Steve Kern and his wife contribute thousands of dollars to Republican party

OKLAHOMA CITY – Dr. Ervin Yen, a Republican candidate in state Senate District 40, has posted a compilation multiple contributions he has made to Republican campaigns over the last eight years. Yen’s campaign also listed a few hundred dollars he said his opponent, Dr. Steve Kern, has made to Republicans in recent years.

Yen’s campaign posted the information in response to news reports and blogs about his support for Democratic candidates, including Andrew Rice and Brad Henry.

This post came amid controversy over support for his candidacy from independent expenditures financed by anonymous sources, widely dubbed “dark money.”

The Yen campaign post touted contributions to individual Republican candidates from 2006 until this year, listing only small gifts from Kern to Republicans in the last two years and asserting “only one of us has actually been involved in helping to elect Republicans to office.”

However, CapitolBeatOK has learned Yen’s listing of Kern backing for the Grand Old Party and its candidates is incomplete. Rather than the few hundred dollars listed in his campaign website’s release, CapitolBeatOK has identified more than $4,000 in GOP contributions from Mr. and Mrs. Kern just in this decade (2011 to the present). 

In recent years, the Kerns, who live in west Oklahoma City, have contributed to candidates Gary Jones, Willard Lindsey, Charles Thompson and Kyle Loveless, in addition to James Dunn.

Dr. Kern and his wife, state Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma city, participated three years running in the OKGOP Minute Man fund, at $17.50 a month ($630 annually in 2011, 2012 and 2013). The couple also contributes $300 each year to the Oklahoma Council (Republican) Chairman’s Council. The Kerns have contributed $1,440 to the state Republican party so far this year, and have contributed another $175 to individual candidates.

Other Kern gifts include: $200 to presidential candidate Rick Santorum in 2012, $320 to the Oklahoma Leadership Council in 2012, $505 to a range of Republican events and fundraiser in 2013, about $600 to the state GOP in 2012, and $1,050 to the state party in 2011.

Mrs. Kern, in an exchange with CapitolBeatOK, said she and her husband “primarily give to the state party and only to a few candidates.”

In addition to the party-building contributions, Dr. Kern as served on three platform committees and regularly attends county GOP meetings.

Dr. Yen is an anesthesiologist who lives in Nichols Hills. Dr. Kern pastors a church on the near Westside of Oklahoma City. 

The pair face off in the runoff election that concludes Tuesday (August 26). 
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