Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Oklahoman: Governors Off Base With Askins Ad

Editorial In The Oklahoman ~ A national Republican group has its own issues as it wades into our governor's race between U. S. Rep. Mary Fallin and Democratic Lt. Gov. Jari Askins. A TV ad paid for by the Republican Governors Association refers to an immigration-related bill that Askins voted for as a member of the state House in 2003. The bill allowed undocumented children who graduate from Oklahoma high schools to receive in-state tuition. The ad says Askins and President Obama "both support immigration policies too liberal for Oklahoma." Left unsaid is that the House version of the bill was written by a Republican and passed easily after receiving broad bipartisan support. These sorts of negative and misleading tactics, particularly from outsiders, are what turn off many voters during election season.

[The Republican bill author the editorial mentions is Kevin Calvey; the former House member touted the bill during his campaign for Congress. Calvey has not yet responded to TMRO's request for comment on the RGA commercial.]

[Alex Weintz, communications director for Fallin, was asked for comment on the editorial by TMRO. Here is his response: "Mary and her campaign did not have anything to do with the content of the ad nor were we asked to approve it (nor can we legally do either). Our campaign is focused on Mary's positive message to bring jobs to Oklahoma, control spending and stand up to Washington, DC and the dangerous policies it is forcing on the rest of the country."]

[Republican State Chairman Matt Pinnell said, ""The RGA has brought up legitimate concerns about Jari Askins and her liberal voting record. They cite specific votes and statements both in the ad and on their website, and if she disagrees with how her record is characterized she is free to respond. While the Oklahoma GOP had no hand in the making of this ad, we agree that Jari Askins needs to explain why she has sided with the president and Washington Democrats on so many key issues."]

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