Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Republican Chairman Calls for Resignation

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Republican Chairman Calls for Resignation

Article excerpt

By Lou Anne Wolfe

Journal Record Staff Reporter

The Oklahoma state Republican chairman on Friday called for Gov. David Walters to resign, and the Democrat state chairman labeled it "sanctimonious hypocrisy."

Republican Chairman Clinton Key made his call in light of Democrat Walters' guilty plea to a misdemeanor campaign finance violation in 1990. Eight felony counts against the governor were dismissed.

"I am amazed that Democrat Attorney General Susan Loving and Democrat Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy would plea bargain away 14 months of work by the multicounty grand jury which returned eight felony indictments against David Walters," Key said.

"I firmly believe that the grand jury's work was necessary and justified, and for it to end with a very minor slap on the wrist is wrong."

But, "Self-righteous Republican remarks about a `Democratic deal' ring hollow, given the fact that the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Price, according to information uncovered by the grand jury, apparently received illegal campaign contributions," Democratic Chairman Mike Turpen countered in a statement.

At a State Capitol news conference, Key said he watched an earlier news conference called by Walters and "other than the governor saying he's sorry, I saw no remorse." Key said Walters could continue to use the same campaign fund-raising methods as in the past.

The requirement to turn over all unencumbered money in Walters' 1994 campaign funds to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission was more a punishment to contributors than to Walters, Key said.

Walters "does himself and the public a disservice when he says `everybody does it,' " Key said. "Everybody does not do it" or the grand jury would be investigating others, he said.

Turpen's statement said: "Clinton Key's sanctimoniously professed outrage might have more credibility if he had ever demanded prosecution of Republican candidates and office holders in the state. …

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