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Oklahoma City oilman to correct excessive political donations

Oklahoma City oilman Harold Hamm, who is national energy adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has made political contributions that exceeded federal legal limits during the 2011-12 election cycle, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters have reported.
BY RANDY ELLIS rellis@opubco.com Published: September 15, 2012
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Oklahoma City oilman Harold Hamm, who is national energy adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has made political contributions that exceeded federal legal limits during the 2011-12 election cycle, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters have reported.

Hamm is chief executive officer of Continental Resources.

Mike Cantrell, Hamm's political spokesman, told The Oklahoman Friday that Hamm wrote the checks on a joint account and thought the contributions would be attributed equally to him and his wife, Sue Ann, “just like it is under Oklahoma state campaign finance laws, where the maximum contribution limits are calculated on a per family basis.”

That would have kept them both within contribution limits, he said.

Excessive contributions are fairly common in federal elections. The Federal Election Commission offers campaigns and donors several options to remedy accidental over-contributions, including reallocating contributions between spouses who give from a joint account, redesignating contributions or refunding excess amounts.

After being notified of the error, Hamm “has taken steps to make sure they are properly dealt with,” Cantrell said.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Hamm has donated $162,300 during the current election cycle, including $64,900 to candidates and $97,400 to political parties. Campaign finance rules restrict an individual to donating a maximum of $46,200 to individual candidates for the White House or Congress, and another $70,800 to political parties, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Individuals are allowed to give unlimited donations to political groups called Super PACs and Hamm has donated $985,000 to the main super PAC backing Romney. That group is called Restore Our Future.