Updated: In a continuing dispute, KFAQ radio talk show co-host Eddie Huff has challenged Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson to a public debate on race and politics while Henderson has demanded an apology from Huff.
Responding to statements published by the Tulsa World Tuesday August 23, Huff strongly rejected Henderson’s assertion that he is a racist. Both men are of African-American heritage. Huff suggested the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce book a meeting hall. The Chamber campaign donation and endorsement were the beginning of the dispute as Huff first asserted the Chamber effort in Henderson’s reelection behalf could be characterized as a “rent-a-Negro” program.
Huff questioned Chamber political activity because they are also a City of Tulsa contractor. The Chamber gathers around $2 million per year – and has for decades – of Tulsa’s local Hotel Tax to promote the city’s tourism and hospitality industry. In the same edition of the newspaper, Chamber officials boast of funding a new effort to expand tax funding for the same hospitality industry on a regional basis.
Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of the Chamber’s convention and visitors bureau was quoted saying the hotel tax has been used as a “political football” and that a district tax would be a bullet-proof source of tourism dollars. The Tulsa Chamber is one of the very few such organizations in America that still controls the local Visitors Bureau. Most cities separate the visitor effort from the more traditional effort by their local chambers to promote economic development.
Henderson is quoted in the newspaper story saying Huff is, “totally out of touch and is a racist in the worst way because he’s a racist against his own people.”
Huff and Campbell offered air-time to Henderson on this morning’s show to continue his criticism directly and without the filter of a print reporter.
Tulsa Today does hereby volunteer to help sponsor a debate between the two. We would like to hear both men discuss Tulsa race relations, Chamber political efforts and taxpayer funding of Chamber activity. For more on City Council races and general political activity in Tulsa, click here to read, “Finding clues for Council” an analysis published Sunday on www.TulsaToday.com.
Tulsa Today called Councilor Henderson Tuesday to book an event or to interview him on this issue, but as of Thursday he has not responded. Eddie Huff has agreed to meet in public debate. Oh wait, we keep forgetting that only the Left can discuss race. Dang, just when we thought Councilor Henderson had courage in his convictions.