Getting Priorities Straight: With Country Collapsing Economically, The Oklahoman Worries about... Self-Financed Political Races by Republicans by Izzy Lyman 30 Aug 2010 post a comment Share This: Home foreclosures are up, unemployment is up, food stamp usage is up, and bankruptcy filings - well, they’re up, too. So what does The Oklahoman, the Sooner State’s largest daily newspaper (which recently had to lay off nearly sixty employees) choose to fixate upon: “Self-funded political races often turn out poorly.” No kidding - as do races that PACs and lobbyists heavily finance. In a house editorial, brimming with a grumpy attitude, The Oklahoman scornfully wrote that self-funding is all the rage, with candidates loaning their campaigns their own bucks to “jump start” the process, and that the end goal of such investments is winning (duh!) coupled with the hope that donors will “cover the loans.” The paper especially singled out Grand Old Party members who are running for statewide office in Oklahoma and are heavy donors to their own campaigns, namely Mark Costello (commissioner for labor candidate who is a businessman) and Dr. Janet Barresi (state superintendent of public instruction candidate who is a dentist). Wrote some hack at The Oklahoman: A Republican candidate for insurance commissioner has financed his campaign almost entirely with loans from himself or family members. Labor commissioner hopeful Mark Costello, a Republican, has loaned himself 97 percent of what's in his campaign coffers, The Oklahoman’s Michael McNutt reported. The Republican nominee for state schools superintendent wrote checks for nearly half of her campaign war chest. Money well invested, when you consider the results. Not only did Barresi and Costello handily win their recent primaries, they stand an excellent chance of winning their respective offices in November. To boot, they are eager to streamline government and are quintessential, accomplished Middle Americans who have connected with much-burdened taxpayers. That they are willing to not pester voters with endless pleas for money - especially during a down time in the economy – would be grounds to give these candidates props, as they freely exercise their First Amendment right to speech, or, at the least, give them a chance to explain their rationale for the self-funding. But, noooo. The paper, once complimented as the worst in the country by the Columbia Journalism Review, is now more enthused with promoting corporate welfare schemes than championing genuine conservative principles. The editorial closed ominously, noting that an overwhelming number of congressional candidates, who, in 2008, loaned their campaigns hundreds of thousands of dollars, lost in their bids for public office. Mark Costello penned a response to the newspaper; here’s part of what he had to say about his private-sector-funded political effort: In my race for Labor Commissioner, my wife and I have chosen to put personal resources into my campaign to advance a conservative agenda of lower taxes and smaller government, and to create a future that allows our young people to remain in their home state. If George Soros passionately spends umpteen dollars to bolster liberalism and influence public attitudes for evil, then why on earth should we (and The Oklahoman!) not be thrilled when an honorable man or woman does the same? Oh, right -- he's a Republican.