By Patrick B. McGuigan
OKLAHOMA CITY — Robert Donohoo, a resident of Senate District 41 in Edmond (Oklahoma) has lodged a complaint before the Oklahoma Ethics Commission alleging a violation of the state’s campaign financing rules by incumbent Republican Senator Clark Jolley, chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the upper chamber.
In an interview with CapitolBeatOK, Donohoo said his concern was that “Senator Jolley was gathering funds and expending long before he filed for re-election.” He said his hopes were “that the violations of Ethics Rules would be exposed, and brought out for what they are.”
In the filing Friday (June 1) Donohoo pointed to a January 31 fundraising event for Jolley’s reelection, although he “failed to file a statement of organization for his 2012 campaign until April 1, 2012.” Donohoo contends that the “SO-1” (statement of organization form) “was due within 10 days of accepting or spending in excess of $500 or by February 10.”
Donohoo also contends a Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Report “would have been due from the committee between April 1 and 30, 2012. No campaign report for Jolley’s 2012 campaign, pursuant to 258*19-1-13(a) has been filed to date.”
Jolley may have held a fundraiser as early as December 2011. He announced his bid for re-election in a March 1 press release. Instructions provided to all candidates who file finance reports with the Ethics Commission specify that when they raise or expend $500 for a campaign, it must be reported. Indeed, if changes to a statement of organization occur, they are to be reported “no later than 10 days after a change (except officer vacancies).”
On the website of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission (http://www.ok.gov/oec/faqs.html) a question is posed and answered on the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) page which appears to govern the fact situation across Jolley’s campaign(s) since 2009. CapitolBeatOK reported this on May 29 (http://www.capitolbeatok.com/reports/jolley-began-senate-reelection-campaign-last-december-filed-required-statement-of-organization-on-ap).
Senator Jolley’s committee raising money for his Attorney General candidacy (deemed “Friends of Clark Jolley 2010”) was formed on November 16, 2009. On his original SO-1 form, in the space indicating “year of the general election,” Jolley listed “2010.”
The new committee was organized effective April 1, 2012, and deemed “Clark Jolley for Oklahoma Senate 2012.” That form specified his candidacy was for “Senate” in “District 41.”
According to the Ethics Commission’s website, Oklahoma law “allows for an assessment for late filings: for any committee up to $100 per day to a maximum of $1,000 for a registration; for a candidate for a statement of financial interests or a campaign report by his or her candidate committee up to $100 per day to a maximum of $1,000; for a ballot measure committee, up to $1,000 per day to a maximum of $10,000 for a campaign report. If prosecution is sought in district court for a willful failure to file, a maximum fine of $50,000 could be recommended by the Ethics Commission to the district court.”
Through the end of March, Senator Jolley’s aggregate total dollars raised was $336,000.
In the June 26 Republican primary, Jolley faces Paul Blair. Dan T. Collier is the Democratic nominee; Richard Prawdzienski is an independent in the November election. All four men are Edmond residents.