Thursday, September 2, 2010

One Oklahoma Coalition Calls For Donation Return

The One Oklahoma Coalition called upon the Yes on 744 campaign to come into compliance with state ethics law and return $1.74 million in contributions from an out-of-state special interest group.

The Coalition claims the donation violates state ethics laws banning contributions from one political action committee (PAC) to another PAC.

The coalition explained that the Oklahoma Public Employees Association, a contributor to the One Oklahoma Coalition, was contacted earlier this week by Ethics Commission executive director, Marilyn Hughes, and was told the contribution to the One Oklahoma committee from the OPEA PAC was not permissible. The reason provided is that state question committees are by definition a PAC under Oklahoma law. As such, any contribution from another PAC violates the PAC-to-PAC ban in Oklahoma.

One Oklahoma campaign spokesperson Crystal Drwenski said, “We appreciate the commission bringing this to our attention and have already refunded the contribution to the OPEA to come into full compliance with ethics rules.”

“We now call upon the Yes on 744 campaign to follow suit and come into compliance as well, as it is clear the NEA Ballot Measures and Legislative Crisis Fund is a PAC under Oklahoma law. To allow this money to remain with the Yes on 744 campaign is a violation of state law,” said Drwenski.

The Ethics Commission plans a special meeting to address the issue on Friday.

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