Truth Test: Latest Tulsa Mayoral Race Campaign Ads - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Truth Test: Latest Tulsa Mayoral Race Campaign Ads

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Tom Adelson's latest campaign ad accuses Dewey Bartlett of not paying his business taxes. Tom Adelson's latest campaign ad accuses Dewey Bartlett of not paying his business taxes.
Dewey Bartlett's latest campaign ad claims Adelson wants the city to pay for subsidized housing. Dewey Bartlett's latest campaign ad claims Adelson wants the city to pay for subsidized housing.
The News On 6 put the candidates' claims the The Truth Test. The News On 6 put the candidates' claims the The Truth Test.

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- With less than a week to go until election day, Dewey Bartlett and Tom Adelson continue to come out with new ads attacking each other in Tulsa's mayoral race.

In a new ad - it's claimed that Dewey Bartlett doesn't pay his taxes.

"Four times his businesses were suspended for non-payment of taxes," an announcer says in a recent campaign advertisement for Tom Adelson.

It's true the state suspended the franchise for a Bartlett business, but the candidate says it was from a business he had just out of college.

"After we'd been out of the business for five or six years, we had not filed a franchise report of some type, and we had to reinstate the company, file the report, and then shut it down again, so there were never any taxes avoided or taxes not paid," said Tulsa Mayoral candidate Dewey Bartlett, Republican.

Bartlett's newest attack ad makes several claims against Senator Tom Adelson, a Democrat.

"Tom Adelson voted against capping our property taxes," the campaign ad claims.

That's true.

That Tom Adelson co-authored a $93 million tax on hospitals is another claim of the advertisement.

That claim is true - but Adelson points out that it was during a debate over how to pay for Medicaid - and eventually the tax idea was rejected.

"And even with police officers being laid off, Tom Adelson wants the City of Tulsa to pay for subsidized housing," an announcer says in a Bartlett campaign ad.

Adelson disputes that claim.

He says "the latest smear ad continues (Bartlett's) campaign of distortion."  Adelson's campaign says he opposed reducing property taxes to protect education funding - and that never suggested cutting funding for police to fund public housing.

As for the hospital tax - the Adelson campaign says though the tax wasn't enacted, the vote was really about increasing Medicaid reimbursement - something that eventually happened anyway.

These two new ads are likely the last commercials that will come out before next Tuesday's election. The reference to Adelson and subsidized housing comes from remarks he made about recruiting new teachers to Tulsa.

Adelson did not suggest using city money to subsidize their housing - but did say the city should encourage private subsidies for teachers.

WEB EXTRA: Full Adelson Campaign Statement on Bartlett Attack Ad reprinted below:  

"Tulsans have heard nothing but false and slanderous ads from Mr. Bartlett.  The latest smear ad continues his campaign of distortion and gross misrepresentation.  

Below is a point by point refutation:  

  • Property Tax.  Dewey Bartlett called for an increase in property taxes less than two years ago as part of his proposal to permanently increase taxes more than three times larger than any previous tax increase in the history of Tulsa.  Street Task Force Report, (December 2007).  Somehow, he wants to compare his proposal to increase property taxes with Senator Tom Adelson's opposition to a reduction in property taxes to protect education funding. 
  • Hospital Tax.  No citation is provided.  There have been bi-partisan efforts to increase funding for hospitals by increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates.  No tax has ever been enacted.  In 2006, the State Legislature unanimously approved additional funding for hospitals by increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates.  
  • Public Housing.  No citation is provided.  The statement that Tom Adelson wants to cut funding for police to fund public housing is false.  We can only guess that the Bartlett campaign has taken a statement about Senator Adelson's support for Teach for America and for a role Tulsa could play to help recruit teachers out of context to distort and misrepresent the record.   He would never divert or cut funds from public safety.   By contrast, while on the city council, Mr. Bartlett cut funding for our police by $261,000 and wanted to cut another $650,000 from police but was stopped by a 7-2 city council vote.  Tulsa City Council, June 23, 1992."
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