The Pottawatomie County District Attorney’s office will not pursue charges against a dark money group targeting State Senator Ron Sharp (R) of Shawnee with thousands of dollars’ worth of direct mailers.
The district attorney said because the company is an LLC in another state what they’re doing is legal.Senator Sharp said legal or not, it’s still sleezy.
The issue is mailers sent to folks in Shawnee urging them *not* to vote for Senator Ron Sharp. The mailers were paid for by the Oklahoma Conservative Project LLC, which lists an office address at 3030-Northwest Expressway suite 200. News 9 went there, and no one had ever heard of the company. Turns out it’s listed as a limited liability corporation in Delaware formed last month so the group can’t be charged with mail fraud.
“As long as they’re a legitimately recognized corporation or LLC with the proper filings with any state in the union they’re entitled to express their opinions under the first amendment,” DA Allan Grubb said.
A lot of political action committees register in Delaware because: Names and addresses of shareholders, directors, and members of a Delaware Company do not appear in public records; and there is no obligation to provide this information to the State of Delaware; No minimal capital investment in the company is required;The company has no obligation to have a bank account in Delaware and the company headquarters may be located anywhere in the world and does not have to conduct any business in the state.
In other words, if you want to hide who is writing the checks you register in Delaware. Sharp, the only politician targeted by the group, said he believes this violates state election laws, but he doesn’t want the DA to pursue charges.
“On July 1st it’s irrelevant so no, I would not want the DA’s office to spend Oklahoma taxpayer money looking into this voter fraud.” Sharp said.
Still, Sharp said this leaves a bad taste in his mouth.
“It just lets you know why people do not run for political office. Because when these groups come after you, they come after you,” Sharp said. “So, everything about this is just sleezy.”