BY RICHARD L. FRICKER
Bartlett, a Republican, is locked in a tight battle against former Mayor Kathy Taylor, a Democrat, in what is supposed to be a non-partisan race.
When asked about the supposed non-partisan nature of the mayor’s race, Bartlett said that non-partisanship had gone out the window, adding, “I’m a Republican.”
He said people “identify” with a particular philosophy. He also said the election will be decided on experience and economics.
Bartlett was flanked by Tulsa’s Tea Party/Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine and longtime Oklahoma Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe as Santorum began to greet the crowd of about 200 at the Tulsa Press Club.
Asked if the appearance of Santorum, Inhofe and Bridenstine signaled the Tea Party participation in the non-partisan mayoral election, the mayor said: “It’s not a Tea Party election, but it helps.”
Just prior to the clearly partisan event, Taylor’s campaign issued the following statement:
Saying that Dewey Bartlett once again has turned a deaf ear to Tulsa citizens who voted for non-partisan local elections, Kathy Taylor Campaign Manager Monroe Nichols today blasted what he called Dewey Bartlett’s “latest effort to create a partisan divide in Tulsa instead of standing on his record.” Nichols responded to a planned visit by former presidential candidate Rick Santorum in support of Bartlett, by saying, “At a time when rape is up in Tulsa, it is shocking that Dewey Bartlett would bring a DC politician with an abysmal record on women’s issues here to try to tell Tulsans what is important to them.”
“We are headed toward a record year for rape, and homicide is up 46% and instead of talking about what Tulsa can do together to address that, the mayor is simply spending his time on the kind of partisan politics that have divided citizens, run up the national debt and shut down our country,” Nichols said. “We need a mayor to speak to Tulsa issues and not a mayor who misses meetings constantly but finds time for political cocktail parties and press conferences.”
“Today, a group of career politicians will stand next to a mayor who has spent our city into a fiscal crisis, stood back and watched as violent crime has gotten out of control, and fraudulently collected an estimated $1 million in fees from taxpayers in Tulsa for a green waste service they never got. Those might be their conservative values, but they are not the values of Tulsa. I challenge Mayor Bartlett to show up and do his job tonight by attending the City Council meeting. At tonight’s meeting Dewey Bartlett needs to come clean about the financial health of the city and let citizens hear from him, not his city manager, about what he is going to do to fix it.”
Nichols said that at the end of the day, “this race needs to be and will be decided on Tulsa issues.” He said that more significant than who will be at the press conference “is who will NOT be there. No current or former city councilor who has worked with Dewey Bartlett has endorsed him or openly supports his candidacy. The people who know his record best choose not to stand with him in this race. We don’t need Washington politicians telling us what to do. There is only one candidate in the race who is standing on her record and her plan for the future. With this act, Dewey Bartlett further demonstrates that he is an irresponsible candidate, just as he has been an irresponsible mayor.”
– Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, The Last Day of the War, is available at https://www.createspace.com/3804081 or at www.richardfricker.com.
Santorum caricature by DonkeyHotey http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/