Oklahomans have been inundated with negative political ads as a newcomer from Texas challenges U.S. Rep. Tom Cole in the Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District. 

Paul Bondar once ran a trucking insurance business in Illinois but later sold the company. More recently, Bondar has resided in the Dallas area and now says he’s renting a home in Oklahoma while he runs for Congress. He has donated more than $30,000 to his completely self-funded campaign this year and also loaned himself another $5.1 million.

Bondar is unlikely to win. Cole has held the seat since 2003, is endorsed by former President Donald Trump and was recently named to the powerful role of chairman of the House Appropriations Committee

But the Alexandria, Virginia-based Super PAC Americans 4 Security isn’t taking any chances. The group has spent nearly $2.2 million on advertising against Bondar since May 10. Bondar is also dropping his own negative ads against Cole. 

We used voting and property records and other documents to fact-check negative ads opposing both candidates. 

Oklahomans will vote in state and federal primaries on June 18. 

Claim: Cole sent $180 billion to fund the war in Ukraine. 
Source: Bondar made this claim in a campaign ad 
Fact check: Mixed

It’s true Congress has appropriated $174.2 billion in emergency supplemental funding in response to the war in Ukraine since 2022, according to an April report from the Congressional Research Service

Cole has supported almost all of the bills providing that emergency funding, congressional voting records show. But Cole did vote against the final passage of a bill to fund around $12 billion in 2022. Cole’s office did not respond to requests for comment. As chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Cole introduced the latest bill to fund nearly $61 billion in supplemental appropriations to address the conflict in Ukraine, which included funding for current U.S. military operations in the region and money for defense services and weapons. 
-Kayla Branch

Claim: Bondar lives in a mansion in Dallas. 
Source: The Americans 4 Security PAC made this claim in an ad opposing Bondar. 
Fact check: Mixed 

Bondar is registered to vote in Texas and voted there as recently as March. He listed his address at a six-bedroom, 8,100-square-foot home on Lake Ray Hubbard in Health, about a 30-minute drive from Dallas. A real estate listing for the property describes it as a “chateau” with amenities including tennis courts and a 1,200-bottle underground wine cellar. Bondar also registered to vote this year in Oklahoma in Pontotoc County. Candidate filings list a rental property in Stonewall, near Ada, as his address. In an email to The Frontier, a representative from Bondar’s campaign called claims that Bondar is not an Oklahoma resident “false accusations.”
-Brianna Bailey

Claim: Cole voted to reauthorize the “FISA spying program,” a “deep state program” used to “illegally spy on President Trump.”
Source: Bondar made this claim on the campaign website trilliondollartom.com
Fact check: True, but misleading 

Cole did vote for a piece of legislation in April reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which creates procedures for electronic surveillance. An increasing number of legislators have expressed concerns about the law allowing the federal government to monitor the private communications of foreigners overseas without a warrant, even if they’re talking to Americans. But claims that the law has been used to undermine Trump’s presidency are highly contentious. 

A 2019 report by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General found no evidence that the FBI was motivated by political bias in its decision to investigate former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page for possible links to Russia. But Inspector General Michael Horowitz also found numerous inaccuracies in applications that investigative teams submitted to surveil Page and said he couldn’t rule out political bias as a motivating factor. The Department of Justice later declared two of the four surveillance warrants against Page were invalid.
-Ari Fife

Claim: Bondar found himself in federal tax court after he “failed to pay thousands of dollars in taxes.” 
Source: The Americans 4 Security PAC made this claim on the anti-Bondar website bondarsbull.com
Fact check: True, but misleading

Americans 4 Security claims on an opposition website that Bondar failed to pay thousands of dollars in taxes and “landed in federal tax court” as a result. Rather than the federal government, it was Bonder who filed a tax court petition against the IRS, tax court records show. The IRS claimed Bondar owed the federal government $49,000 in unpaid taxes and penalties between 2008 and 2010. In his petition, Bondar claimed the IRS had incorrectly calculated how much he owed. The IRS admitted in its answer to the claims that it had calculated some things incorrectly. In 2014, the judge in the case approved a settlement between Bondar and the IRS. The parties agreed in the settlement that Bondar did not owe any additional taxes for 2009 but still needed to pay $13,493 for 2008 and 2010. 
-Clifton Adcock

Rating system: 
True: A claim that is backed up by factual evidence
Mostly true: A claim that is mostly true but also contains some inaccurate details 
Mixed: A claim that contains a combination of accurate and inaccurate or unproven information 
True but misleading: A claim that is factually true but omits critical details or context 
Mostly false: A claim that is mostly false but also contains some accurate details 
False: A claim that has no basis in fact

Clarification: This story has been updated to include that Bondar has loaned his campaign $5.1 million.