We finally have some controversy in the Gubernatorial race!
Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson – the sleaze ball trial lawyer who’s trying to muck his way into the Republican nomination for Governor – recently released a new campaign ad that exploits the tragic death of the late Bob Barry Jr. to promote a hard-right anti-immigration agenda.
Check it out:
Wow. Gary Richardson tried to use the sudden, tragic and shocking death of a local celebrity for political gain? That’s almost as revolting as demonizing an entire group of people based off the illegal actions of one person! Thank goodness the guy who senselessly killed BBJ wasn’t a poor white guy without auto insurance, otherwise Gary Richardson would be trying to deport 40% of Oklahoma back to Europe.
The ad really struck a chord with BBK’s old employer – KFOR Channel 4. In a rare instance of defending dignity over profit, they called out the Richardson campaign for exploiting one of the station’s former personalities. Check out this nugget from their report:
News 4 is obligated to run a political candidate’s ad as long as it is factual and legal. The ad met both of those requirements.
“It meets all the legal requirements of the FCC,” said KFOR General Manager Wes Milbourn. “But, we did mention that we were displeased with their advertising tactics and the exploitation of Bob Barry Junior.”
In all fairness to Richardson, it’s not like BBJ’s family wasn’t involved with this. Richardson’s campaign obviously contacted the family to get permission… right? He wouldn’t do this without permission?
Well… check out this response from BBJ’s son – Matt Barry:
“First and foremost, the Barry Family finds it deeply concerning that Mr. Richardson chose to feature the tragic and untimely death of our Father in his campaign advertisement without seeking consent. The last few years have been a very difficult time for the Barry family as we’re still reeling from this unexpected loss. Although we have no personal dislike for Mr. Richardson or his political ambitions, we find it very troubling that Mr. Richardson ran an advertisement that could imply that the Barry family endorses in any way his election as Governor of the State of Oklahoma. In sum, the Barry family does not appreciate the liberties taken by Mr. Richardson and his campaign; and condemn the utter lack of respect shown towards our tragic loss.”
Well said, Matt. I can’t believe he ran that ad without getting your family’s permission either. That’s a thoughtless and classless move even by shady trial lawyer standards. Richardson should be ashamed.
Instead, he’s treating it like no big deal. This was Richardson’s response to KFOR:
“I truly have a heart for the Barrys. I have a heart for the people of Oklahoma,” said Richardson Monday afternoon from his law office in Tulsa. “We’re just doing the best we know how to do to help people become aware.”…
“We’ve had people offended at other ads we’ve run, you know,” Richardson said. “It’s politics, you know.”
Yeah, but in the past you’ve offended people with your backwards political views, or by putting Kevin Stitt in a hoodie. This offended people because you’re blatantly trying to exploit a man’s death strictly for political gain. There’s a big difference.
Although Richardson’s ad was offensive to some, I’m pretty sure that was the goal. Gary Richardson’s entire campaign strategy seems to be built around a Donald Trump / Roger Stone “Any publicity is good publicity” playbook. Do or say something stupid, let the media rush to cover it, and then fight back against the media by calling it fake news: