Filling the Pockets of Stitt’s Campaign Manager with Taxpayer Money

Donelle Harder serves as Stitt’s campaign manager and senior adviser. She enjoyed a $140,600-a-year state job working for the governor. After choosing to leave state employment, she received several state contracts using funds the governor approved and that she helped oversee. 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health paid her $27,500 for communications support for the agency during the pandemic. The Office of Management and Enterprise Services also paid her for up to $130,000 a year for 28 hours a week of work. Harder served on the CARES Forward Finance team that oversaw the deployment of $1.2 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds.

Harder’s feasting at the public trough didn’t stop there. On June 9, 2020, she signed a contract with Tri County Tech in Bartlesville for $2,500 a month. The next month, Stitt announced a $1 million grant to Tri County using funds that were also authorized under the CARES Act.

On July 17, 2020, Stitt announced that $12 million would go toward Learn Anywhere OK for virtual education to be administered by the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter Board. Ten days later, Harder signed a contract with the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter board for $7,500 a month.

Harder once again serves as Stitt’s campaign manager.