I’ve not written about all the municipal elections happening right now in Oklahoma. And I have lots of friends running – in Oklahoma City, in Piedmont, in Duncan, in Elk City and in my own community of Minco. There are some really hot races happening, especially in OKC and Minco.
This posting is about the race for Ward 2 in Oklahoma City.
Most municipal elections in Oklahoma are non-partisan races. But when there is a good Democrat running – Democrats should support them, especially leaders and staff of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. But that is not the case in the runoff in OKC Ward 2.
The race is between Charlie Swinton (a good, long-time Democrat) and Ed Shadid (an independent). There were originally six candidates in the race for the election on March 1st. Swinton received 1,803 votes (42.78%) and Shadid received 1,461 votes (34.66%) with the other four candidates taking the remaining 22.56% of the vote. Since no candidate received 50%, the top two now face off on April 5th.
Charlie Swinton at Democratic Fundraiser, August 2010
Shadid’s campaign manager also happens to be the “field director and community organizer” for the Oklahoma Democratic Party. The Central Committee of the State Democratic Party should end his employment at the state party immediately. [UPDATE: The Chairman of the ODP called and left me a message to tell me that their field director quit in January and they have now removed his name from their website]
Ed Shadid in front of his Green Party banner 2010
And today, via Twitter and Facebook, Senator Andrew Rice, the leader of the Democratic Caucus in the State Senate, endorsed Shadid. Did he do it because he doesn’t like Swinton or because Shadid is such a great guy? No, he did not. His sole reason, as he suggested, was because of an outside group attacking Shadid. Senator Rice’s tweets said the funders of this outside group were a bunch of rightwingers who have supported people like Sally Kern.
First off, according to NewsOK.com and the Oklahoma Gazette, the funders of this outside group are unknown because of the status of the group and the way the money was raised. The Oklahoma Ethics rules that apply to candidates do not apply to 527s or 501(c)(3)s. And because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission, these types of groups can raise and spend as much money as possible to play in politics.
But if the funders of this outside group are some of those who I think they may be (because of their past support of the MAPS campaigns in Oklahoma City) then they also donate a hell of a lot of money to Oklahoma Democrats. I looked at just six of those individuals and groups and pulled how much money they had donated to Oklahoma Democrats since 2004. The total I came up with is $373,650 to Democratic candidates or the Democratic PACs for the State Senate and State House ($12,200 of that amount went to Andrew Rice’s two campaigns for State Senate).
What even makes less sense about Andrew Rice’s reason for his endorsement (because of this big, bad, outside group) is the FACT that this exact same group campaigned against THREE TEA PARTY candidates in Wards 5, 6 and 8 in the March 1 election.
I strongly encourage all good Democrats to join me, Sheriff John Whetsel, District Attorney David Prater, Representative Al McAffrey, and former Commissioner Jim Roth in supporting Charlie Swinton for Ward 2 in Oklahoma City.
This is the independent group mentioned above. Click on image to go to their website.