FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 1, 2018
Swampy Status Quo Shakedown?
Commissioner Murphy Raising Campaign Funds from Entities She Regulates
Tulsa, OK – Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate, entrepreneur, and small business owner Matt Pinnell commented today on opponent Dana Murphy’s long expected effort to raise campaign money from oil and gas and other entities she regulates in her role as Corporation Commissioner.
A campaign solicitation dated February 27, 2018 was sent to members of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association on the very first date she could solicit their funds.
17 O.S. §2A-48 stipulates that members of the Corporation Commission cannot accept campaign contributions from any “person who is subject to the regulations of the Corporation Commission, or has interests in any firm, corporation or business which is subject to regulation by the Corporation Commission,” until a period beginning 120 days prior to a primary election.
“This a perfect example of what President Trump meant when he said we needed to drain the swamp,” said Pinnell. “This is the status quo, politics as usual that I am fighting to end in Oklahoma City.”
In Murphy’s 2008 race against incumbent Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth, Murphy criticized Roth for raising campaign funds from individuals who had cases in front the Corporation Commission. Murphy called then Commissioner Roth, ” a lapdog for special interest groups,” and said that as “a career bureaucrat, he has relied on his powerful, special interest friends.” Now, Murphy is engaged in the same exact practice she campaigned against. In fact, Jim Roth, who is a registered lobbyist in front of the Corporation Commission, is hosting a campaign event for Commissioner Murphy today.
“This sends a chilling message to the oil and gas industry from a politician who regulates their industry,” continued Pinnell. “It’s simply not right that Commissioner Murphy can run for higher office while using her position on the Corporation Commission to raise money from those she regulates.”
“Commissioner Murphy correctly used to believe this practice was wrong, and said so when she ran in 2008. Now that she’s an elected official looking to climb the political ladder, she’s changed her tune. That’s the definition of hypocrisy and the status quo that Oklahoma voters soundly rejected at the ballot box in 2016,” concluded Pinnell.