Local Campaigners & Donors

In a previous version of this story, we reported that Sami Al-Abdrabbuh received $250 from Dan Rayfield’s campaign. This donation was toward Al-Abdrabbuh’s School Board campaign, rather than his campaign for County Commissioner.

The big 2018 election is rapidly approaching, and it’s time for us to dial in on who we like. Many things are important when selecting a representative to vote for: policy, history, ability to not associate with hate groups, and so on. One of the most important indicators of how a rep will behave, however, might just be evidenced by their campaign financials. We’ve done the math and assembled a guide to who is financing our politicians, so have it handy when you start filling in bubbles.

City Councilors
All contributions recorded by the Oregon Secretary of State toward Corvallis City Council candidates as of Sept 20 were individual contributions. The largest contribution, an amount of $1000, was given to Ward 4 candidate Mikasi Goodwin, from Doug S. Layman.

Mayor
Mayor Biff Traber, whose real name is apparently Oscar — which is actually a pretty cool name — is also completely financed by individual contributions.. On August 25, Traber contributed $858.08 to his own campaign; an oddly specific number.

Competing for the spot of Mayor and Corvallis’ Dad is Roen Hogg; a guy with an also totally weird name, though he rocks it. Respect. Hogg’s finances largely contain independent contributions, but also $500 corporate contributions from Hometown Housing LLC, and David A. Corden, Attorney at Law LLC, respectively. 

Also running for mayor are Dean Codo and Riley Doraine, both having no financial information available. 

County Commissioner
Pat Malone is the establishment Democratic Party favorite to win the commissioner seat vacated by Anne Schuster. Malone’s finances are dominated by individual contributors and miscellaneous contributions $100 and under. Malone has also received some financial support from District 23 Oregon House candidate Danny Jaffer’s campaign. Malone is by far the most well funded candidate in this race.  

Sami Al-Abdrabbuh is the Independent Party candidate competing for the seat. Most of his contributions have been miscellaneous contributions of $100 or less.

Max Mania is vying for the seat as an unaffiliated candidate. His campaign is 100% financed by individual and miscellaneous contributions.

Also running are Libertarian Erik Grandine and Pacific Green Party candidate Timothy Dehne. Neither having financial records on file with the Oregon Secretary of State.

Oregon House Representative
Dan Rayfield is running unopposed in House District 16. He has received significant financial support from the medical and pharmaceutical industries, including Pfizer, and various PACs representing medical and pharma workers. He has also taken donations from Comcast, Hewlett Packard, and the Oregon Soft Drink PAC, along with several independent contributions from citizens.

State Senate
The Republican challenger in the 8th Senate District is Erik Parks of Albany. His war chest looks a bit light, the sole contributor being the Boquist Leadership Fund, chipping in $750. The fund is an organization that finances GOP State Senate campaigns in Oregon, and accuses the Democrats of “scheming,” which is fun. BREAKING NEWS: politicians have schemes.

Democratic incumbent Sara Gelser, on the other hand, has a much more active campaign ledger. Along with the usual independent contributions, Senator Gelser has accepted many donations from the medical industry, including pharmaceutical companies, and organizations that represent healthcare professionals. Gelser’s campaign finance disclosures highlight the extent to which some politicians work with consulting firms. Her campaign recently dropped an in-kind expenditure valued at $20,700 on consulting firm Media Analysis, Inc. For those of us keeping score at home, this expenditure is valued at 27.6 times the total amount her opponent has received this election cycle.

Governor
To put it simply, incumbent Democrat Kate Brown is very good at attracting donors. The enormous amounts of money in the 2018 Governor’s have been making headlines across the state for months now, so we’ll do our best to cut through the haze and give you some of the highlights.

Emily’s List, an organization striving to elect Democratic pro-choice women, is one of Brown’s largest backers, sending hundreds of donations totaling in the tens of thousands of dollars. Labor unions also gave large amounts to the campaign; the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees recently gave a donation of $50,000. Brown has also accepted cash from the big pharma, tech, and finance industries, and had even received $25,000 from—you conservatives are going to love this -—the dreaded George Soros. We also find it hilarious that Brown lists a $13 bill from Starbucks as a campaign expenditure. Apparently somebody donated to her campaign and ended up buying her an iced mocha.

Republican challenger Knute Buehler has been making some campaign finance headlines of his own, most recently with a one million dollar check from Nike founder Phil Knight. Buehler has also accepted large donations from big agriculture, the real estate industry, and a recent whopping $750,000 from the Republican Governors Association. A Republican hasn’t sat in the Oregon Governor’s seat since 1987.

Congress
Peter DeFazio of the Democratic Party has been our OR-04 Congressman since 1987. According to the FEC, between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, he raised a total of $1,167,553.94. His top contributors include many trade unions, the airline and aerospace industry, Berkshire Hathaway (owner of GEICO), Dairy Queen, and Fruit of the Loom among many others.

DeFazio’s Republican challenger is —and this is true—Art Robinson. Again. His total contributions from the beginning of 2017 are $70,622.34. Robinson doesn’t have any big corporate or industrial backers, but strangely, individuals from all over the country are sending him large donations, sometimes one to two thousand dollars and more. Hmm.

You’ve read our report, but the fun doesn’t have to stop here! If you love looking at political financial disclosures like me (read: sarcasm), head on over to the Oregon Secretary of State website for all the raw financial data you can handle. For federal elections, check out FEC.gov. Have fun!

By Jay Sharpe

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