Archive for July, 2006

Americans For Job Security Under Scrutiny

July 31, 2006

Campaign Hijinks: Political Tactics May Signal Bruising GOP Congressional Race
Marie Price
The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma politics can be contentious at times, but this year’s 5th Congressional District Republican race may set the bar even higher – or lower, given your perspective.
One series of automated phone calls about Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode and Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin has already generated an attorney general’s investigation, and a radio ad and phone “spamming” incident may spark another.

Attorney General Drew Edmondson is looking into the last-minute phone calls, identified as being from Americans for Job Security, although they did not include a contact telephone number.

AJS President Michael Dubke acknowledged Friday that his nonprofit business organization sponsored the calls, but he doesn’t believe a federal telephone consumer protection law covers them.

Both Dubke and Sean McCaffrey, with Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett’s campaign, said they thought the probe was concluded.

Edmondson spokesman Charlie Price said that’s not the case.

“The investigation is continuing,” said Price. “We’ll follow the evidence wherever it leads us.”

One call alleges that Bode pushed for a 125-percent fuel tax hike, reportedly a reference to a federal fuel tax increase in the early 1980s, and refers to her as a “former liberal Democrat.” Bode was once a Democrat.

Bode’s campaign spokesman Ron Black termed the tax-hike-support allegation “patently false.”

“That didn’t happen,” he said.

Black said that when Bode was president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, she fought against a Clinton administration BTU gas tax hike.

Black said Bode is fiscally conservative, terming the allegations in the phone call “ridiculous.”

Fallin and Cornett will face off in an Aug. 22 runoff.

The other phone call refers to doctors leaving Oklahoma because they can’t afford liability insurance, terming it the “Mary Fallin legacy.”

When asked why doctors leaving the state should be laid at a lieutenant governor’s door, Dubke said he didn’t write the script for the ad and would “have to look at my notes.”

Asked whether anyone in Oklahoma requested that AJS make the calls, Dubke said, “I don’t recall exactly the Oklahoma situation. Frankly, I don’t want to get into how we make our decisions on the stuff that we do.”

McCaffrey, with Wilson Research Strategies, was asked whether WRS or the Cornett campaign had anything to do with the phone calls.

“Absolutely not,” he replied. “I don’t even know Mr. Dubke and I don’t know Americans for Job Security.”

McCaffrey said he has offered to stand with the other campaigns and denounce the AJS messages.

Bill Greener, president of Greener and Hook, a Virginia consulting firm that did advertising for Cornett, said his firm did one television ad for AJS in 2004, but he has had no contact with them since.

“Not only didn’t we have anything to do with the phone calls, we don’t do phone calls,” Greener said.

McCaffrey said he intends to bring a couple of other situations to the attorney general’s attention after the election.

Denise Northrup, with Fallin’s campaign, said she informed McCaffrey of a radio ad that ran a couple of weeks ago, purporting to be a news account, in which Fallin criticized Cornett for taking credit for leading the effort to insure that children could not have access to gay-themed books in libraries.

Northrup said the Fallin campaign had nothing to do with the ad.

“We got phone calls from angry moms with children,” she said.

The ad ended with the tag line “Thank you for listening to the Oklahoma Political News Service” and “Paid for by Oklahomans for Traditional Marriage.”

On its Web site, OPNS denounced the ad as an impersonation of the news service in a letter to a radio station that ran the spot.

McCaffrey said the ad was pulled by two of the stations after it ran a few times.

Harold Patterson, general sales manager of KKNG and KOJK radio in Oklahoma City, said the ad was pulled temporarily off of Radio Disney because it violated Disney rules by mentioning the term “homosexuals.”

“Once it was corrected, then we put it back on,” Patterson said.

Patterson said the station received calls from both the Fallin and Cornett campaigns about the ad.

Consultant Kirk Shelley declined to name the woman who initiated the ad, saying she has a relative who works for Oklahoma City and fears retaliation.

Shelley said the ad quotes from news releases about a spat over who led the fight to remove the books from children’s access.

“All of the information in the ad either came from the media or the press release everybody had already signed anyway,” Shelley said.

McCaffrey indicated he may bring the ad and a telephone “spamming” incident to Edmondson’s attention.

He said that beginning the day before the primary election, the Cornett campaign office started receiving a deluge of telemarketing calls for sales of campaign-related pens, signs and other items.

“Some person with far too much time got online and subscribed Mick Cornett to receive telemarketing calls from every campaign service telemarketer on this side of the Mississippi,” he said. “That’s a felony. That one’s jail time.”

Although he lost his sense of humor after about the 45th call, McCaffrey said an offer of 45,000 Cornett beer Koozies “cracked me up.”

McCaffrey said he will ask the attorney general to trace the Internet incident, because he has asked all of the vendors for their contact information and data on the referral service that sent the Cornett contact information to them.

“They’re a clever felon, but a felon nonetheless,” McCaffrey said. “But I have no idea who’s behind them.”

McCaffrey was also critical of a purported political flyer carrying the names of Fallin, Cornett and fellow candidate Fred Morgan bearing the logo of a local church, which had nothing to do with the flyer.

He said an incident like that could jeopardize the church’s tax-exempt status.

“To attack a church – who does that?” he asked.

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Courtside!

July 31, 2006

State legislators accept free Hornets tickets from lobbyists

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) State records show lobbyists gave tickets to New Orleans Hornets basketball games in Oklahoma City to almost 50 state legislators during the past season, state records show.

The face value of the tickets given to legislators totaled about 57-hundred-dollars. Some legislators were give 130-dollar floor seats at the Ford Center.

State Senator Harry Coates used lobbyist tickets to watch three Hornets games and the Seminole Republican says that he saw a lot of his colleagues down there.

State legislators who received the 130-dollar Hornets tickets were Representative Marian Cooksey, an Edmond Republican; Representative David Braddock, an Altus Democrat; Representative Jabar Shumate, a Tulsa Democrat; Representative Joe Sweeden, a Pawhuska Democrat; and Senator Kathleen Wilcoxson, an Oklahoma City Republican.

Most of the Hornets tickets used by legislators came from lobbyists for telecommunications company A-T-and-T.

Four GOP Candidates Endorse Fallin

July 31, 2006

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Four Republican candidates for the party’s nomination to Congress in the Fifth District are endorsing Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin in the runoff with Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.

Denise Bode (BOH’-dee), Kevin Calvey, Fred Morgan and Johnny Roy praised Fallin as a hard-working conservative.

The four finished third through sixth in last Tuesday’s primary in which Fallin received 35 percent of the vote while Cornett won 24 percent.

The two will meet in an August 22nd runoff.

The winner will face Doctor David Hunter of Edmond who won the Democratic primary.

Incumbent Congressman Ernest Istook is running for governor instead of for re-election.

From the Tipline: Bode to Endorse Fallin

July 30, 2006


The Oklahoma Political News Service has heard rumors that Corporation Commissioner and former CD 5 candidate, Denise Bode will endorse Mary Fallin in the run-off for the 5th Congressional District seat.

While Bode is closest ideologically to Mick Cornett, Fallin’s opponent in the run off, sources say that Bode believes the 5th districts needs a “woman’s perspective.”

The Oklahoma Political News Service will continue to follow the developing story.

Rove Blasts Journalists’ Role in Politics

July 30, 2006

By WILL LESTER
The Associated Press
Saturday, July 29, 2006; 9:02 PM

WASHINGTON — Presidential adviser Karl Rove said Saturday that journalists often criticize political professionals because they want to draw attention away from the “corrosive role” their own coverage plays in politics and government.

“Some decry the professional role of politics, they would like to see it disappear,” Rove told graduating students at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. “Some argue political professionals are ruining American politics _ trapping candidates in daily competition for the news cycle instead of long-term strategic thinking in the best interest of the country.”

But Rove turned that criticism on journalists.

“It’s odd to me that most of these critics are journalists and columnists,” he said. “Perhaps they don’t like sharing the field of play. Perhaps they want to draw attention away from the corrosive role their coverage has played focusing attention on process and not substance.”

Rove told about 100 graduates trained to be political operatives that they should respect the instincts of the American voter.

“There are some in politics who hold that voters are dumb, ill informed and easily misled, that voters can be manipulated by a clever ad or a smart line,” said Rove, who is credited with President Bush’s victories in the 2000 and 2004 elections. “I’ve seen this cynicism over the years from political professionals and journalists. American people are not policy wonks, but they have great instincts and try to do the right thing.”

Rove said it is “wrong to underestimate the intelligence of the American voter, but easy to overestimate their interest. Much tugs at their attention.”

But he said voters are able to watch campaigns and candidates closely and “this messy and imperfect process has produced great leaders.”

Rove Blasts Journalists’ Role in Politics

July 30, 2006

By WILL LESTER
The Associated Press
Saturday, July 29, 2006; 9:02 PM

WASHINGTON — Presidential adviser Karl Rove said Saturday that journalists often criticize political professionals because they want to draw attention away from the “corrosive role” their own coverage plays in politics and government.

“Some decry the professional role of politics, they would like to see it disappear,” Rove told graduating students at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. “Some argue political professionals are ruining American politics _ trapping candidates in daily competition for the news cycle instead of long-term strategic thinking in the best interest of the country.”

But Rove turned that criticism on journalists.

“It’s odd to me that most of these critics are journalists and columnists,” he said. “Perhaps they don’t like sharing the field of play. Perhaps they want to draw attention away from the corrosive role their coverage has played focusing attention on process and not substance.”

Rove told about 100 graduates trained to be political operatives that they should respect the instincts of the American voter.

“There are some in politics who hold that voters are dumb, ill informed and easily misled, that voters can be manipulated by a clever ad or a smart line,” said Rove, who is credited with President Bush’s victories in the 2000 and 2004 elections. “I’ve seen this cynicism over the years from political professionals and journalists. American people are not policy wonks, but they have great instincts and try to do the right thing.”

Rove said it is “wrong to underestimate the intelligence of the American voter, but easy to overestimate their interest. Much tugs at their attention.”

But he said voters are able to watch campaigns and candidates closely and “this messy and imperfect process has produced great leaders.”

Candidates going after donations after poor primary turnout

July 30, 2006

From the AP:

Candidates in the upcoming primary runoff face the usual challenge of raising funds and getting better organized than their opponents if they want to advance to the November general election.

But last Tuesday’s poor primary turnout showed voter apathy, for one reason or another, making the candidates’ task especially challenging as they look toward the Aug. 22 runoff.

Istook’s First Volley: Immigration

July 28, 2006

Tulsa World (Excerpt)

OKLAHOMA CITY — U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook criticized Gov. Brad Henry on Thursday for worsening the problem of illegal immigration.

Istook brought up the immigration issue during a Capitol news conference called to announce endorsements. He later would not answer additional questions from reporters, saying the subject of the news conference was Republican unity.

Asked to describe his game plan for the race, Istook initially took a pass and then launched into the immigration issue.

“For example, let’s take illegal immigration,” Istook said. “Brad Henry, you know, honored the request of President Bush for Oklahoma National Guard members to help at the border. But he hasn’t done anything to help the larger problem with the huge number of illegal immigrants here in Oklahoma and elsewhere.

“In fact, Brad Henry has made our illegal immigration problem worse by sponsoring public benefits for illegal immigrants, such as in-state tuition for people who are here illegally.”

Paul Sund, a spokesman for Henry, said the governor did not sponsor or propose the 2003 legislation. The measure was written by the late Sen. Keith Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City; former Sen. Mike Fair, R-Oklahoma City; Rep. Al Lindley, D-Oklahoma City; Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Del City; and Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, D-Oklahoma City.

It passed with bipartisan support and was sent to the governor along with hundreds of other bills, Sund said.

The measure allows graduates of Oklahoma high schools to be eligible for in-state tuition if they were working toward legal status or preparing to begin the process, Sund said.

“Republican and Democratic supporters of the bill said they didn’t want to punish kids for something their parents did,” he said. “Had the measure not required the students to be working toward legalized status, Gov. Henry would have vetoed it.”

When questioned about his use of the word “sponsor,” Istook said Henry signed the bill.

“You don’t sign something if you don’t approve of it,” Istook said. “It is not a matter of quibbling over words. He should have vetoed the bill regardless of who sponsored it.”

Istook’s First Volley: Immigration

July 28, 2006

Tulsa World (Excerpt)

OKLAHOMA CITY — U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook criticized Gov. Brad Henry on Thursday for worsening the problem of illegal immigration.

Istook brought up the immigration issue during a Capitol news conference called to announce endorsements. He later would not answer additional questions from reporters, saying the subject of the news conference was Republican unity.

Asked to describe his game plan for the race, Istook initially took a pass and then launched into the immigration issue.

“For example, let’s take illegal immigration,” Istook said. “Brad Henry, you know, honored the request of President Bush for Oklahoma National Guard members to help at the border. But he hasn’t done anything to help the larger problem with the huge number of illegal immigrants here in Oklahoma and elsewhere.

“In fact, Brad Henry has made our illegal immigration problem worse by sponsoring public benefits for illegal immigrants, such as in-state tuition for people who are here illegally.”

Paul Sund, a spokesman for Henry, said the governor did not sponsor or propose the 2003 legislation. The measure was written by the late Sen. Keith Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City; former Sen. Mike Fair, R-Oklahoma City; Rep. Al Lindley, D-Oklahoma City; Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Del City; and Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, D-Oklahoma City.

It passed with bipartisan support and was sent to the governor along with hundreds of other bills, Sund said.

The measure allows graduates of Oklahoma high schools to be eligible for in-state tuition if they were working toward legal status or preparing to begin the process, Sund said.

“Republican and Democratic supporters of the bill said they didn’t want to punish kids for something their parents did,” he said. “Had the measure not required the students to be working toward legalized status, Gov. Henry would have vetoed it.”

When questioned about his use of the word “sponsor,” Istook said Henry signed the bill.

“You don’t sign something if you don’t approve of it,” Istook said. “It is not a matter of quibbling over words. He should have vetoed the bill regardless of who sponsored it.”

John Boy Coming To OKC

July 28, 2006

“John Boy” Edwards, failed presidential candidate, one term senator, and “son of a millworker” is coming to Oklahoma City next week. Edwards will be the special guest at a “rally for working Oklahomans” sponsored by the Oklahoma Democratic Win PAC. Edwards who is running for president under the populist theme of “ending poverty in America” will speak at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Hall August 3rd.

It is still a mystery to us, that a man who didn’t run for reelection in North Carolina because he was so unpopular, can actually believe he is a viable candidate for president! I guess chasing ambulances and winning multi-million dollar judgments based on junk science doesn’t have the appeal it once did.