Gov. Kate Brown has named Karl "Rick" Miller to the Oregon Investment Council, handing the Lake Oswego investor one of the most sought-after state appointments.
Brown's decision to add Miller to the five-member panel marks his acceptance by the Democratic establishment.
The appointment will put Miller, a co-founder of Portland's Rogue Venture Partners, in a position to help make investment decisions for $90 billion in public pension funds and other state money. In that role, he'll rub shoulders with the country's largest and most sophisticated investors.
Not long ago—in April 2012—Miller, who made his fortune founding and running the Avamere family of senior living centers, gave $100,000 to the Oregon Transformation Project, a political action committee that swung the Clackamas County Commission to Republican control. Before that, he was a strong supporter of Chris Dudley, the unsuccessful 2010 GOP candidate for governor.
But Miller has shifted his allegiance in a big way and is now a registered Democrat. This year, he gave generously to several Democrats, including Gov. Kate Brown ($22,000), Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian ($10,000); state Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) and the House Democratic caucus ($10,000 each).
Miller also gave $50,000 in support of Measure 97, the proposed $3 billion tax increase that failed in November.
Miller is slated to replace Katy Durant, a Portland real estate executive, on the investment council.
His appointment is subject to state Senate approval next week.