Sunday, September 10, 2006

Negative Campaigning

It's no surprise that former state GOP chairman, now Congressman, Tom Cole wants to localize and personalize the upcoming elections. He knows that nationalizing the elections means certain defeat for Republicans up and down the ballot.

Cole is quite clear that he and the others in GOP leadership believe that the end justifies the means. Which of course starts and ends with their strategic politics of personal destruction. Under the watchful eye of Karl Rove, Tom Cole and the others have refined this strategy and have already begun their operations across the nation and in Oklahoma. Those who find push polls and smear campaigns distasteful better turn off the tv, hang up the phone and hold the mail.

As most of us know, automated political telephone calls (robo-calls) have become common in political campaigns. Done properly they can be effective. Done improperly, they can be destructive, and repugnant. That kind of sleazy campaigning is occurring in Oklahoma, and I am here today, as the Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, to condemn this lowest form of politics: the politics of personal destruction.

The way this usually works is that a shadow group sends out fliers or makes a robo-call spreading lies about a candidate. In the latest runoff, there were dirty robo-calls reportedly made in at least two critical races against Democrats. Commonly called "push polls" these calls are designed to damage the reputation of a candidate not to provide a true contrast.

The candidates referred to in those calls have denied participation in this kind of campaigning. And these calls were not endorsed by the Party. So, I will leave it up to the voters to decide for themselves who is behind these tactics.

Tactics like this have no credible place in our political system. The Oklahoma Democratic Party does not support them, and I would ask the Oklahoma Republican Party, to join us in pledging to do everything we can to prevent this kind of politics of personal destruction during the 2006 elections. If you receive a call like this, or a flier that does the same kind of think, let me know, and I will do all I can to get to the bottom of it and expose the perpretrators.

The Oklahoma Democratic Party stands for honest leadership and fair play. Every Oklahoma citizen should know that if they see this kind of dirty politics, it is NOT coming from our Party.

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