Adelson Campaign Ad Put To The Truth Test

Thursday, October 1st 2009, 6:49 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Both candidates in the Tulsa Mayor's race are running negative campaign ads. News On 6 puts an ad by Democrat Tom Adelson to the Truth Test.

Wednesday Democrat Tom Adelson started running two new ads about his opponent Republican Dewey Bartlett.  The new TV ad attacking Dewey Bartlett targets his decisions while serving on the Tulsa Streets task force.

The ad claims Bartlett wanted to set up new toll roads to help the city fix the streets.

"As chairman of the streets task force, Dewey Bartlett called for turning some of Tulsa's expressways into toll roads.  He wants us to start paying for roads we use for free. Do you want to pay?  We can't afford Bartlett as mayor," an announcer states in one of the new ads.

The claim about turning expressways into toll roads is accurate - but doesn't tell the whole story.

In 2007, Dewey Bartlett co-chaired a streets committee for Mayor Kathy Taylor. Their main job was coming up with ideas to pay for the $1 billion backlog of repairs. One of their ideas involved charging tolls on state roads to generate money for street work.

The idea didn't go any further than the report - and last year taxpayers approved a tax increase for street repair - which came out of the same committee.

Read the Street Task Force Report.

"There's going to be a new day with a new mayor," said Dewey Bartlett on Wednesday.

The on-air battle of advertising between Bartlett and Adelson mirrors the 2004 campaign for State Senate between the same two candidates. Adelson won that race after both complained that negative advertising was distracting from the issues.

In their last race - the negative ads came from national political action committees - this time they're from the candidates.