“Geniuses” to seek Ahmadinejad endorsement?
When we told you that Republican Oklahoma County Commission District 2 candidate J.D. Johnston had fired his second team of campaign consultants and hired a third batch, we also suggested that the former Bethany Mayor would be tempted to go silly negative in his uphill battle to catch Brian Maughan.
We were right, and it’s curtains for Johnston’s reputation.
Sources tell OKPNS Johnston hired a gaggle of undistinguished operatives known mostly for poorly orchestrated dirty tricks. The so-called consultants have been tied to the catastrophe that was the campaign against Rep. Randy Terrill in the District 53 Republican House primary. Insiders says some of the faction that instigated the lawsuit against the State of Oklahoma for not offering driver’s license tests in the Iranian language were donors to the ill-fated anti-Terrill campaign. Johnston’s new “advisors” participated in that epic bungle, which was replete with slimy dirty tricks. They also have been tied to failed slimy behavior against State Rep. Jason Murphey. Heck of a resume’, huh?
“From what I’ve seen, they’re who you want handling your campaign if you’re running for dogcatcher or some local yokel office, but basically they’re awful,” one county insider says about the new advisers. And on Thursday, as predicted, a fecal flinging e-mail circulated. Here are some excerpts:
“The, those that have Republican sounding names, are
blasting me and it is my belief this is a sure sign of the weakness and lack of experience my opponent has and how desperate they are to elect another Stan Inman/Brent Rinehart clone to county office they can control with
their anti-government agenda.”
“There are some in both parties who are admitted libertarians that oppose all government. Inman/Rinehart earned the endorsement of these groups because of their extremist, out-of-the-mainstream, Republican-sounding ideas that pander to the lowest common denominator.”
“My opponent may have an endorsement of a ‘Republican sounding group’ but he has a lack of experience. We need an experienced leader, not an unproven former county worker who, much like a ghost, has left no footprints of leadership anywhere he has worked in political-based jobs.”
“I’m a grown up, I have a lifetime of experience and will serve the
voters full-time as county commissioner that is my goal. I’m interested in
serving the county I have lived and worked all my life. My opponent, endorsed by extremist groups that have brought ridicule to Oklahoma County, meets the requirements to file for office, but lacks the experience to effectively serve the people of our great county.” (Click here to read entire email)
We’re glad to know Johnston is a “grown-up”: after the hire of the “geniuses,” we were a little shaky on that. And labeling the 69% of Republicans who didn’t vote for him as “extremists” is really a clever way to gain support, huh?
The imbecilic e-mail slandered activist Republicans and, in an attempt to fool all the people all the time, attempted to link Maughan to the man he defeated in the July 29th primary, Brent Rinehart. Maughan far outdistanced Johnston, 47% to 32%, in the race. Maughan’s entire campaign was based on getting Rinehart out of government, and he had publicly declared that in the event he finished out of the money, he (Maughan) would endorse Johnston.
So now Johnston has violated his promise to run a positive campaign on the issues by either sanctioning the dirty trick or by being asleep at the switch as his team of campaign miscreants executed a ridiculous political scam. Whether he was too clever or too clueless, it was an incredible political miscalculation. Either way, it was a very, very bad week in the political career of J.D. Johnston. After this idiotic move, with the consultant’s ties to him, getting the Iranian President’s endorsement won’t seem like such a silly idea after all!
By Charlie Meadows
I was recently questioned as to why I suggested in my Charlie’s Picks that J.D. Johnston should never hold office again based on his performance as Bethany Mayor. Following are some of the reasons. Bethany is a small city which struggles to accomplish providing it’s vital city functions, even with a high 4% city sales tax tacked on to the 4.5% taken by the state. Johnston’s TV commercials promote him as a conservative. However, his past performance strongly suggests otherwise.
A few years ago while serving as Mayor, J.D. Johnston was behind a plan to have the taxpayers provide health insurance for the Mayor and council. That measure required unanimous approval from the Mayor and Council members to take effect. Even though then Councilman Richard Engle was self employed and would have benefitted greatly from that action, he was opposed to putting that burden on the taxpayers. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand Engle was the conservative and Johnston the big spending liberal in that situation. Recently Johnston proclaimed on Mark Shannon’s program that Oklahoma County needed to quit spending the money on themselves and spend it on the people? Do you think he has had a change of heart now that he is running for office? I seriously doubt it.
Sometime after that the Mayor proposed the city float a bond issue and repay it with a property tax increase. The needs were valid, new roof on city hall, new police station and a new animal shelter. However, Bethany had available in a special fund, twice the money necessary for the improvements which resulted from the sale of their hospital. Again
it was Richard Engle forming an organization “Citizens For a Better Bethany,” who with the help of others, printed and distributed literature to inform the citizens of J.D.’s unnecessary tax increase proposal. Properly informed, the citizens strongly defeated the property tax proposal and then the city did what it should have done in the first place. That was to make the improvements with the monies on hand. Again it was Richard Engle watching out for the taxpayers and Johnston was again the big spending liberal.
I am told the reason they didn’t want to use the money on hand was so they could use it for economic development (corporate welfare) programs. Bethany has lost or tied up hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer monies on several failed programs. Another problem I have with Mr. Johnston is that he built a new home in OKC, but continued as Mayor of Bethany, though the city charter required he live in Bethany. He claimed he was still living in his old home. If you believe that, you will believe he must have just wanted to build that new home to look at and admire rather than to live in.
A little over two and a half years ago he announced at a council meeting that he was going to resign as mayor to devote more time to his business. One councilman told me, “I couldn’t believe he said that as I knew along with many others that he was planning on running for a state house seat.” Sure enough, shortly after he resigned, rather than devoting more time to his business he ran for a legislative seat. Thank goodness Charles Key defeated him in the primary run-off by the whopping majority of about 40 votes.
All I can say is, J.D. Johnston is not a conservative and if you want someone to speak straight with you, don’t elect J.D. Johnston for County Commissioner. Personally, I like Brian Maughn, but I am not sure he will be able to stand up to the “court house gang.” If he doesn’t, I fear they will destroy him or he will learn to go along to get along. I would vote for Brian Maughn in a heartbeat over the liberal Republican RINO, J.D. Johnston.
The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC) meets for lunch every Wednesday, 12 noon at Italiano’s Restaurant, 4801 North Lincoln in OKC.
All of what I am about to say are just my opinions. It will be up to the reader to determine as to whether or not there is any enlightenment behind my opinions.
Prior to 3 years ago, when Todd Hiett and Lance Cargill were in the House as a part of the minority party, they put together a strategy and a method to become the majority party in the House. I will call what they put together, “the machine.” They were successful in their efforts and Oklahoma is better off for it. However, not all is well.
In a stream lined attempt, let me try to explain it like this. They began to work with a clever and crafty political consultant. Working in conjunction with him, they created one or more PACs to raise substantial amounts of money for candidate campaigns. Working in conjunction with leadership, this consultant had early inside information as to possible candidates for House seats as most potential candidates visit with leadership before they make their decisions to run. In addition, the consultant would go into districts looking for “politically attractive candidates” (people who had financial means and lots of connections within a district). The conservative credentials of these candidates might well take a back seat when compared to their elect ability.
Once secured as clients, those candidates handled by that consultant needed to be able to bring enough money to the table to pay the consultant’s very stout consulting fees as well as have enough to win the primary. Often times, the candidate would be tapped out following the primary, having put all of the personal money into the race they were willing to invest. In addition, they had by that time raised most of the money they would be able to from family and friends.
At that time the consultant would bring the leadership’s PAC money to the candidate and perhaps help them raise money from contacts the candidate had not known prior to winning the primary election. If the candidate went on the win in November against the Democrat, often times the candidate would believe, without the help from leadership’s PAC’s they might never have had a chance to win in November against their Democrat challenger. Thus an affinity toward leadership develops.
In addition to this natural affinity based on financial help, the House leadership is also able to assign one of their loyal lieutenants to be a mentor to one of the newly elected clients of the consultant. This also occurs even with newly elected lawmakers that weren’t clients of the consultant. On top of that, with leadership’s ability to assign members to particular committees as well as chairmanship positions, this “machine” produces quite a power structure.
Nothing wrong with what has just been described so far. However, the potential for pressure to be loyal to the agenda of leadership is quite strong. The question is, what occurs when a house member might be seen as dis-loyal? If they vote their conscience or their constituents desire for them to vote in opposition to the agenda of leadership? In that case the question is, who will the house member represent, the leader or the people who elected them?
I will defend the machine to this extent. If there isn’t enough cohesion among Republicans while they are in the majority, they run the risk of the liberal Democrats setting the agenda as the minority party.
Of course the real QUESTION which comes with a power structure such as this is, what is the agenda of leadership with all that power? Is it a conservative, moderate or even a liberal agenda? Could it be a mixture of all three? Perhaps the even bigger QUESTION is, what kind of government will we have if the agenda of leadership is to deliver for the real power structure in the state, those various wealthy and powerful special interest groups? Read more…
Charlie Meadows is the Chairman of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC)