Brad Carson accuses Tom Coburn of turning his back on tornado victims

Wednesday, September 29th 2004, 6:41 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A new TV ad by Democratic Senate candidate Brad Carson accuses Republican Tom Coburn of ``turning his back'' on victims of the May 3rd, 1999, tornadoes.

The commercial, entitled ``No Relief,'' points to Coburn's opposition in 1999 to a bill containing 900 (m) million dollars for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It quotes Coburn, who voted against bill, as calling it ``malarkey'' and saying FEMA didn't need the money. It passed the House 269-to-158.

In the ad, a narrator says Coburn ``turned his back on disaster victims'' and ``should never be our United States senator.''

The tornadoes killed more than 40 people. A spokesman for the state Republican Party's ``Oklahoma Victory'' campaign says Carson is attempting to -- quoting here -- ``exploit the deaths of Oklahomans for political gain.''

Meanwhile, Republican Tom Coburn is stressing his main campaign theme of cutting federal spending as he tries to get his Senate campaign back on track.

At a Capitol news conference Tuesday, Coburn proposed to freeze federal spending, except for defense and homeland security. He says the freeze would not affect Social Security funds.

The news conference came a day after a new poll showed Democrat Brad Carson with a slight lead in the hotly contested race.

The poll, commissioned by KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City, shows Carson with 44% to Coburn's 39%. The survey's margin of error was 4.5% points.

A poll conducted by the same company a month ago showed Coburn with a lead of several percentage points.