A recently uncovered investigation into Republican House fundraising tactics during the 2004 election season is nothing more than a "political witch-hunt,” a former state GOP chairman said Monday.
The investigation — which was confirmed last week by state GOP chairman Gary Jones — stems from 12 checks written by 11 current and former House lawmakers, most of which were made out to the "Oklahoma Republican Party.” Several of those lawmakers, including representatives Susan Winchester and John Trebilcock, contend their checks were intended for the state Republican Party. They do not know why their contributions are logged in the Oklahoma County Republican Party's 2004 reports instead. "I wouldn't have written a check to Oklahoma County. I couldn't have politically explained it. "I'm not from Oklahoma County,” said Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow. The checks totaled more than $33,000. Who made complaints? Chad Alexander, who served as party chairman in 2001 and 2002 and was also a House campaign consultant in 2004, said Republican Rep. Mike Reynolds made the same accusations against then-House Speaker Todd Hiett in 2005. The Ethics Commission cannot confirm an investigation is under way, and the name of the complainant is confidential under ethics rules. But since the same accusations and supporting documentation have surfaced now since that 2005 confrontation of Hiett, Alexander said he is confident Reynolds is behind the ethics complaint. "Any time you disagree with Mike Reynolds, you will get an ethics report filed against you,” he said.