Wednesday, August 18, 2010

As Republican Congresswoman Mary Fallin and Democratic Lt. Governor Jari Askins battle to see who will become Oklahoma's first woman governor, they've already spent $4 million total in their campaigns.

State campaign reports on file with the Ethics Commission show Askins has spent $2,007,478 while Fallin's expenditures total $1,909,649 to date. The same reports show Fallin has outraised Askins and still has $805,266 cash on hand compared to Askins with $352,635 cash on hand.

Jerry Bohnen Follows The Money

A review of their expenditures reveals Fallin has reached out to some big-name consultants and firms who helped elect President Bush in his 2000 and 2004 campaigns for the White House.

Her reports also show she has poured big money into some local consulting and production companies---$429,737 so far to SAGAC Public Affairs in Oklahoma City. (fundraising and consulting firm).

The national firms with connections to the GOP include Ed Goeas of Alexandria, Virginia, CEO of the Tarrance Group, a well known Republican polling and strategy firm. Goeas is often seen on cable TV shows. His firm has received $85,000 from the Fallin campaign.

Then there is the $59,000 to Red October Productions Inc. of Washington, D.C., a firm that did media productions for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign and the national GOP convention held that year. Fallin also spent $286,000 with SSG Media of Washington, D.C. and another $56,000 to the Stevens & Schriefer Group of Washington. Both are the same company that had key players involved in the Bush/Cheney campaigns in 2000 and 2004.

A check on the Stevens & Schriefer Group shows Russell J. Schriefer has worked on four out of the last five presidential campaigns and in 2008 he directed media for former Governor Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. He was also the 2009 media consultant for Governor-elect Chris Christie's campaign for Governor in New Jersey.

Schriefer's wife is Nina Easton, the Washington Editor of Fortune magazine and a commentator on the Fox News Channel.

Fallin also spent $30,000 to buy campaign software from Trailblazer Campaign Services of Minneapolis, Minnesota; $78,000 with Direct Mail Systems of Clearwater, Florida; and $188,000 to Hockaday & Associates of Alexandria, Virginia.

As for Lt. Governor Askins, her more than $2 million in expenses include $536,128 to Rollins Communications of Tulsa, a media production firm. She also has paid $350,985 so far to Democratic consultant Don Hoover and his Oklahoma City based firm. Askins reached out to a Democratic media firm in Topeka, Kansas--Mixed Media LLP and paid it $25,861. Then there was the $91,895 to an Oklahoma City firm called B. Creative and $62,000 to Strother Strategies of Potomac, Maryland. She also has paid $31,390 to SOCO Productions LLC of Fairfax, Virginia and $50,000 to BDC Consulting LLC of Stillwater.

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