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Outside groups help Lankford, Shannon, Russell in last days

Outside groups continued to pump money into trying to influence Oklahoma elections on Friday, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

_ A political action committee called America’s PAC purchased nearly $10,000 of radio time for Steve Russell, an Oklahoma City Republican running for the 5th District congressional seat being vacated by Rep. James Lankford. That group has now reported spending almost $81,000 on behalf of Russell.

The group’s latest report shows one contribution, of $400,000, from a Chicago-area businessman.

_ Senate Conservatives Fund, a political organization started by former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, of South Carolina,  made a major television time purchase for state Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, buying $163,429. The group has now spent $358,532 on Shannon’s behalf.

Shannon is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn.

Unlike a lot of groups that rely on huge donations from wealthy contributors, this group gets a lot of relatively small donations from around the country. Here are some of its most recent donors.

_ Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, a dark money group that does not reveal its donors, reported spending $402 on voter contact phones on Shannon’s behalf. That group has now reported spending nearly $1.3 million to get Shannon the GOP nomination in the Senate race.

_ Foundation for Economic Prosperity, a dark money group backing U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, in the race to replace Coburn, made a $45,000 purchase for television and web advertising and production. That group has now now reported spending $171,623 on Lankford’s behalf.

However, the foundation just began reporting its expenditures to the Federal Election Commission on June 13 even though it had been making them on Lankford’s behalf for several weeks prior to that. Here’s an example from April.



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Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›