TULSA, Okla. - A Tulsa County Republican Committee member says Chairman J.B. Alexander held a meeting and called for a vote of censure for two county commissioners, but did so without a quorum, and should resign for violating the party's rules.
David Arnett, Precinct 30 Republican Chairman, tells KRMG he believes Alexander knew as early as Wednesday that he would bring up the commissioners' support of a tax extension dubbed "Vision2" at Saturday's meeting, but failed to mention the topic in an email he sent to committee members Friday regarding the meeting.
In any case, Arnett says, there were perhaps 29 people present when the vote of censure was held and passed, nowhere near a quorum.
He's not alone; KRMG received this letter from Sen. Brian Crain, a Republican who's represented Tulsa in the state legislature since 2004:
Senator Brian Crain, Republican of Tulsa, praised the efforts of Tulsa County Commissioners John Smaligo and Fred Perry to bring the sales tax extension of Vision2 to a vote of all Tulsa County citizens. “Tulsa County has an historic opportunity to secure the future of our area, both economically and in quality of life, by assuring our status as a center of aerospace maintenance. Not since the Spavinaw Lake project of the 1920s has a public investment in Tulsa County’s future of this importance been submitted to a vote of the people.” Crain continued by stating, “By their action, Commissioners Smaligo and Perry have proven to be strong and far-sighted stewards of our assets and resources.”
Crain also commented on the recent actions taken by the leadership of the Tulsa County Republican Party. “The efforts of a few unelected people acting without giving notice and behind closed doors is irrelevant. Only the people who elected these commissioners can censure them and this is at the ballot box.” Crain also offered this advice, “J.B. Alexander, Tulsa County Republican Chair, and those who participated in this sham should spend their time recruiting candidates for open seats and expanding the membership of the Republican Party here in Tulsa County. That is what they were elected to do and what they have ignored since being entrusted with these responsibilities.”
Crain has represented Senate District 39, which includes most of urban Tulsa, since his election in 2004. Crain was renominated for a third term following the June 28th primary. Crain’s opponent in that primary recently announced his support for Crain in the general election.
Arnett says he will now ask for a committee meeting to include an agenda item addressing Alexander's leadership of the party.
As for Vision2, Arnett tells KRMG he has not decided whether to support it or not.
"I have not decided whether I'm going to support or oppose Vision2. As a matter of public record, in the spirit of full disclosure, I was the public information manager for the Vision 2025 project, but I ended that employment several years ago."
He continued, "I certainly have a lot of questions on why we're doing it, and why we're doing it at this time."
That said, however, he maintains that "regardless of whether someone is supportive or opposing Vision2...if you can't talk about it like adults, if you don't know the discussion is going to be held at the meeting, then you're really not having a very balanced presentation."