Friday, May 27, 2022

Details on Drummond's Donations to Democrats

In the race for Attorney General, the most well-funded Republican candidate, who has the most name recognition, the most TV ads, the most outside "dark money" groups helping him, and who leads in the polls, happens to be a longtime donor to Democratic candidates. In this article, you will meet and learn about Gentner Drummond, wannabe Attorney General. You will also hear from some other Republican candidates for office on their record of donating to Democrats. Read on.

Republican Attorney General candidate Gentner Drummond has come under fire from his opponent, current AG John O'Connor over some of his past donations to Democratic candidates, including a $1,000 donation to Joe Biden in 2020 that Drummond characterizes as made by his wife when she "got mad". Nice going man, way to take responsibility and absolutely throw your wife under the bus for political purposes.

When I posted the O'Connor piece, I did some cursory research on Drummond's donations, and found that it was more extensive than O'Connor had mentioned. I finally found some time to do a more thorough dig, accessing records from the Federal Election Commission and the Oklahoma Ethics Commission to compile a complete picture of Drummond's donations to candidates since his earliest known candidate contribution in 1999 through March 31st of this year.

In that time, Drummond has given $109,002.23 to at least 85 different campaigns:
  • 19 Democrats, $13,250 (12.16% of his donations)
  • 66 Republicans, $95,752.23 (87.84% of his donations)
Some specific highlights:
  • Drummond gave $3,000 to Kirk Humphreys in the 2004 U.S. Senate GOP primary. After Humphreys got crushed by Tom Coburn (by far the most fun campaign I've ever helped on), Drummond turned around and gave Democratic nominee Brad Carson $1,000.
  • He gave Democratic Congressman Dan Boren $2,500 from 2004 to 2010.
  • He gave $1,500 to Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Pete Regan in 2005-2006.
  • He also gave $500 to Democrat Drew Edmondson's 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
  • In 2012, Drummond gave $1,450 to Democratic nominee John Olson in the 1st Congressional District race that Republican Jim Bridenstine ultimately won. That same year, Drummond donated $500 to Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith (D).
  • In 2013, Drummond gave $1,000 each to Tulsa mayoral candidate Kathy Taylor (D), who ended up losing to Dewey Bartlett, Jr. (R), and to the Democratic senatorial nominee against Jim Inhofe, Matt Silverstein.
  • Drummond's single-largest donation total (other than his own campaigns) was to State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister when she was still a Republican. Drummond gave her a total of $7,951 between 2013 and 2018.
  • Other than the infamous Biden donation, Drummond's most recent Democratic donation was in 2018, $250 to State House candidate Andy Richardson.
  • The bulk of Drummond's donations to Democrats occured between 2004 and 2013.
  • Starting around 2015 or so, Drummond began donating more regularly and in larger amounts to Republican candidates.
As I mentioned in my last post on this topic, I absolutely question the conservative and/or Republican credentials of anyone who gives money to Democratic candidates. 

Out of curiousity and for illustration purposes, I reached out to several different Republican candidates for office, asking if they have ever donated to Democratic candidates and how many they had. Here are their responses:

  • Governor Kevin Stitt (running for reelection): "Governor Kevin Stitt has not donated to a registered Democrat candidate."

  • Mark Sherwood (running for Governor): "Dr. Mark was never registered as a Democrat. He was an Independent because of frustration and dissolution with the hypocrisy of the Republican party. However after reading the Oklahoma State GOP platform he switched because he truly believes in the values of the Republican party regardless of the individuals who do not keep them."
              YES - his team totally misread my question. Like any good blogger, I asked a follow-up question, and got this response:
    "Dr. Sherwood has never given to any Democratic campaign and has been registered as a Republican since August of last year. Prior to that he was registered as an Independent."
              Evidently, Sherwood switched parties the month that he announced his campaign for governor.

  • Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell (running for reelection): "Zero Dems."

  • Nathan Dahm (running for U.S. Senate): "Zero. I've never donated to a Democrat."

  • Marty Quinn (running for 2nd District Congress): "To my knowledge, none."

  • Josh Brecheen (running for 2nd District Congress): "Nope."

  • John Bennett (running for 2nd District Congress): "None." (added May 31st)

  • Brian Jackson (running for State House District 13): "I believe I've never donated to a Democrat. Pretty sure of that, and I would suspect any Republican who has in the past several decades."

  • Kevin Calvey (running for Oklahoma County DA): "Zero."
For the record, I did not ask John O'Connor this question, but no records can be found of him donating to Democrats (he has donated to several Republican candidates).

In the ~14 years since I registered to vote, I have voted for a handful of non-Republican candidates when I felt the situation merited it. In one instance, the GOP nominee for the office was such a drunkard that he couldn't even come to a GOP meeting sober, and I felt that I had to, in good conscience, vote for his opponent to keep him from gaining office. On other occassions, the Republican nominee simply had too much baggage, or a horrible voting record. In all but maybe two or three cases, those Democrat, Independent, and Libertarian candidates for which I voted were clearly destined to lose, so it was more of a protest vote than anything else.

However, there's a tremendous difference between holding your nose and voting for a candidate from a party that you have severe policy disagreements with and contributing financially toward their electoral success. 

I've donated money to candidates, but I'm just a blue-collar, small-donor type of guy. In 14 years, I've given to maybe - at most - ten committees (candidates plus the state and county GOP), and the cumulative total is less than $1,000. Probably well under. Drummond gave big bucks to some Democrats. 
  • Drummond gave $500 to put a pro-abortion, pro-tax Democrat in the Governor's mansion
  • Drummond gave $1,000 to put a liberal pro-abortion Democrat in the Tulsa Mayor's office
  • Drummond gave $2,000 to put liberal Democrats in the U.S. Senate, where they would have voted for Harry Reid to lead the Senate
  • Drummond gave $3,950 to Democrats who would (and did, in one case) vote for Nancy Pelosi to lead the U.S. House
  • Drummond gave $1,700 to put Democrats in the State Senate
  • Drummond gave $2,000 to put Democrats in the State House
All the while, Drummond played both sides of the fence and gave to Republicans. Which is it, Mr. Drummond? Who is the real Gentner Drummond? 

Drummond claims that the Biden donation was from his wife, saying that 'his wife "got mad" and made the contribution using a joint credit card but that she "immediately asked for a refund and got the money back."' On his campaign's Facebook page, he posts a letter that he sent to John O'Connor trying to explain away the Biden endorsement, and in television ads responding to the situation he touts a $5,000 donation to Donald Trump.

There's more to that story, as well.

Drummond's letter to O'Connor is dated February 15th, 2022. His donation to Trump's Save America PAC was on February 14th, 2022, literally the day before sending his letter to O'Connor. This was not a donation to help Donald Trump before the 2016 or 2020 presidential election -- this was a transparently political ploy to attempt to save face.

The more you know.

You can view the Drummond contribution details below:

Here are his Democratic donations separated out:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for digging into all of this. It has sure helped me make my choice!


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