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Super PACs pack it in

Gazette staff February 8th, 2012

Want to tell a presidential candidate you “support” them but feel hampered by those pesky campaign contribution limits of $5,000 to their election committee? Well, has Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission got a deal for you!

Following that U.S. Supreme Court decision, there arose political action committees known as “super PACs,” which can make independent expenditures on behalf of or against a candidate.

Super PACs are allowed to take unlimited contributions from corporations or individuals, although they do not (wink, wink) “coordinate” with the candidates they’re supporting.

Several Oklahoma names were on the lists as donating to the PACs supporting different candidates.

The super PAC supporting Herman Cain boasted the most Oklahoma donors, with five individuals listed who contributed amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000. Cain dropped out of the race before the Iowa caucus.

The big Okie donations start with the super PAC supporting another former candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Records show his super PAC received $125,000 from Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., as well as $50,000 from the Choctaw Nation, proving that the country’s great divide is no longer between what passes for cowboys nowadays and American Indians.

But those are small potatoes compared to the $1 million in donations the super PAC supporting GOP frontrunner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — the Restore Our Future PAC — received from Tulsa-based Rooney Holdings Inc. Rooney Holdings is a private investment company with holdings including Manhattan Construction Group.

Strangely, the state in which every county went for Republican John McCain in 2008, has yet to cough up a donation to President Barack Obama’s super PAC. Weird, huh?

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