Tulsa Firefighters Union Hits Campaign Trail Despite Mayor's Directive

Thursday, September 8th 2011, 5:09 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa's firefighters union is back on the campaign trail despite the mayor's directive forbidding it.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett issued an executive order prohibiting public employees from campaigning in city elections. But the union is getting around the rules.

The yellow t-shirts of the Tulsa firefighters union are once again stumping for their favorite local candidates, but their pounding the pavement and walking a fine line.

"We don't believe that we're doing anything shady or out-of-line here. We're simply just using citizens who still have the right to campaign," Dennis Moseby, Firefighters Union President, said.

They are retired firefighters and friends of firefighters. Suann Moseby is planting political signs for her firefighting husband and son.

"Oh! It's extremely important to me. I feel like I'm the only voice that he has right now," Moseby said.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett issued an executive order that prevents firefighters and other public employees from campaigning in city elections.

Read The Executive Order

The firefighters union tried to get a temporary injunction to allow them to campaign in Tuesday's primaries, but a federal judge ruled against them.

6/22/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Firefighters Union Files Lawsuit Against Mayor, City

"The mayor has tried to quiet the firefighters' voice. He's been successful so far. We will have our day in court. And we hope to prevail," Moseby said.

Despite the executive order, the union is still pushing its political agenda. They've got signs out in front of union headquarters.

They've even recruited firefighters from other cities to stand in for local firefighters not allowed to participate.

"As fellow union brothers we're going to come out and help them any way we can," said Kyle McMurrian, Sapulpa Firefighter.

"Honestly we thought it was quite ridiculous. Yeah, we're firefighters. But on our days off we should be able to go out and do as we please on our days off," said Levi Coats, Sapulpa Firefighter.

The mayor's press secretary said the mayor feels like the union's action is violating the spirit of the city charter and the executive order.

The executive order speaks specifically to city employees, not retirees or friends and families of employees.