other players were all very closely linked with four major stories of the past three weeks; the Great Plains settlement, the Drillers Ballpark, Taylor's use of "Mayor Force One" to fly her city council around the country and the financial troubles at SemGroup.
Coincidence? Get a life!