Oklahoma attorney general's "key confidante" among top Hoskin campaign donors
A former advisor and close associate to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is among the top donors to Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.'s 2019 campaign, election commission documents show.
Cherokee Nation election commission public records show that Glenn Coffee, a prominent GOP lobbyist and described "key confidante" to Attorney General Mike Hunter, donated the maximum allowed donation of $5,000 to Chuck Hoskin Jr.'s 2019 campaign for principal chief. Documents show that on March 25th, 2019, Coffee donated $2,000 to the Hoskin campaign under the name Glenn Coffee, and on April 30th, 2019, he donated another $3,000 to Hoskin using the name Virgil Coffee, his legal first and last name. He did not donate to any other candidates for any office.
A biography of Coffee from the website of his lobbying firm describes him as the longest-serving Republican leader in the Oklahoma Senate and highlights his career serving in Governor Mary Fallin's administration following his exit from the legislature. It also lists his Legislator of the Year award from the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, formerly the premier oil and gas lobbying group in the state, as one of his emphasized accomplishments.
Coffee's work with Attorney General Mike Hunter has been well documented, most recently when Coffee's firm received $5.6 million in legal consulting fees from Hunter's office throughout a high profile opioid lawsuit case against Johnson & Johnson. Hunter's move to hire Coffee & Associates spurred public backlash, with the president of the American Tort Reform Association asking whether Coffee received the contract due to his qualifications, or because of his $16,200 contribution to Hunter's 2018 campaigns.
Now, as the state of Oklahoma, tribal nations, and corporate interests move quickly to achieve competing end goals following the landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma ruling that determined the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation as never being disestablished by Congress, many Cherokee citizens and American Indian rights activists have noted a strange partnership between the Cherokee Nation chief and Oklahoma's attorney general, despite their conflicting interests when it comes to tribal sovereignty. This has spurred a vocal discussion in the American Indian rights community about whether Hoskin's support of federal legislation to "fix" the fallout of McGirt is indicative of a possible backroom deal, or other monetary rewards.
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