After a brilliant performance in the Tuesday night’s OKC Mayoral Debate, where she outshone her competitors on law and order, homelessness, and MAPS questions, Carol Hefner, conservative front-runner and main challenger to incumbent Mayor David Holt (who chose not to attend the debate), was ambushed by the moderators with a “gotcha question” tantamount to the treatment President Trump received during the 2016 GOP Primary Debates.
The question, asked by News 9’s Storme Jones, was, “Mrs. Hefner, your social media history includes some incendiary comments. You called Islam and evil culture and not a religion, and you compared President Barack Obama to Hitler. Should the people of Oklahoma City be concerned that you will be a divisive mayor with a propensity to making negative statements?”
The question, which was essentially trying to pin her with the “mean tweeter” label that they gave President Trump, didn’t seem to throw Hefner, who hails from Lebanese parents. Instead, she responded with sharing her family’s very personal story of escaping brutal persecution under Islamic rule as Lebanese Christians:
In escaping Islam, and the oppression, my grandfathers had crosses tattooed on their right hand. One was from Nazareth, and one was from the Sea of Galilee. They were identified just like Holocaust victims with the tattoos on their arms. They were identified with the mark on their right hand because in that culture you only reach with your right hand to greet someone. The left hand is considered dirty. And so those people were oppressed, and it was a slow death. You couldn’t get food, you couldn’t get clothing, or a place to stay.”
That’s why my family came to America. To seek a better life, and to become purely American. I slept on floors when my parents were doing things to raise us up. My grandfather lived in a dug out cave with dirt floors to become American. They came here legally and came here to be free. So yes, it is a very negative culture and does things that are oppressive, I don’t agree with that.”
As if they were looking for a reason to be triggered, the local legacy media and Muslim community completely ignored the heroic story of survival and a fight to live free that the Coury (Hefner’s maiden name) family endured to live the American dream, and latched onto the end of her comments where she compared the evils of slavery to the torture of innocent Christians under Islam as something she would like to get rid of:
It’s just like slavery. I don’t agree with that (slavery). [Slavery] is incipid, its been here since the beginning of time. I don’t know how personally I’m going to get rid of it, but I would like to have those conversations. It’s very important that the things that we say hold value. I would like to sit down and have healing conversations, offer grace back and forth. It’s very important to me to make sure we heal our community.”
Instead, The Oklahoman, in an article released today, took the comments out of context, claiming that her comments showed, “note of contempt for the religion [of Islam].”
In a conversation with Ignite Liberty about her social media comments, Hefner stated, “Those were produced in 2013. We are all a work in progress, and I would like to think that over the last many years I have grown in grace. We all deserve grace. Slavery, hate, and oppression are detestable and should be eradicated from the earth. What a beautiful world that would be!”
Islamic Terrorism Supporters Attack Hefner
Like clockwork, however, the local Islam community along with CAIR (the Council for American Islamic Relations) used the opportunity to attack Hefner’s statements as being Islamophobic and full of hate. CAIR was founded as a “non-profit, grassroots membership organization … established to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America,” to protect Muslims from hate crimes and discrimination, and to present “an Islamic perspective on issues of importance to the American public.”
According to DiscoverTheNetworks.org (a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center), CAIR is a “civil rights group partially funded by the Saudi Wahhabi establishment.” Wahhabi is among the most extreme of Islamic sects.
CAIR has numerous known ties to extremist terrorist organizations. Steve Pomerantz, the former chief of FBI counter-terrorism, stated that “CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.” In fact, terrorism expert Steven Emerson, citing federal law enforcement sources and internal documents, characterizes CAIR as “a radical fundamentalist front group for Hamas.”
CAIR has long been the enemy of conservatives and constitutionalists primarily because of their desire to replace the U.S. Constitution with Sharia law – something they’ve nearly accomplished in places like Dearborn, Michigan. The fact that they turn their attacks on Hefner, with the willing aid of News 9 and Non-Doc (the debate’s sponsors), speaks volumes about which of the conservative candidates they feel is the biggest threat to their agenda.
In fact, on Twitter the only candidate getting open support from the Muslim community was Hefner’s conservative opponent, Frank Urbanic:
Hefner Shines on Law and Order, MAPS
In addition to the skillful handling of the “gotcha question” at the end, Hefner showed extraordinary competence and awareness in her answers to whether she would support 21CP’s recommendations to the city council for police reforms. As Hefner accurately pointed out, the Baltimore-based 21CP Solutions has been one of the organizations behind the “defund the police” movement that struck at the heart of police departments in nearly every major city in the country following the widespread riots in 2020. Showing support for the heritage that her family has helped build, Hefner stated, “Baltimore solutions have no place in OKC. We are capable of solving our own problems.” Urbanic, meanwhile, said he felt the recommendations from 21CP, “seemed reasonable.”
Perhaps the most puzzling moment of the night was when the Libertarian-leaning Urbanic stated that he didn’t feel like the city was under any obligation to fund the MAPS projects voted on by the people (a statement he has continually made during his campaign), Hefner rightly corrected him, stating, “when we have a vote, we have to abide by the people’s will. That is the truth of the matter. That’s why it’s so important [to get out and vote]. Elections have consequences.”
Hearing a candidate for office stating that they didn’t believe the government was duty-bound to follow will of the people as expressed in a vote is something you would have expected to hear from a far-left candidate, not someone claiming to be a conservative. Hefner, meanwhile, called for an audit of the MAPS projects to ensure that the taxpayer’s dollars are being wisely spent on the projects they voted on, and not being wasted.
Holt Absent While Hefner Steals Show
With only a week left until early voting begins in the February 8th primary, Holt’s absence from the debate was telling, as regularly commented on by the participants. Hefner is widely expected to not only be Holt’s only real challenger, but if weather doesn’t prevent a large turnout (like it did last year) experts are saying there is a decent chance that Hefner wins outright on the 8th. That would require her to receive 51% of the vote.
A win for Hefner, whether on the 8th or in the general election, would be a crippling blow to Holt’s political career and signal a welcome change in direction for a city that has seen homelessness and crime skyrocket under Holt’s leadership.