Tulsa FOP Political Action Committee
I wanted to take a second and ask our members to consider contributing to the FOP Political Action Committee (PAC). Now more than ever, we need the ability to reach out and help those elected officials who have been proven supporters of the FOP and Tulsa Police Officers.
Everything about our job is in one way or another affected by politicians. Whether it is the laws we enforce, our pension, or our contract which dictates our pay and benefits. One of the main purposes of the FOP has always been to advocate for and represent the issues that are important to law enforcement officers.
Oftentimes, we cops, approach lawmakers and ask for their help with legislation such as tougher punishment for offenders, more restrictive laws on purchasing pseudo-ephedrine, new laws addressing pawn shops, or for help protecting our pension system. We negotiate our contract with the mayor’s staff and ask city councilors to side with us on a vote concerning our contract when the mayor wants to challenge the arbitration decision like is going on now.
Showing up and asking for help is not a good time to start building relationships with people. It’s like asking someone you met last week who owns a truck to help you move from one house to another. Good luck with that. You must have an ongoing relationship to ask for favors like that. Politicians are no different.
Those holding elected office understand and need two things, votes and money to run their campaigns. Even a relatively small amount of money given to a politician goes a long way toward building relationships. Endorsements of friendly and supportive incumbents are also vital in many cases.
We cannot use money from your Lodge dues for political candidates. Your dues currently go mostly toward negotiations, arbitration, and ongoing challenges to our contract. Also, the membership raised your dues during the layoffs by $18 per month to save for the “fight” we saw was coming for years to come. We use that money to pay for our PR person and to contribute to the community through sponsorships like the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. We do have a substantial amount in that fund in case we have a campaign for a vote on our contract. All of your dues are needed to continue those things. Our dues are some of the lowest in the area and compared to other police associations.
Please take a moment to watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSYyEzI5BYo. The gentleman with the beard and glasses (not Brother Cealka) is our State FOP Lobbyist, Gary Huddleston.
We are asking for $5 per paycheck from every officer. There are several ways to give including payroll deduction, direct deposit, cash, or wire transfers. I have attached that documentation for those as well as a letter from our attorney, Jim Moore, regarding the need for your support for the PAC.
As an example of how we will use the PAC funds, the PAC Board considered an endorsement and donation in the current race for Tulsa District Attorney recently. After weighing many options, the Board voted not to endorse either candidate but the Board did vote to give each of them some money for their campaigns with our support as they are both good candidates. Both Steve Kunzweiler and Fred Jordan were very appreciative and understood our position. We most likely will do that in other races coming up such as city council races so that we can cover our bases with more than one supportive candidate.
Another example would be the race between current city councilor G.T. Bynum and Paul Tay. If Councilor Bynum stands up for us and votes not to send our contract to an election, we need to be able to support him like he did us. Like it or not, that’s the way things work when it comes to having an ongoing friendship with elected officials.
We cannot do those things without your PAC donations. We want to go out into the community and ask for citizens to support the PAC financially but we would like to be able to show that the majority of our officers support it already and that may help them step up to help out.
If you have questions regarding the PAC fund or donations, please contact the chairman, Jerad Lindsey, the Vice-chair Jamel Warren, or me.