A few weeks ago, Oklahoma City Councilman and 2014 mayoral candidate Dr. Ed Shadid ventured into the deep, dark corners of Derplahoma to speak with Sally Kern, Mike Reynolds and a bunch of other white guys with beards who tuck Oxford-style shirts deep into their Levi’s about local issues. Here’s the entire talk. It’s over an hour long:
The “breaking news” and “click on this” part of the hour-long video was where Dr. Shadid openly discussed being the world’s skinniest, gasp!, recovering marijuana addict. This is because marijuana, unlike alcohol or high fructose corn syrup, is a deadly, addictive drug that kills millions of laid back, totally harmless people each year.
The admission slowly got the attention of the local media. News 9 reported the story last week with the awkwardly worded headline “Mayoral Candidate Ed Shadid Admits He Used To Be Addicted To Marijuana.” And, well, that was it. Until yesterday.
In the Sunday Oklahoman, the “State’s Most Trusted News” unleashed the hounds. In what will likely be the first part of an all-out, full-frontal assault on the anti-establishment, underdog candidate, the paper not only published an expose on Shadid’s marijuana addiction, but came down hard on him for “pleading the fifth” and asking that a judge seal his 2007 divorce from public record. It’s trip down memory lane. You’d think Gaylord was still alive and David Walters was Governor.
Continental Resources Inc. founder Harold Hamm confirmed Thursday he and his second wife, Sue Ann, are getting a divorce.
Hamm, Continental’s chairman and CEO, owns about 68 percent of the Oklahoma City oil company’s outstanding shares. His stake is worth $10.88 billion, based on Thursday’s closing price of $86.17 a share.
The confirmation came as wire service Reuters reported details of the divorce filing, which has been sealed by Oklahoma County Special District Judge Howard Haralson…
The Hamms married in Las Vegas in 1988. In a short statement, Harold Hamm confirmed the divorce filing and said the matter was private.
“As they work through the process, Mr. Hamm is requesting privacy for the sake of his family and children,” the statement said. “The court has issued a confidentiality order and he wishes to honor that order.”
Oops. Wrong divorce story. That’s the one about local billionaire Harold Hamm. He’s the CEO of Continental Resources and one of the richest men in the world. His nasty divorce settlement could be the largest in the history of humanity. It could also impact his direct control of the company and it’s future in Oklahoma City. But he’s friends with the Oklahoman, so I guess we don’t have to worry about that.
Here’s the Ed Shadid story:
Oklahoma City mayoral candidate Ed Shadid sought to keep possible criminal wrongdoing from coming out in his divorce by invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, The Oklahoman has learned.
He’s not saying why.
After granting a divorce in 2007, a judge sealed from public view Shadid’s reasons for invoking the Fifth Amendment as well as dozens of other records. The judge sealed the records at Shadid’s and his ex-wife’s request.
The divorce decree itself remained open.
Shadid now is fighting at the Oklahoma Supreme Court to keep the sealed records secret. He went to the Supreme Court after his divorce judge indicated she likely would unseal the records since he is a mayoral candidate.
Hmmn. I’m no Oklahoman reporter or anything, but the guy has openly admitted that his marijuana addiction led to the destruction of his marriage. Considering marijuana is still an illegal drug/medicine in this state, maybe he didn’t want to go on court record as a user and open himself up to prosecution? Just a thought.
The smear campaign continues:
Shadid, 45, is a spinal surgeon and a Ward 2 city councilman. He kicked off his campaign for mayor with a rally in August. The Oklahoman in September asked his divorce judge to make public the sealed documents.
“We are seeking to open this record to determine why a mayoral candidate invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege to protect himself from self-incrimination and is fighting disclosure all the way to the Supreme Court,” said Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman and vice president of news for OPUBCO Communications Group.
“We support openness in public records and disagree that a divorce record should be kept secret especially in light of his seeking office as the mayor of Oklahoma City,” Fry said.
Shadid would not agree to an interview last week with The Oklahoman. He referred a reporter to Robert E. Norman, the attorney he hired to oppose release of the divorce files.
So, uhm, where was this gusto, vigor and legal pursuit of justice during the Mary Fallin Open Records battle? Could those documents “contain information that the voters may want to know so that they may make an informed voting decision.” Probably, so I guess that means the Oklahoman has higher standards for the mayor of Oklahoma City than the Governor of our state. At last check, we’re the “media outlet” who had to sue the governor for the release of records related to our open records request. For some reason, the Oklahoman didn’t want to go down that alley. For what it’s worth, that lawsuit is still ongoing and will likely be heard before the Supreme Court.
That being said, The Oklahoman does have a fair point. One of the items on Shadid’s platform is transparency in government, so it does look a bit hypocritical that he’d fight so hard to have divorce stuff sealed. If the roles were reversed and Mayor Mick’s divorce proceedings were sealed, I’m sure the Shadid campaign would make a fuss about it. I’m also sure the Oklahoman wouldn’t cover it at all.
In addition to the divorce stuff, the Oklahoman touched on Ed Shadid’s marijuana use:
In a campaign speech last month, Shadid said he “had developed an addiction to marijuana for many years” but got into long-term recovery.
Shadid became a doctor in Oklahoma in 2001 and has had his medical license renewed every year.
Doctors must answer a series of questions on their license renewal applications. The answers cover the time since a doctor’s last license renewal.
Shadid answered, “Yes,” in May 2005 and May 2006 to the question: “Have you been addicted to or abused any drug or chemical substance including alcohol?”
He also answered, “Yes,” in May 2005 and May 2006 to the question: “Have you obtained an assessment or been treated for use of any drug or chemical substance including alcohol?”
In May 2005, he answered, “Yes,” to the question: “Have you had any mental, emotional or nervous disorder or condition which could affect, or if untreated could affect, your ability to practice competently?”
Even though most records in his divorce case are sealed, an online list of every legal filing briefly describes them, even the sealed ones.
A legal filing on Jan. 4, 2006, is described online as Shadid’s “assertion of Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination” relating to disclosure of records from the Talbott Recovery Center and a psychiatrist, Siavash Nael.
Welch, who represented him at the time, declined last week to comment. Welch is no longer an attorney.
The online list shows on April 26, 2006, Shadid’s then wife filed an application for a court order “authorizing disclosure and use of alcohol and drug abuse patient records.”
The Oklahoman learned about Shadid’s sealed divorce records during an ongoing investigation into judicial secrecy.
So, I guess the connection the Oklahoman is trying to make is that Ed Shadid used marijuana (and possibly other drugs) while practicing medicine. If that’s the case then great. I want my doctor to be calm and mellow while operating on my spine. Also, I now know of a good doc to turn to if / when medical marijuana becomes legal and I need a prescription. This insomnia and anxiety is so tough to deal with.
Seriously, I couldn’t care less if the mayor smokes pot or not. I don’t care now and I didn’t care when Wayne Coyne “outed” Mayor Mick as pot user back in January of 2012:
Let me be clear. I think Wayne Coyne was goofing around and being Wayne Coyne. He probably had it set up with a roadie or groupie that “Mayor Smoking Pot” was a code for “Someone please bring me cocaine.” I don’t know Mayor Cornett too well, but I’d be shocked if he smoked marijuana. He’s way too skinny and good at trivia to do that. Regardless, it doesn’t matter. If a grown man wants to smoke pot in the privacy of his own home while watching Adult Swim, he should have the legal right to do so. Then again, I also think 18-year-olds who serve in the military should be allowed to purchase wine at grocery store on a Sunday. I’m a rebel.
Anyway, to get to the bottom of this, Owen Field wanderer and OPUBCO company man Nolan Clay sent Ed Shadid a list of questions to answer. Here the are:
1. Why did you assert your Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination?
2. Are you continuing to maintain your Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination?
3. Are you willing to unseal that portion of the sealed divorce records that relate only to the facts underlying your exercise of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination?
4. You have publicly admitted to being in recovery from marijuana addiction so there would be no personal or legal reason to continue exercising your Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination over that and continuing to fight to keep the records related to it secret. So, is it fair for the public to surmise that the reason you will not now open records that are normally public is because they involve potential criminal conduct beyond the use of marijuana?
5. What other illegal drugs have you used?
6. When was the last time you used marijuana?
7. How regularly did you use marijuana and how much money did you spend on it?
Shadid didn’t answer any of the questions. That’s a shame. He should have at least answered 6 and 7. I really want to know if I’m getting a good deal from my dealer. Is $60 for an 1/8th fair? Just kidding. I plead the fifth.
You can tell by the tone of the articles that the Oklahoman is upset that Shadid didn’t answer their questions. Maybe they just should have met with him on Sunday like everyone else. Then they could have asked him the questions in person like other people in the media. That’s what the Red Dirt Report did. They, along with the AP and KOCO Channel 5, met with Ed for an interview:
In one-on-one meetings with members of the Oklahoma City media on Sunday afternoon, Ward 2 Councilman Dr. Ed Shadid addressed issues raised in a sensationalized story about the spinal surgeon’s past, including his sealed divorce records and his admitted addiction to marijuana.
With an above-the-fold, screaming headline – “Shadid still fighting to keep past secret” - Oklahoman reporters Nolan Clay and Robby Trammell crafted a hit piece that someone simply reading the headline might think had to do with Shadid’s involvement in a crime spree or some other dubious activity. Rather, upon reading the story, it is clear that The Oklahoman is upset about Shadid’s continued refusal to release “voluminous” court documents that were sealed upon his 2007 divorce, something the State Supreme Court so far agrees with.
Shadid explained on Sunday afternoon, in his downtown campaign headquarters, that with three children to think about, he and his ex-wife Dina – who co-parent the children and remained strong friends – did not want the details of their divorce to be released in a public way, in order to protect their two young daughters and one son.
And 45-year-old Shadid is adamant that this current barrage of personal attacks by The Oklahoman – arguably the state’s leading newspaper – is a diversionary tactic by a media outlet bent on preventing Shadid from being the city’s next mayor.
Sunday’s leading story is “a desperate attempt by an increasingly irrelevant newspaper to distract us from the real issues facing the people of Oklahoma City,” Shadid told Red Dirt Report.
Wow, this 2014 Mayor’s Race is going to be fun.
Here are few random thoughts:
• “We challenge Shadid and Cornett to focus on issues and ideas rather than ideology, class envy and personality. Unfortunately, Shadid has already signaled that he’s unlikely to do this. His response to Cornett’s re-election announcement was crude, divisive and peppered with class-envy rhetoric.” That’s from an Oklahoman editorial on August 9th titled “Here’s hoping Oklahoma City mayoral contest stays civil.” I wish the Jokelahoman would follow their own advice.
• The Oklahoman’s investigation is being led by reporter Nolan Clay and editor Robbie Trammell. According to my sources at the Oklahoman, these two guys are 100% company men / footsoldiers that have no problem doing the dirty work for Publisher Chris Reen. For example, it was Nolan Clay who “reported” on the Zeke Campfield Moore graduation allegations for the paper. Also, Robbie Trammell is one of the editors who allegedly confronted Zeke in the newsroom about a similar incident at the fairgrounds. Just throwing that out there.
Obviously the “State’s Most Trusted News” is extremely biased here and it shows. You can tell they don’t like Shadid. They’re trying to turn the focus away from the actual issues and focus on pointless things like pot smoking and divorce. When you check Chris Reen’s bio, you shouldn’t be surprised: “Chris is very active in civic affairs and currently is Vice Chair for the United Way of Central Oklahoma campaign, Vice Chair of the Total Recource Development campaign for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chair of the Allied Arts Campaign, and is a member of the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board and advisory subcommittee for the Oklahoma River. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Oklahoma Boathouse Foundation, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, the State Chamber of Oklahoma, and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.” Of course, the state’s “Most Trusted News” didn’t disclose any of that.
In the spirit of disclosure, there’s something I should probably reveal. I like both candidates… a lot.
I’ve been a fan of Mayor Mick since he’s been our mayor and am good friends with a few of his kids. I’ve lived in this city my entire life, and am still amazed by the Renaissance we’ve gone through under his watch. He deserves a lot of credit for that. If it wasn’t for his persistence and optimism, I’m not so sure we would have an elite NBA team exposing our city’s progress to the rest of the world. I’m not sure we’d be ranked in the top 10 of every pro-business list of cities. I’m not sure OKC would be an actually decent, not so boring, place to live.
That being said, I really like Ed and what he stands for. We get so obsessed with the skyscrapers, magazine articles and bad shots by Russell Westbrook that we forget Oklahoma City still has a lot of “Big League City” problems that need to be addressed; real life problems like poverty, crime, education and dying neighborhoods that can’t be solved with a simple one-cent sales tax or new convention center. Those “real life” problems are the focus of Ed’s campaign, and if you spend a few minutes with him, you think he can solve them. It’s why he’s a serious candidate for mayor and has developed a strong grassroots campaign and loyal following.
But instead of focusing on these two quality candidates and their contrasting views and visions, our state’s largest newspaper is flexing its muscle and trying to smear one to help get the other elected. I guess it’s what we should all expect, but it’s still kind of sad. There are a lot of good discussions to have regarding this race, and the Oklahoman doesn’t want to have them. It kind of makes me want to smoke a joint and go to Taco Bell. Maybe I’ll see Mick or Ed there.
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