Saturday, February 6, 2010
You know you're a political junkie when you dig through the latest ethics reports. That's what I was doing yesterday evening, when I found a rather surprising bit of information.
Kalyn Free, a longtime ultra-liberal Choctaw Indian activist, founder of INDN's List, attorney, and former congressional candidate, filed an exploratory committee for an unknown office with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission on October 19th, 2009.
Her C-1R report for the final quarter of 2009 shows that she loaned the Kalyn Free Exploratory Committee 2010 $10,000 on November 12th. Also on November 12th was a $10,000 expenditure to Gragert Jones Research of Washington, D.C., for "campaign research".
Free ran for Congress against Dan Boren in the 2004 Democratic Primary for the 2nd Congressional District. Boren won the primary by a margin of 57-36, and went on to defeat his Republican opponent in the general election.
Gragert Jones Research is a liberal political research firm, based in Chicago. Members of their staff have worked for groups such as EMILY's List, Media Matters, SEIU, and the DNC. GJR has helped 300 Democrat/progressive campaigns across the nation, ranging from federal races all the way down to local races, and non-profit organizations and labor unions.
On November 2nd, 2009, Gragert Research added a Washington D.C. office, and added a new parter - Dana C. Jones. Jones became the head of the Washington office, and the company was renamed Gragert Jones Research. Jones had worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but had been with the ultra-liberal group EMILY's List for the past six years.
This is where Free and Jones' paths cross. In 2004, when Free was running for congress, EMILY's List was a major supporter of her campaign - Dana Jones was working with EMILY's List at that time. Free paid Gragert Jones Research for their services just ten days after Jones joined the team.
Posters on the DemoOkie forum have encouraged her to run for Attorney General. I would think that she might be looking at running against Dan Boren again (liberals across the state are disgruntled with Boren), but she recently married and may have moved to Broken Arrow - out of district (it's unclear whether she lives there or in Red Oak); besides, she would have needed to file with the FEC, instead of the state Ethics Commission, if she were looking at a federal office.
GJR states on their website that "Gragert Jones is one of the premier opposition and vulnerability research firms in the country". Is she digging up dirt on potential opponents for a statewide office? If so, is she considering running for Attorney General, given her background as a former District Attorney? I have a feeling that we will be finding out in the next few months.