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Not At My Table - Political Discussions => Local & State Politics => Topic started by: Wrinkle on December 22, 2008, 12:54:09 am



Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on December 22, 2008, 12:54:09 am
I been having trouble with the Chambers' "One Voice" Program.

A week ago Thursday (http://"www.tulsacouncil.org/inc/search/meeting_detail.php?id=OUACBAS3117200823935"), the Chamber submitted Item 8a (http://"http://www.tulsacouncil.org/inc/search/backup_list.php?id=AAA2R0IE129200835334")  to our City Council.

For what wasn't exactly clear to me, but the Council tabled it indefinitely by a 6-2 vote with Christiansen absent and Councilors Patrick and Gomez voting NO.  The immediately preceding Item 8a was a vote for 'Approval of the City of Tulsaís proposed Legislative Agenda for 2009 (http://"http://www.tulsacouncil.org:8080/SuperContainer/RawData//EAAMUGC2X12102008144/08%2D2049%2D2.pdf?a=1")', which passed 8-0 and contains 9 issues of mostly local interest but with some Federal and State implications.

Last Thursday's Council Agenda (http://"http://www.tulsacouncil.org/inc/search/meeting_detail.php?id=MN3VVUO1124200844107") had two items related to the Chambers' 'One Voice Program' again listed, Items 8a & 8b.

    8a     "Reconsideration of Approval the Tulsa Chamberís 'One Voice' Legislative Program. 08-2049-4"

    8b    "Approval of the Tulsa Chamberís 'One Voice' Legislative Program."

Here's a link to the entire 'One Voice' Legislative Program PDF File (http://"http://www.tulsacouncil.org:8080/SuperContainer/RawData//DU66C0R1210200823746/08%2D2049%2D3.pdf?a=1") which lists 10 Federal, 10 State and 3 Local issues the Chamber intends to seek. There's many issues addressed in this Program, which amounts to a Political Agenda for the Chamber's operations intent.

One item relating to immigration issues, and directly counter to our popular HB 1804 to which the Chamber is formally opposed and has joined suit to have it stopped,  is the reason Councilors tabled the thing the first time.

As I read this entire document, I started to wonder why the Chamber even sought the Council's approval in the first place. It is, after all, the Chambers' political agenda, not the City's, and includes segregated issues at the Federal, State and Local level.

Then it dawned on me. The Chamber is using, or plans to use, this Resolution as wholesale, Council-authorized support of not only its' own agenda, but to authorize the spending of City provided funding to assist in achieving them. IOW, this is how the Chamber intends to spend all the Hotel Tax we provide the Chamber.

Now it makes sense. They need the City to sign off on what they will be spending our money doing.

Doesn't that seem more than a bit bass-akwards?

After all, why would we want to authorize them to spend our money fighting against something we generally support?

Seems to me our Council and Mayor should get together and determine the City's Legislative Agenda (as they apparently have in the prior week (http://"http://www.tulsacouncil.org:8080/SuperContainer/RawData//EAAMUGC2X12102008144/08%2D2049%2D2.pdf?a=1")) and ask the Chamber, via their Board and by their vote,  if they're willing to adopt it, and spend our money doing the associated work, not the other way around.

Isn't the Chamber doing this effectively handing them a bunch of money then asking what they intend to spend it on? We, the City, should be telling the Chamber how we expect them to spend our money.

If there's some particular policy they can't embrace, then they can just do nothing, not spend our money, or do  something else with their own money, and/or not take our money in the first place.

My gut instincts were correct, it is odd the way it's being done.

It's also flat out wrong.  Let's start with the Chamber adopting the City of Tulsa's Legislative Agenda and let them spend our money helping to achieve those things. 'One Voice' would work fine, so long as it's ours. Besides that, the 'Chamber' is a regional organization, not specific to the City of Tulsa, remember? There is absolutely no reason the City Council should be adopting their agenda, especially those parts where there is disagreement.

I haven't heard yet what happened last Thursday, and the 'Minutes' portion of the form is blank at this point,  but hope the thing remains tabled so it can be discussed further.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: RecycleMichael on December 22, 2008, 08:00:28 am
"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room."
 
Winston Churchill


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on December 22, 2008, 09:52:15 am
quote:
Originally posted by RecycleMichael

"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room."
 
Winston Churchill



I think you applied the wrong quote. It should've been, "I'm way too close to the situation to be able to comment on it without affecting my affiliations".

Having none of those affiliations, I'm free to speak my mind, say what's right. And, yes, I fully expected Chamber members to read this, and hopefully explain themselves. Guessing they may have a hard time doing so.




Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on December 22, 2008, 09:55:20 am
quote:
Originally posted by inteller

Not surprised one bit that the two yes men (Gomez and Patrick) voted to not table it.  These two just don't get it how much their voting records make them look like bought and pais for politicians.



Agreed. Gomez is already toast. Even Extra Pro-illegal Immigration Maria had more dignity.



Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: RecycleMichael on December 22, 2008, 10:02:59 am
quote:
Originally posted by Wrinkle

I think you applied the wrong quote. It should've been, "I'm way too close to the situation to be able to comment on it without affecting my affiliations".



I am not a member of the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce...I am a member of the Collinsville and Jenks Chambers, however.

You shouldn't imply that I am. Especially when I am public with my profile and you hide and don't let anyone know who you really are.

Please don't lecture me on freedom to speak when you insist on hiding.



Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on December 22, 2008, 10:10:00 am
quote:
Originally posted by RecycleMichael

quote:
Originally posted by Wrinkle

I think you applied the wrong quote. It should've been, "I'm way too close to the situation to be able to comment on it without affecting my affiliations".



I am not a member of the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce...I am a member of the Collinsville and Jenks Chambers, however.

You shouldn't imply that I am. Especially when I am public with my profile and you hide and don't let anyone know who you really are.

Please don't lecture me on freedom to speak when you insist on hiding.





Well, at least you understand why I remain anonymous.

Didn't imply you were a member of the Tulsa METRO Chamber, just close enough that what you say here can affect you personally.



Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: waterboy on December 22, 2008, 10:51:39 am
Should Gomez ignore his constituency? Whether their stand on 1804 is right or wrong, his district is heavily populated with Hispanic voters. He is my councilor as well, though I didn't support him. But realistically his sin here is only one of expediency. He knew the issue would fail and chose to cast a vote that would help him in re-election.  

One wonders if the Chamber could survive without the hotel tax revenues. The efficacy of that revenue transfer certainly needs to be explored.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: waterboy on December 22, 2008, 11:58:33 am
quote:
Originally posted by inteller

the metro chambers days are numbered.  that is why they came out with this preemptive move to develop this one voice plan because they know they are not representing Tulsa's best interests.



But they are comprised of, and led by, some of the most respected corporate leaders in the community. People who have graduated from Leadership Tulsa, who have masters degrees, who have experience in running huge corporations etc. How could they not meet our interests? Or, perhaps they perceive their interests as being the same as the rest of us?

The rank and file membership seems to consist of small business networkers who are willing to pay the $350 fees to be able to smooze. Fair enough.

I think the real power in Tulsa is in the boards and authorities. The Chamber is just the pep squad.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: waterboy on December 22, 2008, 01:42:41 pm
Sardonic. I am not impressed with titles or experience. No proof whatsoever that they are related to good managerial or leadership skills. Remember, a good doctor during the Civil War was the one with the most blood on his smock and the most appendages on the ground next to him.[;)]


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: RecycleMichael on December 22, 2008, 01:52:09 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Wrinkle
Didn't imply you were a member of the Tulsa METRO Chamber, just close enough that what you say here can affect you personally.


Everything I write on this forum can and has affected me personally. I have some scars to prove it.

The best thing going in my favor is that I don't have that much to lose. It is not that good a job.

I don't believe the Chanmber of Commerce is this big evil thing that others on this forum do. They push many positive things in this community and convince their members to get involved in moving this city forward.

Yes, there are times when I think they get involved in stuff that is none of their business. I could go on all day about some of their (and lack of) promotions of our fair city, but unless I am willing to shell out the dues and work on some committees, I feel it is unproductive to just attack them from an anonymous position.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Double A on December 22, 2008, 06:19:52 pm
quote:
Originally posted by inteller

Not surprised one bit that the two yes men (Gomez and Patrick) voted to not table it.  These two just don't get it how much their voting records make them look like bought and pais for politicians.



They are in complete denial if they have any delusions of being elected to another term. Gomez may have more to answer for than just his voting record, from what I've heard.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on December 23, 2008, 10:56:17 am
quote:
Originally posted by RecycleMichael

quote:
Originally posted by Wrinkle
Didn't imply you were a member of the Tulsa METRO Chamber, just close enough that what you say here can affect you personally.


Everything I write on this forum can and has affected me personally. I have some scars to prove it.

The best thing going in my favor is that I don't have that much to lose. It is not that good a job.

I don't believe the Chanmber of Commerce is this big evil thing that others on this forum do. They push many positive things in this community and convince their members to get involved in moving this city forward.

Yes, there are times when I think they get involved in stuff that is none of their business. I could go on all day about some of their (and lack of) promotions of our fair city, but unless I am willing to shell out the dues and work on some committees, I feel it is unproductive to just attack them from an anonymous position.



That was your choice when you set up your account here. I chose to remain anon for many of the same reasons.

You'll also note my original posting was not a general attack on the Chamber, it was an attempt to open disussion on a single issue the Chamber themselves initiated.

btw, you do pay dues to the Chamber in some form. The City of Tulsa pays them millions each year, and those are not membership fees.

I was also suggesting those funds are also not to promote the Chambers' Political Agenda as they were hoping to do with the measure presented as "One Voice" to our City Council.

As an aside, my quote was not meant to be an attack on you either, just a reality statement of fact. So, if you would, please stop lecturing me.






Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: RecycleMichael on December 23, 2008, 12:54:22 pm
I believe the majority of the money paid to the Chamber from the City of Tulsa is a pass-through of collected hotel/motel tax revenue.

I did not stay overnight at a Tulsa hotel last year.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: RecycleMichael on December 23, 2008, 12:56:48 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Wrinkle
You'll also note my original posting was not a general attack on the Chamber, it was an attempt to open disussion on a single issue the Chamber themselves initiated.



So you really don't care about the money the Chamber is paid...or that they presented their legislative goals to the council before the council had made their own list...you are just pissed that they want to repeal HB 1804.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on December 23, 2008, 01:33:33 pm
quote:
Originally posted by RecycleMichael

I believe the majority of the money paid to the Chamber from the City of Tulsa is a pass-through of collected hotel/motel tax revenue.

I did not stay overnight at a Tulsa hotel last year.



Doesn't matter, the Hotel tax revenue is money spent by the City regardless of source. A passthrough doesn't mean it doesn't come in. Try to tell the IRS that about your income.

So, either something doesn't get done which may have, or funding from existing sources pay to do those same things.

If the education clan can say tax cuts 'cost' them, I can claim the Chamber costs me/us.




Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on December 23, 2008, 01:45:25 pm
quote:
Originally posted by RecycleMichael

quote:
Originally posted by Wrinkle
You'll also note my original posting was not a general attack on the Chamber, it was an attempt to open disussion on a single issue the Chamber themselves initiated.



So you really don't care about the money the Chamber is paid...or that they presented their legislative goals to the council before the council had made their own list...you are just pissed that they want to repeal HB 1804.



Your logic doesn't work here.
The money paid would be fine if they promoted our platform to that value instead of theirs. That's what we pay them to do. There's no reason for our Council to adopt their platform.

Who presented first isn't a factor, all I know is their item followed the City's item on the agenda.

I don't know if 'pissed' is the right word, but I think using my own money to fight against something I not only do not oppose, rather support, has a bad taste and would seem improper etiquette.



Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: RecycleMichael on December 23, 2008, 02:22:09 pm
I cannot defend the chamber against both inteller and wrinkle. I don't know their membership revenue and how it is spent, nor know the amount nor disposition of the hotel/motel tax revenue. Again, I am not a member of the Tulsa Metro Chamber.

I don't know what percentage of hotel/motel rooms are in Tulsa city limits versus the suburbs, but it has to be at least 80% of the rooms and the most expensive are all in Tulsa. I would hope that about the same breakdown of their marketing efforts promoting uniquely Tulsa things, like the BOK Center and downtown events.  

I know some of the chamber employees. They seem very energetic and put in lots of hours. They seem to always be trying to sell the region and knowledgable.

You guys act like they are the secret government and work against Tulsa. Everytime they do anything outside the city limits, you act like they have committed treason.

Yes, the chamber has an agenda. Yes, they believe that regional business is good business. Yes, they want area governments to be in support of their legislative goals for the year. I think that means they are doing their job.

Wrinkle just opposes the chamber on the local business use of undocumented labor. He has the majority opinion or HB 1804 wouldn't have passed in the state. The chamber obviously feels that this recently passed law has been detrimental to the economy of the region and want it changed. I suppose it is because some of their members have told them so. For them to try and change the rule now would again be them doing their job.

I think the idea of trying to go to the state legislature and speak with one voice on many issues makes a lot of sense. Many of the things we want truly are regional in scope and solution.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on December 23, 2008, 03:00:32 pm
quote:
Wrinkle just opposes the chamber on the local business use of undocumented labor.


...that's just one aspect of their "One Voice" Program. And, it's related to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. They seek for us to adopt their entire agenda. If you've read it, there's more than one issue there, tort reform, Opportunity Fund, PreK-12 funding, Emergency Management Fund, Workers' Compensation, Aerospace Infrastructure funding, et al. I doubt anyone can suggest they agree 100% with everything there.


All things equal, why would the Chamber even care about this issue unless their members reaped profit from it?

I'm also a little curious as the process the Chamber went through to establish their platform. Did they even poll their membership, for example?

When you pay your membership fee, do you have to just adopt the bait, line and sinker to join?

The Hotel Tax monies are not for membership, they're for services. If they feel they can perform those services, great. Just do it.




Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: waterboy on December 23, 2008, 08:44:25 pm
Inteller, the Chamber feels it is the voice of business. When they oppose 1804 it isn't becaue they favor illegal immigration. That is too simplistic. They are bothered by the RESULT of the legislation which was to cause emigration of legal Hispanic Americans. They are bothered by  being saddled with the responsiblity and expense of doing what they percieve as government's job in monitoring and controlling illegal immigration. They are bothered by the real and possible abuses the law creates. Those are issues of cost to businessmen and of course they will take a stand to relieve that cost.

I'm no huge Chamber critic or supporter. They lost my good will when as a small businessman they sent a recruiter to my office to rail about the high minimum wage, the Clinton adminstration and gubmn't getting in the way of business. He like to fainted when I told him I voted for Clinton and supported higher minimum wages. But later on they were supportive of my boat business and made efforts to help me.

I'm suspicious of the hotel tax and its efficacy but I don't deny them their role in supporting Tulsa and its business people.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Double A on December 23, 2008, 10:45:25 pm
quote:
Originally posted by inteller

well, they can 'feel' all they want, but they have barely even given Tulsa a reach around for city causes while gladly taking their money.  Meanwhile, other cities have a 'voice of business' that does what is best for their respective municipalities.

As far as emigration of hispanic americans, if they are hispanic americans they are leaving for unfounded reasons because hispanic americans have nothing to worry about.  Neither do asian americans, african americans, or arab americans.  That 'result' is just bogus.  But the item on their list states that they will fight immigration laws that put Oklahoman businesses (note they didn't say Tulsa businesses) at an economic disadvantage.  That is the old speeding analogy 'well if everyone else is speeding then I should be able to speed to!'  Sorry it doesn't work that way.  The law is the law, Oklahoma is just making sure people play by the rules.



True dat.

BTW, Owasso recently dedicated part of their hotel/motel tax towards neighborhood revitalization(Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (http://"http://www.cityofowasso.com/OSNI/OSNI.pdf")). Tulsa ought to do the same. That would be a much better return on the investment than the Chamber slush fund we currently have.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: rhymnrzn on December 24, 2008, 01:07:34 pm
quote:
Originally posted by waterboy

They are bothered by the RESULT of the legislation which was to cause emigration of legal Hispanic Americans.


It would be even more troublesome to know how much we have been sending them, or, allowing them to leave, completely empty.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Rico on December 24, 2008, 04:46:59 pm
quote:
Originally posted by inteller

well, that opens up the larger question, which is what is the ROI for the TMC?  The city puts in X amount of dollars every year, we should expect to get something back in return that directly impacts our bottom line.



As far as I have been able to learn... and I have made this statement many times.. and not a soul has ever said it was incorrect..
"The Tulsa Metro Chamber does not even provide the COT with an annual reporting or accountability of the monies they are given."

This thing has been stinking for a long time.

Even though I am not a fan of David Arnutt (sp?)
the following article documents the existence of the situation with the Tulsa Metro Chamber some years back..

http://www.tulsatoday.com/archive/hoteltax.htm

That being said; I may be willing to see things  "the Chamber Way" way for a small stipend of the slush fund referenced by Double A...


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on January 03, 2009, 08:11:10 pm
Anyone know what a simple Chamber Membership might cost for a City like Tulsa?



Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: waterboy on January 03, 2009, 08:17:29 pm
quote:
Originally posted by Wrinkle

Anyone know what a simple Chamber Membership might cost for a City like Tulsa?





5 years ago I paid $350. Don't know currently. It was a basic membership.


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: Wrinkle on January 07, 2009, 10:17:09 pm
quote:
Originally posted by inteller

council (rightly) killed this...notice not much coverage of its defeat obviously.  its a good day for the city of tulsa!



"No further discussion scheduled" in the minutes doesn't exactly cover it, does it?

This is a story the World should be all over and apparently no longer has the staff to do so.

...or, is that the will?


Title: 'One Voice' - The Chambers'
Post by: sgrizzle on January 08, 2009, 10:16:53 am
They should have followed the chamber's style and written:

I AM defeated