TV, radio ads critical of state Senate candidate from Edmond to continue to air
Xavier Neira, chairman of the Coalition for Oklahoma's Future, says the group has no intention of stopping the ads, despite complaints from Paul Blair, the GOP challenger to state Sen. Clark Jolley.
EDMOND — Radio and television advertisements criticizing a Republican challenger to state Sen. Clark Jolley will continue to air, despite complaints from the candidate that they are misleading, the chairman of a political action committee that paid for the commercials said Monday.
The ads state that three companies that Paul Blair founded violated state tax laws.
Xavier Neira, chairman of the Coalition for Oklahoma's Future, released information Monday showing the ads stem from the failure by three businesses that were started by Blair to pay a franchise tax. Businesses are required annually to file a listing of officers, which usually also includes paying a franchise tax of $25.
“The Coalition for Oklahoma's Future agreed that it was critical for interested voters to know more about Paul Blair's business history,” Neira said. “It is important to know more about his track record.
“The laws are the laws and one cannot pick and choose the laws that one follows,” he said. “No one individual can be above any law in our state.”
The radio advertisement states Blair, seeking his first political office, is trying to hide the information by running ads critical of Jolley, R-Edmond.
The Republican primary election is June 26.
“But Mr. Blair, we do know,” a woman's voice in the ad states.
Blair, of Edmond, said he was one of three partners in a homebuilding business that started in 1991 but he left the company within the year. Records with the secretary of state's office show the company didn't pay its franchise tax in 1996; the company dissolved in 2007.
Blair said he started a cleaning business with a friend in 2001, but it never began substantial operations and ceased operating within a year.
Blair, who also is pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, said he overlooked paying the franchise fee twice during the 25 years he operated his vending business — once in 1990 and again in 2000.
Not a crime
Failure to file papers listing corporate officers and paying the franchise tax results in the Oklahoma Tax Commission listing the business as suspended, said Paula Ross, an agency spokeswoman.
She said suspended sounds bad, but it's not a crime and no taxes actually are owed the state. Filing the names of corporate officers protects them from being sued individually, she said. The franchise tax was suspended in 2010.
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