Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Kitzhaber
reported a $50,000 contribution
from Tin House
publisher Win McCormack late last week. That contribution, Kitzhaber's largest from an individual and only the second $50,000 contribution his campaign has reported was actually made a month ago but only reported late Friday night, according to a filing with the state. That delay is perfectly legal but raises an interesting question—whether the Kitzhaber campaign is waiting until the last day to report contributions in order to lull his opponent, GOP nominee Chris Dudley, into a false sense of security. Dudley continues to enjoy a massive fundraising advantage:
the $3.2 million he's reported raising this calendar year is more than twice Kitzhaber's $1.46 million and Dudley reports $594,000 cash on hand, about three times Kitzhaber's $198,000.
Those numbers provide one snapshot of the race but at least two variables are far less transparent: the first is how much money Oregon public employee unions will commit to Kitzhaber; the second is how much national money from goups such as the Republican and Democratic Governor's Associations will pour into Oregon. The state's small population means contributions outside groups make here buy a lot more per dollar than in larger states such as California.
Until Sept. 27, all candidates will continue to be able to wait for up to 30 days before reporting contributions. On that date, the reporting deadline shrinks to seven days and thus provides a lot better information about who's giving what to whom.