- Associated Press - Saturday, November 1, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon’s statewide election campaigns have hauled in more than $43 million. That doesn’t include the U.S. Senate race or down-ballot contests for the state Legislature and local offices. The impact of all that money is everywhere - you can’t watch television, check your mail or even view a YouTube video without confronting political ads. But where’s the money coming from? The money in the governor’s race is largely coming from within Oregon, but the ballot measures are being showered with cash from out of state.

Here’s a look at the top donors to Oregon’s campaigns for governor and the highest profile ballot measures, based on campaign finance records filed through Thursday:

JOHN KITZHABER (Total raised: $4.4 million)

- Phil Knight, $250,000

The chairman of Nike Inc. is a big spender on Oregon elections. He opened his wallet for the Democratic governor after backing Kitzhaber’s rival in 2010, Chris Dudley, to the tune of $400,000. Nike itself separately gave Kitzhaber $90,000 this year.

- Too Extreme For Oregon PAC, $199,000

A political action committee newly created to go after Kitzhaber’s Republican rival, Dennis Richardson, Too Extreme For Oregon counts labor unions, abortion-rights groups and the Democratic Party of Oregon among its donors. The group paid for an advertising campaign criticizing Richardson.

DENNIS RICHARDSON (Total raised: $2.8 million)

- Jones sisters, Seneca Jones Timber Company and Seneca Sustainable Energy, $591,000

Jody Jones, Rebecca Jones and Kathy Jones-McCann, along with the Seneca timber companies they own, gave Richardson a much-needed boost when he desperately needed cash. A big chunk of their money paid for massive, cryptic billboards in downtown Portland.

- Freres Lumber Co., and Rob Freres, $205,000

Rob Freres and his Lyons-based timber company provided Richardson another boost.

YES ON MEASURE 90 - TOP-TWO PRIMARY (Total raised: $4.6 million)

- Michael Bloomberg, $1.9 million

The billionaire former mayor of New York has a history of bucking the major political parties and trying to diminish their influence.

- John Arnold, $1.8 million

Arnold, who lives in Texas, made his fortune as a natural gas trader, first at Enron and then as a hedge fund manager. He retired in his late 30s to focus on charitable giving and political causes.

NO ON MEASURE 90 - TOP-TWO PRIMARY (Total raised: $1.4 million)

- Defend Oregon PAC, $950,000

Backed almost entirely by public-employee unions, Defend Oregon has provided the lion’s share of the money to oppose Measure 90. Unions have also contributed directly to the campaign opposing Measure 90.

YES ON MEASURE 91 - LEGALIZE MARIJUANA (Total raised: $3.6 million)

- New Approach ($2 million)

Two political action committees - one registered with the state, the other with the federal government - have provided much of the money for the legalization initiative. Both the state and federal PACs are heavily supported by the family of Peter Lewis, the Progressive Insurance executive who died last year.

- Drug Policy Action ($1.5 million)

The New York-based group is backed by liberal billionaire George Soros and has been instrumental in pushing for more permissive marijuana laws around the country.

NO ON MEASURE 91 - LEGALIZE MARIJUANA (Total raised: $179,000)

- Oregon State Sheriffs Association ($145,000)

Oregon’s elected sheriffs are being badly outspent by proponents of legalizing marijuana.

YES ON MEASURE 92 - GMO LABELS (Total raised: $7.5 million dollars)

- Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps ($1.7 million)

A California-based producer of natural hygiene products, Dr. Bronner’s has been a big contributor to failed food labeling initiatives elsewhere.

- Center for Food Safety Action Fund ($1.2 million)

The nonprofit organization advocates organic foods and sustainable agriculture

NO ON MEASURE 92 - GMO LABELS (Total raised: $19 million)

- Monsanto Company ($4.6 million)

The St. Louis-based biotechnology giant has aggressively fought campaigns to require labels for genetically engineered foods, and it’s not shrinking from the fight in Oregon.

- DuPont Pioneer ($4.5 million)

DuPont is another large agricultural business, based in Johnston, Iowa.

- A number of food companies, including PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Land O’Lakes, General Mills and Kellogg Company have written large checks to help the Measure 92 opponents become the best-funded ballot measure campaign Oregon has seen.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide