Oklahoma City Council election: Here comes the special interest money
Today (Tuesday), The Oklahoman published my article on the special interest money being spent on the Oklahoma City Council election race.
In an election that has seen an unprecedented $1 million plus spent campaigning, special interest groups have accounted for more than half of that, or about $610,000, according to campaign reports filed last week with the city clerk. Such an amount is unheard of for a local race, according to political consultants and past candidates.
Most the money has come from two main groups, Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum ($410,000) and the Better Local Government PAC ($135,000).
Momentum supported the victorious incumbents, Meg Salyer and Pat Ryan, as well as accountant David Greenwell, who defeated incumbent Brian Walters. Momentum also continues to back Charlie Swinton, a senior banking officer, who will be in an April 5 runoff against physician Ed Shadid, who has promised not to accept donations from special interest groups.
Better Local Government campaigned for Walters and tea party backed candidates Adrain Van Manen and Clifford Hearron.
The two groups used independent expenditures. The groups have not given money directly to candidates, which would limit donations to $5,000. There is no limit on the independent expenditures, which can be used to purchase ads advocating for or against a candidate.
Momentum has a webpage that list some of its supporters. There are some heavy hitters, including former Gov. Brad Henry and state Sen. David Holt. Although, none of those named have given money directly to Momentum but just support the ideals of the group, Momentum Chairman Bill Whitehill told me.
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