Sunday, November 05, 2006

Thad IS Bad

I opened my hometown newspaper this morning, as I do every Sunday morning, to find that the Norman Transcript had AGAIN published a very large advertisement attacking Democrat Wallace Collins and vicariously supporting Republican Thad Balkman in the race for House District 45.

That wouldn't be so unusual since today is 48 hours from the election, but what is unusual, is that this 3/4 page advertisement, valued at well over $1,000 bears NO attribution. That's right, every other political advertisement in the paper carries the Paid For By statement, but not this one. And it did not carry the Paid For By statement the first time it ran either. Now, one time, it could be a mistake, but a second time? Let's see that would be at least $2,000 spent on behalf of Balkman, without reporting to the Ethics Commission.

So who is responsible for this unethical electioneering? Is it Thad Balkman? Is it another of Balkman's sleazy Republican operatives doing more dirty tricks?

We may never know, because this is how shameful right wing political hacks operate: hit with a cheap shot ad, with misleading attribution or none at all, then run away and hide to avoid being held accountable. It's a familiar Republican technique that we are also seeing in the race for State Insurance Commissioner, where a Texas shadow group calling itself "Just the Facts America" is defying Oklahoma ethics laws by refusing to register with the state. The folks supporting Balkman with distorted ads won't even tell us who they are.


So, it's time to hold Thad Balkman accountable - for his poor leadership and lack of ethics. When they go to the polls on Tuesday, voters in House District 45 should remember THAD IS BAD and vote for a change - vote for Wallace Collins for State Representative.

Voters should know who is paying for what, it's the law.

To be continued. . .


Lisa Pryor said...

Laura Boyd sent this to the NT editor today:


I hope you can imagine my dismay this morning in seeing the ad by Bobbie Cleveland published a second time in the Transcript with no attibution!

I assumed you had numerous calls about this the first time it appeared and therefore did not press the fact that I asked you to call me on this matter, yet never heard from you. When Margaret Phillips' letter ran last weekend, I was satisfied that what could be done, was done.

Then this morning...AGAIN! Please, explain to me and to all citizens of Cleveland County how this could happen twice....and after a public apology.

David Stringer is speaking this week to the OK Ethics Consortium on Ethics in Media, your own editorial (Oct. 22nd, I believe) stated that ads should be open and honest, and then, today?

I don't know how the Transcript can apologize enough if you have given away this election to one candidate. Since HD45 has typically been won or lost by less that 50 votes for the last several elections, it is hard to imagine any other conclusion than that is "misstep" AGAIN by the Transcript will taint the outcome for Nov. 7th!

Embarrassed for Norman and dismayed,


Laura Boyd said...

HD45 has been won or lost by 50 or fewer votes for the last 8 cycles at least. Is the Norman Transcript trying to endorse Balkman by supporting this sort of sleazy ad, supposedly contrary to their own publication standards? Talk about a conspiracy!

Ducati851 said...

The ad was run by CAL-PAC: Committee Against Libel. This Pac is Co-Chaired by Stan "Mental" Ward, who is not only Balkman's uncle, but also the attorney who won the Steve Byas libel suit against Collins.

Ward groomed Balkman for the HD 45 position before Balkman even got out of law school. Balkman would have run in '98 rather than '00 but they decided against it for whatever reason--maybe he wasn't out of law school yet, I don't know. Anyway, Stan Ward gives repugnance a bad name and has been disowned by many in the Republican party.

I have heard that the ad probably cost Balkman the election, as many Republicans (including many who are high up in the county's Republican party ranks) jumped ship at the last minute in utter disgust at the attack. As laura boyd pointed out, 45 has become a very hotly contested district over the last 15 years--a reflection of just how much Norman is changing. Collins may have been sued for libel in 1996, but Stan Ward is, has been, and always will be a dirtbag for the rest of his wretched life. Thanks Mr. Ward for helping Collins win the election!