Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) will not be attending a fundraiser for a local Republican Party chapter after the group distributed a flyer promising the event would feature a discussion of “some things that you may not know” about the Ku Klux Klan. However, one of the event’s organisers insisted the fundraiser was not “connected” to the KKK and was simply going to include information about how Democrats can be linked to the group.
Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz told Business Insider on Wednesday that the governor’s office contemplated having her attend the GOP Bean Feed hosted by the Garvin County Republicans on Aug. 23, however, she will not be going to the event.
“They had invited her to go, we had said we would look to put it on her schedule. She is not going,” said Weintz.
A flyer distributed by the Garvin County Republicans promised the event would feature a “great agenda” including remarks from Fallin and an opportunity to “discuss issues with fellow conservatives and find out some things that you may not know about the NRA, Planned Parenthood, Ku Klux Klan, and other organisations. Weintz would not say whether the flyer prompted Fallin’s decision not to attend the event.
“All I can tell you is she is not going and certainly that flyer was not something that is run by our office. … If she had gone, she would have talked about her plan for economic growth in Oklahoma,” Weintz said, adding, “The governor was never going to speak about any of those topics. Her plan was always to speak about her re-election campaign and her goals for the state.”
Before talking to Weintz, Business Insider spoke with Allie Burgin, the chairman of the Garvin County Republicans, who said he hoped the governor would still attend the event. Burgin said the flyer sparked a “firestorm,” but he described it as having been “taken out of context.”
“Apparently, we put out a flyer that was not sanctioned by her campaign staff and the flyer had some information that was, I guess, controversial and had some negative connotations,” said Burgin.
Burgin insisted his group was not “connected to the KKK in any way.” He also pointed out Republicans are the “party of abolition.”
“It kind of caused a firestorm because KKK was mentioned in there and it had people thinking that was a recuriting tool or something we were signing on to,” Burgin explained.
However, Burgin said his group only planned to share information about the origins of the NRA, Planned Parenthood, and the KKK.
“The information is just a website where you can find how the KKK was instituted and it was actually started by southern Democrats,” said Burgin.
Burgin, who is a member of the NRA, said he is against both Planned Parenthood and the KKK.
“It’s a racist organisation and it always has been,” he said of the KKK. “Throughout history they have been known to be murderers.”
Though he believes the flyer was misunderstood, Burgin said he has had conversations with people that helped him understand why it became controversial.
“The fact that the KKK and Mary Fallin is mentioned on the same flyer, you know with our P.C. world today, that carries a lot of negative connotations,” said Burgin.
Because of the controversy, Burgin said he wanted to “recall” the flyers. He also said the Garvin County Republicans are working on new flyers for the event that will “take anything mentioning what kind of information we’re having off of them.”
“We’re trying to recall all the flyers and my understanding is that, with social media, there’s no way to recall all the flyers,” Burgin said. “We’re doing everything we can to pull them off the web.”
View a copy of one of the flyers below.
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