Claremore Daily Progress

Inola

October 12, 2012

Take the money and run for office

Helm, Anderson get campaign money from vendors which may have violated state law

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

Rick Hayes, founder of Retail Attractions is currently under contract to earn between $3,000 - $5,500 per month with Rogers County. The contract is scheduled to continue until 2013.
Helm did not offer an explanation of why the funds were accepted by his campaign.
“We send out a flier and an email about it through the campaign,” he said.
He provided no further comment on the matter.
USE OF COUNTY RESOURCES
To complicate matters, Helm used his county email account to promote his campaign.
Helm on multiple occasions used the county’s equipment and email service to discuss campaign matters. 
This included, but was not limited to, campaign fliers and promotional material.
Helm even used then County Public Information Officer Kristen Bergman to assist in the creation of campaign fliers and other publications.
Helm conducted regular campaign business, including finances with his campaign manager Christi Smith via his county email account.
The email transactions detail Bergman’s involvement.
Smith requested that Bergman provide written material to be used in campaign publications.
Bergman provided multiple examples of Helm’s accomplishments for Smith.
“Christi, I hope you find this information to be of use. Please let me know if I can help with anything else!” Bergman wrote in an email.
Bergman was hired by the county to work on the Material Services sales tax question and was paid more than $12,000 from highway funds in violation of state statute.
Records reflect the Anderson also used county resources for her campaign. 
Bergman also produced information to assist with Anderson’s campaign, according to the emails.
Smith invited Bergman to participate in Helm’s campaign committee meetings.
“It would be great if you could reply back, so that I can offer and share your words and bullet points on support and endorsement of his responsibilities, accomplishments, and leadership style that you’ve seen,” Smith wrote.
Bergman did provide a response detailing Helm and Anderson’s “accomplishments” including the $13 million in FEMA funds that the county received.
The FEMA funds were one of the primary items used throughout both campaigns.
Anderson additionally accepted $250 from Donelson and $200 from Charney.
Anderson was unavailable for comment.

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