Thursday, July 15, 2010

Democrat Bobby Stem Behind Thompson Group

UPDATE FROM CHRIS CASTEEL: Business Leaders of Oklahoma, which is sponsoring a television ad for 5th District congressional candidate Mike Thompson, a Republican, filed papers last night with the Internal Revenue Service.

The president is listed as Robert E. Stem, who gave an Edmond post office box as an address. Stem, a lobbyist and consultant, has personally donated $2,400 to Thompson’s campaign.

The contact person is Cathy Welch, of Campaign Technology Professionals in Oklahoma City.

The stated purpose of the group is to give independent expenditures. Federal campaign law defines those expenditures as ones “for communications ‘expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate that are not made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate’s authorized committee, or their agents, or a political party or its agents.’”

The group has not filed a report with the Federal Election Commission regarding the expenditures it has made on Thompson’s behalf.

The report filed with the IRS says the group was created on June 30. It does not list any of the donors, though the ad buy made by the group suggests tens of thousands of dollars have been committed to helping Thompson, a state House member from Oklahoma City, get the GOP nomination.

The group registered as a 527, named for a section of the tax code; it is a process used by many groups that raise and spend money for candidates.

Update: Welch said in an email that a report was filed today with the Federal Election Commission. The report has yet to show up on the FEC web site.

[Stem, a Democrat, donated the maximum to Thompson's campaign. He has donated to numerous Democrats and Republicans in recent years.]
By Chris Casteel On The Oklahoman's Political Blog ~ A group called Business Leaders of Oklahoma has been airing an ad promoting state Rep. Mike Thompson, R-Oklahoma City, for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Mary Fallin.

However, no such group has filed a report, as required, with the Federal Election Commission identifying anyone connected with the group or how much money is being spent on commercials that advocate a candidate.

Nor is there a listing on the IRS web site of a 527 group called Business Leaders of Oklahoma.

Thompson is one of seven Republicans vying for the seat and has previously announced endorsements from many “business leaders of Oklahoma.”

[The McCarville Report Online, July 8th: "It appears to be the first independent expenditure this year and no sooner had the commercial aired, questions began being asked about its legality."]

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