Washita Valley Weekly

Page 8   Washita Valley Weekly “My Community Magazine” June 29, 2022 God Bless America SAVE 7 DAYS AWEEK Mon - Sat 10 - 7 Sun 1 - 6 3420 S 4th CHICKASHA 405-825-3510 25% OFF NEVER PAY RETAIL AGAIN! Everyday LOW Prices Dark money in politics refers to advocacy spending by 501 (c) non-profit organizations. Dark money organizations can receive unlimited ‘tax deductible’ contributions from corpora- tions, individuals and unions. They set up an advocacy group, hire a political consultant and get involved in political races. Dark money groups are not required to disclose their donors. Unlike the contributions made directly to a candidate, dark money donors have no maximum contribution amount. Dark money advocacy groups campaign either for a candidate or against, all without revealing to voters who is paying the bill.  More than $1 billion dollars in dark money was spent in the 2020 election cycle. Only about 20% went to Republican can- didates. President Joe Biden received $174 million in anony- mous dark money contributions, more than six times Donald Trump. The 1630 fund spent $410 million helping Democrats take back control of the US Senate and defeating Trump. Half of the money reportedly came from just four donors. Dark money has infused unlimited money into politics. Three obser- vations about dark money: First, voters have a right to know who is lobbying for their vote. Dark money mailers, TV, radio ads are for the most part negative. They usually attack a candidate they oppose, using unflattering photographs and edgy language, innuendos and insinuations. The disclaimer (paid for by) or postage markings on dark money printed pieces reveal little to the voter. The anonymity and invisibility of who is picking up the tab allow the undisclosed to remain in the darkness. Second, individuals, corporations and unions have a right to advocate. The First amendment guarantees the right of free speech, which includes advocating for issues and policy that is important to them. But does the US Constitution guarantee the right to anonymity to advocate? The SCOTUS has ruled that way. Some disagree, but until prior rulings are overturned, anonymous advocacy appears here to stay. Dark money started to flourish after the passage of McCain/ Feingold in 2003. It regulated the financing of political cam- paigns, limiting how much a person/family could donate to a campaign. The wealthy contended McCain/Feingold was a Fair and Biased A conservative view of national, state, and local politics by Steve Fair Chairman, 4th District Oklahoma Republican Party violation of free speech. Setting up dark money organizations was a way to circumvent donation limits and get a tax break along the way, using the 501c tax laws. Third, dark money in politics promotes the buying of elec- tions. The growth of dark money in politics has allowed trade associations, unions, business groups and wealthy individuals to coalesce behind a candidate and get them elected. Once they are in office, the sometimes-unsuspecting elected official has to dance with the group that bought/brought them. If they tango, they get reelection money. If not, the group goes looking for someone else to foxtrot with. Dark money groups bank on low information voters to believe all the crap their slick, glossy, polished mailers pro- mote. Political consultants make big bucks running dark money campaigns. Publicly, these so-called principled, ethical political marketers condemn dark money advocacy, but privately they embrace it. Hypocrisy is the order of the day. Jesus said men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. That is very applicable to dark money advocacy. Voters should ignore/dismiss dark money campaign material. Any group unwilling to disclose who is paying the bill should be regarded as lily-livered, chicken-hearted, gutless cowards. If they are so proud of their stance, then come out of the darkness into the light. If trash were dumped on your front lawn, law enforcement would be called. The cops would dig through the trash trying to find something identifying who had left the rubble. In the past two weeks, that has happened to Oklahoma GOP primary voters. Garbage/trash/refuse has been dumped in voter’s mail- boxes in the form of dark money mailers. Voters have a right to know who the dumper is. The political consultant, organiza- tion and the donors responsible shouldn’t be allowed to hide in darkness, behind the curtain, and play the great and powerful oz. Dark money groups: come forth proudly and take credit for your work. Steve Fair is chairman of the 4th District of the Oklahoma Republican party. He can be reached by email at steve.fair@ ymail.com . His blog is stevefair.blogspot.com. DARK MONEY! Chickasha woman injured in accident  The Oklahoma Highway Pa- trol reported that a Chickasha woman was injured in a single vehicle crash on Monday, June 20 at approximately4:45 pm.  A 2007 Lexus ES350 driven by Jamie Oberlag, female, 67, of Chickasha, OK was west bound on County Road 1370 at a high rate of speed. The driver struck a bump and went airborne, departed the roadway to the right, and went into a broadslide before striking a tree and coming to rest. The driver was pinned for ap- proximately 20 minutes before being freed by the Anadarko Fire Department utilizing the jaws of life.  Oberlag was transported by Survival Flight to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, OK and admitted in serious condi- tion with head, trunk internal, trunk external, arm and leg injuries.  The report states that the cause of the accident was unsafe speed, exceeding the legal limit and the driver had an odor of alcohol.  The incident was nves- tigated by Trooper Russell Boswell #802 of the Caddo County Detachment of Troop G. Assisted by Trooper Brent Tucker #775 of Troop G, Caddo County Sheriff’s Office, Survival Flight and Andarko Fire Department.