Oklahoma Governor’s Task Force on Campaign Finance and Election Threats Recommends Campaign Finance Reforms

May 6, 2024   •  By IFS Staff   •  ,   •  , ,

Earlier this year, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s Task Force on Campaign Finance and Election Threats invited Institute for Free Speech President David Keating and Chairman and Founder Bradley A. Smith to speak to the Task Force about weaknesses in the state’s current campaign finance laws.

In 2022, Oklahoma earned a disappointing 56 percent score on the Institute for Free Speech’s Free Speech Index. Due to changes in some of the campaign laws since then, the adjusted score would be even lower at 52 percent. The 2018 Institute for Free Speech Free Speech Index – Grading the 50 States on Political Giving Freedom gave the state a 19 percent score and “F” grade for its low contribution limits.

On April 3, 2024, Governor Stitt announced the recommendations from the Task Force to the public. The final report addressed several areas that Keating and Smith identified as weaknesses. The following Task Force recommendations at least partially responded to the Institute for Free Speech’s suggestions:

  • “Eliminating contribution limits for all natural persons that donate directly to a candidate or [a] political party….
  • Allow “unlimited transfers between political parties and their candidates.”
  • “To encourage a diversity of smaller contributors to become involved in campaigns without risk of doxing or other adverse effects to their employment opportunities, Oklahoma should increase the cumulative initial contribution reporting requirement [from the current $50] to $200 indexed for inflation.”
  • If the Task Force’s recommendations are adopted, “the definition of coordination Oklahoma currently operates under would be overly burdensome and illogical. Oklahoma’s coordination definition should be redefined to allow coordination up to the limits prescribed under the [Task Force’s] recommendations.”

The Institute for Free Speech was honored to be invited to present to the Task Force and we look forward to future collaboration. We hope Governor Stitt considers the Task Force’s above recommendations to create a more speech-friendly state.

Watch a recording of their presentation here.

IFS Staff

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