Skip to main content
2014 OETA Debate Criteria
Email share


OETA has a long tradition of encouraging statewide coverage of debates and other forums involving governmental leaders and candidates for elected office.  We follow all rules and regulations mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.  As far as debates and other similar forums (“the debates”), we must be sensitive to the number of participants.  Therefore, OETA-The Oklahoma Network ("OETA") reserves the right, in the public interest, to limit participants and the manner of the production in accordance with this OETA Debate Criteria and Participation Policy. 


  • OETA shall have the full content control of any political debate that we produce for broadcast in any form (whether it be live, live-to-tape, over-the-air, on-line or otherwise).
  • OETA reserves the right to decide which political races and campaigns will be chosen for debates and to limit the number of candidates participating.
  • OETA reserves the right to decide the method of video production (including editing, if necessary), rules, and the manner and time periods in which the program and any portion of it are distributed or licensed. 
  • At no time does any campaign or candidate have the right to influence the production of the debates, their distribution and licensing.
  • To be considered for inclusion in OETA-produced and broadcast debates, the candidate must satisfy the following criteria:

q  Must be a legally qualified candidate that is qualified for a place on the ballot;

q  When working with a debate "partner" or other organization integral to the presentation of the debate (“presentation organization”), the candidate must satisfy the criteria of the “partner” or “presentation organization”;

q  Must show at least 5% support in any available legitimate, professionally-conducted public opinion surveys (polls) by an independent political pollster; and

q  Must have demonstrated a serious and responsible candidacy by taking certain actions necessary for the undertaking of a statewide or district campaign which shall be evaluated in their totality, including, but not necessarily limited to the following:

  • Whether the candidate has a legal campaign committee and is making regular financial filings with the State Election Board and Oklahoma Ethics Commission or Federal Election Commission (whichever is applicable). 
  • Whether the candidate has organized and implemented a statewide or district-wide fundraising program and can demonstrate raising of campaign contributions of at least $10,000.00 exclusive of funding from the candidate's own resources;
  • Whether the candidate has secured or is securing campaign staff;
  • Whether there is a campaign office, outside of the candidate's home, and a campaign telephone number and e-mail address;
  • Whether the candidate is actively campaigning by making regular personal appearances and pursuing a vigorous schedule of canvassing around the state or district;
  • Whether the candidate is preparing for or conducting statewide or district-wide media operations;
  • Whether the candidate is readily accessible to the media;
  • Whether the candidate has distributed policy statements on at least three (3) issues (e.g. in press releases, campaign website, campaign brochures, social media, speeches or other public statements);
  • Whether the candidate has been included in campaign coverage of other television news organizations; and
  • Whether the candidate has received more than incidental press coverage (e.g. identification as a candidate) in at least five (5) bona fide professional print, online, radio, television or cable television news stories.

Approved:  September, 2002; Revised November, 2008; June, 2010; April, 2014.