Report | By BWST Staff
Tulsa, Okla. — City Councilor Phil Lakin’s outright refusal to vote in favor of the Dollar Store Moratorium appears to be a favor to his campaign donor, John Rupe, rather than a purely political or economic decision. Rupe, CEO of Rupe Helmer Group, the developer who is pushing for a new Dollar General on Pine near Carver Middle School, has not spoken publicly about the moratorium because he doesn’t have to. His donation to Lakin’s election campaign is enough to ensure his interests will be looked after.
Councilor Lakin has a history of allowing wealthy donors to influence his vote. In a 2012 report from the Tulsa World, Lakin is noted as having six ethics complaints filed against him regarding a zoning issue on a midtown QuikTrip. Chet Cadieux, QuikTrip’s CEO, also donated to Lakin’s election campaign. Lakin was ultimately cleared of any conflicts of interests, but a pattern is beginning to emerge.
City Council is anticipated to vote on the moratorium Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m.