On Friday morning, we received a somewhat cryptic, anonymous email from the Ogle Mole Network claiming they had audio of Mary Failin’ T-shirt wearer and Oklahoma Internet star Rico Smith “threatening to sue Connie Johnson.” The email, which appeared to come from the Johnson camp, also included a few accusations that I don’t feel comfortable publicizing on here.
After a brief email exchange, the Mole sent me the audio and sure enough, there was some dude rambling on about he was going to go sue Connie Johnson and go to the media to expose some of her wrongdoings. I had no clue if it was Rico or not, but the voice seemed to match his photo. Since I was getting all this on Friday and really like to get drunk on the weekends, I figured I’d look into everything on Monday, or better yet, wait until the legitimate media reported it.
Well, my laziness and alcoholism paid off. Word of Rico’s lawsuit apparently trickled up to The Oklahoman, and on Sunday, one of their most loyal hatchet men, Rick Green, jumped at the chance to write a critical article about an Oklahoma Democrat running for office.
U.S. Senate candidate Connie Johnson has paid her daughter nearly $7,000 from campaign funds while allegedly stiffing a University of Oklahoma student who claims he is owed more than $1,319 for work on her campaign.
Rico Smith, 22, of Moore, alleges in his complaint filed Sept. 25 in Oklahoma County District Court that she failed to pay him $1,319 for work he did with her campaign over the summer.
He describes the debt on his small claims action as “breach of contract/failure to pay.” Smith declined comment on the pending litigation.
Johnson, a Democratic state senator from Oklahoma City, said there have been many changes on her campaign staff.
“We changed staff a couple of times,” she said. “They are young and highly mobile. Many of them have gone on to better jobs.”
In terms of pay disagreements, Johnson said this may have arisen with people who were in voluntary roles. She declined to return multiple calls for further comment.
Her latest campaign spending reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show $74,300 in contributions and $66,838 in expenditures. She is a decided underdog in the campaign to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, who is stepping down two years early because of health concerns. She is facing Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, who has raised and spent more than $2 million.
Johnson’s reports show a $250 expenditure to Smith on July 10 for “contract labor.”
Johnson’s reports also show $6,784 in expenditures to her daughter, Annasthaeyzsia Adrienne Samuel, 26, of Oklahoma City. No other staff member is paid nearly as much. The payments are generally described as “payroll expense” and “consulting services.”
Johnson said her daughter is a graphic design graduate of Oklahoma State University. She said her daughter performed graphic design and consulting, saying she had produced a “good-looking logo.” Samuel did not return telephone calls for comment.
Johnson, who has been in office nine years, is considered one of the most liberal Democrats in the state Legislature. She is backing a recreational marijuana initiative, for which signatures are being gathered. The initiative campaign got off to a slow start after the Oklahoma attorney general’s office found the ballot title insufficient and had to rewrite it.
I don’t really fault The Oklahoman for this hit piece. I guess we should know when a former staffer / volunteer sues a US Senate candidate for back pay, especially when the candidate pays her daughter $6,500 to design a logo. But if you’re looking to show someone how The Oklahoman’s political bias impacts and directs their reporting, this article is the perfect example.
For one, it would never had been published if a staffer had sued James Lankford or Jim Inhofe or anyone else The Oklahoman supports. Ask Ed Shadid, they are always out to protect their political allies and go after their perceived enemies.
And two, they totally ignored the 6′ 4″ elephant in the room. The didn’t mention anywhere that Rico Smith, the guy at the center of the lawsuit, is a local Internet celebrity basking in 15 minutes of fame after taking one super funny picture with Mary Fallin. So far, Rico’s pic has been the signature moment of the 2014 Oklahoma Gubernatorial campaign. It went viral on Facebook – our write-up alone reached 70,000 people – and even got the mainstream treatment by KOCO Channel 5 and the Tulsa World.
But The Oklahoman, a.k.a. “The State’s Most Trusted News,” is living in a lala land where the photo doesn’t exist. They haven’t mentioned it at all. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – I think we all kind of wish the local news would stick with covering real news – but it totally contradicts the paper’s new media, Buzfeedification mission statement that gets off on plastering all sorts of pointless crap and clickbait on its website each day.
Stuff like this…
Yesterday morning, the Supreme Court refused to take on the case of two Tulsa women who challenged Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in Oklahoma. The first same-sex marriage licenses were issued Monday, and somehow the world is still standing. It’s kind of crazy — what seemed completely impossible just ten years ago became something that was so inevitable that when it really happened yesterday it almost seemed understated: NewsOK actually ran the news below a story about Durant’s water supply.
While most of us were some combination of elated and relieved for our gay brothers and sisters, and excited to be watching history unfold, there were some who weren’t so happy. You know the kind. Yes, the Derplahomans took to the internet comments section to do what they do best: make really cogent and persuasive arguments against same-sex marriage. A roundup of them follows. I hope you have a shower nearby.
A lot of people expressed a common theme:
OK, clearly none of these people has even a basic understanding of the concept of consent, but beyond that it’s always kind of amazing how many people suddenly express an interest in marrying their pets whenever this subject comes up.
Others went right for the hellfire and brimstone:
Congratulations to Reed Timmer. He’s as happy as a maxi-wedge grinder. He has a little more hook to his echo.
After likely being repeatedly rejected by Emily Sutton (and probably Bree Steffen on Tinder), Mike Morgan’s bionic stormchaser is now engaged to Fox News Weatherbabe Maria Molina. We first told you the couple was dating back in August.
Here are the details via Fox News:
Some good news this morning on “Fox and Friends” as meteorologist Maria Molina shared the details of her engagement.
Maria and storm chaser Reed Timmer got engaged last week as he popped the question while they were – fittingly – storm chasing.
Maria explained that he had a big plan to propose with a tornado in the background and Timmer’s friend was going to photograph it, but the tornado never showed up.
He was going to propose in front of a tornado? Uhm, I would say that popping the question in front a deadly and destructive force of nature is kind of tacky, but then again, this is a guy that rolls down May Ave. in a car from the set of a demolition derby movie and is somehow able to still take himself seriously.
Here’s a pic of the ring along with a weird video from Fox News:
“Will work for Fiat.”
That’s a new panhandling sign you’re likely to spot on a street corner near you.
By now, you’ve surely seen or heard about the viral video of some angry Oklahoma City man scolding and threatening a grandma panhandler who is probably named Blanche after he learned the woman drove a new Fiat. Yep, a Fiat. I guess her Gio broke down or something.
Since last week, the video has received nearly 3,000,000 views on Facebook. It was filmed and posted by someone named Brandi Newman. Apparently, Brandi gave some money to Blanche earlier in the week in northwest Oklahoma City. When Brandi noticed Blanche getting into a Fiat at a nearby gas station a few days later, she decided to film it because nothing is more satisfying than showing your ignorance to the panhandling con. Then, in what can only be considered a weird coincidence and not a carefully planned and calculated Nathan Fielder stunt, some angry dude who was also duped confronted Blanche in the gas station parking lot.
Here’s the video:
First of all, I don’t blame the guy – his name is Daniel Ayala – for being upset. I’d be angry too if I learned a panhandler lied about needing food, and then used the money I handed to them on a street corner to buy a Fiat instead. That’s far worse than spending it on cigarettes, crack and cheap whiskey like most other panhandlers, right?
That being said, why was Daniel giving his lunch and gas money to a panhandler? Does he also buy magazines from the 27-year-old “student” looking to pay for his “class trip to Europe.” I assumed it was common knowledge that most panhandlers out there are not homeless. In fact, I’ve heard that most have homes and are simply lazy, out-of-work Berry Tramel impersonators.
Because they like to get to the bottom of the important stories, Channel 9 actually hunted down and taunted the 78-year-old lady, who – friendly reminder – stands at street corners begging for money. What could go wrong with that…
10) The Season That Wasn’t
There is going to come a point in time when I stop doing this to myself. When I stop telling myself and anyone who will listen that this is a new season, a different team. That this is a team built to win the national championship.
If that day didn’t manifest Saturday evening, God help us when it arrives.
The Sooners were thoroughly out coached and out played, especially at the most important position on the field in Fort Worth Saturday afternoon, losing to an inferior Horned Frogs squad 37-33. The Sooners, despite winning the time of possession and turnover battle, had little success stopping the TCU offense, and no success establishing or executing an effective offensive gameplan. Tied 24-24 at half, Oklahoma manged a paltry 9 points the final thirty minutes, none of which came on offense the last 25 minutes.
It was an ugly, turnover and penalty filled shitshow. The vaunted Oklahoma defense looked pedestrian for most of the night, particularly the first two drives of the game in which they surrendered 14 points and gave that mongrel idiot offensive coordinator an excuse to throw the ball on every play. But the defense wasn’t just a first half problem – they also proved to suck hairy ballsack the second half, even with TCU inexplicably moving away from the Zach Sanchez side of the field. The OU defense could muster no pressure against an average TCU offensive line. Bring five guys, bring one guy. Didn’t matter. TCU quarterback Trevon Boykin had all day and a few evening hours to throw the ball. I don’t care who you are. When you have all damned day to complete a pas, you are going to do it if you are on an FBS scholarship…unless your name is Trevor.
And that doesn’t even cover the offense.
I should have known better. Great teams have great quarterbacks. They have great defenses. Oklahoma has neither. I will now proceed to drink all the bourbon in Oklahoma City and sober up in time for next weekend’s pillow fight.
9) Heupel and Knight
Thanks! Your message has been sent!