Thursday, September 9, 2010

RGA Attacks Askins, She Fights Back

UPDATED ~ Jari Askins is under attack today by the Republican Governor's Association and she's fighting back.

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The RGA released a television commercial that likens Askins to President Obama and apparently bases the claim on a bill passed seven years ago.

The Fallin campaign told TMRO it has no comment on the ad, or Askins' response to it, at this time. Spokesman Alex Weintz did, however, give The Oklahoman a statement.

Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman with the Republican Governors Association, told The Oklahoman the television buy for the ads was "significant," but said he did not have a dollar amount.

How long the ad runs depends on how well the ad does, he said. He didn't consider the ad an attack on Askins and doesn't expect it to harm Fallin.

"If we thought it was going to backfire we wouldn't air it," Schrimpf told The Oklahoman's Michael McNutt.

The commercial's text: What do Jari Askins and Barack Obama have in common? They both support immigration policies too liberal for Oklahoma. Askins voted for a bill in the Legislature to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition, and endorses giving them amnesty. She even supported state funding to pay for illegal immigrants' health care. Sound like someone we know? Jari Askins: Ideas too liberal for Oklahoma. Just like Barack Obama.

Askins' campaign chief said the bill mentioned received bipartisan support and has since garnered the approval of Oklahoma’s fiercest opponents of illegal immigration.

Senate Bill 596 passed in the 2003 legislative session. The law allows students who are not naturalized citizens, but have lived here for two years, to pay in-state college tuition. Students are required to submit an application for citizenship or submit an affidavit that says they will submit an application for legal citizenship at the earliest opportunity. Seven Senate Republicans voted for the bill. Then-Rep. Kevin Calvey, conservative Republican, was a co-author of the bill.

Sid Hudson, Askins' campaign manager, said, “I’m disappointed, but not surprised that the first television ad from Mary Fallin’s Washington friends is the politics as usual, partisan smear campaign that we’ve come to expect out of Washington, D.C. Before Congresswoman Fallin broadcast even a single positive television ad in the general, her special interest allies in Washington are desperately distorting Lt. Governor Askins’ record and trying to tell the voters of Oklahoma how to vote in this very close race. In the bill highlighted in the ad, Jari joined an overwhelming and bipartisan majority of legislators in supporting a bill that set standards for college admissions and required that undocumented students report themselves to immigration officials and seek to legalize their immigration status.

“The so-called liberal bill was coauthored by Republicans and Democrats, and even HB 1804, one of the toughest immigration laws in the country, specifically protected this policy."

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