Campaign Ad Targets Jari Askins For Stance On Illegal Immigration

Wednesday, September 8th 2010, 9:11 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

UNDATED -- The first negative ad in the race for Oklahoma governor has hit the airwaves.

And neither candidate is behind it. A third party group is taking aim at Democratic nominee Jari Askins over her stance on illegal immigration.

News On 6 reporter Ashli Sims put the ad to the Truth Test.

The ad, by the Republican Governor's Association, claims Askins voted for a bill in the Legislature to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition.  That's true.

She did vote for a 2003 bill that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition if they'd lived here for at least two years and they take steps to become legal immigrants.

The Askins campaign said this was a bipartisan bill aimed at not punishing children for the mistakes of their parents.

The ad also claims the Lieutenant Governor supports amnesty for illegal immigrants. They back up the claim with a video from June 2010 that shows Askins responding to a question about the Dream Act, a bill that allows for a conditional path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants.

"Yes, I don't have to explain it. Yes," Askins responded at the time.

The Askins camp said the quote was taken out of context and that any sensible immigration reform would have to include a path to citizenship.

The ad also claims Askins supported state funding to pay for illegal immigrants' health care.  That's misleading.

The ad cites a 2006 article by the Tulsa World. The Askins quote only says "that without provisions for health care, more illegal immigrants will be forced into emergency rooms" where others will bear the cost.

An Askins spokesperson says that's just a fact, not an endorsement.

The Lieutenant Governor says this is all a ploy to tie her campaign to an unpopular president she's never met. Her campaign said the federal government has repeatedly failed to act on immigration reform, and as governor, Jari Askins would lobby for that to change.

The campaign also said this is an attempt to federalize an Oklahoma campaign and the issues that face our state such as education, jobs, a balanced budget, are not addressed.

News On 6 reporter Ashli Sims called the Mary Fallin's campaign. But a spokesperson says he isn't commenting, because it's not their ad.

Check out for the latest on Campaign 2010.