Open Government Pledge signers advance to general elections for Tulsa municipal offices and House District 55 seat

Six signers of FOI Oklahoma Inc.’s Open Government Pledge will be on Tulsa’s municipal general election ballot Nov. 10.

A seventh signer, Republican Bill Christiansen, was re-elected to his Tulsa City Council District 8 seat in the Sept. 8 primary. He received 50 percent of the vote.

The House District 55 general election ballot on Oct. 13 will include signer Todd Russ, a Republican.

By signing the pledge, candidates promised “to support at every opportunity the public policy of the State of Oklahoma that the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power.”

Municipal candidates also specifically promised that they and the public bodies they are “elected to govern will comply with not only the letter but also the spirit of Oklahoma's Open Meeting and Open Records laws.”

In Tulsa's mayoral race, both party nominees, Democrat Tom Adelson and Republican Dewey Bartlett Jr., signed the pledge prior to the primary. Bartlett, however, has been criticized for having his divorce case sealed a day or so after signing the Open Government Pledge.

Other signers on the Tulsa ballot are Roscoe Turner, Democrat, Dist. 3; Jim Mautino, Republican, Dist. 6; G.T. Bynum, Republican, Dist. 9; and Phil Wood, Democrat, city auditor.

Legislative candidates specifically “pledge to support legislation to strengthen the letter and the spirit of Oklahoma's Open Meeting and Open Records laws.”

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Journalism

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.