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Friday, October 29, 2010

Gumm Responds To Brecheen's Response

From the Gumm release:

DURANT, Okla. – In a desperate bid to save his failing political aspirations, Josh Brecheen continued a longstanding pattern of deception in a news release issued Friday, according to Senator Jay Paul Gumm.
In the release, Brecheen attempts to “refute” an advertisement now airing from Senator Gumm. The advertisement, paid for by Gumm’s Senate campaign, points out glaring inconsistencies in the carefully crafted image Brecheen has manufactured.
Brecheen challenged the media to “take seriously their duty to the public to investigate the allegations and expose these misrepresentations.” While he doubts Brecheen really means that, the senator said he would welcome such an examination because each assertion in the advertisement is backed up by documentation available through public records.
“I truly had expected more of Josh,” Gumm said. “At least I hoped he would have shown fidelity to the image he crafted, if not to the truth.
“However, I suppose a little too much ‘Washington’ rubbed off on him during his time working for a ‘D.C.’ politician.”
In his news release, Brecheen continues his effort to deceive voters, first by evading the fact he does not own real property. According to Coal County public records, Josh Brecheen does not own any land.
He does own a 1984-model manufactured home (VIN CA0693556S17003AB), which is sitting on his parents’ land, meaning it is not subject to real property tax. Also, the red farm truck he has driven for months on the campaign trail, and which appears in one of Brecheen’s television commercials, is registered to his father.
Gumm’s commercial points out that Brecheen did not cast a vote until he was working for a politician who appeared on the 2004 primary ballot. Brecheen asserts he voted while in Payne County while in college. The Payne County Election Board twice confirmed no record of Josh Brecheen having been registered in that county.
Coal County election records show Brecheen registered in his home county on March 15, 2000. He did not cast a vote until the 2004 primary election – the election at which the politician for which he worked was on the ballot. In fact, he was so negligent in voting, he had fallen to “inactive voter” status and had to be reinstated to cast that August 2004 vote.
“We also know that Josh did not vote in this year’s Republican run-off election,” Gumm said. “One of the most important duties of a senator is to step up and be counted on the floor of the Senate – and we are prohibited from doing so if the vote could benefit us personally. It certainly appears, however, that is when my opponent does vote.”
Brecheen did not deny that he collected large government paychecks, as asserted in the advertisement. In fact, Brecheen seemed to indicate he took even more from taxpayers than was listed in the commercial, saying he had an average annual salary of $45,000. According to congressional pay records, Brecheen’s highest annual salary was $53,500.
“We were being conservative on the amount of money Josh took from taxpayers,” Gumm said. “Josh fessed up to taking even more – up to $270,000 – all while taking the predictable shot at me because I have to work for a living to support my family.”
In his press release, Brecheen attempts to allege some impropriety in the fact Gumm – like virtually every member of the Legislature – has outside work, including ownership with his wife of rental properties.
Josh shows his lack of real world experience when he talks about my rental properties,” the senator said. “As a renter himself, he should know that landlords make money by providing quality and affordable places for people to live. How I afford rental properties is they show a modest profit after I pay expenses, insurance and the mortgages. If they did not, I wouldn’t be much of a business owner.”
Ethics Commission records show that Gumm has filed financial disclosures as required by law. Brecheen, however, has not filed the financial disclosure form required of state officials and candidates when they file for office. “The old saying about ‘Those who live in glass houses…’ certainly seems to apply here,” Gumm quipped. “Failing to file would probably earn you an ‘F’ in any transparency grade.”
As Brecheen concludes his press release, he quotes his political godfather, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, with the often-repeated clip in which Coburn says Brecheen has “no arrogance” and “no guile.”
“Josh apparently shows his boss a different side of himself than the one he shows to many who encountered him in the field and during this campaign,” Gumm said. “Many have seen Josh become verbally abusive when speaking to someone who disagrees with him, including a respected state judge.”
In a letter to Coburn earlier this year, LeFlore County Associate District Judge Ted Knight took Brecheen to task for being “disrespectful and rude” with his secretary on the telephone. Once transferred to the Judge, Brecheen displayed “arrogance” and a “demanding tone” when speaking about a subject the Judge said Brecheen “obviously does not understand.” Further, according to the letter, Brecheen made wild accusations and threatened the judge.
Gumm said the responsibility for this campaign becoming negative rests solely with Josh Brecheen.
“We have endured deception from the moment I was called in late May by a constituent who told me Josh was telling people he was going to run,” he said. “In the last week, it has just gotten completely out of hand. The air of desperation gripped the Brecheen campaign and they brought Washington, D.C. gutter politics to southeastern Oklahoma.”
From a $50,000 negative television-commercial-buy from a shady group with hidden donors, to a weekly-newspaper advertisement with bald-face lies about Senator Gumm’s record, the Brecheen campaign continues to reach new lows.
“I would much rather have spent time talking about the real issues of this campaign,” Gumm said. “However, it was obvious I had to defend my family, my record and myself. Because, if I won’t defend them, how can the people I have had the honor of serving the past eight years count on me to defend them on the floor of the Senate?
“The mud Josh refers to in the new commercial with him in the shower got on him only when he reached into the sewer to sling it at my family and me.”