Sen. Kenneth Corn on Wednesday was successful in winning the Senate’s approval for two amendments intended to curtail the influence of special interests in Oklahoma’s electoral process and restore integrity to the system.
The amendments were made to House Bill 2196, which creates the Oklahoma Clean Campaigns Act of 2008. The first of Corn’s two amendments would ensure that contributions accepted by a candidate for a specific state or local office not be used in a campaign for a different office.
“It should be our goal to make the campaign process as fair, honest and transparent as possible,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “Ensuring that campaign contributions are used for their stated purpose is an important part of that effort. It’s a step toward a better and more equitable campaign process.”
Corn’s second amendment would prohibit candidates for legislative or statewide office, candidate committees and political action committees from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions from January 1, through June 30, of any year. By limiting the acceptance of contributions during the legislative session, Corn said legislators can send a message that their votes are not for sale.
“We need to let the people know we work for them and not special interests,” Corn said. “This provision sends a message that there’s no pay-for-play taking place at the Capitol. We ought to be able to elect qualified candidates to public office, without those people having to depend on special interest money.”
House Bill 2196 was unanimously approved by the full Senate and will now advance to the House for final consideration.