Originally posted March 2, 2011; updated March 7 to include campaign financing information; updated March 9 to include a video clip by Sam Bowman, Ward 2 incumbent, and everything else I could find on-line as of March 9; updated March 10 to include Ed Shadid’s March 9 Gazette ad; updated March 16 to include Ed Shadid’s March 16 Gazette ad; updated March 21 to include Gwin Faulconer-Lippert’s KTOK March 20 interviews with both Ward 2 runoff candidates; updated March 23 to add a partial transcript of the just mentioned interviews, the report of a Ward 2 voter who received a push-pull telephone survey funded by the Committee For Oklahoma City Momentum, and a March 23 Oklahoma Gazette article; updated March 24 to add some campaign mailings; undated March 25 to ad more mailings and a Gazette ad; updated March 26 to add a March 26 Oklahoman article on campaign financing; updated March 29 to include articles in the Oklahoma Gazette (March 28) and Oklahoman (March 29) on funding provided by the Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum and the Ward 2 candidates; updated March 30 to add the March 29 Gazette ads for both candidates; updated March 31 to show a KWTV story on the Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum; updated April 1 to show 3 items in the April 1 Oklahoman, an editorial and 2 more articles by Michael Baker; updated April 4 to add Ed Shadid’s last two direct mailers; updated April 8 to add the Ward 2 runoff results and a few last articles. More particular coverage of the Ward 2 runoff election is contained in this article.
In the primary election, as it turned out, the Tea Partiers served weak tea and those favoring completion of MAPS 3 per the ballot’s concurrent City Council resolution were the ones who came on strong. Brian Walters, Ward 5 incumbent and the only council member who voted against submitting MAPS 3 to a vote of the people, lost to newcomer David Greenwell; Meg Salyer, Ward 6 incumbent easily won against Tea Party candidate Adrian VanManen; and Patrick Ryan, Ward 8 incumbent did the same against Tea Party candidate Cliff Hearron.
In Ward 2, a general election occurred on April 5 between Charles Swinton and Ed Shadid, Shadid winning handily if not by a landslide (62.4% of the vote). The new council members will take their offices on April 12.
|OKC City Council March 1 Election Returns|
|Ward 2, 39 of 39 Precincts|
|Charles Swinton — Runoff||1,803||42.78%|
|Ed Shadid — Runoff||1,471||34.66%|
|Ward 5, 29 of 29 Precincts|
|X||David Greenwell — Winner||2,872||54.22%|
|Ward 6, 25 of 25 Precincts|
|X||Meg Salyer — Winner||1,440||63.75%|
|Adrian Van Manen||611||27.05%|
|Ward 8, 41 of 41 Precincts|
|X||Patrick Ryan — Winner||4,766||72.65%|
|TOTAL VOTES CAST||18,331|
|Ward 2 April 5 Runoff Election Returns|
|X||Ed Shadid — Winner||3,134||62.41%|
|TOTAL VOTES CAST||5,022|
Notice that the total votes cast was quite low in the primary and the runoff elections — only 18,331 in the primary — compare that to 40,515 from the same wards who voted in the December 8, 2009, MAPS 3 election. As to the Ward 2 runoff, although voter turnout increased from 4,225 in the primary to 5,022 in the runoff, an increase of 797 voters, of the approximately 40,000 registered voters in that ward, about 11% voted in the primary and about 13% in the runoff elections.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA CITY’S AFFIRMATION OF THE MAPS PROCESS. Since 1993 when the first MAPS proposal was adopted, we have lived in the “MAPS Period,” according to my historical pegging of this time. One day, it may well end. But not now. This March 2 editorial video by Ed Kelley of the Oklahoman echos my personal opinion just fine:
The remainder of this article focuses on the Ward 2 runoff and matters pertinent thereto. Additionally, see the final article in this series, Shadid Wins Ward 2.
Gazette Articles Oklahoman Articles Campaign Finance
Sam Bowman On Big Money Unknown Campaign Contributions
Campaign Tactics and Ads by the Candidates
First Hand Report of a Momentum Push-Pull Phone Survey
Campaign Mailings by or on Behalf of Candidates
Gwin Faulconer-Lippert Interviews With Both Candidates
Transcript of the Above Interviews
March 29 UPDATE — Campaign Finance Reports on March 24
March 31 KWTV Story on Momentum
THE CANDIDATES: ED SHADID & CHARLIE SWINTON. Images from the candidates’ Facebook pages appear below.
Only Ward 2 is left to do and I’ve heretofore paid less attention to this ward race than any of the others. Click the image at right for a more readable view, but, generally Ward 2’s southern border is Northwest 23rd Street with Portland and Santa Fe generally marking its west and east borders and it proceeds northerly to Northwest 122nd Street, with large chunks above Northwest 63rd Street being excluded. It includes the Chesapeake Campus and several neighborhoods — Jefferson Park, Crown Heights, as examples.
I’ve read snippets about each candidate in the Oklahoman and Gazette, but I’d seen nothing which I’d call “definitive.” I’m looking for that sort of information now.
Highest in priority of items I’d been looking for were the KTOK interviews of each runoff candidate by Gwin Faulconer-Lippert which occurred during the primary campaign. Sadly, I’ve learned from her that those interviews are no longer available — they aren’t on-line anywhere and Clear Channel Radio, KTOK’s owner, does not otherwise make them available (I asked if I could go to KTOK with a thumb-drive and get a copy). But, Gwin’s interviews with the candidates on March 20 are in the Gwin Faulconer-Lippert Interviews section of this article. I had hoped to be able to present two pairs of interviews, those occurring during the primary and during the runoff election, for comparison, but that isn’t going to happen.
CANDIDATE WEBSITES. For starters, you can look at the campaign websites for these candidates and see what they’ve say about themselves: Charles Swinton and Ed Shadid. Each candidate also has a Facebook page … Ed Shadid and Charlie Swinton. From their websites, both candidates appear to me to be very well credentialed so qualifications for the office ought not be a distinction between the two.
Naturally, what each candidate shows at his respective campaign website contain well-chosen words quite possibly used for political considerations — and I don’t mean to say that what you’d read there is dishonest but I do mean to say that the content is likely tailored not to turn anyone off. That said, here is what the candidates had to say about campaign issues when I captured the data from their respective campaign websites on March 3, 2011. Shadid’s website column, below, is longer simply because he used more words — that’s the only reason. My purpose at this juncture is not to analyze, it is merely to accurately report each candidate’s description of issues from their respective websites as I observed it on March 3.
Safe Neighborhoods. Neighbor- hoods are the heart of Ward 2. My commitment is to work to protect and enhance the quality of life and keep kids safe in our neighborhoods.
Economic Development. Small businesses are the economic engine of Oklahoma City. City government should play a positive role in the strengthening and in the encouragement of small business growth.
Public Safety. Fighting crime and gangs is the key to keeping our families safe. I will be a strong advocate to keep our homes, businesses, streets and families safe.
Accountability. We need to stretch our tax dollars as far as we can in these economic times. I will work to make sure our city government operates as efficiently and effectively as possible.
I want to keep Oklahoma City moving forward. We have made great strides in the last 20 years and now is not the time to rest on our laurels. As good as we are, I know Oklahoma City can become an even greater place to live, work and raise a family.
As Ward 2 Councilman, my door will always be open. I will listen to both sides of every issues and make decisions based on what will make our community a better place to live and work.
Standing Up for Local Small Businesses. As the owner of Spine Care of Oklahoma, a local small business he opened in 2002, Dr. Shadid believes investing in our people and our communities is a better use of your tax dollars than giveaways to big corporations or big banks. As a local small business owner himself, he knows that small businesses are the backbone of our community and our economy.
Dr. Shadid believes we should invest in local businesses that create jobs and hire Oklahoma City workers rather than giving taxpayer-funded bailouts to big corporations, big banks and out-of-state special interests. Oklahoma businesses should come first.
Standing Up for Senior Citizens. Dr. Ed Shadid believes that the ultimate measure of a good public servant is how hard they work to protect the elders of our communities. His years as a physician have strengthened his commitment for Oklahoma City’s seniors and those who care for them.
This is why Dr. Shadid supports programs that help keep our seniors healthy, independent and living on their own. Dr. Shadid has worked hard to diminish the discrimination against senior citizens in our healthcare system and strongly encourages the building of senior wellness centers throughout Oklahoma City.
He supports freezing property taxes for senior citizens in Oklahoma City who live in their homes and wants to create tax breaks for people who take care of their elderly parents rather than sending them to nursing care facilities.
Standing Up for Public Safety. Dr. Ed Shadid believes that the safety of our children and our neighborhoods must be a priority. As the father of three young children, Dr. Shadid supports the people who protect our neighborhoods and the programs that enhance the quality of life in our community.
Ed looks forward to working to secure full funding for police, firefighters and city employees so they have the resources they need to do their jobs and keep our neighborhoods and our children safe.
When we ensure our public safety officers have the resources they need, then we can all work together to keep our neighborhoods, businesses, children and families safe.
Standing Up for Our Neighborhoods. Dr. Ed Shadid believes investing in our neighborhoods is a better use of Oklahoma City’s scarce resources than giveaways to big corporations and big banks. As the father of three young children, Dr. Shadid supports programs and plans that enhance the quality of life in our community.
Ed believes we should use tax dollars collected from Oklahoma City’s hard working citizens to improve the neighborhoods we live, work and play in.
Ed supports increasing the number of sidewalks to make our community more walkable and adding streetlights and crosswalks to make our neighborhoods safer. In addition, he supports programs that promote healthy lifestyles, including bicycling, community gardens and sustainable development.
Standing Up for Taxpayers. Now more than ever, we need elected officials who will bring responsibility and accountability back to Oklahoma City government. As a small business owner, Dr. Ed Shadid has managed budgets, meet payroll and make tough decisions in the current economy.
Dr. Shadid believes that the those who manage taxpayer dollars collected from hard-working Oklahoma City citizens and businesses must be held to the same standard that every small business and every family in Oklahoma is held to: they must be responsible and spend within their means, they must prioritize spending on the most critical areas, and they must be held accountable when they don’t.
Ed will work to ensure that the tough decisions that must be made in these difficult economic times are made with the well being of Oklahoma City’s children, seniors, veterans, and families in mind and without the influence of big business, big banks and special interests.
FACEBOOK INFORMATION. As this section is written (March 3), it is totally lopsided since candidate Swinton’s Facebook page contains zero position statements by him — that’s not a bad thing, it’s just that he has not thus far used Facebook as a medium in which to communicate his positions.
With candidate Shadid, though, it is different since he has made a number of substantive policy and other statements in his own Facebook page. As of this writing (March 3), they are as follows.
MAPS3 is a bond with the voters. It must be implemented in its entirety with transparency and with the maximum public deliberation. Mr. Swinton risks the legitimacy of future referendums by essentially eliminating the rail component. We do not get to pick and choose which projects we (or our unknown financial sponsors) want to move forward.
If elected, I will become the only City Council member who will have taken no money from corporate and special interests nor had any independent expenditure utilized on my behalf. I will be beholden to no special interest. I will insist on open and transparent government.
Over the last week, a committee of unknown donors (Com. to Keep Momentum Going), accountable to no one, is spending tens of thousands of dollars in an effort to rescue Charlie Swinton’s fledgling campaign. Swinton has indicated that he doesn’t know anything about this organization. Dr. Shadid refuses to accept donations from all PACs and special interests. Campaign finance reform is needed.
Thought MAPS 3 guaranteed light rail transit? Think again. Delay means losing $60-120 million in federal matching funds and making the project cost prohibitive by not coordinating with Project 180. Study the candidates comments closely.
I am very proud to have received the UNANIMOUS endorsement of the dozens of Fraternal Order of Police members last night. With 700 square miles, a growing population, an aging police force, and our neighborhoods feeling the effect of an overstretched police force, we need to add more officers NOW.
I am very proud to receive the strong endorsement of the OKC Firefighters. 700 square miles is a tremendous amount of ground to cover and yet our highly committed firefighters provide exceptional service and represent a very good value for the financial investment we make as a city.
I am very honored to have received the endorsement of the Sierra Club Cimarron Group and I look forward to working with them as councilman towards sustainable development of our local economy and neighborhoods.
INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE OKLAHOMA GAZETTE. The following articles were published in the Oklahoma Gazette concerning the April 5 Ward 2 runoff election.
|Gazette, February 16|
| Charlie Swinton, 61, is senior vice president of BancFirst.
Swinton said he decided to run to advocate for good government and economic growth in the city.
“I think government can be a good thing when done right,” he said. “I think government can have a positive impact on people lives and I want to make sure Oklahoma City government runs efficiently and effectively to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
If elected, Swinton said his priorities would be creating a friendly job-creation environment, supporting the school district, and adding police and fire resources.
“You don’t have a city, you don’t have a neighborhood unless you have jobs,” he said.
Swinton said he is uniquely qualified for the position because his degree in public administration and his work with government in the past.
“I think I can be one to work with other council members to keep this city moving forward,” Swinton said. “I want to be the councilperson that makes neighborhoods betters, helps small biz grow, that keeps Oklahoma City moving in right direction.”
Swinton said he voted for the MAPS 3 program and continues to support all of the MAPS initiatives.
“I think MAPS has been a godsend to this city and will continue to be a benefit to this city,” he said.
| Ed Shadid, 42, is a spinal surgeon and former independent candidate of Oklahoma House District 85 who ran last year with the backing of the Green Party.
Shadid said he hopes to be an independent voice on the council who brings the concerns different neighborhoods, local businesses and senior citizens to the table.
“I think pressure on councilpersons from powerful corporate and special interests are intense,” he said. “I would best be situated to maintain my independence and withstand that kind of pressure. My campaign is largely self-financed. I’m not dependent on special interest or corporate donors and I would maintain fierce independence on council.”
He said MAPS 3 projects should be prioritized according to a poll taken prior to its approval that ranked voter enthusiasm for the different projects, and that the projects must be closely monitored to make sure they do not exceed costs.
“I think the people have spoken; the people have indicated they want capital improvements,” Shadid said. “If we start getting into these things costing more than anticipated, you can’t build certain things on backs of the neighborhoods.”
The senior wellness centers in the proposal should have more priority than they currently do, he said.
“It’s about prioritizing our neighborhoods and businesses and doing the greatest amount of good for greatest amount of citizens,” Shadid said.
Runoff rundown by Clifton Adcock
The runoff election for the City Council Ward 2 seat is scheduled for April 5, and the two candidates vying for the seat are preparing for the final two weeks of campaigning.
From a field of six, Ed Shadid and Charlie Swinton were the top two vote-getters in the March 1 primary election. Neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote, although Swinton got the highest number with 43 percent, compared to Shadid’s 35 percent.
In the March 1 election, incumbents Meg Salyer in Ward 6 and Patrick Ryan in Ward 8 held onto their seats, but Ward 5 incumbent Brian Walters lost his re-election bid to David Greenwell.
All four races saw an influx of third-party ads and money from nonprofit groups.
One such group, the Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum, which had yet to reveal its donors in city filings at press time, bought advertisements and sent mailers supporting Salyer, Ryan, Greenwell and Swinton. Another nonprofit, a Voice for Responsible Government, gave $125,000 to a political action committee backing Salyer’s and Ryan’s opponents.
Oklahoma City Momentum has stated it plans to continue to campaign for Swinton in the runoff.
Both candidates spoke to Oklahoma Gazette against third-party campaign spending, while offering what they said was a vision for a better future for Oklahoma City.
Charlie Swinton, 61, is senior vice president for BancFirst, and a registered lobbyist for the bank, as well as insurance and real estate companies.
He said he has been involved in government for a long time, but wanted to serve the public in order to make a difference in people’s lives. When he found out Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman was not seeking re-election, Swinton saw it as his opportunity.
“I thought, ‘If I’m not going to do it now, when am I going to do it?’” he said.
Swinton said part of the role of a city councilor is to ensure the function of government is working efficiently and effectively. One of his biggest goals would be to promote job creation.
“You don’t have a great city or great neighborhood without a job,” he said. “I think jobs are always first thing.”
By creating more employment opportunities and encouraging small business growth, the city’s overall economy will improve, Swinton said.
“We’re woefully short of manpower on the street in the police department, in my opinion,” he said. “There’s no magic to more police; you’ve got to have more resources available.”
In addition, he hopes to work with schools in order to improve education, as well as streamlining city government to serve citizens better.
“There’s nothing more frustrating than being caught in bureaucracy,” Swinton said. “I want to make sure Oklahoma City government is as streamlined and efficient as possible.”
He said he supports all of the MAPS 3 projects and previous MAPS programs.
“I’ve always been for every MAPS and am supportive of the implementation of MAPS,” he said, adding that he believed Shadid was anti-MAPS. “I think MAPS is the defining issue in this race. (The projects) were all approved by the people, so I will work to fully implement them all. They’ve got committees appointed and work is going forward. As the work progresses on MAPS, I’ll be there to support it.”
Swinton, who said he does not know who is behind Oklahoma City Momentum, said he looks down on such third-party groups purchasing ads, but thinks such groups are just part of the American political system.
“I detest it, but it’s something we have to live with,” he said. “We’re winning without it. I think it’s an influence that we wish didn’t happen, but the Supreme Court (in the Citizens United case) has ruled and it’s part of the democratic process.”
Ed Shadid, 42, is a spinal surgeon and former independent candidate of Oklahoma House District 85, running last year with the backing of the Green Party.
He said he hopes to bring diversity to the council with his background as a physician and that his priorities include encouraging healthy initiatives, increasing the amount of police and firefighters in the city, and making sure all of the approved MAPS 3 projects are implemented through a transparent process.
Shadid said Swinton’s allegation that he is anti-MAPS is “dishonest.”
“I think the decisions we make on a local level are so important in terms of our health and happiness. It impacts our daily lives in so many ways,” Shadid said.
Health and wellness issues, in which the state consistently rates low nationally, can be solved by local initiatives, he said, such as improving walkability.
“We went 40 years, from 1960 to 2000, without building a sidewalk in this city,” Shadid said. “The decisions we make at the municipal level have a direct correlation with our obesity rates and our health epidemics that cause our health insurance premiums to rise and will eventually bankrupt our health care system.”
Shadid said if elected, his first priority would be to set up a direct line of communication between himself and Ward 2’s residents and neighborhood associations.
“I am committed to open and transparent government. I am committed to being independent and being beholden to no special interests,” said Shadid, whose campaign is mostly self-financed.
He compared large campaign donations to issues faced by doctors a few years ago, when gifts from the pharmaceutical industry influenced prescription-writing behaviors.
“Consciously or subconsciously, financial gifts were able to introduce an element of bias. The same is true in politics,” Shadid said. “When special interests are able to give large financial contributions to politicians, you introduce the same kind of bias and, consciously or unconsciously, it becomes difficult for the elected official to look at a proposal without some level of bias toward the financial benefactor.”
Shadid said there have been calls from non-candidate-affiliated groups who are “push-polling” Ward 2 voters by couching questions in a way that link him to issues such as abortion, military spending and allegations of Medicaid fraud that Shadid called “impossible.”
A push poll is a surveying tactic in which the surveyor attempts to sway voter preference by using charged language or innuendo against the targeted candidate or issue.
“It rises to the level of slander. It is not encouraging for the democratic process,” Shadid said. “I want to be able to tell my children we live in a society that has a thriving democracy, but unfortunately, in general, and in this election in particular, it makes me question how strong our democracy is.”
A group running candidate attack ads is receiving indirect funding from the OKC Chamber.
Clifton Adcock March 28th, 2011
A group conducting an aggressive campaign, spending more than $400,000 in favor of certain City Council candidates and against others, is being funded by members of an economic development group founded by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
Direct mail attack ads:
Ed Shadid defeats Charlie Swinton in OKC’s Ward 2 runoff election
Clifton Adcock, April 6, 2011
Oklahoma City spinal surgeon Ed Shadid came out on top in Tuesday’s Ward 2 Oklahoma City Council runoff election.
Shadid faced opponent Charlie Swinton, senior vice president and registered lobbyist for BancFirst, in the runoff for the council seat being vacated by outgoing Councilman Sam Bowman, who decided not to run for another term.
Shadid, whose campaign was largely self-financed, saw a major surge in support in yesterday’s election, more than doubling the total number of votes he received in March 1’s election, according to the Oklahoma County Election Board.
Photo: State Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, congratulates Ed Shadid on his victory. Photo by Michelle Hines
INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE OKLAHOMAN. The Oklahoman was the only print media source to endorse a Ward 2 candidate and it endorsed banker Charles Swinton over physician Ed Shadid in the primary election.
|Oklahoman, February 23|
|Charlie Swinton, 61, senior bank officer
What does the city need to focus on when it comes to improving roads?
“Because of the recent ice, the first priority right now is repairing all these potholes before they tear cars up … I know with as many miles as there are, there are constant constraints on the budget. From time to time the city has gone out in the past with (general obligation) bond issues to try to keep up with that and I would be in favor of looking at that if we need to, to stay ahead of the curve.”
What, if anything, should be done to improve police and fire service?
“Because of the budget cuts since 2008, I know that from speaking with police and firemen they feel like they’ve been stretched, there have been vacancies that haven’t been filled. I think as our economy recovers … the first dollars once we’re healthy ought to go into looking at the manpower situation at the police and fire department.”
What, if anything, should be done about public transit?
“MAPS is trying to address part of it. Of course, there’s the existing transit, which I’m not sure is doing all that great. Again, it’s about dollars. I think in the long run we need transit systems, it’s just a question on how we fund it and how quickly we can move on it and work with other cities to build such a system.”
What do you think of the MAPS 3 projects?
“I voted for every one of the MAPS. It’s just a priority on which one we do first. I think there’s one that ought to be shoved back and that’s the trolley system. I hear there’s some technology issues that might be happening that might help us do more with less … I’m not saying not do it. I’m just saying there might be some technological changes that might be coming so why not wait and see if they do come.”
|Ed Shadid, 42, doctor
What does the city need to focus on when it comes to improving roads?
“The first problem is that from 1960 to 2000, Oklahoma City didn’t invest at all in sidewalks. People come from other cities in the surrounding region and one of the first things they notice is the lack of sidewalks in the city and the low density of streetlights. The second thing is, especially in the north section of this ward, we have potholes that area a foot deep.”
What, if anything, should be done to improve police and fire service?
“The problem is that you got almost 700 square miles to provide services for and it makes it very difficult … You’re going to have to have the manpower. In terms of supply and vehicles, things are adequate but the primary problem is manpower. You’ve got at times 11 police officers patrolling 240 square miles … Police and fire, not just endorsed us, but strongly endorsed us.”
What, if anything, should be done about public transit?
“I think that you can focus on getting a transit hub built so you can have intermodal transportation. You put the bulk of the rail lines downtown, but then you break off about 2 miles of it and head north into Ward 2, into an area such as the Paseo District. When you look at what happened in Dallas, every single transit stop you’ve had an explosive economic development.”
What do you think of the MAPS 3 projects?
“My primary concern with MAPS 3 is exactly what we’re facing in this city council election. All we voted for was a 1-cent sales tax and unlike the first MAPS there was no line item for the voters of exactly what we were getting … There’s no guarantee that the voters are going to get what I think they believe was promised to them. What we’re risking is the legitimacy of referendums.”
A major story appears in this morning’s (March 26) Oklahoman written by Michael Baker. Here it is.
|Oklahoman, March 26|
|Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 fundraising documents display candidates’ differences
City Council candidate Ed Shadid has decided he will not accept donations from special interest groups. His opponent Charlie Swinton, on the other hand, is proud to accept donations from a wide-ranging number of interests.
BY MICHAEL BAKER
The fundraising documents filed Friday for the Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 runoff election next month highlight a big difference between the two remaining candidates.
How much money?
The campaign finance reports, filed with the Oklahoma City clerk’s office, cover fundraising through Sunday. Shadid has raised $78,725 and spent $66,541. Shadid is his own biggest contributor, writing checks to himself for $65,000. Swinton has raised $104,356 and spent $63,808. At least $13,000 raised can attributed to PACs or other special interest groups. Swinton’s totals do not include money spent by the Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum, which is making independent expenditures in running its own campaign in support of the candidate. So far, Oklahoma City Momentum has spent more than $400,000 running campaigns supporting Swinton and three other candidates, according to documents filed late Friday. (Emphasis supplied)
Where the money comes from
Swinton and Shadid defended their different fundraising philosophies. Swinton’s top contributors were the Chesapeake Oklahoma PAC and Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., each of which gave Swinton $5,000. Larry J. Nichols, executive chairman and chief executive of Devon Energy Corp., also gave $5,000. Other PAC contributions to Swinton include $3,000 from the Oklahoma City Retired Firefighters, $2,000 from the Oklahoma Municipal Contractors Association PAC, $1,000 from the Southwest Laborers District Council PAC and $500 from the Cox Communications PAC. “I think as people have heard where we stand on the issues, they’re willing to step up,” Swinton said. “I don’t have financial resources to fund the campaign myself, so I have to raise the money.” While Shadid himself had supplied his campaign with nearly 83 percent of its money, four other donors, contributing a total of $2,750, also have the last name Shadid. “I want to hear everybody’s proposals,” he said. “Everybody will know I haven’t taken any money from any of their competing interest either.”
Supplemental information and Forms C-1 for Swinton and Shadid are reported in an associated on-line (only) article by Michael Baker. He does not yet include reporting forms for the Momentum Committee though he says he’ll have that there shortly.
|Oklahoman, March 29|
|Special interest groups top Oklahoma City election spending
Special interest groups have spent more than $630,000 on Oklahoma City Council election races, according to recently filed campaign finance reports. The main spenders have been the Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum and the Better Local Government PAC.
BY MICHAEL BAKER
Fueled by two high-spending political groups, special interests have laid out more than $630,000 on Oklahoma City Council election races, according to recently filed campaign finance reports.
Oklahoma City Momentum and Better Local Government were formed to make only independent expenditures. The groups do not give money directly to candidates, which would limit donations to $5,000. There is no limit on the independent expenditures, which can be used to purchase ads advocating for or against a candidate.
A common divide
On March 1, Oklahoma City Momentum supported a slate of pro-MAPS candidates. Better Local Government supported those more critical of MAPS 3, the penny sales tax initiative approved by voters in 2009.
The last campaign
Oklahoma City Momentum also is campaigning for Charlie Swinton, a senior banking officer, who is in an April 5 runoff with physician Ed Shadid for the Ward 2 seat being vacated by Bowman.
Other interest groups
Sixteen other political action committees have given money to city council candidates. Because money was donated directly to city council candidates, those donations were limited to $5,000 per candidate.
|April 1 Oklahoman Editorial|
|Swinton our choice for Ward 2 seat
Charlie Swinton is no stranger to politics. He ran for two county offices in the 1980s and ’90s, has assisted in statewide campaigns for others and is a regular at the Capitol in his role as a lobbyist and senior officer for BancFirst. Now he hopes to become a regular at City Hall.
|Oklahoman, April 1|
|Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 political advertisements get negative
The candidates for the Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 seat claim their opponents’ political advertisements are unfair and untruthful.
By Michael Baker
If a person took to heart all the campaign material being distributed before the Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 election on Tuesday, they might get the following impressions:
Candidates respond to ads
Shadid has been under the heaviest attack, not so much from Swinton’s camp but from a special interest group running its own campaign, Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum.
The MAPS debate
In other advertising Swinton claims: “If you believe in MAPS, Charlie is your man. Charlie’s opponent makes it clear he will try hard to cripple MAPS 3.”
|Oklahoman, April 1|
|Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 candidates battle over voting records
By Michael Baker
Voting records have become the latest bone of contention between the two candidates running for election to the Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 seat.
Database Editor Paul Monies contributed to this report
|Oklahoman, April 4|
|Expensive Oklahoma City Council elections to come to an end Tuesday
With Tuesday’s Ward 2 contest between physician Ed Shadid and senior bank officer Charlie Swinton, the Oklahoma City Council election season will come to a close.
By Michael Baker
Tuesday’s election contest for a seat on the Oklahoma City Council between physician Ed Shadid and Charlie Swinton, a senior bank officer, will be the culmination of a hard-fought round of campaigning.
Results and turnout
The other three candidates Oklahoma City Momentum supported all won March 1 primary elections — incumbents Meg Salyer in Ward 6 and Patrick Ryan in Ward 8 both easily defeated tea party backed opposition, and newcomer David Greenwell upset Ward 5 incumbent Brian Walters by about 450 votes. Voter turnout in those races was 11 to 12 percent of registered voters.
|Oklahoman, April 4|
|Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 candidates discuss views
Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 candidates Ed Shadid and Charlie Swinton share their views on four questions.
From Staff Reports
The Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 election contest Tuesday is between physician Ed Shadid and Charlie Swinton, a senior bank officer. The Oklahoman asked both candidates questions. Their written answers, presented in the order the candidates will appear on the ballot, are given below.
Ed Shadid, 42
What do you think about MAPS 3 projects?
Despite my opponent’s dishonesty, I have consistently advocated for the full implementation of all MAPS 3 projects, on budget and on time, with maximum public deliberation and transparency. In over 25 public meetings and multiple forums, hundreds of voters, and my opponent, have heard my unwavering support for MAPS 3. MAPS 3 represents a bond with the voters and moving away from what was promised to the voters threatens the legitimacy of future referendums.
To what extent, if any, should city government be involved in public education?
The city council needs to play a collaborative role in improving our public education system. Improvement of our schools requires a joint effort between the council, school board, parents, teachers and community leaders. The $700 million MAPS for KIDS program must focus on what’s best for our children. Frequent communication between city and neighborhood leaders is paramount in maximizing gain from the program.
Is there anything about you and your candidacy you would like the voters to know?
My family has lived in Oklahoma City neighborhoods for more than 100 years and I care deeply about our city. Business interests are well represented on the council; placing a physician on the council provides diversity and a knowledge base that allows an improved ability to address our city’s most important issues. If elected, I would be the only member of the council to have declined all money from special interests allowing me to remain fiercely independent so that I am able to prioritize neighborhood interests over special interests.
Charlie Swinton, 61
What do you think about MAPS 3 projects?
I am excited about the great potential we have for these projects. Not only will they help the quality of life throughout our city, but just as the original MAPS has done, these will be an economic boom for our city. I am proud to have supported the MAPS projects when sometime doing so was not the popular thing to do. MAPS 3 is a wise investment in our future. I am the only candidate in the race who voted for any and all of the three MAPS programs, I am committed to making certain that the promises made to the voters are fulfilled.
To what extent, if any, should city government be involved in public education?
Any city’s future is based on the quality of its education system. I think it is vital that our different levels of government work together to make certain our entire city achieves its goals. I worked for the passage of MAPS for KIDS and I am the only candidate in the race who voted for it. The partnership between the city and the schools should be one of trust and mutual cooperation not ever confrontation. My daughter attends an Oklahoma City public school so I will have a responsibility to our schools and our children as a member of the council.
Is there anything about you and your candidacy you would like the voters to know?
My focus is on creating jobs and improving our neighborhoods. I have been active in promoting and creating jobs in Oklahoma City for 27 years. This is a wonderful place to raise a family and I want it to remain that way. I am proud to have the support of law enforcement officials such as Sheriff John Whetsel and District Attorney David Prater, as well as Mayor Mick Cornett. Prevention of child abuse has been a passion of mine for almost 30 years. There is still so much to be done in that arena.
|Oklahoman, April 5|
|Oklahoma elections: Ed Shadid wins Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 seat
After an often contentious campaign, physician Ed Shadid collected 62 percent of the vote to win the Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 seat.
By Michael Baker
Physician Ed Shadid, who ran a mostly self-financed campaign, handily defeated bank officer Charlie Swinton in an election Tuesday for the Oklahoma City Council Ward 2 seat.
In mailings, Oklahoma City Momentum often portrayed Shadid as too radical for Oklahoma City and an environmental extremist.
Photo Credit: Photo by Bryan Terry, the Oklahoman
CAMPAIGN FINANCING. I’m limiting this discussion to the Ward 2 runoff candidates and finance reports filed by them and by political action committees which registered similar documents. At this writing, articles and reports filed in the Oklahoman, either the paper or on-line version, are the sole sources for this section.
In a February 25 article by Michael Baker and John Estes, the headline read, “Oklahoma City Council campaign donations a mystery.” Text following the headline read, “A political action committee run by Oklahoma City firefighter union leaders received a $125,000 donation they refused to talk about. The money was spent campaigning for two tea party backed candidates.” Although that was doubtless true, it was also lopsided reporting since the same was likewise true for the two PACs which were supporting candidates in the four ward races. Only the smallest of of that pair (Chesapeake Oklahoma PAC) had filed a Form C-1 — a campaign contributions & expenditures report — by the time the February 25 article was written. The Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum had not received or spent money by February 13, the reporting cutoff date for Forms C-1 in this period, so it had nothing to report. How much you wanna bet that PAC received and expended at least $125,000 and probably more within a few days after that initial report cutoff point?
The article said,
Campaign finance laws for city elections do not require PACs to disclose donations and spending in the weeks leading up to city elections.
As a result, the true source of the money will remain hidden until after the election from voters who are receiving thousands of mailings, telephone calls and other political advertisements being paid for with the money.
Better Local Government and Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum were both formed to make only independent expenditures. The PACs do not give money directly to candidates, which would limit donations to $5,000. There is no limit on the PACs independent expenditures, which can advocate for or against a candidate.
What is not known to those who only read the paper versions of the Oklahoma is that a follow-up article appears in the Oklahoman’s on-line version, even it it is rather buried and hard for a reader to locate. This February 28 article by Michael Baker is shown here, together with the campaign finance reports filed by that date by Ward 2 runoff candidates and the PACS involved.
A snapshot of some interesting points in the reports which are shown in their entirety in the article below is the following:
- Charlie Swinton’s C-1: As of the report cutoff date, his campaign received $44,570 in contributions, 49 of which were $200 or more. He is not shown as contributing any money at all to his campaign. Notable individual contributions were $3,000 from the Chickasaw Nation, $5,000 from the Chesapeake PAC and $5,000 from Aubrey McClendon.
- Ed Shadid’s C-1: As of the report cutoff date, his campaign received $74,200 in contributions, 12 of which were $200 or more. His campaign was largely self-financed, he contributing $65,000 of his own money; 4 people bearing his last name contributed another $1,750.
- Chesapeake Oklahoma PAC’s C-1: This PAC received $55,480.50 by the report cutoff date, of which $30,480.50 was contributed before the measurement period and is shown as a carryover, without detail. During the report period, $25,000 was received from Chesapeake Federal PAC. Contributions to individual campaigns were $5,000 each to Swinton, Salyer, Ryan, and Greenwell.
- Committee For Oklahoma City Momentum: No Form C-1 was filed since its funding and contributions occurred after the C-1 reporting period. But this PAC was doubtless the largest of all PACs involved with this city council election.
- Better Local Government PAC: It received $125,000 from A Voice For Responsible Government, Inc., a non-profit corporation formed on February 8, 2011. Its expenditures reflect no direct contributions to any particular candidate.
The detail of the February 28 article is fully set forth below.
I encourage citizens to read over the above and use the information to aid their thought while reaching voting decisions.
I commend Michael Baker most highly for being the 1st Oklahoman political reporter in quite a long time to plainly lay the raw data out for public viewing so that it has the capability of looking closely at the same, as opposed to merely stating a reporter’s or the Oklahoman’s perspective and/or point of view.
I’ll add more Oklahoman, Gazette, and other documentation when it arises.
WARD 2 INCUMBENT SAM BOWMAN’S MARCH 1 COMMENTS. At the March 1 City Council meeting, incumbent Sam Bowman, who did not run for re-election and who did not endorse any of the six Ward 2 candidates, made the remarks shown in the video below. Sam Bowman is generally a quiet and deliberative man, yet the comments he made were laced with an emotional quality which evidenced some very strong opinions about the “big money” and it’s hidden nature being spent on city elections. Among other things, he said,
And then, in these last few weeks, big money has gotten involved to the extent, my opinion, it has just made a mockery of our city elections. * * * The people, I think, need to know who’s behind the money…”
Here’s the 3-minute video clip from the March 1 Cox Cable Channel 20 video showing that day’s City Council meeting.
CAMPAIGN TACTICS AND ADS BY THE CANDIDATES. This section includes first-hand reports of tactics being used by the parties (or shadow by shadow campaigns on their behalf). It also includes any Facebook and published newspaper ads that I could locate for either candidate.
Facebook Statements. From Ed Shadid’s Facebook page or other sources are these reports as of March 10, 2011:
Mr. Swinton is now running a “phone survey” that asks if one would be less likely to vote for Ed Shadid if they knew he was for abortion rights, gay marriage and less military spending; All of which are critical issues to the OKC Council.
- Lol, I caught that phone call last night also.
- I got the call a bit ago. It was even worse than that because it implied Medicare fraud and Tea Party endorsement. Very slimy. [Ed. Note: Shadid was not endorsed by the Tea Party]
- If Mr. Swinton is such a great candidate — why does he have to resort to these kind of shenanigans? I think it speaks volumes about who he is and what he is not.
- I received what was purported to be a “phone survey” on the election but which turned out to be filled with negatively-worded questions, “Would you be more or less likely to vote for Ed Shadid if you knew he . . .” I’m still angry about it!
From Charlie Swinton’s Facebook page or other sources are these reports: As of this writing on March 10, nothing to report.
Newspaper Ads. I’ve not reviewed the newspapers as closely for ads as I have written articles and I’m sure that I’ve missed some. What I have so far is shown in this section. Click on the thumbnail images below to see the larger views.
Ads for Ed Shadid.
|March 9 Gazette
||March 16 Gazette
|Among other things, the above ad focuses upon each candidate’s independence or lack thereof and focuses on what the ad claims is Swinton’s openness to re-evaluating MAPS 3 projects, particularly downtown transit, and Shadid’s commitment to completing all MAPS 3 projects, particularly downtown transit, in a timely manner. [Note: I’ve modified the actual ad to invert the text part which was originally white on black to black on white, for readability and printing purposes.]||After quoting from Sam Bowman’s March 1 comments, the above ad states, “This year’s city council election is unique in that a third party, the Committee To Keep Momentum Going, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Charlie Swinton while refusing to state the reasons for support or the names of its donors. Ed Shadid is seeking to become the only member of the City Council to have not received any funds from corporations, PACs, unions, or special interests.”|
Gazette, March 23
Gazette, March 29
Ads for Charlie Swinton.
Later published campaign ads by the candidates will be located in this section.
Push-Pull Telephone Surveys by Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum. A friend of mine of about 35 years who lives in Ward 2 has informed me that he received two telephone calls relevant to this discussion. I interviewed him and this is what I got. The first call was from an unidentified young woman who indicated that she was taking a survey of residents in Ward 2, and it lasted about 8 to 12 minutes. My friend could hear other callers in the background during the conversation. The call was made during the evening of March 8 and was from telephone number 877-759-2780. A good bit of the conversation’s detail he doesn’t recall, but the substance of what he does is rather like the following:
|The First Call.
R i n g.
The Second Call.My friend received the second call on March 11, it being a recorded message from Charlie Swinton saying “someone” was using his name to make negative calls and he just wants everyone to know how mad he is about it and how he’s telling everyone to “play nice.” (Not his literal words.)
Direct Mailings By Candidates or Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum. In my estimation, Ed Shadid’s mailings tend to stick to issues raised which are pertinent to Oklahoma City government. Charlie Swinton’s (including Momentum’s) tend to be misleading and talk about things not involved with Oklahoma City government, as I see it — but, of course, reasonable minds may vary as to whether being a vegetarian involves city government or not. Judge for yourselves. Although the cards are not dated, they are presented here in chronological mailing sequence.
Ed Shadid’s Mailings
Charlie Swinton’s Mailings (including the Momentum Committee)
KTOK Interviews by Gwin Faulconer-Lippert. Yesterday evening (Sunday March 20), KTOK’s Gwin Faulconer-Lippert intervied both candidates, first Charlie Swinton and second Ed Shadid. Since some of Shadid’s remarks relate to comments made by Swinton, it is best to listen to the interviews in the same order. Later, I may add some observations of my own, but listen closely to what each candidate had to say.
Transcripts of the Above Interviews. The following are partial transcripts of the interviews with each of the candidates. I’ll begin by saying that Charlie Swinton won the primary by the following vote: Swinton, 1,803; Shadid, 1,471; difference, 332. Only approximately 11% of the approximate 40,000 registered voters voted in this primary.
|“How much do you think you will have to spend to win this city council seat?”
Well, it changes daily. When we started out — Sam Bowman 8 years ago raised seventy-some thousand dollars *** We are raising more than that. When you are in a race with someone who has unlimited resources, you’ve got to keep running, and I don’t have those kinds of resources, so we’re raising money every day.
The defining difference between the two of us is the MAPS issue. When you look at who is supporting whom, community leaders in this town are supporting me, it’s over the issue of MAPS. The people that are supporting my opponent fought MAPS 3, and that is the defining issue in this race and I think that’s what this race will be determined on.
“So how important do you think endorsements are to this race?”
Well, I think they are important. I’m not well known, I mean, my wife and I are blessed with lots of friends in this town, but you ask 100 people we’ll be lucky if 1 knew who I was and I’m sure my opponent is the same way. So people like to know who is supporting whom. When you don’t know someone, you look, “OK, who is supporting them and why.” And I think that’s what’s going on in this race. We’re proud to have community leaders on my side, people that are for MAPS and want to see this city grow. So, I think that’s what’s going on in this race.
“Do you think it is coming down to party lines?”
No, I think, in fact, that’s one thing about our campaign, I say we’re bipartisan. I have the support of lots of democrats, I have the support of lots of republicans. This race is defined by economic issues. That’s why you see so many people lining up behind me in my campaign, I mean, we’ve got the mayor behind us, we’ve got former mayor Andy Coats, community leaders like Doug Cummings, you can go on and on down the list of people who are supporting me that people know in the community. And, quite honestly, look at the list of his backers, there’s just not any known quality folks really on his side.
“What are the MAPS issues that are being questioned?”
Well, I just think the issue of who’s for MAPS and who’s not, particularly on MAPS 3. That vote, certain city unions opposed the election, and the business community supported it, and that fight is carrying over into all these races that occurred thus far. The winners so far have been those who were supportive of growing the community and supporting MAPS.
“I do remember when I interviewed you and Dr. Shadid that there were some differences and one of the differences involved the supporting of local small businesses as opposed to larger ones. I think I even talked about the Bass Pro vote and things like that. I know that they are irrelevant now, but possibly on the council things like that will come up again.”
I’m a strong advocate of small businesses. One of the things as councilman I want to do is make sure when a business or an individual comes in for a permit and stuff that they don’t get the runaround. I believe there’s good government and there’s bad government. Bad government is bureaucracy, you kind of hit your head up against the wall, and you are told different things at different parts of government. I want to make sure that the Oklahoma City Council and our government is small business friendly and is friendly to our citizens when they have needs in front of council and with city government.
“Is there anything that your opponent is saying about you that you would like to correct, perhaps?”
Oh, his flyer asked that question, a recent flyer came to the home that who is backing Charlie Swinton and why, he’s inferring all these mean nasty people are backing me. Well, I say back is, no, they’re not. There’s no mean nasty people, its the community leaders, you look at the neighborhood leaders, you look at community leaders. There’s no plot to get anybody or do anything. It’s people that care about MAPS and understand that if there’s a failure any time with maps, we may take a step backward.
I have a clear record of being pro-MAPS. I have voted in every MAPS election. He has not voted in one municipal election since ’04 that we can find. Not any of the MAPS, not for the Thunder vote, not in any mayor races, and yet he wants to lead this city or be a leader in this city.
“Do you have a favorite [site for convention center]?”
No, I do not have a favorite. I think it’s just which site makes the most economic sense. *** My understanding is wherever they build the new site that there will be some private investment in the fact that there will probably be another new hotel, a convention center hotel, built next door. That’s the exiting part about the convention center is the private investment. MAPS has continually brought in additional private investment and I hope that the same would be the case here.
“I understand that the meeting that the people talking about this said that they didn’t think private investment would do it with these hard economic times and that the city would need to come up with money and match much like they did with the Skirvin. How would you feel about that?”
Well, if it makes economic sense to support the continued growth of Oklahoma City, then we’ll do it. *** As a council member, you have to look at all the options and decide what’s best for the city.
“Let’s talk about the urban streetcar, because in our previous interview, you have made a point that you thought it should be put off to the very end, which has made some of the streetcar advocates a little panicky, I’ll say.”
Well, the first point is, we are implementing a streetcar system. The voters voted on it, it will be done. Hopefully, the streetcar system — you look at all the other big league cities, use the Thunder as an example. Every other city that we compete in in basketball has a urban trolley system, has an intermodal system. Oklahoma City is the only one that doesn’t. So it’s gonna happen. It has to happen because we are becoming a big league city and I think when you look at what makes a city great, it’s the transportation system. I did raise that issue as an effort to — I was told originally there may be some things new and going on in Germany that might save some money. I visited with Debbie Blackburn and some others that are on that committee and they feel like that’s probably pie in the sky, but if that’s the case then we move straight ahead. But, I’m excited about the trolley system and about intermodal transportation. Again, to be a big league city, that’s where we’re headed and it’ll happen. *** I’ve always been for the trolley system. I voted for it when it was on the ballot. ***
“You know, I think my question was, the council really has the right to change the projects, and would you do that?”
Change the projects? No, I don’t see where it’s change — the projects have been voted on. It’s a question of how you implement them, and what funds are used and when you do ’em.
|“How much money do you think this election is going to take in the end?”
Gwin, that really goes to the heart of what is a very unusual unique city council race, in that you have the two campaigns and then you have a third party who has formed a committee to make independent expenditures that’s spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Mr. Swinton while declining to state who the donors are or their reasons for support in Mr. Swinton. So, we won’t ever know how much these people are spending; we won’t know who they are, or why they’ve engaged this campaign. Those questions are going to be impossible to know.
“So there is an actual PAC, is that what you are saying?”
It’s not a PAC. There’s a good article in the Oklahoma Gazette this last Wednesday called, “Who’s behind the money,” and it explains that this is a — it’s called a 527 — it’s a technicality that allows them to give unlimited — it could be one person, it could be five people, it could be ten people — to give unlimited amounts of money, they are accountable to no one, they can say whatever they want and they have … and we’ll never know who they are — which deprives the people of knowing if there’s a conflict of interest or what conflicts of interest are present.
I am running because of a few reasons. Business interests are well represented on the city council. Mr. Swinton is a very nice gentleman, but he doesn’t add anything that’s not already there with the other seven city council candidates. Putting a physician on the council adds diversity, it adds an additional knowledge base, it allows us to address some of our health deficiencies — we rank in the bottom seven of basically every adverse health index. And, somebody who is committed to open and transparent government and who wants to be an independent voice — I have stated very clearly — I am not going to take any money from any corporation, PAC, union, or special interest, and I would be the only one on the council for which that would be true if I were able I to achieve that. In medicine, we’ve had to curtail pharmaceutical companies. They would give physicians all kinds of money because study after study showed they could alter physicians’ prescription writing behavior. Whether it’s conscious or unconscious, money introduces bias into the system. So, I want to be able to make decisions for the taxpayer and for the neighborhoods and the people of Ward 2 and the city objectively, just based on what I think is in the best interests, and not have that conscious or unconscious bias that gets introduced because somebody has given a check for $5,000 to the campaign. And I think that’s a very important difference between the candidates.
“One of the things that you and I had talked about before in the previous interview was your support of small business. Do you like your support of small business is different than candidate Swinton’s?”
Well, I do. I think that there is an emphasis in our campaign on local businesses, businesses that are here, supporting the businesses that have given blood, sweat and tears to the city, and not subsidizing out of state retailers to come and compete against them. I’m not opposed to things — if you have the data, and if you can objectively show that this is going to create economic development, it’s going to create jobs, it’s going to increase our sales tax base, I’m certainly not opposed to it. But, I just — on a government level and on our own individual behavior, I think we need to support our local businesses. A lot of this is this is beyond what government — we need to — I’ll give you an example. If you eat in a local restaurant, 70% of that money stays in the community. If you eat in a national chain, 70% goes out of the community. Those are the kinds of things that need to be given voice and emphasized — to act local and support our local businesses.
“One of the differences that your opponent saw was that he had supported MAPS 3 100% of the time and he doesn’t feel like you support MAPS 3 at all.”
You know, Gwin, I want to be civil. But, when I say in 25 neighborhood association meetings in front of Mr. Swinton that I support all of MAPS 3 with maximum openness, transparency, and maximum public deliberation, I say the same thing in front of the Chesapeake forum, I say the same thing in front of the 100 people in front of the Urban Land Institute, I take out full-page ads saying that I support all of MAPS 3, and I consider it a bond with the voters, and that you risk future referendums if you don’t implement all of MAPS 3, for him to come on and say that is simply dishonest.
I don’t know if they are trying to link me with other candidates, because they know that’s a winning formula, but he knows, because he has heard me — I’ve spent more time with him than a lot of my family — he’s heard me say 30, 40, 50 times, that I support all of MAPS.
The only candidate who has tried to pick and chose parts of MAPS that he doesn’t like is Mr. Swinton. He flip-flopped tonight on your show but up until tonight he’s made it very clear that he wanted to delay the transit portion of MAPS for several years — which would risk federal matching funds — we can turn our $120 million dollar investment and get an additional $60 to $120 million dollars of federal matching funds which would allow us to bring transit out into the neighborhoods, if we move forward now. A 180 degree turn by Mr. Swinton in this interview with you there. But he is the only candidate who has expressed opposition to a significant portion of MAPS. I just couldn’t have been more clear, and I just feel like they feel if they repeat it enough people will believe what they are saying. ***
“So what is your plan to get your 300+ votes out there — we established earlier that there are actually 40,000 people that can vote in Ward 2. What is your strategy to get people to the polls?
Well, I’ve been knocking on doors long before Mr. Swinton was and that will be the main stay of our strategy. I think the other thing is just to, I’ve tried to raise awareness on this money issue, I’ve asked the voters to consider, what are the implications for our democracy and for our city government when unknown parties can come and flood city council elections with — it’s the kind of money you’d spend on a senate race — I mean, hundreds of thousands of dollars — what are the implications? I mean, do we really have a one-person one-vote, we’re all equal under the law, or do certain individuals have a very unequal influence in determining who our elected officials are. Mr. Swinton says he has no idea who these people could be. I guarantee you that if he is elected he will find out. He will owe his seat to these people, and those people will want their wants prioritized.
“He [candidate Swinton] talked about the fact that you had not voted in any previous MAPS elections. Do you have a rebuttal for that?”
Well, in the last, I had a conflict, but, it’s true, I have not actively voted over the years. I have felt frankly disenfranchised. I felt like the system was a good-old-boy network, if you will, I didn’t feel that the people really had much control. *** I just decided to try and engage and see if someone can come at it differently and be truly independent.
“One thing that has kinda caught me by surprise is I was under the impression — let me quote him — he said you had an unlimited amount of money.”
There’s a defense mechanism that’s called projection where you accuse your opponent of something you’re doing. I don’t have an unlimited amount of money. It’s painful to try to finance this myself. He has backers who truly have unlimited amounts of money and who are spending breathtaking amounts, unprecedented amounts, amounts that have never been spent on a city council election before. And so that’s projection on his part and he’s just trying to deflect attention from what’s going on on his side.
“Your take on the convention center?”
I just want to share and experience with you that has been weighing heavy on my mind. We were at the Urban Land Institute, we had a forum, we talked in front of 100 people, they asked us about MAPS 3, I indicated that I was for all of it, and pointed out that Mr. Swinton was trying to derail the transit portion, and then I asked a rhetorical question: Why would you gamble $800 million of the taxpayers money and not have a line item of exactly what you’re going to get like the first two MAPS. Composition of city council could change and they could build a 900 foot statue if they wanted to, legally. A former mayor indicates, or just blurted out, “Because we could never have gotten the people to approve [support ?] the convention center.” And there was dead silence. You could have heard a pin drop. But it was a moment of clarity and honesty. Afterward, I talked to him, and I said, “You know, the Urban Land Institute says that has an advisory panel which says the convention center is viable without a hotel next to it and that the taxpayers would need to subsidize that to the tune of $50 million dollars.” He said, “Ed, you know, you are right. And we were intellectually dishonest with the people about that.” Those are — that does weigh on my mind. If there is bad news, you need to share that with the people. That’s what I’m talking about — openness, and maximum transparency, get the people involved. *** I don’t think the public is going to be excited about a $50 million bill that is not included in the MAPS 3 and he [Swinton] says, “Well, like the Skirvin, we just need to do it.” Well, that’s fine, but Mr. Swinton needs to tell us where he plans to get that $50 million from.
“And what about the urban streetcar?”
If you look at what’s happened in Portland and Tacoma and cities where — you have a 10 to 1, 8, 9, 10 to 1, return on economic activity. Look at Dallas — every place you have a transit stop you have an explosion of economic activity. I mean, that is a driver of economic, an engine, and it needs to be done immediately. It’s a paradigm shift. It’s an investment in permanent infrastructure. ***
About Police & Fire Support
I just want to say one more thing on MAPS, and that is, one way that he tries to paint me as anti-MAPS is that I’m supported by the fire and the police who opposed MAPS. Recognize that Mr. Swinton went to the fire and police and pulled out all the stops to get their endorsements as well. He criticizes me as being anti-MAPS because I’m supported by people who actively campaigned against MAPS.
But he needs to be honest and make it clear that he, he spoke in front of 70 police officers just like I did and asked for their endorsement. He spoke to all the firefighters and the union and asked for their endorsement. More than 100 firefighters and police unanimously endorsed myself. Afterwards, then he has tried to attack me as anti-MAPS because they are supporting me in some way.
Do you have endorsements and would you like to mention them? I need to ask about endorsements.
The firefighters and police have unanimously endorsed me. There’s Sierra Club, there’s , uh, the partisan nature has taken a very ugly tone. I have introduced no partisanship into this race. Mr. Swinton sends out letters to all the republicans from Guy Liebman and Leonard Sullivan accusing me of being a liberal and that he’s a true conservative, then he stands in front of the democratic luncheon and says, “I am a Yellow Dog Democrat. I’m the only true democrat in this race.”
Then the Committee for Momentum calls people, thousands of people, stays on the phone with them as long as they’ll stay on and say, “Now would you be less likely to vote for Ed Shadid if you knew …,” and then talk about abortion, gay marriage, military defense spending — which has absolutely nothing to do with city council — talking about different party affiliations — not letting the voter know that Mr. Swinton and I basically agree on all those social issues. But it has no — it’s just fear mongering, and it’s misinformation, it’s trying to use buzz words to get the public to make a decision that’s in these peoples’ interests that we don’t know.
“How important is winning?”
It is so important, because the message it would send if we were able to overcome hundreds of thousands of dollars by unknown donors is that people power, grass roots efforts, can overcome that kind of manipulation and those kinds of tactics. Conversely, if we lose, it only emboldens those who have used those tactics to continue doing it. You know, there are a lot, a lot, a lot of people who wanted to spend a substantial amount of money on my behalf, and I told them, “No.” I pleaded with them not to do it because you’re only perpetuating the system, which is that nobody can compete in this system unless you have large amounts of capital, and the only people who can give that kind of capital are select, usually corporate, and select corporate interests. So then these candidates are beholden to these people who give them these large amounts of money to prioritize their needs over the neighborhoods …
CAMPAIGN REPORTS FILED ON MARCH 24. On March 24, Momentum and the individual candidates filed with the City Clerk their respective Forms C-1, their campaign contribution and expenditures reports. For Swinton and Shadid, there were updates since their earlier filings. For Momentum, it was the first. Click on any report page for a larger view.
Ed Shadid’s March 24 Report. The report shows that, after the candidate’s February 18 report, additional contributions of $4,525 were received, bringing total contributions to $78,725. Of the $4,525, $1,000 was from a person with the same last name as the candidate’s. Expenditures are not remarkable.
Charlie Swinton’s March 24 Report. This report shows that, after the candidate’s February 18 report, additional contributions of $59,786 were received, bringing total contributions to $104,356. Expenditures are not remarkable. Surprisingly to me (since Swinton’s shadow ally, Momentum, bashed Shadid over gay issues in its direct mailers and in its push-pull survey), Al McAffrey is shown as a $1,000 contributor. Expenditures are not remarkable.
Momentum’s March 24 Report. This was Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum’s first report. The filing reflects activity from February 16 through March 20, barely over one month’s time. As you see below, $415,000 was contributed, all from “A Better Oklahoma City, Inc.,” and $409,764.17 was expended. The particular expenditures are not broken down by wards. The one-page report barely fills the page and says very little else.
Allocating Momentum’s Contributions/Expenditures. When allocating the $415,000 contributions of Momentum, one is left to guess since its reports don’t make disclosure about how much money was spent in the respective ward races. But since Momentum declines to make that detail available to the eyes of Oklahoma City citizens, it’s fair enough to make some educated guesses. Momentum (as of March 20) had $415,000 to divide between four wards. Three of those races (Ward 5, 6, & 8) were decided in the primary. Ward 2 continues as of this writing, with the general election set for April 5. If the $415,000 were divided between the 4 wards equally, that would mean $103,750 per ward. But that wouldn’t account for Ward 2 expenditures during the runoff, so I’m dividing the contributions by 5 and allocating 1/5 to each of Ward 5, 6, & 8, and 2/5 to Ward 2.
Momentum should feel free to put down its mask and come forward with more accurate information, should my guess be wrong. But, until then, here’s my guesstimate (and I’m assuming that all of Momentum’s contributions are or will be completely expended) — and this does not include contributions or expenditures between March 21 – April 5 which are not yet reported.
|1/5th of Total||$83,000|
|Ward 5 (1/5th)||$83,000|
|Ward 6 (1/5th)||$83,000|
|Ward 8 (1/5th)||$83,000|
|Ward 2 (2/5th)||$166,000|
Summary of All Contributions. If my guesstimate about Momentum’s indirect contributions are reasonably correct, the Ward 2 contribution breakdown is as follows:
|Ward 2 Contributions & Presumed Expenditures|
|Ed Shadid Contributions/Expenditures||$78,725|
|Charlie Swinton Direct Contributions/Expenditures||$104,356|
|Swinton’s Indirect Contributions/Expenditures – Momentum||$166,000|
|Charlie Swinton Combined Direct & Indirect||$260,356|
Heck. Poor Charlie Swinton. In his March 20 interview with Gwin Faulconer-Lippert, he said, “When you are in a race with someone who has unlimited resources, you’ve got to keep running, and I don’t have those kinds of resources, so we’re raising money every day.”
One cannot but weep for Swinton’s destitute plight. He didn’t even have a dollar of his own money to contribute to his own campaign.
KWTV (News 9). KWTV-TV ran a story on the Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum this evening, March 31. Here it is, together with the text provided after the video itself: