Friday, June 17, 2022

Dark Money Swamp retaliates against State Auditor Cindy Byrd, props up unqualified straw candidate

There's some phenomenal reporting this morning from the Tulsa World's Randy Krehbiel on the State Auditor's race: Dark money campaign hits state auditor race. You simply have to read the whole thing.

Oklahoma has a political swamp, a deep state, that controls a lot of what goes on politically. There are interconnected fingers between dark money, consultants, campaigns, and elected officials. And now the knives are out for State Auditor Cindy Byrd, who must be removed before she does them more damage.

From Krehbiel's article:

Someone is spending a lot of money to keep state Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd from winning a second term, and no one can say with certainty just whom that is.

Records show independent television expenditures for Steven McQuillen, Byrd’s only opponent in a June 28 Republican primary to decide the entire race, of at least $280,000 and perhaps as much as $680,000.

In addition, at least three statewide mailers, each of which could cost as much as $100,000, have gone out supporting McQuillen or opposing Byrd.

I've received multiple mailers from this group supporting McQuillen. They've been filled with generic right-friendly hot topics... that have legitimately nothing to do with the duties of a State Auditor, but are red meat designed and poll-tested to play well with conservative voters. Don't fall for it. This is a well-funded scam candidate and scam campaign.


The money being spent on McQuillen’s behalf seems unlikely to be out of enthusiasm for him personally. Several better-known Republicans, who asked not to be identified, said they were approached to run against Byrd and declined, despite a promise that money would be no issue.

My sources at the State Capitol confirm this. Someone shopped around the idea of running against State Auditor Cindy Byrd to at least several state legislators, all of whom shot it down.

Byrd told Krehbiel that she believes most of the dark money is coming from the founders of Epic Charter Schools, who are livid at the role her audits have played in uncovering illegal behavior.

In fact, a wall of 501©(4) nonprofits and political action committees, some with ties to a nonprofit named in a lawsuit filed last week by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, protects the donors’ identities.

By the way, the above link goes to another potentially huge story exposing illegal behavior from a dark money group, connected to the same political consultant (Fount Holland), that took out multiple conservative state legislators in the 2018 election.

Krehbiel talks for a bit about the absolute deluge of dark money being used in Oklahoma races this year (particularly against Gov. Kevin Stitt), and then writes this:

But auditor and inspector races rarely if ever attract this kind of attention, financial or otherwise. Unlike other offices such as corporation or insurance commissioner, it has no natural donor pool, and voters are often unaware of the candidates.

Byrd’s 2018 campaign cost less than $140,000. She’s reported less than $90,000 in contributions this year, and McQuillen hasn’t reported any.

A final preelection report is due next week.

Retired from a midlevel administrative position with Tulsa Public Schools, McQuillen doesn’t seem to have campaigned much or to be very well-known. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business from Oklahoma Wesleyan University but is not a licensed accountant, according to the state accountancy board’s directory.

Legally, the job requires only “at least three years’ experience as an expert accountant” — but most recent state auditors have been licensed accountants.

There you go. We have a straw candidate doing the bidding of some deep-pocketed individuals who are angry at the state taxpayers' primary advocate and defender - the State Auditor's office - and, with the help of the state's dirtiest political consultants, aim to put a total incompetent in place so they don't get uncovered again.

Records show that Truth PAC was created June 9 with Matthew Parker as chairman and treasurer. Parker is a business partner of Fount Holland.

The filings do not show the source of the $280,000.

The mailers carry the stamp of Holland and Parker’s company, CAMP, and the name “American Values First” and a Tulsa address that is a box at an office supply store.

American Values First is the name of a Washington-based federal SuperPAC operated by Joel Riter, a well-known Republican operative who was mentioned in the Ethics Commission lawsuit against Conservative Alliance PAC, which is accused of not filing the required disclosures during the 2018 state election and illegally coordinating its advertising with at least one candidate.

Both Conservative Alliance and the Washington-based American Values First received large transfers from a 501©(4) named Prosperity Alliance, which is known as a political contribution pass-through that allows donors to exceed federal contribution limits while maintaining anonymity.

Prosperity Alliance has been accused of violating IRS rules that limit 501©(4) political activity.

Don't fall for their evil scheme. Reject straw candidate McQuillen and re-elect State Auditor Cindy Byrd.

Read Randy Krehbiel's full story at this link, and share it far and wide.


  1. GREAT article! Thanks for the information!

  2. This in one of several candidates Holland’s crew is pushing. Unqualified, willing to carry the water of the liberal mega bundlers and political elite establishment. They have zero interest in representing the Oklahoma people. They realize how critical this election season is, and will stoop to the lowest levels in trying to accomplish their objectives.


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