Tulsa School board members call for removal of ads

Sunday, December 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Two Tulsa school board members want the Republican Party and its candidate in the 1st Congressional District race to discontinue political commercials attacking Democrat Doug Dodd's school board meeting attendance record.

The national Republican Party has released radio and television advertisements charging that Dodd had a poor attendance record during the 11 years he served on the school board.

Republicans said they are simply stating the facts, but Dodd accused the GOP of waging a ``smear campaign.''

Either state Rep. John Sullivan, who won the Republican primary; Dodd, the Democratic primary winner, or independents David Fares and Neil Mavis will represent the 1st Congressional District after the election.

The winner will succeed U.S. Rep. Steve Largent, who is resigning Feb. 15 to run for governor.

In statements released by the Dodd campaign, School Board members Cathy Newsome and Michael Pierce said the ads contain false information and should be withdrawn.

``You don't win the Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma School Boards Association if you're not doing a great job. Doug Dodd has shown great dedication for more than a decade to the children of this district,'' Newsome said.

The statewide association gave the Distinguished Service Award to Dodd in August.

Pierce, the Tulsa School Board vice president, said the Sullivan supporters had made an attack on Tulsa schools.

``Test scores are up, class sizes are down and we continue to work to improve our children's education,'' he said.

Dodd said the ad is false, and that he has attended more than 500 meetings, or 86 percent.

Lea Anne McBride of the Republican National Congressional Committee said Dodd missed 62 school board meetings in the past 5 1/2 years. McBride, who is in Tulsa working with state Rep. John Sullivan's congressional campaign, said it is a key issue in the race.

Sullivan said the national Republican Party was running the commercials independent of his campaign and he has no control over them.

He said he didn't believe the national GOP would make the charges unless they were supported by documentation.