Friday, April 26, 2013

Congressmen We Couldn't Keep As Neighbors

  Why can't Tulsa keep her former congressmen? Every 1st District representative since Page Belcher has somehow gotten addicted to the Washington culture and circles of cash & influence.  Since then, Tulsa has never had a retired or defeated congressman settle back here and pretend to be "one of us".
Page Belcher
  Page had formerly served the dissolved 8th Oklahoma Congressional District, then he moved to Tulsa after the heavily Democrat Oklahoma Legislature tried to alienate his Enid home from the redrawn district. He remained Tulsa's representative until the 1971 redistricting sliced heavily Republican South Tulsa out of district 1, to aid James Jones' political aspirations. The 72 year old Belcher retired back in Oklahoma and died in 1980.

James Jones
  'Jim' served in the 1st District from 1973-1986.  He then served in the Clinton & Obama administrations, as well as consulting foreign corporations & lobbying.  He was a very controversial ambassador to Mexico and helped Obama attempt to close down the enemy combatant detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

James Inhofe

  When Jones tried to unseat Sen. Don Nickles in the U.S. Senate, Former Tulsa mayor, James Inhofe won the open 1st district seat and served until his successful 1994 run for Oklahoma's vacant U.S. Senate seat. Jim still serves in that capacity, now approaching his 80's. He commutes from his Oklahoma home, weekly.

Steve Largent
  Steve had finished a hugely successful NFL Hall of Fame career prior to settling in Tulsa. When Inhofe left the 1st district seat open, Largent won a 6-Republican primary and coasted to 4 terms. While in congress, Largent decided to step aside and run for Oklahoma Governor. After his 2002 loss, he moved back to D.C. & accepted the position as head of Amreica's wireless communications trade group. The advocacy, education and lobbying work has been the primary focus of Largent's career for 10 years. His popularity in Washington greatly aided his appointment to the lead position in the trade group. He lives in the D.C. area.

John Sullivan 
John left the Oklahoma legislature to run for the open 1st district seat in 2002. The underdog, Sullivan, defeated former 1st lady, Kathy Keating and coasted to 5 terms in office. In 2012, Sullivan lost in a primary to Tea Party favorite & newcomer, Jim Bridenstine. The shocking and bitter defeat was a difficult end to Sullivan's political aspirations. Sullivan now resides in the D.C. area and does consulting and lobbying for his clients, taking advantage of his ties to fellow legislators.

  Every one of these men convinced us that they were, at heart, one of us. We don't hear much from any of them (except Inhofe). Perhaps Tulsa doesn't offer them the thrill of political & legislative competition? Perhaps they've assimilated to the culture of Washington and find Tulsa a bit boring?

Jim Bridenstine
  Jim was an active reserve naval pilot, right up to the month he was made our congressman.Tulsa now has a freshman who made campaigning look easy. Some already have ambitions to take him on in the 2014 primary? Whatever comes, my advice is; stay close to the voters and don't let us feel you've become alienated to our way of life. I hardly think Bridenstine needs this advice this early in his political life. But one day it might help him.

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