$1.74 Million Contribution to 'Yes on 744' Campaign Allowed
Yes on 744, a campaign in support of State Question 744 which deals with education funding, will be allowed to keep a $1.74 million contribution from the National Education Association.
By Alex Cameron,Oklahoma Impact Team
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A $1.74 million contribution from the National Education Association will apparently be allowed to remain in the hands of a campaign supporting State Question 744, despite assertions by a group opposing the ballot measure that it is illegal.
Without referring specifically to the NEA donation, Marilyn Hughes, executive director of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, told the Oklahoma Impact Team Tuesday that, based on a recent Supreme Court ruling, neither the amount nor the source of a contribution to a ballot measure committee can be limited.
Under current Oklahoma law, contributions from one political action committee to another are prohibited. Representatives of the One Oklahoma Coalition, a PAC put together to try and defeat SQ 744, filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission, arguing the NEA money clearly violates this law. They believe the recipient of the money, Yes on 744, should be forced to return it. But Hughes said, since state law cannot contravene federal law, the prohibition is unenforceable.
As a result, Hughes confirmed the Ethics Commission will vote Friday on a proposal to amend the state rule, which would then exempt donations to ballot measure committees from the PAC to PAC ban. The commission will also consider adopting a resolution expressing its intent not to enforce the current rule until the amendment becomes effective.
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