Mail­ers tout Lank­ford years be­fore elec­tion

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - NEWS - BY JUSTIN WINGERTER Staff Writer [email protected]­la­homan.com

Ok­la­homans who as­sumed po­lit­i­cal mail­ers would stop ar­riv­ing af­ter Elec­tion Day may have been sur­prised to see Thanks­giv­ing-themed pol­i­tick­ing in their mail­boxes last week.

Amer­i­cans for Pros­per­ity, the con­ser­va­tive group backed by bil­lion­aires Charles and David Koch, spent more than $100,000 na­tion­wide on mail­ers and on­line ads tout­ing Repub­li­cans, in­clud­ing Sen. James Lank­ford in Ok­la­homa.

“Pump­kins grow on vines. Pota­toes grow in the ground. Tur­keys grow on farms. But thank­fully, Sen­a­tor James Lank­ford knows: Money doesn’t grow on trees,” the mailer states.

Lank­ford, R-Ok­la­homa City, isn’t up for re-elec­tion un­til 2022, but Amer­i­cans for Pros­per­ity felt the need to thank Lank­ford “and urge him to bring his col­leagues to the ta­ble to ad­dress over­spend­ing,” said John Tid­well, the group’s state di­rec­tor in Ok­la­homa.

Mail­ers ar­rived at homes in the mid­dle of the week and dig­i­tal ads launched Mon­day. Sim­i­lar ads bol­stered 10 other fis­cally con­ser­va­tive se­na­tors and 18 rep­re­sen­ta­tives around the coun­try.

De­spite record-high in­come tax col­lec­tions and one-party con­trol of the fed­eral govern­ment, Repub­li­cans have been un­able to rein in spend­ing un­der Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. The non­par­ti­san Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice projects a tax-cut bill passed by Repub­li­cans last De­cem­ber will in­crease the na­tional debt by $1.9 tril­lion over the next decade.

Lank­ford voted for the bill, de­spite mis­giv­ings about its ef­fect on the na­tional debt. In the weeks be­fore the vote, a small busi­ness group spent more than $100,000 on TV ads in Ok­la­homa urg­ing Lank­ford to op­pose it. The ad fea­tured clips of Lank­ford warn­ing about the debt. In one clip, he bluntly states, “I did not come to Congress to raise more debt.”

This week’s ads thank Lank­ford for vot­ing against a $1.3 tril­lion govern­ment fund­ing bill in March, a bill that di­vided Ok­la­homa’s all-Repub­li­can con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion. Reps. Steve Rus­sell and Mark­wayne Mullin joined Lank­ford in op­po­si­tion, but Reps. Tom Cole and Frank Lu­cas, along with Sen. Jim In­hofe, voted in fa­vor and the bill passed.

“This om­nibus bill,” Lank­ford said at the time, “is an­other symp­tom of Wash­ing­ton’s spend­ing ill­ness; mas­sive over­spend­ing in a 2,200-page bill re­leased only hours be­fore the vote.”

[PHOTOS PRO­VIDED]

A po­lit­i­cal mailer sent to some Ok­la­homa homes this week claims Sen. James Lank­ford voted against “out-of-con­trol spend­ing.”

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