April 10th, 2012
Chairman of Water Group Worked for Fallin
This was printed in The Journal Record on April 4, 2012
By M. Scott Carter
M. Scott Carter is OKC and Capitol reporter for The Journal Record.
Contact: 405-278-2838 / email@example.com /
Posted: 06:17 PM Wednesday, April 4, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – The chairman of an anonymous advocacy group urging
Oklahomans to support Republican Gov. Mary Fallin’s legal battle
against the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations was also Fallin’s chief
campaign strategist and pollster, according to records obtained by The
Edward Goeas, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Tarrance
Group, is listed as chairman of the not-for-profit organization Our
Oklahoma Our Water on a broadcasting agreement filed with Oklahoma
City television station KWTV.
Goeas is a nationally known Republican pollster and political
strategist with several high-profile clients, including Fallin. In
2008 he served as a political strategist for the failed presidential
campaign of Arizona Republican John McCain.
Goeas’ name and the address of his company, 201 N. Union St., Suite
410, Alexandria, Va., were listed on the broadcasting agreement. That
document was included with a contract for more than $15,000 in
television advertising from the Our Oklahoma Our Water group.
Created in February by three Washington, D.C., lobbyists, the group
bills itself as an advocacy organization, with its main goal to inform
and educate the people of Oklahoma about the state’s water resources,
the effect those water resources have on the state’s economy, and how
citizens can mobilize to protect the state’s water supply.
The group’s website also urges visitors to sign a petition showing
their support for Fallin’s legal battle against both tribal nations.
“I stand alongside Governor Fallin and my fellow Oklahomans in holding
that all of our state’s surface waters must continue to be maintained
and managed by the state for the benefit of all Oklahomans, present
and future, and strongly oppose the federal court lawsuit initiated by
the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes in an attempt to gain a large and
inequitable share of this invaluable resource,” it was written on the
However, unlike literature from the tribes, Our Oklahoma Our Water
lists no individuals involved with the organization, nor does it
include telephone numbers.
Records from the Federal Election Commission show that Goeas and his
firm, along with the company that designed the Our Oklahoma Our Water
website, were paid thousands of dollars by Fallin’s congressional
campaign from 2008 through 2009. Additionally, according to campaign
reports filed with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, Goeas’ firm was
paid $233,561 by Fallin’s gubernatorial campaign between March 19,
2009, and Dec. 6, 2010.
Telephone calls to Goeas’ office were not returned. In an emailed
response, Goeas didn’t answer questions about his involvement in the
Our Oklahoma Our Water group, but said he was on a family vacation and
would not be available to discuss the issue until Monday.
The group was a third-party organization and not something the
governor controlled or was officially affiliated with, said Alex
Weintz, Fallin’s spokesman.
“Our Oklahoma Our Water is not funded by either the governor’s office
or the Fallin for Governor campaign,” he said. “The governor expects
this organization to comply with disclosure laws.”
Weintz said it made sense that Goeas was associated with the group
because the pollster was originally from Oklahoma.
“Neither Governor Fallin nor her office can speak for Our Oklahoma Our
Water,” Weintz said. “However, Mr. Goeas and his organization have
extensive experience working in Oklahoma, having worked for both
corporations and political candidates in the state.”