Saturday, January 31, 2004

New Job Recruitment Strategy Overlooked by Media

The decision by Bill Lobeck to move the HQ (and 700 jobs) of his Vanguard Car Rental USA from Florida to Tulsa received headline news in the Tulsa area this past week - for good reason. But all the media missed the story behind the story. The Secretary of Commerce of Oklahoma slept with the CEO of Vanguard prior to getting the deal. Is this strategy a last ditch effort to turnaround the ailing Oklahoma economy?

Only the Tulsa World even mentioned that Vanguard CEO Lobeck is married to Secretary of Commerce Kathy Taylor. The two live in an enormous mansion in mid-town Tulsa and made their gazillions in the rental car industry. Newly-elected Governor Brad Henry appointed Taylor to his cabinet in 2003. Lobeck and Taylor are large contributors to Democratic political campaigns in Oklahoma. Taylor is thought to have national political ambitions in a future Democratic administration.

One might logically ask what would have been the outcome had Lobeck decided to consolidate in Florida rather than in Oklahoma? To have the Secretary of Commerce's family business move jobs OUT of Oklahoma would have garnered more notice than sleeping with an investor has.

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