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Ed Oakley Is Quite Happy to Give Tom Leppert Some Alone Time

Tom Leppert's getting a lot of free radio time thanks to Ed Oakley's decision to ditch on-air debates.
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Yesterday came word that Ed Oakley was backing out of a debate with Tom Leppert scheduled for Friday on Mark Davis' show on WBAP-AM (820). This morning, Craig Murphy, one of the guys running Oakley's campaign, tells Unfair Park about the unexcused absence: “We would have been happy to do a joint appearance, [but] Leppert wants to do Republican-oriented shows on the day before the election, and we would rather do that further out. Leppert’s job is to try to get Republicans out to vote.”

But Oakley's begging off all joint appearances with Tom Leppert. This morning, the missus -- who listens to way too much KRLD-AM (1080) -- called to say that Leppert was flying solo over at NewsRadio 1080. Oakley had agreed to appear on the "Ernie & Jay" midday show, but backed out at the last moment -- and Ernie Brown wasn't pleased. Indeed, he even introduced Oakley -- and then cued up the sound of chirping crickets before proceeding to give Leppert 35 minutes of alone time during which he pitched his platform.

Murphy tells Unfair Park Oakley had a very good reason for backing out. And then he slams Leppert for going on the radio.

"There is a Trinity vote in Arlington today," says Murphy. "That put a huge problem into our whole schedule… That’s the difference between Leppert, who has a life of leisure right now, and Oakley, who has all these responsibilities."

Murphy also explains why Ed Oakley skipped another scheduled forum for a birthday party that doubled as a fund raiser: "[Oakley] doesn’t get to write $500,000 checks like Leppert does, so he has to take take opportunities to run little by little."

Leppert's KRLD appearance just wrapped with a question about coal plants, and after Leppert said something or another, Jay McFarland said, "I was going to give Mr. Oakley a chance to respond." Once more, cue the crickets. "Is that what you're going to hear when he's mayor?" McFarland asked, sounding not at all pleased. "Will he show up for things he's scheduled for?" --Robert Wilonsky

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