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August 29th, 2001 John Schrag | News Stories
 

Dashing through the Cash

We won't choose a new governor for 15 more months, but the top candidates have already raised more than $1.5 million.

     
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Until this year, candidates for state office could not legally put the squeeze on potential donors while lawmakers were doing the people's business (and also were, presumably, more susceptible to the evil intentions of lobbyists). But thanks to a court challenge of that rule, candidates were given the green light to dial for dollars during this year's biennial Salem lawmaking love-in. The Legislature responded with a requirement that candidates collecting cash during the session must report it. Although a few legislative incumbents and wannabes took contributions during the session, the serious money came in for the 2002 governor's race.

The list of contributions doesn't include cash received before mid-April, but it does provide a window into each candidate's support base that normally isn't opened until later in the campaign. Here's how the top candidates were faring as of Aug. 17, when the reporting period ended:

Jack Roberts
$935,984
(297 contributions)

Jumpin' Jack flashed his way to the top of the dollar derby, but not by the margin that it seems. Subtract the $760,000 in family money that he's loaned himself, and the Republican state labor commissioner, who hails from Lane County, is only slightly ahead of the pack.

Notable donors:
Friesen Lumber Co. $5,000
Bob Lanphere, car dealer $2,000
Oregon Restaurant Assoc. $1,766
Hamilton Construction Co. $1,500
Eli Lilly & Co. $1,000
Riverbend Sand & Gravel $1,000
Willamette Valley Vineyards $525
Mike Fitz, North Portland GOP maverick $200
Pig N Pancake restaurant $100
Eugene Foot Health Center $25


Bev Stein
$171,137
(600-plus contributions)

A lot of candidates talk about the breadth of their support. Stein can count hers-in dollars and numbers. Aside from a $20,000 in-kind contribution from the Democratic Party (for a computerized voter contact list) and a $10,000 check from campaign treasurer Duncan Campbell, Stein had only five donations exceeding $1,000-and one of them came from her brother. Because Stein didn't itemize contributors giving less than $50, it's not possible to get an accurate donor total (her campaign says the number is 847 for the time period covered). Contributors include local lawyers, social-service advocates and others whom she dealt with as a state legislator and chair of the Multnomah County Board.

Notable Donors:
Ken Lewis, former shipping magnate $2,500
Howard Shapiro, business consultant $1,000
CH2M Hill, engineering consultants $500
Emily Simon, civil rights lawyer $500
Eric Hoffman, Portland construction titan $250
Elizabeth Furse, former congresswoman $250
Don Frisbee, retired utility exec $200
Liz Kaufmann, political consultant $200
Ruth Gundle, publisher $150
Neal Rendleman, Old Town physician $100

Ron Saxton
$166,162
(174 contributions)

Is this guy wired or what? Saxton's early contribution roster looks like someone merged the Waverly Country Club mailing list with the top 1 percent of the state's IRS returns. Saxton, a lawyer with the Ater Wynne firm, is best known for his stint as chairman of the Portland School Board. Many wondered whether as a moderate urban Republican he'd be able to find more conservative support outside the city limit. Based on his early returns, he has.

Notable Donors:
Bob Pamplin, sand-and-gravel, media tycoon $20,000
Columbia Helicopters (Wes Lematta, others) $12,000
Aaron Jones, timber man $10,000
Evergreen International Aviation $8,750
Bechtel Enterprises $5,000
Roger Meier, financial advisor $3,500
Steve Janik, lawyer $1,000
Donna Jordan, former school board member $1,000
Elaine Franklin, Mrs. Bob Packwood $500
Erath Vineyards Winery $400


Jim Hill
$162,495
(286 contributors)

The former Democratic state treasurer was first into the race (announcing in August '99) and quickly began raising money-including several hundred thousand dollars collected before this reporting period. During the session, he seems to have received more out-of-town cash than his rivals, with heavy support from the financial world and African-American groups and individuals.

Notable Donors:
Capri Capital $10,000
Ariel Capital Management $8,000
David Booth, Dimensional Fund Advisors $5,000
KeyBank $3,000
Ford Lincoln Mercury Minority Dealers Assn. $2,500
Jacques Nasser, president of Ford Motor Co. $1,000
Charles Paulson, trial lawyer $1,000
Louis Sullivan, former national health czar $500
Richard Dixon, Maryland state treasurer $100
Bernie Jolles, lawyer $75

 

Kevin Mannix
$96,880
(8 contributors)

Kevin Mannix has been the big flop of the governor's race so far. Aside from a $50,000 check from reclusive conservative moneyman Loren Parks, Mannix has received only two contributions from individual donors. The rest is his own cash, donation of office space and debt-retirement funds from the GOP for last fall's failed Attorney General bid.


Ted Kulongoski
$37,465
(38 contributors)

The former Attorney General got into the race later than his top rivals, stepping down from the State Supreme Court only in mid-June and waiting until the Legislature adjourned before he began twisting arms for contributions. His donor list leans heavily towards lawyers and longtime Democratic activists.

Notable Donors:
Debi Coleman, high-tech venture capitalist $10,000
Assorted Bragdons (Peter, Paul, David, Susan) $5,000
Bob Stoll, lawyer $5,000
Paul Romain, restaurant lobbyist $1,000
Tom Balmer, former Oregon deputy AG $1,000
Bernie Giusto, Gresham police chief $200
Betsy Johnson, state representative $100

The first casualty

Former Port of Portland boss Mike Thorne pulled out of the governor's race last month-and with good reason. Aside from Nike CEO Phil Knight ($25,000) and a few fellow wheat farmers, the former Pendleton Democratic lawmaker was raising his only serious cash almost exclusively from folks who had ties to the port-a source far too shallow to sustain a credible statewide campaign. Thorne ended up with $71,068 in contributions, which he can use to cover campaign expenses or funnel to other political causes.

 
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