State Question 777 donations show heated race
Opposition groups to State Question 777 are giving proponents of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau-backed measure a run for their money.
SQ 777 is a constitutional amendment that would prevent Oklahoma lawmakers from passing legislation to regulate agriculture unless it has a "compelling state interest."
The anti-777 group Oklahomans for Food Farm and Family has raised a total $703,985 in cash and in-kind contributions through Sept. 30.
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Most of the money raised by Oklahomans for Food Farm and Family came from the group Oklahoma Rising, Inc., which contributed $702,485 to Oklahomans for Food Farm and Family.
Oklahoma Rising is organized as a 501c4 nonprofit, or social welfare group, that does not have to disclose its donors.
Oklahoma oil executive Mickey Thompson is the executive director of Oklahoma Rising.
Bud Scott, campaign manager for the Oklahomans for Food Farm and Family, said Oklahoma Rising donated to Oklahomans for Food Farm and Family because the group is concerned about the legal ramifications of the measure.
“Oklahoma Rising is also one of my clients. They are individual, lifelong Oklahoma citizens that are concerned with the direction Oklahoma is taking,” Scott said.
The Oklahoma Stewardship Council , another 777 opposition group backed by the Humane Society of the United States, has raised a total $247,106, most of it from the Humane Society.
The political action committee Oklahoma Farmers Care SQ 777 already has raised $1,004,161 to support State Question 777, according to Oklahoma Ethics Commission documents.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. was the largest donor to the Oklahoma Farmers Care campaign and has donated $750,000 in support of SQ 777, according to campaign filings.
“Oklahoma Farm Bureau was founded upon the principle of improving the lives of Oklahomans. We mirror that in every facet of our organization, including Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance,” Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan said. “State question 777 not only protects the lives of rural Oklahomans but ultimately all Oklahomans and their right to choose the food and fiber they believe is best for their family.”
The state question also counted donations from many farmers, the Oklahoma Pork Council and local chapters of the Farm Bureau across the state.