The "liberal good ol' boys,” gays and Satan are doing everything they can to get Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Rinehart out of office, a comic book prepared by his re-election campaign claims.
The comic book, obtained Wednesday by The Oklahoman
, is expected to be mailed to voters by Rinehart's campaign, Rinehart said.
"A drowning man tends to thrash about,” state Attorney General Drew Edmondson, one of the targets in the book, said through a spokesman. "Nothing Rinehart says is worthy of comment or rebuttal.”
Edmondson filed felony campaign finance charges against Rinehart last year, alleging Rinehart and his former campaign manager illegally funded the 2004 campaign for county commissioner. A trial has been scheduled for September.
Another of the book's targets, Sheriff John Whetsel, called it "extremely pathetic and very bigoted. I was taken back that in 2008, a candidate would use that type of inflammatory material and do it under the name of being a Christian.”
Whetsel is depicted on two pages. In one, a sequence alleging jailer abuse of inmates at the county jail is followed by Whetsel demanding taxpayer money so he can buy "more, more and more toys!”
The 16-page comic book makes fun of homosexuals and criticizes Rinehart's political opponents. It features a man and woman admiring Rinehart's often-controversial political career.
Other prominent characters are an angel, who supports Rinehart, and Satan, who supports Rinehart's critics.
"It's more or less a story of my experiences of the last four years of being the county commissioner of District 2,” Rinehart said.
An angel, a devil and county politics
Rinehart acknowledged that the comic is edgy at times, but said it explains important issues in a light-hearted way that his constituents will enjoy.
"It makes it interesting and something that people will actually look at and understand,” Rinehart said.
Toga-wearing gays, political figures, trench coat-clad henchmen, concerned residents and Rinehart round out the comic's cast.
"This is one of the strangest things I've ever seen,” said Keith Gaddie, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma. "I've never seen a comic book with the phrase ‘anal sodomy' in it before.
Read the cartoon