Secretary of State Kate Brown reported a hefty check today—$50,000 from winemaker Eric Lemelson.
Lemelson was one of the state's largest political donors in 2008 and 2010 but has been largely absent from the 2012 cycle. His contribution, however, is a sign of how seriously Brown is taking the challenge from Republican Dr. Knute Buehler
and two others, Seth Woolley
of the Pacific Green Party and Bob Wolfe
of the Progressive Party.
For instance, a newly-formed political action committee called "Too Extreme For Oregon" started runnning tv ads this week, hammering Buehler and Labor Commissioner candidate Sen. Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro).
That committee has reported contributions of $215,000 so far—all from three top Brown supporters, publisher Win McCormack
($90,000); the Oregon Education Association
($75,000) and Service Employees International Union
Brown also enlisted her predecessor, former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury
, to write a piece
at Blue Oregon, which slammed Buehler and Wolfe. The Democratic Party of Oregon also sent voters an email in which Bradbury linked Buehler to voter suppression efforts. Bradbury's effort to paint Buehler, a Bend orthopedic surgeon, as an enemy of Oregon's vote-by-mail system today earned a "Pants on Fire" rating from The Oregonian's PolitiFact column
Brown and Buehler face off today at 12:15 in a Portland City Club debate
to be held at the Governor Hotel, located at 614 Southwest 11th Ave. Wolfe, the Progressive Party candidate, plans a protest outside the hotel beforehand, as he was excluded from the debate.