Mud-Slinging Comic Book Stirs Up Scandal

Political candidates looking for an edge have employed all types of cutthroat tactics to sully their opponents, from TV ads depicting nuclear war and paroled murderer-rapists to flyers alleging interracial relationships and criminal fraud.

And then there was the 16-page homophobic comic book featuring Satan, angels, toga-wearing gay people and crude depictions of public officials discussing "anal sodomy" and "Pedifiles."

Read the whole comic book here.

Brent Rinehart, an Oklahoma County Commissioner locked in a tough reelection race, spent two months creating the comic book and is preparing to send it out to registered Republicans in his district.


In one panel, Satan is depicted holding a pitchfork, saying "If I can get the kids to believe homosexuality is normal!"

A nearby angel replies, "Hey Satan, not with Brent around you won't."

The book also attacks Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who filed felony campaign finance charges against Rinehart last year related to his 2004 campaign for county commissioner. Rinehart's trial is set to begin in September.

Edmondson is depicted holding a sign that says "Gay rights now!" while Rinehart's figure blasts the attorney general for his decision to "force the Boy Scouts to accept homosexuals as scout leaders, a pedifile's [sic] dream come true."

Though the book's content has stirred up scandal and been widely condemned by politicians in Oklahoma, Rinehart is unrepentant, misspellings aside.

"I'm proud of it," he tells "It's a novel way to tell a story about the last three and a half years. It's informative, entertaining and a good read."

"That's not the first storm that I've stirred up since I was elected to office," says Rinehart, explaining that "in my opinion, there are a lot of people who in their campaign material, it's the same old 'Blah, blah, blah.' I wanted to do something different."

The book's targets were outraged at their depictions.

Edmondson issued a statement saying, "A drowning man tends to thrash about."

And the attorney general's spokesman added, "That's the nature of being in a prosecutorial office. People don't like it when you file charges against them."

Rinehart defended his depiction of Edmondson, explaining that "it's a way to show his true colors."

He denied the campaign finance charges, calling them "politically vindictive."

"There is nothing to them," Rinehart said. "I abided by the letter of the law."

As for Edmondson, Rinehart says "He is the one bent on vindictive revenge."

Jim Roth, an openly gay member of the corporation commission in Oklahoma City, is depicted in the cartoons, leading a group of shirtless gay-rights marchers.

"He's a disturbed soul and it's disgusting to see him target people like that," says Roth, who says that he often tangled with Rinehart when they served together on the county commission.

"I'm very familiar with his twisted thinking. He has a professional history of doing things to distract from his own bad behavior."

Rinehart admits that the book is "edgy at times" but claims that it is not bigoted or homophobic. "What you do in the bedroom is private, but when it comes to public policy, that's a different matter. When they make it [like adding rules making sexual orientation one of the forms of discrimination outlawed in Oklahoma City schools] public policy, that's where I get a little irate."

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