Switzer says letter to editor not authorized by him
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Thursday, November 01, 2012
11/01/12 at 4:11 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer said Wednesday that he is not the author of a letter expressing support for a state question that was published in The Norman Transcript.
The letter attributed to Switzer and his wife, Becky Switzer, in Tuesday's Norman Transcript supports State Question 766, which would eliminate the state's intangible property tax on things such as trademarks, customer lists and patents.
The question headed to state voters Tuesday is backed by the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, which sent in the letter to the Transcript.
"I never signed the letter," Switzer said. "My wife certainly didn't."
Switzer said he received a copy of the letter a long time ago but didn't take any action on it.
Andy Rieger, the Transcript's executive editor, said the newspaper will write a story about the situation.
He said he was assured by Jennifer Monies, State Chamber of Commerce senior vice president of communications, that the letter was signed by the Switzers.
"So with that I went ahead and published it on Tuesday with the assurance from the (state) Chamber that it was legitimate," Rieger said.
He said the letter has been removed from the newspaper's website.
"We have probably been duped a few times before," Rieger said. "We try to know who our letter writers are and since this was coming from the State Chamber and they verified it, we didn't have additional questions about it."
"We received information that Mr. and Mrs. Switzer are supportive of State Question 766 and drafted a letter to the editor to that effect to submit on their behalf," Monies said. "Unfortunately, they never signed off on the final draft of the letter that was submitted. ... We sincerely apologize for any miscommunication on this issue."
Switzer said he didn't want to make a political statement on the state question, but he does want voters to support judges on the retention ballot. He said he doesn't want special interest groups to have the ability to pick judges.
The State Chamber-backed Oklahoma Civil Justice Council recently released its rankings of Supreme Court justices based on whether their decisions expanded or limited civil liabilities.
"I am in favor of the retention of judges and did sign a letter to that effect," Switzer said.
He said he believes that the governor appoints judges who are concerned about the residents of Oklahoma, act with common sense and do the fair and right thing for all.
Original Print Headline: Switzer says letter to editor not from him
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465