Tulsa Today’s Editorial Endorsements:
Twice this week, friends asked how voting went for local office last Tuesday. Surprise: Our election is this coming Tuesday November 10 when the mayor, city council and City Charter change proposals will be decided. National media may not cover our local debate, but national debate is expected to have a huge impact on Tulsans voting.
For mayor, Democrat candidate Tom Adelson is most identified by his admiration for President Barack Obama to which he says he gave over $100,000.00 for the 2008 campaign. It was not – in the earned sense – his money. His family wealth comes from his grandfather. Adelson is ill-tempered and was unremarkable after he got elected state legislator.
Without Obama’s grace of speech or ability to make friends, Adelson supports the “government should manage all life on the planet” style of Democrat. He’s advised by former-Mayor Susan Savage’s political crew. If you liked Limousine Leftists Mayor Savage and Mayor Kathy Taylor, you will love Tom Adelson.
For the first time in recent history, an independent candidate for mayor is making a credible run for the office. Candidate Mark Perkins is also an attorney and is best described as liberal light. Damning both parties in a campaign is easy at this point in time, but there is no public history on Perkins to suggest how he might operate as Tulsa’s chief executive. His votes will come largely from protest voters looking for a “none of the above” selection willing to give a blank check of power to an unknown.
Republican candidate for mayor Dewy Bartlett, Jr. also benefits from multigenerational oil wealth, but in contrast to Adelson, he actually works in the industry and has grown the family business. He served on the City Council and has been involved in many public policy debates, but that is his greatest weakness.
Before George Soros’ money turned the Democrat Party into full-blown Marxists, many Conservatives would listen and work with Democrats. Not so much anymore. If anything, that bygone era of compromise could burn Bartlett who, over the decades, has supported some Democrats. However, Bartlett is a pro-life conservative with visible heartfelt enthusiasm in resistance to government spending now threatening the market economy worldwide. He pledges no new taxes. Bartlett has a better basic personality, foundation of principle, and grasp of the issues facing Tulsa.
Dewy Bartlett, Jr. is our choice for Mayor.
For city auditor, Republican Preston Lee Doeflinger is challenging Democrat Phil Wood who has held the office since it became an office. Wood works about two hours per day and some report he sleeps during most of that time. Wood has failed, as it was promised, to operate the auditor’s office as a counter balance to Tulsa’s Strong Mayor form of government. Wood does not instigate audits and is a Democrat Party stalwart.
Preston Doeflinger is young, aggressive, conservative, and successful in owning several private businesses. He has worked harder in this campaign than any candidate running for office in history. Ok, so he has an odd name, but it is memorable and he pledges to analyze local government from a critical rather than politically covering perspective as Woods has done repeatedly. If voters want to bring transparency to city government, an auditor with business experience and an attitude is a great place to begin.
Preston Doeflinger is our choice for City Auditor.
Many City Council races were decided in the primary, but those to be decided Tuesday are still very important.
Council District 3 includes areas of northeast Tulsa beyond Tulsa County (Rogers County). Incumbent David Edward Patrick is running as an independent in this heavily Democrat area. Former-Councilor Roscoe H. Turner, Sr. is the Democrat and again inspires voters to pine for a candidate senility test. Yes, that should not be done in our Democracy, but many think about it when remembering Turner’s incoherent contrarian tirades that embarrassed Tulsa. Turner may be the closest local equivalent to Obama’s best religious friend – Chicago’s Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
David Patrick is our choice for City Council District 3.
Council District 4 offers the traditional Republican vs. Democrat contest in many ways and another former councilor seeking to return to the only glory they have ever known. Thus, former-Councilor Maria Barnes a Democrat is again challenging Eric Gomez a Republican. Barnes served one undistinguished term and while she is a sweet, nice, gracious person – she’s an idiot that once asked if 60 percent and 40 percent include everyone. Tulsa Today compared both of these candidates March 17, 2008 in a piece titled:
District 4’s current-Councilor Eric Gomez is (as all in office at every level are) struggling to understand and react to what the Obama Administration is doing to the economy and how best to deal with such gross stupidity from the District up. On reflection, he may have been too willing to compromise with outgoing-Mayor Taylor, but in each effort, he was clear in his advocacy for all neighborhoods in District 4 including and in contrast to Barnes (who doesn’t believe downtown is a neighborhood). Tulsa Today’s office is located downtown and I have lived downtown for 8 years. We see Councilor Gomez riding his bicycle in our neighborhood and he stops by for coffee on occasion. Gomez works hard and is increasingly knowledgeable on public policies.
Eric Gomez is our choice for City Council District 4.
Council District 6 may be the most difficult race. Again, a defeated former-councilor is rising from political ashes to challenge his replacement. Ok whatever. In this race, the currently serving Democrat Dennis Troyer seems coherent, but most often darts from public debate like a cockroach to the shadows. He has all the charm of a wet dishrag.
Former-Councilor James Mautino is a fiery fellow of more passion than most issues require in debate. He gets an idea in his head like a pit-bull on steroids which can be good for calling public attention to issues, but it may not be that effective in actually solving any problem requiring cooperation with others. Never-the-less, Mautino is hard not to love – kind of like that member of the family that always starts arguments during Thanksgiving Dinner.
James (Jim) Mautino is our choice for City Council District 6.
Council District 9 is easy to decide. Councilor G. T. Bynum is campaigning for a return to office and his opponent Roger Lowry is not campaigning – at all as far as we can see. Lowry is a perennial candidate who does not offer an e-mail contact address, web site, and he does not show up to debate. While Councilor Bynum’s youth and inexperience has bit him in sensitive public places, he may actually grow into the public leader his ego thinks he has already accomplished. Bynum is not going to like that comment, but we like him.
G. T. Bynum is our choice for City Council District 9.
Tulsa City Charter change questions:
Proposition No. 1
“Shall the existing charter of the City of Tulsa, as heretofore amended, be further amended to require that any person filing for and holding the office of City Auditor must be a certified public accountant or certified internal auditor?” (Yes or No)
At first glace, it sounds good, but the primary job of an elected City Auditor is to direct audits be done and to communicate the results of audits to the public. Staff does the real work. Current City Auditor Phil Wood did not have his certification when first he won the office, but he awoke briefly to lobby for this after he was challenged for office. We endorse a “No” vote on this question.
Proposition No. 2
“Shall the charter of the City of Tulsa be amended to provide that City Councilors will serve for three-year terms, which shall be staggered so that no more than 3 council districts will have an election in any one year?” (Yes or No)
That which helps the City Council get a clue is a good thing. Massive replacement of councilors at the same time does not provide immediate knowledgeable leadership. Consider that these councilors work for almost nothing (relative to the mayor or even their own staff) in a job that requires 80 hours a week. We endorse a “Yes” vote on this question.
Proposition No. 3
”Shall the charter of the City of Tulsa be amended to require that before any claim or lawsuit where the demand is equal to or greater than $1 million ($1,000,000) may be settled both the Mayor and the City Council must agree to the settlement?” (Yes or No)
Of course … and thank you departing-Mayor Kathy Taylor for multiple financial disasters the next mayor and council must resolve! We endorse a “Yes” vote on this question.
Regardless of Tulsa Today’s endorsements, we urge you to vote. Americans still have freedom, no thanks to growing Federal power plays, but the coin of the realm in a representative republic is an informed participating electorate. Yes, that means you so please vote Tuesday November 10, 2009.
About the author:
David Arnett began his career in professional journalism in 1985 and has published Tulsa Today since 1996 – years before Al Gore invented the Internet. He has won two national awards as a First Amendment Publisher. Arnett is an idea guy, a Constitutional Republican, a Conservative Media Critic, an Antiauthoritarian Conservative
and a proud pain in the political derriere of the disingenuous. This analysis may be reproduced without charge with proper attribution and links to the original source.