OKC Mayoral Debate Report Card
7:53 AM EST on January 26, 2022
Last night, a broad coalition of local media outlets, conveniently excluding us, hosted a debate of the three candidates vying for second place in the OKC Mayoral Election on February 8th.
Incumbent Mayor David Holt wisely dodged the debate. He has a massive polling lead, lots and lots of campaign money, and a new selfie-stick to break-in at the Jones Assembly, so you can't blame him for finding something better to do than stand around on a stage while three people with axes to grind talk a lot of shit.
Since Holt skipped the debate, the organizers went the passive-aggressive route and put a tiny picture of him on a little table for the other event attendees to comically address throughout the evening:
Instead of a photo, they should have used an iPhone with a David Holt selfie as the background wallpaper, or maybe a pic of him posing with a celebrity who's in town shooting a film at Prairie Wolf Studios. That would have been more realistic.
Thanks to that tiny picture, the general low-fi production values, and the fact that 1/3 of the participants were affluent racist Karens spouting nonsense that bordered the lines of self-parody, the debate felt at times like an SNL sketch come to life.
If you want to feel civically engaged or enjoy a decent freak show, you can watch the full thing on Facebook. If you have better things to do than watch three people attack a photograph of a man for an hour, here's a quick-hitting report card:
Frank Urbanic: C+
I just had Frank on the podcast, so I can't be too mean here. That being said, his public speaking style feels a bit like Jim Carey doing stand-up. Seriously, what's he trying to sell me? His credentials for mayor, or a new set of knives at the State Fair???
Frank lost me a bit at times and I disagree with most of his viewpoints, but he did get a good dig on Carol Hefner when he recited her endorsement of him during his opening statements. It actually generated some boos from Carol Hefner's hot daughters! I think he could have gotten in a few more swipes at Carol, like mentioning that she wanted him to pay her $3,300 a month to work for his campaign:
Carol Hefner: D-
I'm not giving Carol an F because, if we're being honest, it's hard to give an F about Carol Hefner. Plus, she managed to use the Mayor McSelfie nickname that we have used repeatedly on this site since 2019. That bumps her up a notch.
For the most part, Carol spent the debate reminding voters that right-wing mass psychosis is a very real problem, and we need to do more to help the mentally ill in the country. I think my favorite moment is when she shared a story about how she drove around town and asked 92 homeless people where they came from:
"I have spoken to 92 homeless people, and I found out 89 of them are from the west coast. They were given a one-way bus ticket, and they said they didn’t know where they were going."
For a quick second, imagine you're a homeless person trying to take a nap under the overpass where the OKC Boulevard crosses over Western. It's cold outside, you're hungry and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation has just destroyed your shelter and taken your possessions. Then, right when you're about to doze off, some affluent white lady pulls up in her BMW and goes full Karen on you, asking where you live, where came from, and more than likely, if her family can hunt you down as game.
Actually, I doubt that's how Carol conducted her survey. I bet she simply bussed in 92 homeless folks from the West Coast and asked them to fill out a questionnaire.
Carol was also asked a question about her racist Facebook posts that, at last check, have only been published by the one media outlet in town (a.k.a. the one that wasn't invited to participate in the debate). You know, posts like these:
Carol, who is 60 and wrote these items when she was 53, tried to dodge the question. She at first went the woke PR route and claimed she would "revisit" them and "have meaningful conversations," but then changed tunes and went with the very unbelievable "these are old posts and I've changed since then" excuse.
Jimmy Lawson: B+
I think the goal of Jimmy Lawson in this debate was to let progressives and Democratic-leaning moderates who see through Holt's feel-good chummy veil know that A) He exists and B) He's competent enough for you to consider tossing a vote his way on February 8th. That's where I'm leaning, so I guess he accomplished that goal.
David Holt: A+
From a pragmatic perspective, you can't blame Holt for dodging the debate. He had nothing to gain and a lot to lose. Plus, it kind of fits Holt's bill. When it's convenient and good for him to be the mayor of OKC, he's usually right there, front and center, ready to enjoy the fruits and take all the credit, but when there's something inconvenient or contentious at stake, a difficult issue that calls for difficult decisions, he usually hides in the shadows, just one quiet vote of nine on the council, hands tied. Womp womp.
Moderators: D- & B+
The debate was moderated by Mr. William Howard "Trey" Savage Jr. III Et al. of Non-Doctrine and Storme Jones of News 9. One of them came off as an insufferable scallywag who wanted to insert himself into the debate as much as possible, while the other was Storme Jones of News 9. I'll you decide who's who.
Production Values: D-
For a Big League City debate, the debate sure had small-time city productions values! The mics were hot and sound levels were all over the place, and video cameras looked like they were operated by student interns at the top of Gallegher Iba Arena.
Anyway, that's my report card. If you actually watched the debate, please share your thoughts in the comments.
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