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Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett invited to speak at Republican National Convention

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was invited to speak Monday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., but a schedule change prompted by Tropical Storm Isaac has left his talk in question. It has not been rescheduled.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Published: August 26, 2012

Nonpartisan factor

Oklahoma City's mayor and city council positions are officially nonpartisan, though Cornett is a registered Republican who once ran for a congressional seat in a GOP primary.

“I'm not partisan by nature. But I think that Oklahoma City is known for being very fiscally conservative and taking a proactive approach to the way it runs its business and creates its infrastructure through the MAPS programs,” Cornett said.

“I think there are a lot of principles that are reflective of the conservative agenda.”

The MAPS programs are almost always a prominent element of Cornett's speeches, though that means they involve something that's relatively toxic in the national GOP narrative: taxes.

But Cornett said because the Republican agenda involves localizing political power as much as possible, Oklahoma City's record of investing in itself could prove one worth duplicating for cities no matter which way they lean politically.

“In a sense, people get to determine their own tax rate in Oklahoma City ... because we allow them to vote on any changes,” Cornett said. “I think that's kind of a refreshing concept.”