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OK Dems call for Inhofe to return donations from indicted Stevens

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The Democratic Party of Oklahoma has called for Senator Jim Inhofe to return “tainted” money he received from Sen. Ted Stevens, who was indicted today corruption charges. The Oklahoma politician is running for re-election this year, and got $10,000 from Stevens political PAC for his campaign.

The campaign of Andrew Rice, Inhofe’s Democratic chanllenger, posted in a blog, “Today, the differences between Andrew Rice and his opponent, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, became even clearer.”

Senator Elizabeth Dole donated her money from Stevens to charity earlier today. A similar call has been made to Oregon Senator Gordon Smith.  

ODP Press Release: http://www.andrewforoklahoma.c…

Inhofe Should Return Money He Received From Indicted Senator

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 29, 2008) Oklahoma’s U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe should return $12,000 in campaign contributions that he has received from indicted fellow U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Dr. Ivan Holmes said today.

Sen. Stevens was charged today with seven counts of making false statements, according to a 28-page federal grand jury indictment, regarding payments of more than $250,000 in goods and services he allegedly received from an oil company.  The items include home improvements, autos and household items.

“This is a classic example of why Americans have lost faith in Washington,” Holmes said.  “Senator Stevens has been very generous to his good friend Jim Inhofe, whom we know is also close to big oil companies.   Now we know that the money may be tainted and I believe our Senator needs to come clean,” Holmes said.

The Northern Lights Political Action Committee was formed by Stevens to raise money and help his fellow Republican colleagues stay elected.   The Stevens PAC contributed the maximum of $10,000 to Inhofe’s 2008 re-election committee, according to Federal Election Commission reports.  He contributed another $2000 to Inhofe for his 2002 campaign.   (2/11/02 – $2000; 6/22/05-$1000; 6/14/07-$4000; 4/15/08-$5000)

“Even though Senator Stevens’ legal problems have been known for more than a year, Senator Inhofe still agreed to take his contributions,” Holmes said.  “If he wants Oklahomans to believe he is not part of the problem in Washington, Inhofe should return the contributions he received from his indicted friend,” Holmes added.

According to the indictments Stevens knowingly and intentionally sought to conceal and cover up his receipt of things of value by filing financial disclosure forms that contained false statements and omissions concerning Stevens’ receipt of these things of value.

“Oklahomans are tired of the cozy relationship between Senators and lobbyists in Washington and the Stevens case is “the last straw,” Holmes said.