Fundraising statute could pose problem for candidate
By: Catherine Sweeney, The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY – The election is more than a year away, but questions are already materializing among Oklahoma’s lieutenant gubernatorial candidates.

Dana Murphy is the chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates oil and gas and public utilities, among other industries. She announced her candidacy on Wednesday morning, and she seems to be a fundraising front-runner. Her campaign announced she has raised about $600,000, double her next-best-financed competitor.

Corporation commissioners have to follow strict rules pertaining to campaign donations. Commissioners and the agency’s employees are barred from taking presents, transportation and other contributions from people who are involved with a firm or business in the regulated industries. However, if someone in the agency runs for office, the rules dictate candidates have a limited window to accept donations from them. It starts 120 days before the relevant primary election and ends 120 days after the general election.

Murphy has already organized a campaign event in Tulsa on Aug. 9, and the event will occur far more than 120 days before the 2018 lieutenant gubernatorial primary.

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