Money from the Dark Side
It should come as no surprise that politicians are still taking money from the Koch Brothers. However, you do have to wonder…at what point does taking money from them become a liability? Especially after the recent Tea Party disaster in Congress, and the Koch Brothers are practically synonymous with the Tea Party. It might be ok in the Republican Primary but once you make it the general election it quickly becomes a double-edged sword. Your average independent voter is not really going to have favorable view of the Koch’s or the Tea Party.
Oregon Legislators who took Money from Koch Industries
The list is below and is almost completely made up of Republican elected officials with a couple of PAC’s either run by or favorable too Republicans. The lone Democrat on the list, Mark Schaufler, returned the money and was eventually defeated by a primary challenger in 2012. He had other issues as well but being a Democrat and taking money from Koch Industries definitely didn’t help.
At some point, if Republicans want a real chance to win in Oregon they are going to have to stop cozying up to these type of donors. And yes the Democrats have the problem, it just hasn’t become an issue for them…yet.
The most interesting name on the list is Jason Conger (R District 54 Bend), who just announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Beyond the Koch donations Conger has also accepted contributions from FirstVote PAC , front for GMO companies such as Monsanto, and from Altria Client Services (a part of tobacco company Altria Group Inc.). Will any of this come bake to haunt him in the general election? If he makes it past the primary.
|Associated Oregon Industries PAC||$10,000.00|
|Boquist Leadership Fund||$5,000.00||Republican Senator from District 12 Dallas|
|Citizens for Jim Thompson||$1,000.00||R (District 23 Dallas)|
|Committee to Elect Doug Whitsett||$1,500.00||R (District 28 Klamath Falls)|
|Committee to Elect Gene Whisnant||$1,000.00||R (District 53 Sunriver)|
|Committee to Elect Jason Conger||$1,000.00||R (District 54 Bend)|
|Committee to Elect Mike McLane||$5,000.00||R (District 55 Powell Butte)|
|Friends of Andy Olson||$5,000.00||R (District 15 Albany)|
|Friends of Bill Kennemer||$1,000.00||R (District 39 Oregon City)|
|Friends of Bruce Hanna||$5,000.00||R (District 7 Roseburg)|
|Friends of Julie Parrish||$1,000.00||R (District 37 Tualitin/West Linn)|
|Friends of Mark Johnson||$1,000.00||R (District 52 Hood River)|
|Friends of Ted Ferrioli||$7,000.00||R (District 30 John day)|
|Friends of Vic Gilliam||$1,000.00||R (District 18 Molalla)|
|Kevin Cameron for Oregon||$3,000.00||R (District 19 Salem)|
|Mike Schaufler for State Representative||$3,000.00||D (District 48 No Longer in Office)|
|Oregon Farm Bureau PAC||$1,000.00|
|Oregon Forest Industries Council PAC||$20,000.00|
|Promote Oregon Leadership PAC||$5,000.00||GOP House Committee Controlled Mike McLane|
|The Leadership Fund||$5,000.00||GOP Senate Committee Controlled by Ted Ferrioli|
|Tim Knopp for State Senate||$7,000.00||R ( District 27 Bend)|
The donations occurred in 2012 and 2013. Data taken from the Oregon Secretary of State Campaign Financial Transactions database.