Chesapeake Energy Corp. invited all 13 city council candidates to a forum last Friday to allow them an opportunity to give those in attendance an idea of what they hope to bring to the council, and to the city, if elected. Nine candidates attended.
Of the four who missed, two were candidates who are carrying the flag for the tea party in Oklahoma. It was disappointing they weren't on hand, but not altogether surprising.
Adrian Van Manen and Cliff Hearron, the tea party-backed candidates looking to oust incumbents Meg Salyer and Patrick Ryan in wards 6 and 8, have been keeping pretty low profiles since entering their races. Although they are using mailers and knocking on doors, neither has seemed terribly excited about sharing a stage with the incumbents.
Our impression is that neither man is really for much of anything that has gone on, or is going on, in Oklahoma City, and instead they're simply against the status quo. Actually that's not entirely accurate — they're both for spending more on police and fire, which now gets about 65 percent of the city's budget.
The police and fire unions fought against MAPS 3 in December 2009 and are still stewing over its passage. Anti-MAPS 3 themes are central to the Van Manen and Hearron campaigns.
We'll find out March 1 whether residents in Ward 6 and Ward 8 are equally unhappy with the direction of the city, and with work done by Salyer and Ryan. We have serious doubts about that.