Truth Test: Lt. Governor's Race

Tuesday, October 24th 2006, 10:25 am
By: News On 6

It is now less than two weeks before the general election and time to ‘Truth Test’ some of the campaign ads, which prove that an election year can change everything.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says Governor Brad Henry is way ahead in the polls for re-election and his long coat tails have extended beyond the Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Jari Askins, all the way to the Republican Todd Hiett.

Todd Hiett's ads feature the gavel pounding and piano playing of the Oklahoma Speaker of the House and tout his accomplishments. "He made a promise to make Oklahoma a better place to live for our families and he's done just that."

And his new ads make it sound like Hiett and Governor Brad Henry are political partners. "In a landmark moment, speaker of the house Todd Hiett worked with Governor Henry to pass the Henry - Hiett budget."

Hiett even gave Henry top billing on the budget, but not the tax cut. "With Todd Hiett leading the charge to pass the largest tax cut in history."

The claim prompted a response from Democrat Jari Askins, complaining Hiett didn't really work with the Governor on the budget. "Can you believe Todd Hiett is running television ads bragging about working with Governor Henry? The same Todd Hiett who threw Governor Henry's staff out of budget talks and said the Governor ‘needed to grow up?’" That quote is actually from 2005, during a contentious budget debate.

This year, an election year, the Governor and Hiett disagreed at first, but settled on the state budget and the tax cut.

Both Hiett and Askins highlight their work with Henry - possibly because both stand to benefit from associating with a popular Oklahoma governor.