Murphy rips Roth in response

Republican Corporation Commission candidate Dana Murphy responded to mudslinging by her opponent Jim Roth today by questioning Roth’s ethics and his alliance with Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Murphy said that Roth’s attempt to smear her name with accusations from a 15 year old divorce is nothing but “good ole’ boy politics at its worst.” That accusation came in a Roth television commercial this week.

Murphy says the smear “is being done with hundreds of thousands dollars of campaign contributions from his special interest friends inside and outside the state.

“As a career bureaucrat, he has relied on his powerful, special interest friends to get where he is today,” said Murphy. “He’s panicked because he won’t be able to deliver more favors for powerful friends if he is not elected to the job that was given to him.

“Unlike everyday Oklahomans like me who have earned their way by hard work and persistence working in the real world, he has made his living by delivering favors to his powerful friends using tax dollars while a public official.

“My opponent is using this personal attack mudslinging to divert voters’ attention from the issues and who’s most qualified to serve on the Commission. As a geologist, energy attorney and former Commission administrative law judge, I have the education and real world experience to be the best Corporation Commissioner. He’s reverted to good old boy mudslinging in the hopes people will forget he has no qualifications for office and that he’s been acting like a lapdog for special interest groups since he was handed the job of Corporation Commissioner.”

Murphy says Oklahomans should demand answers from Roth about his ties to those donating to his campaigns for public office: “He’s taken tens of thousands of dollars from officers and CEOs from the largest public utilities in Oklahoma who have regularly had cases in front of him. What are they paying for?

“He’s received over $100,000 in contributions that come from those at one large natural gas company. Didn’t the same company oppose the coal fired plant that Roth voted against, one that would have saved Oklahoma consumers billions of dollars? Why did Mr. Roth, as a sitting Corporation Commissioner, take campaign contributions during a time when Oklahoma law expressly forbids sitting Commissioners from taking contributions? Why as a County Commissioner did he sponsor the building of a road and bridge that runs to the tree farm of one of his campaign chairmen? Do Oklahomans really want to elect a lapdog for the special interests or do they want an everyday Oklahoman just like them to stand up as a watchdog, someone who is not afraid to stand up to the powerful special interests?”

Here is the text of Murphy’s prepared opening statement for today’s news conference:

Jim Roth is a desperate, frightened man. As almost half of Oklahomans know, divorce is an ugly, horrible thing and sadly, it brings out the absolute worst in people. My opponent is bringing up allegations against me from a 15 year old divorce case because he cannot match my qualifications for this job.

Let’s set the record straight once and for all. I have never been charged with or convicted of forgery or any other crime. Period.

These last minute smear tactics are reminiscent of the schoolyard bully ambushing kids on the playground.

The people of Oklahoma deserve better.

This smear campaign is costing big bucks.

The real question here is where are the hundreds of thousands of dollars coming from that are being used to smear me? From campaign contributions by powerful special interest groups outside and inside the State who want their lapdog at the Commission looking out for their interests, not the interests of all Oklahomans.

Roth has proven to be that lap dog.

Roth is panicked because this is the best job that he has ever had. He has no place else to go. When he loses this election, it will only be a matter of time before he has a job with one of those special interest groups contributing the big bucks to support his campaign.

It is not a coincidence that Jim Roth has as his campaign chair, a man who received amazing benefits as a result of his contributions.

First, the Red Rock Power Plant decision. That was a done deal as soon as Roth was appointed to the OCC.

Second, when a tree farm (owned by Aubrey McClendon in Arcadia) needed a road and a bridge, it was Roth who made sure it was paid for by taxpayers.

The list of favors for special interests goes on and on.

I have the education, the experience and the qualifications earned during a 15-year career in the oil and gas industry and almost six years as a Law Judge at the Corporation Commission. I have forgotten more about the oil and gas industry than he will ever know and Jim Roth knows it. His special interest supporters know it too and they are scared to death.

My only special interest group is everyday Oklahomans who need a watchdog on the Commission, not a lapdog.

There are 12 days left in this election, I have run a clean campaign focused on the issues and my qualifications for office.

I see no reason to change that strategy.

If Mr. Roth wants to run a dirty campaign, wallow in the mud and sling it – that’s his choice.

Mr. Roth’s mudslinging has given Oklahomans a clear-cut choice as to who they want for Corporation Commissioner.

They can have someone like him, a mudslinging bureaucratic lapdog or they can have me, someone who shares their conservative Oklahoma values and has the experience and qualifications to do the best job for all Oklahomans at the Corporation Commission.”


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 and Sirius Satellite Radio, is a regular contributor to Tulsa Today.