Candidates supported by the Oklahoma Stonewall Democrats in a newspaper advertisment that featured a picture based on the flag-raising at Iwo Jima weren’t told about it in advance, but they should have come out immediately to denouce it, the head of the Oklahoma Republican Party says.
The ad ran last week in two Oklahoma City weekly newspapers. It included a picture of four shirtless men posed similar to the famous photograph of five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the American flag on Iwo Jima during World War II.
Gary Jones, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, said the ad was “in very poor taste” and criticized Democratic candidates for not acting quicker to denounce the ad.
“When people do things that you don’t agree with, separate yourself from them,” Jones said. “Give their money back, tell them you don’t agree with this and put out a statement that you don’t condone this. But to sit back and remain quiet and then take their money, that’s almost an implied endorsement of what they’re doing.”
Steve VanHook, co-chairman of the Oklahoma Stonewall Democrats. said the candidates named in the ad are “blameless” because they weren’t shown it in advance.
He apologized to the candidates and to any veterans who were offended.
Ivan Holmes, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said the ad was not in good taste, and he faulted the group for not first contacting the candidates.
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Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau