Today, as I was attempting to finish an email I'd been working on for some time (endless distractions when you're a homeschooling mom who lives on a farm - trust me), I zoned in on yet another 'dark money' group apparently trying to end-around the system.
Representative Jason Nelson and Senator Josh Brecheen are the two Oklahoma legislators most responsible for unmiring Oklahoma from the Common Core swamp. Interestingly, these two legislators are being attacked by two separate groups - Stand For Children and an organization called Oklahomans for a Prosperous Future.
I've written tomes about the poor business practices of Stand for Children: Who/What Is Behind Stand For Children And Expect More, Is Stand For Children's 7000 Signature Petition Above Board, Is Stand For Children Working Against Oklahoma Students, New Common Core Video Out From Expect More/Stand For Children, What's A Win Worth If We Learn Nothing From It? Suffice it to say, we've uncovered lots of information about this organization that indicates quite handily, that Stand is NOT for Oklahoma children or parents.
So what about Oklahomans For A Prosperous Future? OFAPF was registered with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office May 2 of this year by a man named Devin L. Hughes from Oakdale Farms in Edmond who is listed as the owner of Hughes Capital Management.
Several things about this organization peaked my interest. First, there is no record of any expenditures for this organization anywhere I was able to find on the web - nothing. According to their Facebook page, they are a 501C-4 which only means they don't have to disclose their donors, but they are still required to file ethics reports after an expenditure of $5,000.
According to my sources, there have been at least 5, 3-color mailers to residents in Representative Nelson's district. This is not a cheap endeavor as printing of 3-color brochures and someone to create the art for them will run into the many thousands of dollars. The mailing alone will cost 10's of thousands of dollars. If that's the case there should be some record of expenditures by this organization and yet there is not anything listed with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission or Open Records.
The OFAPF Facebook timeline declares they ENDORSE, Nelson's opponent, Colin Walke, however 501C-4 groups are considered a "social welfare" group. These groups can run 'educational' ads, but not endorse a candidate if these endorsements amount to the bulk of the work of their organization. I could find nothing else on the web listed as activities for OFAPF outside of their electioneering efforts - that's a blatant foul - and if Tea Party groups are going to be targeted by Louis Lerner and the IRS, then it seems as though this should group should also come under the microscope for possible misuse of tax status.
I also found that Hughes himself is part owner of a pro-gun control website, and that the OFAPF Twitter account is linked to @FuzzCo, an organization that does graphic design similar to the kind found on Nelson's attack mailers and also...wait for it...STAND FOR CHILDREN!
This is particularly troubling as it appears that OFAPF and Stand For Children are working together to bring down two elected Oklahoma officials as payback for repealing Common Core.
True, citizens have not just a right, but a duty to become active in directing the political outcomes of their state, locality and federal government. However, when this is done in a subversive manner, citizens have the right to know. Please be wise as we move closer and closer to November 4th. Do your homework on the candidates as directly as possible, not relying on mailers, TV ads or other things meant to steer public opinion without divulging motives. An educated voter will always be the best voter. Only you can protect your personal liberty.