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8/1/2017 Candidates fundraising of particular interest The Journal Record

Candidates fundraising of particular interest


By:CatherineSweeney TheJournalRecord August1,2017 0

OKLAHOMACITYAdebateregardingcampaignethicsboilsdowntooneword:interest.

AsittingOklahomacorporationcommissionerisrunningforstatewideoffice.Thosecommissionersfacethemost
stringentcampaignlawsinthestatebecausetheyregulatesomeofOklahomasmostpowerfulindustries,including
petroleum,telecommunications,andelectricity.Thestatutesdictatethatofficialscantakecontributionsfrom
regulatedindustries,butonlyduringashortwindow.

CommissionerDanaMurphyisrunningforlieutenantgovernorandisalreadyfundraising.Shesaidshefeels
confidentnavigatingtherules,andthatshewontbetakingcontributionsfrompeoplewhoworkinthoseindustries
untilitisappropriate.Hercriticssaidthatitsnotsosimple.Thelawbanscontributionsfromnotonlypeoplewho
workintheregulatedindustriesbutalsothosewhoholdanyinterestinthem.

A.J.FerateistheattorneyfortheOklahomaRepublicanPartyandhasworkedforacorporationcommissioner.He
saidthatthelawistougherthanitseemsonthefirstread.

IfeelreallybadlyforCommissionerMurphybecausetherestrictionissoonerousinthisstate,hesaid.Itcreates
areallyrestrictive,andfrankly,inmyopinion,toorestrictiverequirement.

Hesaidthatinterestedpartieswouldincludeanyonewhomademoneyinanywayfromtheregulatedindustries.
Insteadofincludingonlythoseemployed,thisinterpretationwouldincludepeoplewhoownstocksinaregulated
company,shareholderswhosemutualfundownsstockinthecompany,andinthecaseofoilandgas,royalty
owners.

Hesaidthoseruleswouldmeanmorepressureonthecandidate.

Therewillbepeoplegoingthroughherdisclosurereports,hesaid.

MurphyrequestedlettersfromboththeattorneygeneralsofficeandtheEthicsCommission,andeachsaidthelaw
wouldallowsittingcorporationcommissionerstorunforhigherofficeandthattheycancampaignandraisefunds.
Thelawdictatesthecommissionerswouldfollowallethicsrulesanyothercandidatewouldwhenaccepting
donationsfrompeopleunaffiliatedwithregulatedindustries.

AbbyDillsaver,generalcounseltotheOklahomaattorneygeneralsoffice,respondedinalettertoMurphysrequest
forclarificationonMay9.

Astofundingfromregulatedentities,commissionersandcommissionemployeesareprohibitedfromreceiving
transportation,presents,orgratuitiesfromsuchanentityorfrompersonshavinganinterestinsuchanentity,the
letterreadsinpart.

Thereisawindowthatbegins120daysbeforetheprimaryelectionandends120daysafterthegeneralelectionin
whichcandidatescanacceptdonationsfromanyoneaffiliatedwithregulatedindustries.

Taggedwith: DANAMURPHY

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