Republican chairman blasts Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 01-Oct-2010

In a strongly-worded press release, the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican party blasted state Sen. Kenneth Corn’s announcement this week of an anti-corruption package.

Corn, a Democrat from Potenau, is running for the lieutenant governor’s job against state Sen. Todd Lamb, a Republican. Lamb, from Edmond, is majority floor leader in the upper chamber. The two men are competing to replace Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, who is running for governor.

In a release sent to CapitolBeatOK, Matt Pinnell, the Republican chairman, asked rhetorically, “When is a liberal not a liberal?  When he’s running for office. When is Kenneth Corn against taking lavish gifts, tickets to sporting events and other perks of serving?  When he’s term-limited. Prior to his public grandstanding, Corn had not even taken the simple step of signing the ‘no-gift’ list created for legislators who do not want to take lobbyists’ gifts.”

Concerning Corn’s statements in a Capitol press conference, Pinnell continued, “Perhaps the most interesting aspect of his publicity stunt is that it is not the first time Corn has demonstrated his hypocrisy. Earlier this year, he held up vital supplemental funding for the Department of Corrections, while in the past, he had criticized others for doing the same. Similarly, when he was in the majority party, he was part of cutting senior nutrition funding, yet recently he has been grandstanding as the savior of these programs.

“I can only imagine what’s next. My guess is that Corn will propose dramatic cuts to state reimbursement for travel expenses of legislators. While this may well need to be done, it would be the irony of all ironies for someone like Corn — who has received more than $140,000 for in and out-of-state travel in the last eight years alone, to call for such an action — but I would not put it past him.”

Pinnell’s statement concluded, “As one of the few state senators who lists his occupation as a State Senator, Kenneth Corn has never had a full-time job, and it’s apparent he’s afraid of having to compete in the private sector. Kenneth Corn will do and say anything to try to win this race. He’s already been outed as a demagogue by The Oklahoman, and now we have another example of his hypocrisy. In light of these tactics, we fully expect Kenneth Corn to go negative and avoid talking about the issues that matter to Oklahomans like the economy and job creation.”