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Councilman unrelenting in his fight against Oklahoma City convention center

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: July 28, 2011
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ED Shadid invites comparisons to Ralph Nader for his tenacious vigilance concerning suspected impropriety. Perhaps a better comparison for the Oklahoma City councilman is Don Quixote: Shadid's quest to prove impropriety in the matter of the MAPS 3 convention center borders on the obsessive.

He bought a two-page newspaper ad to argue that the convention center was the least popular MAPS 3 project. And to raise his lance against business interests over the convention center's construction timetable. And to hint that the site was picked to benefit certain people financially.

The ad contains about 2,500 words. By comparison, the Gettysburg Address is around 250 words and the Declaration of Independence is roughly 1,300. But word count isn't the issue. It's the actual words he used in the ad and in a subsequent news story on the same topic.

They show that the councilman can't get past the decisions his colleagues made on July 5, when Shadid was absent. Unlike Mayor Mick Cornett, who also didn't favor the chosen convention center site, Shadid can't move on. He's demonizing the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and Devon Energy Corp., whose investment in downtown is unprecedented.

What's making Shadid raise his lance? Naderite suspicions of impropriety. He wonders if MAPS 3 would have passed had citizens been “fully informed” about the convention center's details. Perhaps a 2,500-word ballot section could have accomplished that goal, but Shadid might question why the ink was black instead or red. Or the choice of a printer.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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