National Democrat Consultants Enter OKC Mayor’s Race for Shadid

The election for Oklahoma City Mayor is approaching on March 4th, 2014, and there are already signs that national Democrat groups are getting involved in favor of Councilman Ed Shadid’s candidacy against incumbent Mick Cornett. Though the race is officially nonpartisan, Cornett is a Republican and Shadid is a registered Independent who describes himself as a member of the Green Party.

The Oklahoman reports:

“Brett Di Resta of the Maccabee Group, part of a political operatives’ consortium called Democracy Partners, has filed at least five requests for information from the city. He’s asked for Cornett’s travel records, including reimbursements, since 2004; Cornett’s office expenditures since 2004; and a list of mayor’s office staff members and their salaries, also since 2004, which is when Cornett became mayor. Di Resta also is acquiring a list of city contracts since 2004 and all of Cornett’s campaign finance records, including contributions and expenditures, since 2001.”

The Shadid campaign denies any involvement. The full article can be read here.

Councilman Shadid has made opposition to independent campaign expenditures one of the central tenets of his political career, even discussing the subject in the online bio for his mayoral campaign:

“Dr. Shadid’s election served as a warning of the implications of the recently passed Citizen’s United decision when hundreds of thousands of dollars of anonymous money enter (sic) the city council race. In sharp distinction, Dr. Shadid became the only member of the City Council to not receive any donations from PACs.”

Despite denying involvement and despite his stance against the kind of activity apparently underway, Councilman Shadid has not denounced the actions of Democracy Partners. On his Twitter account, he simply wrote “That person is not associated with my campaign. End of story. Couldn’t be any clearer.”

On its web site , Democracy Partners describes itself as providing “cutting edge strategies for progressive values.” It further states:

“Everyone on the team at Democracy Partners shares the same values. We’re in business to elect Democrats and to create issue campaigns that turn progressive principles into progressive policy. We never back down from an important fight. But no matter what the odds we’re all about finding a path to victory.”

On its web site, Democracy Partners shares some of its previous work, including commercials on behalf of Obamacare, and an ad attacking MSNBC for putting conservative leader Tony Perkins on air.

National progressive leaders have taken interest in Shadid’s political career before. The night he was elected to the Oklahoma City Council in 2011, former Green Party Presidential nominee Ralph Nader announced the election results over speaker phone to Shadid’s supporters, according to one report from Green Party Watch.

With national Democrat support, can a Green Party candidate succeed in Oklahoma where so many Democrats have failed? The Okie will continue to monitor the race…