Republican Party Throws Wrench in Works of Vision 2 - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Republican Party Throws Wrench in Works of Vision 2

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"It's being promoted as an economic engine to keep Tulsa's growth going, but to the Tulsa County Republican Party, Vision 2...

"It's just corporate welfare to the max," said Tulsa County Republican Party chairman J.B. Alexander, his party's committee passing a resolution opposing the proposal, which came as a stunner to Don Walker.

"I was very surprised, actually shocked that a group of Republicans would say that this is wrong," he said.

As the co-chair of Vision 2, and a republican himself, Walker sees the initiative as vital to keeping Tulsa competitive in the aerospace industry.

"If we don't invest in this infrastructure in keeping these aerospace jobs, I think, I think Tulsa's in trouble," he said.

"This is a competition in the airlines industry that's global, not just Tulsa, Ok, and if we invest all this money in here out at the airport, we're going to be like a lot of these other communities and a lot of it's going to be sitting empty," said Alexander.

Adding to the great divide, the party decided to censure Commissioners Fred Perry and John Smaligo for supporting it.

"It's just a public slap on the hand if you will," said Alexander.

"I think it's pretty weak that they haven't even, that they haven't even contacted me to let me know that they've taken this action," said Smaligo.

Smaligo takes great pride in his republican-ness, his office littered with elephants at every turn, as he works under the watchful eyes of the Gipper, Gingrich and Cheney.

"In my role as county commissioner, if I did what they did I could be facing criminal prosecution," he said.

The elephant in the room, if the pro-business party is against a pro-business initiative, how does Vision 2 tailor it's message?

"It's not about my party, its about jobs. Period," said Walker.

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