Editorial: No shame in city government?

In the good old days, you needed to have a good reputation to serve in public office.

Not anymore in Tulsa.

Tulsa City Councilor Blake Ewing is a businessman who has been in the news lately because of lawsuits and failure to pay taxes.

That’s right. A city councilor who approves hundreds of millions of dollars in city spending is having a hard time paying his private bills.

Several tax liens have been filed against Ewing’s businesses due to nonpayment of taxes. Apparently, his businesses owed more than $130,000 in sales taxes and liquor taxes, according to state records.

Ewing hasn’t denied any of this.

While he was pushing for Tulsans to increase sales taxes by $885,000,000.00 recently, he didn’t see the need to pay his own sales tax bills. He called it “an accounting error” and said everything is going to get paid.

The lawsuit accuses him of using company funds for private benefit and using money from one business to support another business. Ewing said the lawsuit resulted because of a failure to work things out in private.

Of course, the other city councilors and Mayor-Elect G.T. Bynum are supporting Ewing. They are pals. They say his “business experience” is highly beneficial to their work on the council. The other eight councilors apparently don’t think that mismanagement of funds and failure to pay taxes are character issues. As long as Ewing cooperates with the chamber-driven agenda, he can do whatever he wishes with no consequence.

There is no shame in America politics these days. No politician steps down after doing something wrong.

Councilor Ewing is the poster child for what is wrong in Tulsa city government.  Ewing vows to defend his reputation. That is really not necessary in Tulsa’s political environment when anyone can get away with anything as long as they play ball with the power brokers.