Marijuana Legalization Campaign Reserves Huge Media Buy

Since ORESTAR, the Oregon Secretary of State's electronic campaign finance tracking system, went live in 2006, the largest transaction on record is a $2.5 million contribution from Phillip Morris to a 2007 campaign against a cigarette tax.

Today, New Approach Oregon, the campaign behind Measure 91, which would legalize marijuana, filed the second biggest transaction in ORESTAR history, a $2.23 million account payable to Media Analysis, a Portland firm that buys television ad time for campaigns.

That account payable is especially interesting because New Approach doesn't currently have nearly enough money to pay for the ads its seeking to buy.

As of today, the campaign has less than $300,000 on hand, which means it's about $2 million short of what it would like to spend. By filing the the account payable, New Approach is suggesting that it has the capacity to raise a lot more money—not shocking given its stable of out-of-state billionaire donors.

Or, as the Monica Wehby for U.S. Senate campaign did earlier, it may be floating a trial balloon.

Breathless media reports earlier this summer warned groups backed by the Koch brothers were going to hoover up massive amounts of television on Wehby's behalf. When her polling numbers failed to improve, those ads never materialized.

Peter Zuckerman, a spokesman for New Approach says the campaign is confident of its fundraising ability.

"We are raising the money we need," he told WW via text message.

WWeek 2015

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