Cor­nett’s ‘100,000 jobs’ ci­ta­tion in ad refers to seven-county area

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - NEWS - BY CHRIS CASTEEL Staff Writer ccas­teel@oklahoman.com

Repub­li­can gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date Mick Cor­nett launched a tele­vi­sion ad last week in Tulsa aimed at in­tro­duc­ing the for­mer Ok­la­homa City mayor to a re­gion where he is not as well known.

In the 30-sec­ond bi­o­graph­i­cal spot, which shows pic­tures of his fam­ily and early years as a broad­caster, Cor­nett, the for­mer mayor of Ok­la­homa City, says “Nearly 100,000 new jobs.” There is no con­text or ex­pla­na­tion.

Will Gat­tenby, Cor­nett’s cam­paign spokesman, said in an email that the num­ber re­flects an in­crease in em­ploy­ment of 121,513 from early 2004, when Cor­nett first took of­fice, un­til early this year, just be­fore he stepped aside.

How­ever, the U.S. Bureau of La­bor Statistics data used for the num­ber re­flects em­ploy­ment in the en­tire Ok­la­homa City metropoli­tan area. The BLS in­cludes seven coun­ties in the area: Cana­dian, Cleve­land, Grady, Lincoln, Lo­gan, McClain and Ok­la­homa.

Those coun­ties in­clude cities like Ed­mond, Pied­mont, Mus­tang, Moore, Nor­man and oth­ers that have had high rates of growth in the past decade.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est U.S. Cen­sus Bureau es­ti­mates, the Ok­la­homa City metropoli­tan area has about 1.4 mil­lion peo­ple, more than twice the pop­u­la­tion of Ok­la­homa City it­self.

Gat­tenby did not re­spond to a ques­tion about whether Cor­nett was claim­ing in the ad to have cre­ated 100,000 jobs in the city or in the Ok­la­homa City metropoli­tan area.

A press re­lease is­sued last week about the ad says Cor­nett’s legacy in city gov­ern­ment in­cludes “100,000 new jobs.”

The ad is Cor­nett’s first of the cam­paign, and the fo­cus on the Tulsa tele­vi­sion mar­ket aims to close the gap some­what be­tween Cor­nett’s name iden­ti­fi­ca­tion in his home­town and in the state’s sec­ond largest city.

Early this year, a po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee back­ing Cor­nett fi­nanced ads for him in the Tulsa mar­ket.

Gat­tenby said the cam­paign in­tends to run ads in Tulsa up to the June 26 pri­maries.

Richard­son ad uses anti-im­mi­gra­tion group’s es­ti­mates

Tulsa at­tor­ney Gary Richard­son, an­other Repub­li­can run­ning for gov­er­nor, claims in his most re­cent tele­vi­sion ad that illegal im­mi­gra­tion costs Ok­la­homa tax­pay­ers $464 mil­lion a year.

A spokesman for Richard­son said the num­ber came from a study by the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Im­mi­gra­tion Re­form (FAIR), a non-profit group based in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., that says it wants “bet­ter border man­age­ment” and “lower lev­els of over­all im­mi­gra­tion.”

The group’s lat­est re­port es­ti­mates that illegal im­mi­grants and their chil­dren cost Ok­la­homans $624 mil­lion a year. That is based on the group’s es­ti­mate that 107,000 “illegal aliens live in Ok­la­homa” along with “their roughly 36,000 U.S.-born chil­dren.” The group es­ti­mates that “illegal alien house­holds add 31,000 stu­dents to lo­cal schools.”

Deana Silk, a spokesper­son for the Ok­la­homa ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment, said the depart­ment does not track in­for­ma­tion cited by the FAIR group.

“Schools are re­quired to ed­u­cate ev­ery­one re­gard­less of cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus,” Silk said.

The FAIR group es­ti­mates that $241 mil­lion in an­nual Ok­la­homa ed­u­ca­tion costs, in­clud­ing lim­ited English pro­fi­cient in­struc­tion, is at­trib­ut­able to illegal im­mi­gra­tion. The group makes other es­ti­mates for Med­i­caid, law en­force­ment, cor­rec­tions and gen­eral gov­ern­ment ser­vices.

In its re­port, the FAIR group states that, “Es­ti­ma­tions of the state and lo­cal costs as­so­ci­ated with illegal aliens are con­sid­er­ably more dif­fi­cult to pin­point than the fed­eral costs.”

The group says it uses “state-by-state to­tals of illegal aliens com­piled by cred­i­ble re­search in­sti­tu­tions.”

One in­sti­tu­tion cited is the Pew Re­search Cen­ter. A 2014 Pew study es­ti­mated Ok­la­homa’s unau­tho­rized im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion at 95,000, about 12,000 less than the FAIR study cited by Richard­son’s cam­paign. Ok­la­homa’s to­tal pop­u­la­tion is about 4 mil­lion.

Im­mi­gra­tion was a ma­jor theme of Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign for pres­i­dent two years ago. A re­cent public poll showed that 80 per­cent of likely Ok­la­homa Repub­li­can pri­mary vot­ers ap­proved of Trump.

Lamb adds Trump to ex­ist­ing TV spot

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb quickly in­cor­po­rated Don­ald Trump Jr. into his tele­vi­sion ad­ver­tis­ing. A week af­ter Trump’s May 2 ap­pear­ance in Ok­la­homa City for a Lamb fundraiser, the Lamb cam­paign added a picture to an ex­ist­ing tele­vi­sion spot of Lamb and Trump to­gether.

The Lamb cam­paign has not re­leased fundrais­ing to­tals from the $500-a-plate event, but the big­ger value may have been in the pub­lic­ity and the ad op­por­tu­ni­ties.

[SCREEN GRAB FROM VIDEO]

In his first tele­vi­sion ad, Repub­li­can gu­ber­na­to­rial hope­ful Mick Cor­nett makes ref­er­ence to a job num­ber for a sev­en­county area, not the city he once led.

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