A fundraising letter from Shawn Hime, Republican candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, that hit mailboxes today is sure to spark a firestorm. The letter slammed his opponent, Janet Barresi, for donating to Democrat campaigns.
The text of the letter is as follows:
Do you want our party to nominate a candidate for state school superintendent with no classroom teaching experience? A candidate with no experience hiring and firing teachers?
Or -- in the case of my "Republican" opponent, Janet Barresi -- a candidate in our primary who supports convicted criminal Democrats with her own checkbook?
My opponent, Janet Barresi, donated thousands of dollars to the Gene Stipe political machine.
These contributions are public record, available for anyone to see. But to save you the trouble of looking it up at www.ok.gov/ethics, I'll give you a brief summary right here:
As you can see, Ms. Barresi likes to support liberal Democrats.
- Donated to convicted former Auditor Jeff McMahan
- Donated to Treasurer Scott Meacham, promoter of Oklahoma's lottery law
- Donated to Sandy Garrett, current Superintendent of Schools
And we're not talking small contributions. Barresi's contributions to liberal Democrats total thousands of dollars.
The most disturbing contribution is the one she gave to Gene Stipe's lackey, Jeff McMahan, the disgraced former State Auditor who is now serving jail time for his criminal activities.
Now, after all of her support for liberal Democrats -- even one who is a convicted felon! -- Janet Barresi is running for statewide office as a Republican.
You read that correctly. Janet Barresi is actually running as a Republican, even though she's supported liberal Democrats to the tune of thousands of dollars in personal campaign contributions. If you're sick of "fake" Republicans like Janet Barresi trying to win office as conservatives, then I need your help.
As you can see, Ms. Barresi has plenty of money to throw around. In addition to giving thousands to liberal Democrats, she has given over $100,000 to her own campaign. That's $100,000 she'll spend, no doubt, trying to sell the lie that she's a real conservative who deserves to be elected.
Ms. Barresi, a dentist for the last 24 years, also will be selling the lie that she's qualified to run our schools. As the current Superintendent of Enid public schools, I have the practical experience from the classroom to the principal and superintendent's office. I've made the tough choices to balance a school district's budget. Janet Barresi has none of this experience but still claims to be our party's best choice.
I think you know better.
I don't have vast personal wealth to donate to my campaign. I'm running a grassroots campaign that relies on the support of real conservatives -- that's why I need your help.
I'm asking you to support me with a $500 contribution. Your contribution will help me fight Janet Barresi's money machine and get my message out to real conservatives.
You may not be able to give $500 right now. If you could contribute $250, $100, or even $50 it would still be a great help.
We can't afford to have any more "fake" Republicans elected to office. A Republican who donates thousands to liberal Democrats is not the kind of leader we need.
If you agree with me, then please send me your most generous contribution right away.
Than you for your support of conservative candidates. I hope I can count on that same support as well.
P.S. I need your support to get the truth out about Janet Barresi. Ms. Barresi is running for school superintendent as a Republican despite lacking education experience and despite the fact she has contributed thousands of dollars to liberal Democrats.
I'm asking you to support me with a $500 contribution.
If you can't give $500 right now, please consider contributing $250, $100, or even $50. Every dollar you contribute will help me spread my conservative message and the truth about liberal Janet Barresi.
I pulled up the State Ethics Commission website, and Hime is absolutely correct about Barresi's contributions.
Barresi gave $250 to Democrat Scott Meacham (State Treasurer) in 2006, and $500 in 2007, for a total of $750. She gave $250 to Democrat Jeff McMahan (State Auditor) in 2006. To ironically cap things off, she gave $4000 to Sandy Garrett (State Superintendent) in 2006, and another $500 in 2007 to Garrett's 2010 campaign, for a total of $4500.
Garrett opted not to run for a sixth term, and Barresi announced her candidacy to replace Garrett [correction - Barresi got in before Garrett opted for retirement]. Hime got into the race several months after Barresi.
Granted, Barresi has not solely donated to Democrats. She has contributed $29,670 to Republican candidates since 2006, as opposed to $5500 to Democrat candidates. Although it may have been a much smaller percentage, as a Republican office-seeker, it doesn't look good to have donated to Democrats (in particularly, to the incumbent that you as a candidate are bad-mouthing).
Hime's political donations are much smaller. In 2006, he contributed $600 to a Republican District Attorney candidate, and in 2007 he donated another $100 to the same candidate. Then, in February of this year, he gave $150 to the Payne County GOP.
This race has been heating up, with Hime beginning to campaign more publicly, and Barresi supporters passing around rumors about Hime. With this letter from the Hime campaign, things are sure to heat up even more.
UPDATE: More information to come tomorrow...