Tulsa Coal Executive Invests $4.35 Million in Romney and Republicans

Photograph by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo

A supporter at a Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan rally in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Oct. 19, 2012.

An Oklahoma millionaire coal executive has contributed at least $4.35 million to super-political action committees backing Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, new Federal Election Commission reports show.

Joseph Craft III wrote a $500,000 check last month to Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney super-PAC. And through his JWC III Revocable Trust, he gave another $1.25 million to American Crossroads.

Craft is president and chief executive officer of Alliance Resource Partners LP, a Tulsa-based coal producer. Craft’s reported holdings are valued at more than $145 million, Bloomberg data show.

“Like the vast majority of Americans, I believe our country is headed in the wrong direction,” Craft said, according to a Tulsa World article published July 1. “Increased spending, growing government debt and overreaching regulations are stifling job creation and economic growth. I contribute to groups that are trying to turn things around by supporting leaders who believe in the power of the private sector, rather than government, to get us back on track.”

On coal, Romney has pitched himself as friendlier alternative to President Barack Obama. The former Massachusetts governor said at the first debate, “I’m going to make sure we can continue to burn clean coal.”

Craft made earlier contributions to American Crossroads and Restore Our Future.

His Alliance Management Holdings gave $850,000 in December and May installments to American Crossroads, a super-PAC guided by former President George W. Bush political strategist Karl Rove. He personally gave American Crossroads $1.25 million in May.

Restore Our Future, run by former Romney aides, also benefited from a $500,000 Craft check in January.

What do you think about this article? Comment below!