OKLAHOMA CITY – Two high-profile men running for the state’s highest law enforcement position are accusing each other of dirty politics.
It started over an ad for attorney general candidate Gentner Drummond. The ad accuses the current Oklahoma attorney general, Mike Hunter, of donating to liberal causes.
Hunter said that is absolutely not true and wants Oklahoma television stations to pull it from the airwaves.
“Hunter's twisting the truth to hide his shameful record as a Washington lobbyist, doling out campaign cash to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid,” Drummond’s campaign ad said.
Hunter’s campaign fired back by sending a letter to news stations, asking them to pull the ad from the air.
The letter said, “to be clear, Mr. Hunter does not now support Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid in any way nor has he ever done so. Mr. Drummond knows better.”
An ad from Hunter’s campaign also accuses Drummond of dirty politics.
But, can or should the media pull an ad because opposing sides are angry? An attorney said no.
“If a political opponent can get his political ads taken off the air simply by writing a letter, it's a very interesting way of gaining an advertising advantage,” said Bob Nelon, an attorney who specializes in television advertising. “But, the TV station has to remain neutral and it can't be the judge or censor of content. If a certified candidate, a legitimate candidate who's registered for an election, asks them to post an ad and pays for it, the TV station's pretty much obligated to accept it.”
“Quite often during election season, various campaigns accuse each other of false advertising. KFOR’s protocol is to contact the campaign that’s being accused of providing an ad with false statements. That campaign is given the opportunity to review the ad, then defend its content or make necessary changes. We are currently undergoing that process with both the Hunter and Drummond campaigns,” said Wes Milbourn, president and general manager of KFOR and KAUT.