The "Yes" camp has more than $2 million in its war chest, outraising its opponents by more than three to one. While it counts several tribes and state education groups among its supporters, the biggest financial backer of the "Yes to 744" campaign is the National Education Association. And their $1.7 million donation has opponents crying foul.
The One Oklahoma Coalition wants voters to say no to State Question 744. It claims that the NEA donation violates a state ban against political action committees, or PAC's, giving money to each other.
Supporters of 744 say the NEA donation isn't PAC money and they cleared it with the state ethics commission before it was given.
Ethics leaders say it's a gray area made even grayer by recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings. The commission will meet on Friday to clarify its rules.
But the proponent side isn't the only one receiving big money donations. The Association of Oklahoma General Contractors wrote the One Oklahoma Coalition a check for a quarter of a million dollars. And both the Tulsa and Oklahoma City Chambers of Commerce anteed up six-figure donations.
Unlike other campaigns, ballot questions have no financial limits. So the debate over education dollars could get even more expensive before votes are cast in November.
This is not the first time a state question has garnered big bucks. Back in 2004, supporters and opponents of State Question 713, which increased the tobacco tax, raised about $3.5 million.
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.