Controversy over the filing of Republican Dana Murphy for the 2-year Corporation Commission seat appears to center on advice given her by the secretary of the Oklahoma Election Board, Michael Clingman.
Video of Murphy filing for office, posted online, click here to watch video shows a person who appears to be Clingman advising Murphy on the requirements for filing her statement of candidacy.
Murphy’s Republican opponent, Rep. Rob Johnson, has challenged her candidacy because he says she signed "Dana Murphy" when her statement listed her as "Dana L. Murphy."
Murphy signs her form and hands it to the man, who scans it, then hands it back, advising Murphy her signature should appear as she wants her name on the ballot. She then uses her pen on the document and hands it back to the man, who scans it again and gives her further instructions to complete her filing.
Said Murphy: "If you watch the video of my filing, you will clearly hear the Election Board clerk ask me if I wanted to be listed as ‘Dana L. Murphy’ or ‘Dana Murphy’. I advised him ‘Dana Murphy’, he requested that I sign ‘Dana Murphy’ and I did. The Election Board clerk then scratched out the ‘Dana L. Murphy’ signature."
Murphy said the attempt by Rob Johnson and his campaign consultants to challenge her filing for office is nothing more than a desperate attempt to create something out of nothing.
"Rob Johnson and his consultants are grasping at straws because he can’t challenge my qualifications. If you watch the video of my filing, you will clearly hear the Election Board clerk ask me if I wanted to be listed as ‘Dana L. Murphy’ or ‘Dana Murphy’. I advised him ‘Dana Murphy’, he requested that I sign ‘Dana Murphy’ and I did. The Election Board clerk then scratched out the ‘Dana L. Murphy’ signature."
Murphy also stated that "In addition to this clarification, he also requested that I add either short or long term with the Commission office to the form and I added short term."
A hearing is set by the Election Board on Johnson’s challenge for June 13th.
Murphy believes this ploy is just more evidence of the lackluster campaign on the part of Rob Johnson. "He has no hands-on, working experience at the Commission and little, if any, knowledge and background in matters regularly decided by the Commission affecting Oklahomans every day."
Murphy spent almost six years as an Administrative Law Judge at the Commission hearing over 5,000 cases; she owns her own energy law practice and she worked as a geologist in the oil patch for ten years. Murphy has also represented clients before the Commission and testified as an expert geological witness in cases at the Commission.
Murphy believes this to be a diversionary tactic used by Johnson’s consultants before and currently in other races. "For me, it’s about serving my fellow Oklahomans. They deserve the very best," added Murphy. "What our state doesn’t need is more self serving politicians who are more interested in serving themselves than serving our state."
A spokesman for State Rep. Rob Johnson’s campaign for Corporation Commissioner said that Dana Murphy’s response to a challenge of her candidacy by Johnson is meant to distract voters from her own mistake.
"Thanks to her recent press release, Dana has confirmed exactly what we suspected: that she filed an invalid declaration of candidacy," said spokesman Rep. Trebor Worthen.
"Since she is an attorney, I would think she would know better than to alter a notorized document," added Worthen.
A hearing to determine whether Murphy will remain on the ballot will be held this Friday, June 13.
About the Author:
Mike McCarville has covered Oklahoma politics and government since he became State Capitol Correspondent for The Tulsa Tribune in 1966. Since, he has been a governor’s press secretary, investigative reporter, television station news executive, radio station program director and talk show host, and political consultant. In 1980, he founded The McCarville Report and it is the nation’s longest-running state political publication. In its online version, it has been called "The best political blog" by Dr. Keith Gaddie, pollster and pundit and "Oklahoma’s venerable McCarville Report" by The Arkansas Times. McCarville, also a real estate investor and commentator for the National Rifle Association on NRANews.com and Sirius Satellite Radio, is a regular contributor to Tulsa Today.