If you have ever worked or talked with, been photographed or sent texts to Democrat Lloyd Snow candidate for Oklahoma Senate District 37 he may imply that you support his political ambitions. To make matters worse, two elected officials directly told the former-Sand Springs School Superintendent that they would not endorse him, but he implied endorsements anyway in political mailings to voters.
Snow used photographs of Oklahoma State Education Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and State Representative Jadine Nollan both Republicans in his most recent solicitation to voters. In the Tulsa World photo with Hofmeister, Snow is wearing her 2014 campaign stickers.
Both Hofmeister and Nollan object to their image being used by Snow for his political gain.
Rep. Nollan said, “The truth is I did not authorize the picture or the quote. At the beginning of the election cycle I told both campaigns I would stay neutral. I have a great deal of respect for both candidates and realize it is important and in the best interest of my district to be able to work with either one after the election.”
Snow is challenging incumbent State Senator Dan Newberry, Republican.
The quote Snow’s campaign used was only a portion of what the Sand Springs Leader newspaper published.
The full quote (click here for the referenced story) explains, “State Rep. Jadine Nollan, who was on the school board when Snow was hired, offered some memories of the superintendent.”
“He’s colorful. Somehow, I got talked into speaking for the board at my first graduation. He inspired the people who were there,” Nollan said. “When I first started in the legislature…you wanted to be in the trenches with this guy.”
Snow apparently supports redistribution of friendship and issue cooperation to advantage his chance of election to public office while dismissing all criticism as “politics.”
Snow told Tulsa Today, “Jadine has been at my fundraisers and we have been life-long friends. It is not about politics with me, it is about people. I put people above politics.”
If people are “above politics” then why would Snow not respect elected people enough to refrain from misrepresenting them and implying support for his campaign when there is no such official political campaign endorsement of his political ambition?
Snow told Tulsa Today, “All I can say is that I have great respect for Rep. Nollan. We have been friends and worked together. The mailer said exactly that. The quote was exactly what was in the paper. It’s all a part of the public record… I put people over politics… the bottom line is that I have worked with them and I hope I can work with them and we can stop playing political games that we seem to be playing in our state when it comes to good policy.”
Good policy is developed after representation is selected and the people of District 37 may rightly wonder if Snow will misrepresent them in office as he has his “friends” during the campaign.
Jake Parsons, OK GOP Director of Operations, told Tulsa Today, “The Oklahoma Republican Party strongly rebukes Lloyd Snow’s shameless effort to deceive voters. Not only did Snow use unauthorized images to imply endorsements from Republican elected officials, he also used a Republican Party logo that clearly intends to mislead voters.
“Dan Newberry is the only candidate in this race that rejects the Clinton agenda and is the only candidate endorsed by the Oklahoma Republican Party,” Parsons declared.
The mailer, produced by Snow for Senate 2016 titled “Republicans working with Snow” was also strongly criticized by Tulsa County Republican Chairman Mike Ford who issued a media statement saying in part, ““This is yet another dishonest advertisement from Lloyd Snow’s campaign with a clear attempt to deceive voters. Just a few days ago, one of his mailers attempted to deceive gun owners. Now he’s using unauthorized images of two very well respected Republican women to suggest they are supporting his candidacy. If Lloyd Snow has any integrity, he will immediately and publicly apologize to both of these ladies and retract this dishonest ad.
“Friends don’t throw you under the bus. They don’t use old pictures of you without permission to make blatantly dishonest ads,” said Ford. “If Lloyd Snow will lie to the citizens of Senate District 37 about having political support, what else will he lie about?
“If he will try to deceive gun owners about his stance on the 2nd Amendment, voters have to know they can’t trust him.
“He talks about Family Values, but when concerned parents ask him to show leadership and protect our children, Snow won’t muster up the courage to oppose president Obama’s agenda for trans-gender bathrooms, locker rooms and showers in our kids’ schools. He gives a slippery, politically-correct non-answer, so how can anyone trust him. Snow gets an ‘F’ when it comes to honesty and it’s going to backfire on him come Election Day,” Ford added.
State School Superintendent Joy Hofmeister’s Communication Consultant Trebor Worthen told Tulsa Today, “The mail piece was sent without Superintendent Hofmeister’s knowledge or permission. It’s disappointing that someone would attempt to mislead voters with such a tactic.”
Snow told Tulsa Today, “I have had conversations with both [Hofmeister and Nollan] about this matter. I asked them both to endorse me and they choose not to [endorse].
“I told them that at some point we would work together on issues that affect people and there could be something that would suggest that so they were aware that at some point in time this could happen,” Snow added.
What did Snow mean by “this could happen?” Suggest working together? All elected of all parties work together to some degree, but only after the election competition is complete.
This writer told Snow that we have attended functions together and asked, “May I steal your image in photographs and steal your words and use them for my political profit?”
Snow answered, “You have my permission. I believe in being transformative and very transparent about issues. You bet.”
Apparently by “transformative” Snow means he can transform any one thing to any other thing that might help advance political agendas. Not really a good plan for public policy development.
Snow also asserted, “I realize that a photo that is given to me is given to me as something that is then mine.”
What Snow apparently does not realize is the difference between a gifted personal photograph and publishing owned creative photography by mass distribution in the U.S. Mail.
Tulsa Today asked, “Was the logo of the Republican Party given to you for use as a Democrat?”
Snow answered, “I don’t know that that is the logo of the Republican Party. I could have you talk to my campaign manager if you so wish.”
Tulsa Today called Lloyd Snow’s campaign manager and while begging off an interview because of a heavy workload, he said “the mailer speaks for itself” and “the word endorsement was not used anywhere on the mailer.”
How is that for transformative?
Tulsa Today further asked Snow, “Do you anticipate defending yourself in civil court or to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission?”
Snow said, “Well, I was Superintendent for a long time so I understand differences of opinions so however it plays out is how it will play out. I am hoping that is not the case because I am all about working in bipartisan ways.”
About the author: David Arnett won two national awards as a First Amendment Advocate. He worked as a city-hall reporter for the former Tulsa Tribune and paid contributor to several other regional and national newspapers. Arnett published in print, but operates TulsaToday.com (est. 1996) to provide a platform for diverse local news and opinion. He was the last local call-in radio talk show host on a major station in Tulsa and the first to organize a Tulsa Christmas Parade when establishment organizers forgot the reason for the season in 2011. Arnett is also a consultant for corporate, nonprofit and select political campaigns.