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Calvey, Russian cash and a dead hobo.

Oklahoma Watchdog
August 10, 2010
ANDREW W. GRIFFIN

Re: Kevin Calvey Congressional Campaign Funding Secret Federal agency PAC, tied to Russian Mafia funds View

Kevin Calvey has helped finance his congressional campaign with more than $250,000 in investment gains and donations tied to his brother, a wealthy international investor.

Oklahoma CITY -- When Oklahoma Watchdog interviewed Kevin Calvey back in June, the candidate was one of seven Republicans running for the 5th Congressional District seat. Calvey, who has made himself very available to the media, was cordial and forthcoming with information when asked ... for the most part. And now Calvey is in a tight run-off with political newcomer James Lankford, a former youth camp director.

The Oklahoman featured a couple of articles on Calvey this weekend that addressed some issues that had been brought forth to Oklahoma Watchdog in recent months. First, there is the issue of Calvey and his brother, 42-year-old Michael Calvey, a successful financier who has been very successful in Russia, working as an investor. The Oklahoman reported Sunday that Kevin Calvey made nearly $270,000 in 2008 "selling an interest he acquired for free in a Russian private equity fund." He has already loaned his campaign $250,100 and his brother, his friends and business associates "have provided nearly $30,000 more in campaign donations."

Michael Calvey is said to be "among Russia's most prominent businessmen" and operates Baring Vostok Capital Partners out of Moscow.

The Oklahoman also reported that Calvey, a Republican, has raised $880,000 as of a month ago. Thirty-two percent of that money is tied to Michael Calvey.

An anonymous source who has studied Kevin Calvey and his time in the state legislature and afterward said the news of the Russian business connection is interesting and should be investigated further. Russia is still an emerging economic power and there is a lot of corruption tied to that former Communist superpower. Our source said it would be interesting to see who some of these other supporters are and their connections.

An online article from 2002, from the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty "Corruption Watch" page notes Michael Calvey in an article about Hermitage Capital Management Ltd, "a western investment company that is incorporated in the Channel island of Guernsey and operating in Russia" and another article features an interview with Michael Calvey where he tells a reporter that in Russia "it is easier to lose money than to gain." It is clear that Michael Calvey is a professional and he understands how the rough and tumble world of international finance works. Michael Calvey makes it clear in a Baring Vostok press release/interview that his company does business "only by lawful means" and that "we have never violated the law and, probably, that is why we have very few enemies."

The other story that got our attention was one that we were somewhat familiar with several months ago. We received a tip that Calvey had been allegedly arrested in a park. During an interview with Calvey, he was asked about this rumor and if he had a response. Calvey seemed shocked by the question. ***He said he did not know anything about that and then said he was aware of the allegation but provided no further information. And now The Oklahoman reported, in a story headlined "Kevin Calvey summoned police to park where body of homeless man found, police report says."

The story is interesting in that Kevin Calvey told police, back in May 2009, he was driving along SE 29th from Midwest City to a campaign meeting in Oklahoma City and came upon a man walking in a torrential rain. He gave the man a lift and the man said another man had died "in the woods" near Trosper Park. This was the same park where police had said lewd activity between men had been reported. Police had conducted a sting operation at the park, nabbing men engaged in sex acts there. Calvey, in the story, said he was well aware of the park's reputation and had not been "anywhere near the park." Perhaps, when Oklahoma Watchdog inquired about the park arrest rumor, Calvey didn't make the connection between that and the dead hobo and denied it because there was nothing to it. That is why we did not report on this issue, considering it was an unfounded rumor. He had denied he was arrested in a park. But in light of the dead-hobo-in-the-park case, it makes one wonder. We have contacted Kevin Calvey for further comment and will update this story if we receive a response.

UPDATE: In a text message received this afternoon, Kevin Calvey explained that on the day in question, the man he picked up in the rainstorm appeared to be in trouble and had information about the dead vagrant. Wrote Calvey: "If this is what your tipster was alluding to, they got the story mostly wrong. I did a brief Good Samaritan deed, and then did what any good citizen would do - reported to the police the fact that someone told me he found a corpse."

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