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Oregon Ballot Measures Receive Millions From Donors October 25, 2008

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

A group that tracks state election contributions said Friday that groups and individual donors have allotted almost $14 million to support or oppose 11 ballot measures.

Nearly a third of that has come from members of the Oregon Education Association , a 47,000-member group that’s opposing seven measures and backing two, according to Democracy Reform Oregon.

Businessman Loren Parks is the single largest individual contributor, doling out $1.7 million to back two crime-related measures.

Donors giving $100,000 or more comprised 91 percent of the $13.7 million raised so far, said Janice Thompson, the group’s executive director.

“If ballot measure campaigns are evaluated by the numbers of Oregonians represented by major donors, those efforts funded primarily by Loren Parks fail the test,” said Thompson. “At the same time it is striking that almost one-third of the ballot measure money raised so far is from one group.”

Measure 63, which would waive permits for home repair projects under $35,000, attracted $412,625 from opponents looking to defeat the measure. Supporters raised $79,876 to back the proposal, written by initiative specialist Bill Sizemore.

Proponents of Measure 65, which would allow open primaries in Oregon, drew $390,329, compared to $265,750 in opposition.

Other large ballot measure donors included the National Education Association ($1 million), SIU Local 503 ($948,450), Oregon AFSCME Council 75 ($751,525) and a group called School Employees Exercising Democracy ($600,000). The groups primarily seek to defeat Sizemore’s five measures.

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