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