The Norman Transcript


March 30, 2013

Spending stacks up in mayoral race

NORMAN — Negative campaign ads and questions about who was funding them have been flying. Answers may have come in the form of a campaign contributions and expenditures report turned in Friday by a group identified as Better Norman Advocates, Inc. The group funded phone polls, mailers, web ads and radio airtime opposing Mayor Cindy Rosenthal and asking for new city leadership.

Norman builder and developer Sassan Moghadam is listed as the primary officer of the Better Norman group, and the report lists a $50,500 contribution by Moghadam. Other contributors lists 329 Partners II-LP whose chief officer is H. Rainey Powell as donating $1,000 and Norman Surgical Arts for a $250 donation.

While Tom Sherman for Mayor reports a total of $54,080 compared to Friends of Cindy Rosenthal’s reported $108,296 in expenditures, the addition of Better Norman Advocates $47,761 evens the playing field between the two leading mayoral candidates.

Candidate David Kempf has collected and spent around $200.

Sherman reported newspaper advertising, mailers and a $360 radio ad with Sports Talk. He said he was not responsible for several negative ads on other radio channels.

The Better Norman Advocates appear to be behind some of the most virulent attacks on Rosenthal.

Push-poll phone calls had some Norman residents emailing the Transcript with questions about the pseudo poll and its negative slant.

“The question that inflamed me was a statement that ‘Rosenthal is an extreme liberal who voted for and thinks like President Obama!’ This statement was followed by ‘would you change your mind about her?’” one reader emailed. “At the end of the short survey there was no attribution as to who was responsible for the survey, BUT in my book that is not ‘keeping the campaign clean.’” 

Negative radio ads were also reported by many.

Rosenthal said her campaign used a variety of media but did not use radio.

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