The Norman Transcript

Local news

October 25, 2006

Chicken poop, money key ingredients in AG race

Transcript Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Somewhere in most modern political campaigns, the candidates accuse each other of slinging mud.

In the race for Oklahoma attorney general, the substance being slung is chicken poop -- lots and lots of chicken poop.

Farm groups, poultry producers, the governor of Arkansas and Republican attorney general candidate, James Dunn, all accuse incumbent Attorney General Drew Edmondson of using chicken poop for political reasons.

The groups site Edmondson's lawsuit against Arkansas poultry companies as proof of their claim, and accuse Edmondson of filing the suit solely for political reasons. Edmondson counters, saying the chicken litter from Arkansas poultry companies is fouling Oklahoma waterways and the producers won't do anything to stop the problem.

Recently Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee -- in town to raise money for Republican candidates -- accused Edmondson of "demonizing" the poultry industry. "Unfortunately, your attorney general is not interested in resolving the situation, he's more interested in headlines," Huckabee said in a published news story. "It's a great political platform for him."

Edmondson's opponent, James Dunn, echoed Huckabee.

Dunn said if he is elected attorney general he would move to immediately dismiss the suit.

"We need to protect our agricultural industry," he said earlier this year. "The attorney general's suit is a threat to that industry."

Edmondson, however, is unfazed.

"The issue is about water," he said. "The issue is simply about making sure Oklahoma has clean water -- nothing more."

Frustrated after several years of failed negotiations, Edmondson said he filed suit against eight poultry firms -- including corporate giant Tyson Foods Inc. -- because the chicken poop used as fertilizer near the Illinois river contains hazardous chemicals, such as phosphorus, which damage the environment and the area's tourism.

"They're not fertilizing, they're dumping," Edmondson said in an interview with the Washington Post. "My concern is for the environment. My concern is for the lake and the river, which I'm watching being degraded before my eyes, literally."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Transportation officials find more cracks in Lexington-Purcell bridge, but repairs on track

    State transportation officials announced Tuesday that additional repairs are needed in at least 96 places on the Lexington-Purcell bridge before it can be opened....

    April 23, 2014

  • Stacy Ford named 2014 Norman schools Teacher of the Year during banquet

    Stacy Ford, Kennedy Elementary librarian, was named 2014 Norman Public Schools Teacher of the Year at the district’s annual Celebration of Excellence banquet Tuesday evening at the National Center for Employee Development....

    April 23, 2014

  • Council OKs $48.8M contract for wastewater plant upgrades

    The Norman City Council awarded a $48.8 million project for wastewater treatment plant upgrades Tuesday. The council accepted a $50.3 million low-interest loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund....

    April 23, 2014

  • Water carry 5 Water Walk opens discussion about difficulties in obtaining safe H2O

    With large white plastic buckets upon their heads, two gallons of water sloshed to the brim and over the side, but the students trudged on down the South Oval. The farthest feat was to the Seed Sower, and as the sun glared down, heat ...

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blood drive planned Thursday

    Moore Norman Technology Center, 4701 12th Ave. NW in Norman, will host an Oklahoma Blood Institute public blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday inside room A109 in the main building of MNTC’s Franklin Road campus.  The OBI is in ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Local student to attend arts camp

    Kate Kemmet, 15, of Norman, has been accepted and will attend Interlochen Arts Camp. Kemmet, the daughter of Rob and Lori Kemmet, will study musical theater at the Camp....

    April 23, 2014

  • Coalition seeks more jobs

    A coalition of groups that encourage employment of residents who have disabilities hopes to double the number of placed workers by next fall....

    April 23, 2014

  • Ex-judge cleared to run in McAlester

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A McAlester judicial candidate is cleared to run for office despite stepping down as a special judge in 2011 amid misconduct allegations, the State Election Board unanimously ruled Monday....

    April 23, 2014

  • Contemporary Dance Oklahoma to perform at OU

    The University of Oklahoma University Theatre and School of Dance will present Contemporary Dance Oklahoma, a mixed program of new choreography, works from the CDO repertory and guest choreographer Jessica Lang’s “A Solo in Nine Parts.” ...

    April 23, 2014