Oklahoma City fundraisers behind pro-Lankford group

New documents filed by Oklahoma City television station give names to a group that bought advertising time to blast health care law and praise Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford.
by Chris Casteel Published: May 8, 2014

photo - James Lankford talks to a guest after his debate with two other Republican candidates for a US Senate seat on Wednesday,   April 16, 2014. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
James Lankford talks to a guest after his debate with two other Republican candidates for a US Senate seat on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

An Oklahoma City fundraiser and a co-worker are leading a group that financed a television ad promoting Rep. James Lankford, according to new documents filed by an Oklahoma City television station.

Trey Richardson, a managing partner of Sagac Public Affairs and GR Pro, is listed as a board member and incorporator of a group called Foundation for Economic Prosperity. The group spent $110,000 on television ad time blasting the health care law and praising Lankford for “preserving our constitutional liberties.”

Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn.

Jeri Richardson and Joel Ritter are listed as board members of the foundation on a new form filed Wednesday by KOCO-5 with the Federal Communications Commission. Ritter is apparently a misspelling of Riter; Joel Riter says on his LinkedIn page that he works at GR Pro.

A public disclosure form filed by Oklahoma City television stations last month did not include the names of any leaders with the Foundation for Economic Prosperity. And it’s still not clear how it was organized and whether it will have to disclose its donors.

So-called “dark money” groups have proliferated in recent years, pouring millions of dollars into campaign and issues ads and keeping the donors secret. The groups are not allowed to coordinate with candidates.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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