Senate Race Getting Dirty

Thursday, October 23rd 2008, 5:19 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- We're less than two weeks away from Election Day and in some races, the campaigning is getting dirty. When it comes to the state senate race between Nancy Riley and challenger Dan Newberry the gloves are off.

He's a rookie with no experience in elected office. She's a practiced politician who made headlines for switching parties.

Two-term senator Nancy Riley is attacking her Republican opponent and his livelihood.

"Newberry personally profited from selling risky loans with excessive interest rates," said the Riley ad.

That claim is False. Court documents show many homeowners defaulted and had to foreclose, but the loans weren't risky.

Newberry lends at adjustable rates, some loans going from 10% up to 16%. But he says defaults are rare, and that a six-percent maximum increase isn't excessive.

Tulsa's Better Business Bureau calls his company satisfactory.

Newberry's camp is also in attack mode.

"Riley supports higher property taxes, taxpayer funded abortions," said the Newberry ad.

We'll put the True stamp on that one. Riley opposed lowering the property tax rate from five percent to three percent. She says lowering the cap would have actually created tax increases.

And the abortion bill aimed to end taxpayer-funded abortions except to save the mother's life. Riley says she supports exceptions for rape and incest victims which was not included in the original bill.

"She first ran as a conservative, and now is a liberal who stands with Barack Obama," said the Newberry ad.

That claim is half-true. Two years ago Riley switched parties in the middle of her term. She says she was dissatisfied with the GOP's continual effort to kill her bills, calling the Republican caucus hateful and vindictive. But Riley has never publicly supported or opposed either candidate for President.    

Riley's campaign says she's got the experience and proven ability to work with both parties.

Newberry's camp says forget the spin, switching party's mid-stream was a stab in the back.