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June 22, 2014

Documents link group, ‘dark money’

(Continued)

NORMAN —

That month, Chad Alexander, political consultant and lobbyist for an A.H. Strategies affiliate, Majority Designs, was named executive director of Coalition for Oklahoma’s Future.

Alexander was a veteran consultant and lobbyist for A.H. Strategies and a senior partner at Majority Designs, a direct-mail and strategy firm housed in the same Oklahoma City offices as A.H. Strategies. Majority Design’s managing partner was Trebor Worthen, who is also with A.H. Strategies and a chief Shannon campaign strategist. Alexander also owns his own lobbying and consulting firm, Alexander Companies. 

In March 2012, Majority Designs announced that Alexander had decided to leave to avoid potential conflicts with ethics laws because of his work at the Coalition. Ethics Commission records show the Coalition had begun paying Alexander, through his consulting firm, in late January.

In May 2012, Coalition for Oklahoma’s Future began sending out direct-mail pieces and buying radio ads for three candidates who also were using A.H. Strategies as a campaign consultant. One of those was state Sen. Clark Jolley.

Jolley, a Republican, was being challenged from the political right in the June 26, 2012, GOP primary by Paul Blair, a Baptist minister in Edmond.

Coalition for Oklahoma’s Future began spending money in early May in support of Jolley. It spent $4,400 on polling, and then, on June 15, it spent at least $90,000 on television and radio ads, Ethics Commission and Federal Communications Commission records show.

Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that produces in-depth and investigative content on public-policy issues in the state. For more Oklahoma Watch content, go to oklahomawatch.org.

The ads accused Blair of failing to pay taxes on a company he had owned but that was no longer active. Blair vehemently denied the allegations and sued Jolley and Coalition for Oklahoma’s Future, but later dropped the suit.

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