2nd District Congressional Candidates Sling Mud Over Water Issue

Monday, October 29th 2012, 7:17 pm
By: Emory Bryan

There's a debate Monday night in the race for Oklahoma's 2nd District US Congressional seat.

There's an ongoing debate over water between Democrat Rob Wallace and Republican Markwayne Mullin, and it's been played out over the past few weeks in political ads.

Who can forget an ad with an ending like this?

Wallace ad: "I'm Rob Wallace (shoots a gun) and I approved this message."

It was the first shot in a campaign battle over selling Oklahoma's water to Texas.

Wallace ad: "And Oklahoma's water—there are special interests trying to give away our water to Texas and other states."

See the Rob Wallace for Congress ad

Wallace's campaign claims Mullin approves of selling the water.

Wallace ad: "Markwayne Mullin's head isn't on straight. Mullin sided with interest groups who want to sell our water to Texas and Oklahoma City."

And after weeks of Wallace pushing the water issue in TV ads, Mullin is pushing back.

Mullin ad: "This is our water. It's something we should protect for our kids and future generations. I would never allow the government to sell our water."

See the Mullin for Congress ad

Mullin's campaign says the ad is not a new position.

"Markwayne's position always has been that he is against selling our water," Mullin's press secretary said. "Since Rob Wallace is lying about Markwayne's position on this issue, we felt we should tell voters directly."

For Wallace, it was a key issue even before the primary.

"They want to know we're going to protect the water in Eastern Oklahoma," Wallace said.

And his campaign isn't buying Mullin's words:

"Mullin cannot be trusted to protect eastern Oklahoma's water," said Wallace's campaign manager. "Mullin is just now finding out his position is politically unpopular, so he is now trying to change it."

The entire claim seems to be based on an endorsement for Mullin by a chamber group that also supports selling water.

The Wallace campaign continues to push it, even though Mullin's campaign says it's not true.