IF Ed Shadid’s public persona was confined to his being Dr. Shadid, trying to keep why he took the Fifth Amendment and his divorce records sealed might be understandable. But he’s also Oklahoma City Councilman Shadid. And he wants to be Mayor Shadid.
And if Ed Shadid didn’t tout transparency in his campaign literature, the inconsistency of his secrecy stance wouldn’t be so apparent.
Shadid is fighting The Oklahoman’s attempts to have the divorce records unsealed, including why he took the Fifth, and claiming that the newspaper is making a mockery of the judicial system. With circular reasoning, he is stonewalling on the Fifth Amendment question.
In recent weeks, Shadid has been candid about his recovery from a self-confessed addiction to marijuana. If this is the crux of the stuff Shadid wants to keep secret, the issue is moot. If he took the Fifth because of prior marijuana use, there’s no need to maintain it: he’s openly admitted his drug usage. If he took the Fifth for some reason involving other criminal activity, voters need to know what that reason is. Asking for the public to trust him isn’t enough.
The mockery claim is easily debunked. The newspaper sent a letter to the judge who handled the contentious divorce case in 2006-2007. We requested that the record be unsealed because Shadid is running for mayor. The judge said she would likely unseal the records because of Shadid’s candidacy, but not before hearing both sides. A scheduled hearing never took place, because Shadid tried to get the Oklahoma Supreme Court to order that his records could remain sealed. The court has declined to do so.
Most divorce cases are open to the public rather than being sealed from public view. Mayor Mick Cornett, who is seeking another term (the election is March 4), also went through a divorce in recent years. He did not attempt to keep its details secret.
New Jersey Senator Diane Allen, incoming Chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators, announces the appointment of Oklahoman Jody Thomas as Executive Director.
The 75 year old organization provides educational resources to elected women at all levels of government and recently hosted it’s Capital Forum in Pentagon City, VA just outside Washington, DC.
“Jody brings a wealth of experience to NFWL,” said New Jersey state Senator Diane Allen, Chair of the group. “Her management skills combined with her fundraising abilities makes her a perfect fit. We’re excited to have her on board and are looking forward to the future,” she concluded.
Ms. Thomas has previously served as National Finance Director of two presidential campaigns, has managed several issue-oriented groups and a vast array of special events, including National Woman’s Heart Day campaign, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels Gala, Angel Flight America Galas and National Rehabilitation Hospital Victory Awards.
Formerly, Thomas was a partner at Sagac Public Affairs for six years managing clients such as the American Nurses Association, American Medical Association, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers, AdvaMed, Edison Electric Institute, Property & Casualty Insurers and VeriSign.
For eight years she managed all fundraising and political activity for Oklahoma Congressman J. C. Watts.
She was appointed by President George W. Bush as Director of Public Liaison for the Office of Personnel Management.
“I am so honored to have the opportunity to serve such a respected organization,” said Thomas. “We are looking forward to another 75 years of elected women!
& Robby Trammell
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Monday The Oklahoman can seek access to mayoral candidate Ed Shadid’s secret divorce records by filing a motion with his divorce judge.
In one of the sealed filings, Shadid invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
“All of this current litigation and expense demonstrates the very reason why courts should rarely take the drastic measure of sealing public records,” Justice Steven Taylor wrote in a concurring opinion.
“After the records are sealed, those seeking to protect the public interest are required to go to great time and expense to view what were once public records. This issue should be resolved by a hearing forthwith. That was this trial judge’s original plan,” Taylor wrote.
Shadid, a Ward 2 city councilman, is seeking to keep his divorce records secret.
“We will file a motion as early as Tuesday afternoon with Oklahoma County Special Judge Lisa Hammond to request the opening of the divorce records. We believe the interest of the public will prevail over secrecy,” said Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman and vice president of news for OPUBCO Communications Group.
The Oklahoman first asked the judge by a letter in September to unseal the records. Shadid in November asked the Supreme Court to block the judge from holding a scheduled hearing.
Shadid’s attorney argued the special judge legally could not consider The Oklahoman’s request at all.
In what members of the Legislature describe as a “defensive effort,” a measure is being filed today to defend the traditional holiday seasons of Christmas and Hanukkah.
Reps. Bob Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, and Ken Walker, R-Tulsa, are filing a bill for the upcoming session. House Bill 2317 would call for more protections to go into place regarding Christmas and how it is celebrated in schools.
Called the “Merry Christmas” bill, the measure would allow for schools to celebrate Christmas and use religious-based imagery such as nativity scenes alongside other displays such as Christmas trees. It would also allow school faculty and staff to use traditional greetings such as “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” without fear of reprisal.
“The purpose of this Oklahoma Merry Christmas bill is to put a beacon of light, a safe harbor if you will, in the pages of the statutes so that our children, our parents and our teachers can run to a lighthouse whose light shines boldly from the pages of our state’s law books,” Walker said. “It will declare that we have a right to express our core beliefs and celebrate winter traditions without fear of lawsuit, retribution or reprisal.”
Walker said there is now a website up so Oklahomans can learn more about the measure.
“We have created a website called MerryChristmasBillOK.com and encourage you to share your own stories, read what the Supreme Court has to say about your religious liberties and follow the progress of this bill,” Walker said. “We also have created ‘Oklahoma Merry Christmas Bill’ on Facebook.”
Walker said he was convinced to file this legislation after speaking with Kathy LaFortune, the wife of former Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune, who said she wants to prevent public schools from being bullied away from celebrating the religious holidays.
“I want our public schools to be able to display Christmas decorations and other significant icons side by side without fear of lawsuits,” LaFortune said. “Teachers should have the freedom to discuss the cultural and historic meanings behind these symbols with our children.”
Cleveland said he wants to make sure the meaning of Christmas is kept intact.
“Christmas is the time that our founding fathers came here to get away from persecution,” Cleveland said. “We have the right to freedom and the right to freedom of speech. Simply because we’re in the school house we do not lose that right.”
The measure will be filed today and considered in the upcoming Legislative session set to begin in February. It mirrors that of Texas’ House Bill 308 which was signed into law in that state in June. That bill, authored by Texas state Rep. Dwayne Bohac, is being celebrated this week.
Oklahoma Democratic Party
A community leader and advocate for Latino Americans announced today that she is running for the Oklahoma House of Representatives in House District 89.
Oklahoma City mayoral candidate Ed Shadid has attacked his opponent, The Oklahoman and two reporters over a Sunday article probing Shadid’s past drug use, messy divorce and refusal to release court documents.
Governor Fallin’s birthday party in downtown Oklahoma City will proceed as planned tonight despite her own emergency proclamation urging all Oklahomans to stay off roads.
Fallin’s office also announced that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be unable to attend as planned.
The news release:
Despite inclement weather, Governor Mary Fallin’s birthday celebration will still occur tonight at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. However, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will no longer be able to attend due to travel complications caused by inclement weather. Christie plans to reschedule his trip to Oklahoma.
Despite the fact Governor Christie is unable to attend, he wants Oklahomans to know he is supporting Fallin’s reelection campaign.
“Mary Fallin is a results-driven leader who has delivered for the people of Oklahoma,” said Governor Christie. “Her economic reforms have led to tens of thousands of new jobs and helped to raise incomes for middle class families. She’s cracked down on government waste by eliminating or consolidating unnecessary agencies, boards and commissions. And she’s focused on improving education, understanding that good schools eventually lead to good jobs and good wages for her citizens.
“And in times of crisis, Oklahomans benefited from a leader who was compassionate and committed to an organized, sustained recovery,” concluded Christie.
Fallin said she was honored to have Christie’s endorsement.
“Chris Christie has been a strong, effective leader for the people of New Jersey,” said Fallin. “His efforts as the head of the Republican Governors Association will help to elect governors all across the country that are committed to the same common sense, conservative principles that we have embraced here in Oklahoma.”
More Info on Tonight’s Event
Governor Mary Fallin’s birthday party event is tonight at the Cox Convention Center, beginning at 6:30 PM. To purchase a ticket, email email@example.com.
Proceeds go to benefit the Fallin for Governor 2014 Campaign.
Governor Fallin encourages all attendees to drive safely as the weather is forecasting snow and ice.
Former state Sen. Debbe Leftwich was sentenced Thursday to one year on probation on a political bribery charge.
Under a deal with prosecutors, she let an Oklahoma County judge find her guilty of a felony charge of soliciting and/or accepting a bribe to withdraw as a candidate for political office.
Leftwich, 62, of Oklahoma City, did not plead guilty herself.
The deal allows her to avoid a trial which could have resulted in her going to prison for up to two years. Her jury trial had been scheduled to begin next week.
Leftwich was accused of dropping her re-election campaign in 2010 after she was offered an $80,000-a-year job at the state medical examiner’s office.
Her co-defendant, former state Rep. Randy Terrill, was convicted at a trial in October of offering a bribe to withdraw. Jurors chose a punishment of one year in state prison and a $5,000 fine.
Prosecutors alleged Terrill, a Republican, offered Leftwich, a Democrat, the job to help his friend, Rep. Mike Christian.
Christian, R-Oklahoma City, had planned in 2010 to run for Leftwich’s seat, but ran for re-election to his House seat instead after he, Terrill and Leftwich came under investigation.
Christian was not charged.
In 2010, Terrill was chairman of a House appropriations subcommittee that oversaw the medical examiner’s office.
Terrill had the language creating the new position — a transition coordinator — inserted into a reform bill nine days before the legislative session ended, according to testimony at his trial. Leftwich announced she was not running for re-election after the bill passed.
No one got the transition coordinator job because then-Gov. Brad Henry vetoed the reform bill after Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater announced he was investigating how the job was created.
Bice serves as the Director of Business Development for Smirk New Media, a consulting and marketing firm that helps clients manage their online presence, including social media and digital advertising.
Before that, Bice served eight years in a number of capacities for her family’s technology company, Netfast Technology Solutions, including financial oversight, business strategy and marketing. “My professional background is business-related, but as a wife, and a mother of two daughters, I care deeply about the moral issues that affect our families,” said Bice. “I believe in protecting the sanctity of marriage and the rights of the unborn.”
Bice said she will focus on personally meeting voters throughout the district, which includes parts of Oklahoma City, Edmond, Yukon, and Piedmont.
“I’m looking forward to meeting fellow conservatives throughout our district and hearing their concerns about the direction of our state and our country,” said Bice. “I think a good Senator should listen carefully to the people they represent, and I plan to do just that.”
Bice is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, with a minor in International Business. She and her husband, Geoffery, live in North Oklahoma City with their two daughters, Isabella, 12, and Ainsley, 9.