Thursday, May 21, 2009

"DJ Jazzy Clay" Clark Is Running for Mayor

No, I'm not putting a picture that I photoshopped of Tulsa mayoral candidate Clay Clark, in order to make him look foolish. The photo to the left is one that Clark himself posted as part of a web site touting his vision for the City of Tulsa. And this isn't one of the more unusual photos Clark's campaign is using to get attention for their candidate.

I met Clark Tuesday night at the meeting of the Tulsa Area Republican Assembly. He seemed like a very likable, if not overly caffeinated young
man, very eager to please and to be seen as a viable and serious candidate for mayor.

Every mayor's race seems to draw the eccentric, with names in the past such as Paul Tay and Accountability "Boss Einstein" Burns ( a candidate with two eccentric names). Currently, the announced field for mayor on the GOP slate is pretty bare. Joining Clark are Dave ("and Chris Medlock's out there running his fat mouth" O'Connor and Kevin Boggs. It remains to be seen if Clark falls into the category of eccentric, out-of-his-league, over reaching, or serious contender.

O'Connor, you might remember led the effort during the recall effort against Councilor Jim Mautino and myself, to recall Mayor LaFortune and the city councilors who were seemingly in support of recall, despite my protestations that such an effort was doomed and would draw resources away from the defense of the two councilors O'Connor purported to support.

Boggs ran unsuccessfully for the District 6 city council seat, with the support and assistance of Mautino. Word I got from those close to the campaign was that Boggs was a less than enthusiastic campaigner who didn't like door knocking and the type of retail campaigning necessary to win a local election. So what better way to top off a failed run for city council than to seek the Mayor's office?

My point is that there is a chasm of difference between running for and winning a city council seat and that of the office of Mayor. In Tulsa's "strong mayor" form of government, the mayor's office replaces the city manager of, say Oklahoma City's governmental structure, as the chief operating entity of the city. While smaller municipalities like Muskogee and Stillwater can get by successfully with teen aged to twenty-something mayor's with little practical or life experience, such an experiment given the power and responsibility of Tulsa's mayor, could prove very dangerous to the well being of a city that is down.

I am well documented as being in favor of a change in our form of government. We should've started years ago the process necessary to change the charter to shift to a Weak Mayor/Strong Council/City Manager style of government like OKC's. But the next mayoral election will put someone into a "strong mayor's" office, and who we elect must be viewed through the prism of that reality. We can't afford to support trendy candidates.

So back to Clay Clark. He certainly seems, if you can get past the schmaltz of his web site, to have credentials that might belie a life experience beyond his tender years (he is, I believe, in his late twenties). But the problem any serious young candidate of such an age has is, well, being taken seriously. When I spoke with Clark on Tuesday, he assured me that he is a serious candidate who believe he can win. Words are cheap. They need to be backed up by actions, and the only public actions Clay Clark has taken to date, indicate he is anything but serious.

Take a look at his web site. It is well constructed by someone who technically knows what they're doing. Technically in the technological sense of the term, not in the political. Does the picture to the right, taken from Clark's mayoral web site, leave you with the impression that the candidate is asking you, "Can I be your next mayor," or "Would you like paper or plastic?" When I see candidates stooping to such a sophomoric level, I find myself wondering if he has a UPC code tattooed on his keester, rather than whether or not we might agree on infill development or police department staffing levels.

Obviously, Clark's site is more fitting for candidate seeking to be student body president, rather than mayor of a city facing one of its worst financial crises in decades. I am left with the impression that Clark and his friends, in an Andy Hardy moment of exuberance suddenly shouted out, "Hey kids, let's run for mayor! Wouldn't that be a gasser?"

The last thing this city needs is someone to come along and try to hijack the electoral process to advance his motivational speaking business. I'm sure adding a bullet item of "former candidate for mayor of Tulsa" might be a great career move on Clark's current career track, but people I know are seriously considering supporting the guy! This morning, KFAQ's Pat Campbell announced Clark as an obviously "serious candidate." Such is the woeful state of the field Tulsa's GOP has to choose from.

Please note the unscientific poll I'm taking in the green inset box on the right of this blog.

Obviously, my five minute conversation with Clark isn't enough for me to truly judge whether or not he could make a good mayor. I offered to spend an hour or so with him, sharing my concerns and advising him on how best to move forward. In that regard, let me suggest the following.

"Pull this web site down NOW! If you're a serious candidate, show that you're willing to run as a serious candidate. Marketing strategies like you're employing at might be a great way to sell DJ services (a great small business, by the way), but insult the voter and kill any chance you have to be taken seriously. If you're going to run for such an important office, then you have to recognize that your youth requires you to go the extra mile to show the serious side of your nature, not juvenile whimsy."

Until that site is gone and replaced with one more fitting for the endeavor you purport to be on, I will find it impossible to tell people they can trust you with their vote.
More: Is Clay Clark running for Mayor, or running a restaurant? I've heard of "selling the sizzle and not the steak," but the YouTube link below goes too far. More indication that Clark needs advisers that know what they're doing, if he is to be the GOP standard bearer in the Fall.


Anonymous said...

In case you want some background..he was running or mayor in BA, until he got forclosed on and moved into another CITY..has anyone even asked how long he has lived in Tulsa? You might want to do some background checks. Also after he was kicked out of ORU where did he go? Other than a slick snake oil salesman I don't think Tulsa contenders have much more to worry about other than using people like you Chris to sell his many "companies" and get free promotions which he has done for years in Tulsa. I guess you must be playing into his game already....

Jai Blevins said...

I am a Big Fan of Clay, but your points are really on. Since this was posted, he has toned down the website. I think that he is a breath of fresh air!

Anonymous said...

Also just a FYI this guys website is a template - so anyone and their monkey could have created it...

"Take a look at his web site. It is well constructed by someone who technically knows what they're doing. Technically in the technological sense of the term, not in the political" all should really be looking to KNOW that this guy does not really expect to be elected and I would ask to see his 25k of money in the bank..DOUBT he has that...anyone that has worked with this guy will tell you to trust him as far as you can throw him..he is in all this for self gain..always has..always will be..this is a shameless way to promote him and his company.

James Parsons said...

I would take him up in Owasso. We have the same problems. Our city leaders want to increase our debt by 60% over the next 6 months, and a property tax, and build a sewer line for one developer. Clay, The Owasso Taxpayer Alliance, and I could do some good damage up here! Visit my site at!

ClayClarkForMayor said...

This is Clay Clark here at your service. I wanted to personally respond to your article sense you and I have yet to personally connect other than our brief meeting at the Golden Coral.
1) I appreciate all constructive and sincere criticism. I think that the reason many Tulsans do not run for office is that they fear sincere criticism. I personally have found that when customers offer sincere criticism it can only help you if you look for how you can improve. Thus, with your comments I have had our team work on the website to better reflect the ISSUES that we stand for. By nature, I always see the humor in tough situations, so that is just my personality. Somtimes we have to choose to laugh or cry. I choose laughter.
2) I appreciate you providing a forum for local issues. Over the years I have looked to you to provide feedback on local issues and to stay informed. I have not always agreed, but I appreciate your forum.
3) I love Jai Blevins. He is truly standing up for what is right with the Tulsa Tea Party Movement. He is civil servant.
4) Anonymous - The internet allows people with and without the courage of their convictions to post anonymous comments about anything. And if you have been FIRED by me for underperforming, your blog and other blogs provides a soap box for these people. I sold the DJ Connection business to Jason Bailey. He is a great person and is working hard to take the company to the next level. As far as self-promotion goes, I am running for Mayor to promote the principals found in the Constitution, which is why I am willing to put up with the criticism.
5) Chris, I appreciate the feedback. Keep up the good work.

Jared Hogue said...

I have worked with and known Clay for 4 years now. To say that this is self-promotion, let's be real honest, isnt anyone running for office "self promoting?" I digress, Clay is in and of himself a breath of fresh air. When he is running for mayor it is because he truly wants to improve our city. When gas prices were outrageous, approaching $4 per gallon, Clay wasn't bothered by this but rather encouraged. Encouraged? Why would that encourage anyone? Because it was an opportunity to solve a problem. Being around Clay is very encouraging and uplifting. He makes you want to be a better person. Not to mention the fact that he took his company from himself in a dorm room to over fifty dj's. Throw in all of his accolades, sure he is young, but i think he is what this city needs. Someone that will deal with the heart of the issue. Someone that will be real with the people of tulsa. Thankfully we have someone that will stand up for what is right. Clay, or should i say, Mr. Mayor, thank you for having what it takes to improve this city.

Nate Waters said...

I believe in my friend Clay Clark for these reasons.
1. He do as he say and say as he do.
2. He believes in others and he proves it through his actions. That means he does not give worthless lip service like alot of "Businessmen and Politicians" do.
3. And most importantly, He is not a politician he is a young professional that knows what it takes to run successful award winning enterprises, which can be duplicated in government.


Nate Waters

Anonymous said...

Ahh and the cheerleaders come out! How original....

nathan moseley said...

I think the review was made with the best of intentions and without any political biased remarks of any kind. However, it drives me crazy when someone pretends to be an expert on something they know nothing about. I have read Chris' blogs in the past and I usually agree with him, but this time it seems a little farfetched because it seems like he is judging a candidate based on the layout of his website. I know Chris made the comment that he couldn't put much of an opinion together with only have a few minutes to interview. My suggestion is to not post an opinion until you have had that hour long interview. In the past I wouldn't have been so opinionated about this, but I am so fed up with our Mayor that it has caused me to seriously look at every potential candidate in a different light. Clay Clark does seem to be a little eccentric, but that is what we need. We need a guy who is used to cutting costs. In a business, if you don’t cut costs you will go out of business. I want someone who can do that most efficiently. For what I have heard of the guy, he seems more than qualified to pull that off. I don’t know who came up with the idea that our government is any different. I say we hear what this Clay guy has to say and see if it lines up with our convictions, than we can vote accordingly.

Anonymous said... try in acting as a concerned voter...while your just an employee of "this guy"

"For what I have heard of the guy, he seems more than qualified to pull that off. I don’t know who came up with the idea that our government is any different. I say we hear what this Clay guy has to say and see if it lines up with our convictions, than we can vote accordingly." far will the sham go for free publicity.....

nathan moseley said...

You are right you called my bluff. I used to work for Clay. He was an amazing boss and the intangibles I earned from that company will last me for the rest of my life. I assume we used to work with each other by the fact that you knew I used to work there. I dont get anything out of posting on this blog. Dear anonymous you have spent most of your energy cutting down Clay and the people who support him. Is this because you disagree with what he is standing for or you dont like him because of some personal experience? I have been following Clays speeches because I used to work for him, but with that being said I know from first hand experience that he was a great mentor and business man. I personally saw him take the company to the level it is today and I can assure you that if he puts half the effort into office that he employed at his former company than we would all be better for it. I have never met a man other than Clay to pull multiple all nighters each week just to make sure everything works properly. Take the website debacle for example. He put up one he thought would appeal to us and the second he got a negative response, out of nowhere the site is completely transformed. Most people would take weeks to fix a problem while Clay gets it done immediately.

Anonymous said...

Ya a sleep deprived, caffeine addict would be great! Okay i've had enough fun here...this is all a sham why waste anymore time here

Unknown said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous,

I would love to hear your constructive criticism on how we can make Tulsa better.

keegan25 said...

Being a small business owner myself, I owe Clay Clark a lot of gratitude for my success. Yes I use to work with Clay. However, he empowered me to step out on my own. For those of you who are a little wary of him here are few examples of why he is a great candidate:
1. Mr. Clark would get up at 5 in the morning to be at work at 5:30. While all his other employees were sleeping or just getting to bed, he was already hard at work. I also don't think he'll need to have assistants that make over $100,000 a year (I'm just saying). Some of those times he would take me a long with him. The man is a great teacher when it comes to great work ethic. It is something that a lot of people need to learn from.
2. He would ask those around him for advice and would LISTEN to them. He was very smart in taking in all the good ideas. So please feel free to give him your constructive criticism.
3. He is not a politician. I know it's sort of cliche but he is a business owner. He knows how to make business grow. He also knows how to help people start their own business. With the current economic mess we need someone who understands business. Someone who had nothing and built it an empire out of nothing. We don't need someone whom was born with silver spoon in their mouth and have no idea what every day struggles are really about.
Those are just some examples. Please feel free to comment

Joshua Smith said...

Clay Clark is the "Real Deal!" I say this based on the 7 years of working with him. In that time I have learned what it means to actually work hard and efficiently. The man knows how to get things done. Some are thrown off by his humor shown via photoshop, but the fact of the matter is that Clay is serious about anything he pursues (Business, Family etc). For anyone stating that he is in it for himself and just shameless publicity, he is in this for himself, for his family and for you, if you live in Tulsa! He is very intelligent and he is an expert on prioritizing tasks that need attention. I trust him and any decisions he makes as Tulsa's mayor!

Anonymous said...

He won't get elected. He's too immature.

Phyllis Renée said...

I find it very interesting that you spent nearly a year on your talk show trying to be cute and funny and yet Mr. Clark is not allowed, that this somehow discredits him as a serious candidate. However, I just read about Mr. Clark bowing out of the race and joining your campaign. From what I read it seems Mr. Clark realized he and yourself had the same vision for Tulsa and he didn't want to split the vote. Seems to me he really is mature and serious about the issues.