Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn) has amended a campaign contribution filing with the state Elections Division, disclosing that a $1,000 donation came from Koch Industries—and not from Georgia Pacific, as she had earlier reported.
Koch, a Kansas-based energy company purchased Georgia Pacific, a forest-products company with mills in Oregon, in 2005. David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch, the brothers who own Koch Industries, have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into conservative candidates nationwide, with an emphasis on the Tea Party.
A spokesman for Parrish's opponent, Democrat Carl Hosticka, says Parrish was trying to disguise the true identity of her corporate supporters.
"Koch Industries is well known throughout the country for supporting extreme right-wing causes," says Jared Mason-Gere, spokesman for House Democrats. "It makes sense that somebody running in a tight race would not want people to know she's supported by extremists like that."
A letter from the elections division to Parrish earlier this month asked why she had disguised the check from Koch.
"On September 26, 2012, your campaign reported receiving a $1,000 contribution from Koch Industries, Inc.," the letter read. "The transaction was amended September 27, 2012, changing the name of the contributor to Georgia Pacific Financial Management LLC."
Records show Parrish amended her report again on Oct. 29 to show the check came from Koch.
Elections Division spokeswoman Andrea Cantu-Schomus says the state is still investigating what happened.
"A final letter has not been sent," she says.
Parrish's campaign has not yet returned calls from WW.
UPDATE, 2:45 pm: Parrish tells WW she amended the filing at the state's request, but never intended to hide the donor.
"God, no," she says. "I'd stand by anybody who gave me a contribution. Nobody was trying to hide anything. It's just nonsense."
Parrish says the controversy comes from the difficulty of showing the relationship between a parent and subsidiary company on the elections division website.
Her campaign received a check from Georgia Pacific last November, and another from parent company Koch Industries in September. They were on the same letterhead, she says, so her treasurer filed them the same way, while adding the description "aka Koch Industries."
She says Jennifer Hertel of the elections division asked her yesterday to file it differently.
"She said, 'The check still says Koch. So put it back in as Koch.' So we did."
State compliance specialist Jennifer Hertel says in her finding that Parrish's campaign may not have intended to hide anything:
The treasurer then decided that she needed to amend the transaction to reflect Georgia Pacific as the contributor [...] because both contributions were sent with a letter signed from the same lobbyist who they believed was working for Georgia Pacific. When the transaction was amended she included in the description field “Koch Industries”, trying to disclose the relationship between the two entities.
Hertel says the Parrish campaign changed the filing yesterday, after she called them and "explained that the contributor is the name printed on the check."