• July 28, 2014

Illegal fliers attack Killeen council candidates

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Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:00 pm

By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

As the May 12 election day draws closer, some Killeen groups and people are revealing their political campaign positions and candidate choices.

Several Killeen residents have received anonymous fliers in the mail, which violate state ethics laws, attacking mayoral candidate Bill Workman and city council at-large candidate Jonathan Okray.

The illegal fliers are political advertisements, which means they must include the words "political advertising" or a recognizable abbreviation, such as "pol. adv.," and they must disclose the full name of either the person, party or candidate who paid for them, according to the Texas Ethics Commission.

The yellow fliers mention Okray's legal troubles involving his ex-wife nearly two years ago and Workman's tenure as a recalled council member.

Okray has a court date set after the city election on a misdemeanor assault charge. In a December 2010 arrest affidavit, Okray and his former wife were involved in a domestic altercation, and he's accused of hitting her.

"I have no control of the court docket, and it if someone wants to question that they should call the county attorney's office," said Okray. "It was the county that asked for the last continuance."

Workman and Okray called the anonymous fliers "cowardice."

"If they want to be petty and be childish, I am not going to fight fire with fire," said Workman, adding that he doesn't want to stoop to such unethical campaign advertising. "People want fairness and openness. They don't want this undermining type of government."

But Okray and Workman aren't without their local allies. The Citizens Action Pact has purchased advertising in support of Workman, Okray and five other candidates as the non-good-ol'-boys on the Killeen ballot.

"We have vetted them as being constituent-oriented candidates," said Don Clay, president of the Citizens Action Pact and a retired military officer.

The other candidates selected by the pact are Jason Lawhorn (District 1), Frankie Williams Sr. (District 2), Steve Harris (at-large), Daniel Kott (at-large) and Milton Powell (at-large).

Clay said his group determined that the seven candidates don't have any connections to builders or developers. They support term limits for city board and commission members and would hold town hall meetings with residents.

"That is one of the wonderful things about our democracy; people have the ability to choose who they like," said Travis Sutterfield, who is Lawhorn's opponent in the District 1 race, adding that he doesn't think the pact has listened to him on the campaign trail if it has lumped him with the "good ol' boys."

Clay said the pact was created to promote the concerns of Killeen residents instead of just listening to builders. He recalled a time when more than 100 residents gave 14 presentations before the council in opposition of a housing development, but the governing body approved the construction with only the developer being in favor of the project.

As for the upcoming election, Clay said Killeen residents delivered strike one by signing the recall petition to remove city council members from office nearly a year ago. Strike two was voting them out of office in November.

"Strike three is to come and elect people who would represent the people," he said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHCoveEditor.

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