Campaign Ads Go Negative In Mayor Of Tulsa Race

Wednesday, September 23rd 2009, 7:02 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The two major candidates for mayor of Tulsa have gone negative in the campaign ads. Both say they're only highlighting the record of their opponent.

The News On 6 put them to the Truth Test.

Republican, Dewey Bartlett, and Democrat, Tom Adelson, both want to get the top job at city hall. Both say to do that, they can't just talk about their own record. They have to talk about their opponent as well.

9/8/2009  Related Story: Adelson, Bartlett Advance In the Race For Tulsa Mayor

Tom Adelson knocked on doors in Brookside Wednesday, hoping to pick up some votes in the mayor's race. He's hearing about potholes and also about the campaign ads running on television.

      Bartlett Ad: "We deserve a mayor who will unite Tulsa, not divide it."

Dewey Bartlett paid for this ad about Adelson, criticizing the Governor.

      Bartlett Ad: "Tom Adelson said Governor Brad Henry was a traitor who should be shot."

"I've run against Dewey before, I knew what to expect," said Tom Adelson, (D) Tulsa mayoral candidate.

Adelson says the quote is accurate, but he wasn't being serious.

"I wasn't being literal, and to suggest that one politician would actually do physical harm to another is pretty irresponsible, and I think people get that," said Tom Adelson, (D) Tulsa mayoral candidate.

"It's a very telling quote in my opinion," said Dewey Bartlett, (R) Tulsa mayoral candidate.

Dewey Bartlett says the ad isn't meant to be a personal attack and the quote reflects Adelson's record.

"To me that's not mayoral and not the way our chief executive officer should represent the City of Tulsa," said Dewey Bartlett.

The Adelson campaign responded to the Bartlett ad with one of their own.

      Adelson Ad: "Shame Dewey Bartlett. You know Tom Adelson helped Governor Henry pass the largest tax cut in history."

And now Adelson's ads attack Bartlett for suggesting a tax increase.

      Adelson Ad: "Bartlett equals taxes. We can't afford him as mayor."

It's true that Bartlett suggested higher taxes to help rebuild the streets. In fact, voters have already approved some of the taxes he supported. Bartlett says it's his opponent who wants higher taxes and who is slinging mud.

      Bartlett Ad: "Tom Adelson - just another politician slinging mud and raising taxes."

The back and forth is likely not over. There's a lot time left in the campaign. The vote for mayor is November 10.