Attorneys Help Bankroll Campaigns of Judges Who Hear Their Cases

Campaign finance reports show attorneys who donate hundreds or thousands of dollars to judicial campaigns frequently appear before the judges they are supporting. With no specific laws on when judges should recuse themselves, the donations raise concerns about conflicts of interest.

Few Statewide Candidates Voluntarily Disclose Financial Information

Only four of 28 candidates for statewide elected office in Oklahoma have voluntarily released details about their personal finances similar to what is typically disclosed by federal candidates and candidates in other states. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Drew Edmondson released his tax returns and detailed finances. Republicans Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt declined to release theirs, as did most of the non-gubernatorial candidates.

Rule Change Conceals Statewide Candidates’ Personal Finances

Unlike the federal government and nearly three dozen states, Oklahoma does not require statewide candidates to reveal even the most basic details of their personal finances before Election Day. That means voters will choose the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and other officeholders with scant information about their finances and potential conflicts of interest.