Oklahoma political action committee fails to file campaign financial reports

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: November 13, 2012
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DeKock said he hasn't filed the most recent contributions because of problems he's encountered with the online filing process.

DeKock said he would file corrected forms with the agency Tuesday; the agency was closed Monday because of Veterans Day, a state holiday. The agency has the authority to assess fines for reports filed late.

Jackson said it was his understanding that DeKock had filed reports, but that they weren't posted on the agency's website.

House Republicans elected Jackson on Thursday to serve as speaker pro tem for the 2013 and 2014 sessions. He defeated the current speaker pro tem, Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, during the closed GOP House caucus meeting.

Votes for the contested posts were made by secret ballot, Jackson said.

“I would imagine from various PACs they received a lot of money,” Jackson said.

DeKock said the contributions from A Positive Solution were not connected with the House leadership positions.

He was unaware that House Republicans would meet to decide leadership posts just two days after the election.

“When it comes to the politics behind politics, I'm really just that informed on it,” he said. “When the checks were being written to support some of these campaigns, I didn't realize that they were going to have the meeting so close to the election. … That really wasn't a consideration that was made by the PAC.

“It's pretty much my decision,” DeKock said. “We tried to get involved where we could make a difference.”

New members elected to the House who received $1,000 contributions from A Positive Solution were Republicans Arthur Hulbert, of Fort Gibson; Bobby Cleveland, of Slaughterville; Charles McCall, of Atoka; Terry O'Donnell, of Catoosa; Justin Wood, of Shawnee; Scott Biggs, of Chickasha; and Katie Henke, of Tulsa.

GOP Members receiving $1,000 contributions were Reps. John Bennett, of Sallisaw, and Aaron Stiles, of Norman. A recount of Stiles' election is set later this week. Members receiving $500 contributions from A Positive Solution were Reps. Tom Newell, of Seminole, and Sean Roberts, of Hominy.

Chuck Utsler, of Pocasset, a Republican contender for the House District 56 seat, received a $1,000 contribution. He lost last week's election.

Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, said he's concerned because the contributions from A Positive Solution give the appearance of trying to influence GOP members, especially incoming freshmen, to vote a certain way for a leadership position.

Reynolds, who monitors Ethics Commission filings, said he also is disappointed that Ethics Commission rules weren't being followed by a political action committee that has ties to an incoming House leader.

“We can understand a simple oversight, but this is a total neglect of duty,” he said.

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At a glance

The Ethics Commission's website showed the last report filed by the political action committee A Positive Solution was a statement of inactivity submitted Aug. 23, 2010, saying it had received no money and made no contributions. A financial report filed Jan. 27, 2010, showed the committee had $1,222.46 on hand.

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