Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Financing a Mayor

Do you know how the candidates for mayor 
and city council have funded their campaigns so far?  

It matters.   

If you check out the blog post "The PACs of Lake Oswego," you will see how patterns develop in local political contests.  In many cases, you will see the same names repeated on many PAC and candidate sites as people gravitate from one PAC to a newer one and then to candidates who are part of the same group.  The division of interests between density and smart growth vs low and slow growth, and low debt vs visionary ideas has been a thorn in the city's side for about a decade. There is an agenda that is being expressed and funded through these contests, but new trends are forming that may shake up the entrenched political scene.  We are in a tough battle for the soul of the city.

In 2016 there has been an intensity of outside interests (not residents of Lake Oswego), partisan support and involvement (Democratic Party), and special interest blocs dominating some of the campaigns.   Support by political parties should be prohibited in local campaigns as it lays waste to the spirit of our city government being unbiased and nonpartisan.

It is important to know who is influencing our elections.  Seeing where candidates' funding is coming from is one way to guage who might be influencing which candidate.

How citizens vote in November will tell the future candidates and supporters how much influence they can expect to gain in Lake Oswego.  Will their money and organizations buy them the results they want?m can we ever get the outsiders, the money, political parties and business interests out of our elections again?  Can we be whole?

Here are the Mayoral candidates' campaign supporters from the Orestar website.  To search for a candidate or committee, go HERE and type in the search information.
* All information is YTD, however online reporting lags actual financial activity by about a week.
*  There are still several weeks before the election so check candidates' finance activity frequently
     for current information.
*  On Campaign Activity pages, click on "Export to Excel Format" for details on contributors, etc.

Dave Berg    
Campaign Activity for Friends of Dave Berg:  
Key Facts:  
Contributions YTD:  $4,362        Expenditires YTD:  $1,234        Balance:  $3,128
Contributors are from Lake Oswego except for one couple who lived in LO recently and plan to move back.  There are no PACs or special interest groups evident; Berg indicated he will not be accepting money from these groups.  Contributions are mainly small, <$100.  This is an intentionally local citizen and frugal campaign that conforms to Berg's fiscal and governing policies.  
Key Contributors:
Tana Haynes,  Mary Elizabeth Magrath,  Dave Barra,  Chris L Foster,  Rick Parfrey,  Teri McCulloh,  Mike McCulloh,  David Luck

Jon Gustafson
Campaign Activity for Friends of Jon Gustafson
Key Facts: 
Contributions YTD:  $17,904     Expenditures YTD:  $11,358*     Balance:  $7,409
* Expenses include a $5,000 contribution to a new PAC, Friends of Lake Oswego.  Estimate of campaign expenses to date: $6,358
Jon's supporters have multiple crossover affiliations with PACs listed in prior blog post and similar campaigns/activities.  There are 4 PACs represented among Jon's contributors:  2 unions and 2 political PACs.  Of 31 individuals contributing over $100, 24 (75%) are from Lake Oswego, and 7 (25%) are from other cities or states.  The Friends of Jon Gustafson's PAC's first expense was to the Democratic Party of Oregon.  The assumption is that he purchased data on Lake Oswego Democrats for his campaign.  There is a heavy partisan lean to this campaign - one dominated by groups and PACs with similar names and agendas.  This appears to be a highly insular and partisan campaign.  Should Gustafson be elected, it will mean a return to the dominance of the liberal crowd who ran the city in the recent past.  

Key Contributors:   
Linda Gusfafson,  Eliot Metzger,  Colleen Schrotzberger,  United Food and Commercial Workers Union,  Friends of Ann Lininger,  The Coalition for Lake Oswego,  Local #1159 Fire PAC,  Norma Prichard,  Greg Taylor,  Erin O'Rourke Meadors,  Heather Chrisman,  Craig Prosser,  Tracey Elliott,  Eliott Spindel,  Mary Ratcliff,  Heidi Fox,  Melvyn Greenburg,  John Gustafson,  Lisa Adatto,  Allan Solares,  Robert Lawrence,  Bill Dickwy,  Jonathan Hayes,  Stephanie Wagner,  Ann Marie Fallow Haselwood,  Sally Moncrieff,   Denise Frisbee,  Gunilla Persson,  Craig Briggs,  Bruce Brown,  Donna Jordan,  Janice Castle,  Monicah McGee,  Laurie Cremona Wagner,  Michael Buck 

Kent Studebaker 
Campaign Activity for Studebaker for Mayor
Key Facts:
Contributions YTD:  $19,116      Expenditures YTD:  $8,350     Balance:  $11,367
Contributors can be broken into 4 groups, but there are crossovers among the groups;  one contributor can belong to 1, 2 or 3 groups.  The strongest associations are among those involved in the development/real estate industry, and people who live on the lake:  33 contributors >$100? Includes 1 PAC and 32 individuals.  Of the individual donors:
24. (75%) are residents of Lake Oswego;  8 (25%) live outside the city or state. 
Of the 24 residents, 16 (75%) of residents and 50% of all donors) live on the lake.  
9 of 32  (about belong to the real estate, development, and real estate financing industries)  
The dominance of these groups shows an insular campaign that is relying on wealthy people (mostly males) and people with personal and business interests that may have an interest in influencing the mayor or electing someone more amenable to their interests.  

The campaign does not appear to include (many?) regular citizens, causing me to ask, who is Kent running for?   Development interests are easy to peg, while the Lake Corp and City are still involved in a lawsuit to open the lake to the public. (I agree that the lake should remain private.)   Studebaker also has a waterfront home.  Most of the money (about $14k) was collected in February at a $250/head fundraising party organized by Elaine Franklin and hosted by Rick and Erika Miller.  Including all those who donated less than $100, the average contribution to Kent's campaign has been $546.  

Key Contributors:  
Michael J Stevenson,  Edward H Frankel,  RAF Investments (Rob Fallows),  Jay Hamachek, Philip Robinson,  James Kronnberg,  Geoffrey Brown,  James Mendenhall,  Oregon First, Patrick Radecki,  Mike Kehoe,  Mardan Afrasiabi,  Erika Miller,  Mark Birge,  Andrew Gianopoulos,  Darrell Brett MD PC,  David Ellis, Mary Jo Avery,   RJ Barman,  Jay Hamachek,  Elaine Franklin,  Edward Hutson,  Patrick Kessi,  William Korach,  Lawrence Lopardo, Bob Packwood,  Greg Specht, Jon Stirek,  John Wendland,  Robert Zink,  Justin Harnish,  Jeffrey Parker,  Jonathan Harmosh,  Kent Studebaker.  

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