Charges of outside money contributions have been leveled at Democratic candidates by their opponents in the final days of the state senate and representative races.
The latest campaign spending figures will not be available until Friday, but Wayne Krieger, Republican candidate for state representative, District 48, sent opponent Barbara Dodrill a letter Wednesday requesting to see the most recent contributions and expenditures for her campaign.
He said that under Oregon law, a candidate can request such information from an opponent at any time.
The people of the south coast deserve respect and complete information, especially if a special interest from outside our area is trying to buy this election, he said.
Specifically, Krieger was concerned about allegations that the Oregon Education Association pumped $60,000 into Dodrills campaign. He didnt say who made the allegations.
Dodrill said Friday that the Oregon Education Association had been doing some mailings on her behalf. Mailings made to their own members wouldnt be considered part of her campaign.
Dodrill said she didnt have information from the association yet as to how much she would have to report on the next campaign spending form, but she didnt believe it could be anywhere near $60,000.
She said it was unreasonable for Krieger to expect that she could produce a financial report for him in two days.
She said that between her job and her campaigning, it would be difficult enough to get all of her paperwork in to the state by Thursday.
In the most recent state report, released Sept. 28, Dodrill had received $58,630 in contributions and spent $46,482.
At that time, Kriegers contributions amounted to $98,312, with expenditures of $80,808.
Dodrills largest contributor was the Future Political Action Committee at $18,031. The Oregon Education Association contributed $8,000.
The Oregon Public Employees Association and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association contributed $4,000 each, with the Win political action committee giving $3,600.
Dodrill said while the checks may be sent from outside the area, unions are contributing to her campaign because local members convinced their state leaders to back her.
Kriegers top contributors as of Sept. 28 were the Oregon Victory Political Action Committee of Republican supporter Mark Hemstreet of Shilo Inns, with $25,000, and Majority 2000, the House Republican organization, with $20,850. The Oregon Republican Party threw in another $10,000.
He also received $3,000 from the Oregonians in Action Center for Citizen Leadership, and $2,500 each from the Oregon Restaurant Association Political Action Committee and the AOL Political Action Committee.
He received $1,500 from the Oregon Auto Dealers Association Political Action Committee and $1,007.11 from 7-Eleven.
Tobacco contributions to Krieger included $1,000 from R.J. Reynolds and $500 from Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation. Dodrill said she refused tobacco money.
Other $1,000 contributions to Krieger came from PARk Political Action Committee, Oregonians for affordable housing, the Oregon Optimetric Public Affairs Council, the Oregon Council of Police Association Political Action Committee, the Credit Union Legislative Action Fund, and ORE Political Action Committee.
Amidst charges of outside influence, the only major contribution to either candidate by Sept. 28 from within District 48 was the $1,000 Dodrill received from the Curry County Democratic Central Committee.
The same was true of the senate race in District 24, where Roger McCorkle also received $1,000 from the Curry County Democratic Central Committee. All other major contributions to both candidates came from outside the district.
As of Sept. 28, McCorkle had received $296,989 in contributions and had spent $267,556.
His Republican opponent, Rep. Ken Messerle, received $124,759 and spent $82,872.
McCorkles campaign manager Leanne Littrell objected Thursday to Messerles ads implying that McCorkle was accepting money from Portland liberals.
McCorkle received the bulk of his contributions, $263,400, from one source: the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund.
The organization sent out a news release Oct. 9 proudly announcing it had raised a record $717,000 to help the Democrats take control of the state senate.
This is a clear indication that people are ready for a change in the leadership of our state senate, said Senate Minority Leader Kate Brown, D-Portland.
Every returning Democratic senator has contributed to our fight to win back control, she said, We will be competitive in our fundraising and every senator is working hard to assure victory on election day.
She said Democrats remain only three seats away from regaining majority control of the state senate. Her organization is targeting races in districts 2,4,11and 24.
Littrell said when the next financial reports come out Friday, people will see how much the Republicans have given to Messerle to respond to McCorkle.
Its not about the money, said Littrell, Its about the negativity. The point is that he (Messerle) is not speaking to the issues.
McCorkle also received $12,500 from Gov. Kitzhabers 21st Century Fund political action committee, and $1,000 from Sen. Ron Wydens Hoops political action committee.
He received $12,000 from the Oregon Education Association and $9,130 from the CAPE Education Fund. The Oregon AFL-CIO contributed $2,000.
Messerle didnt receive as large a chunk of money from any single organization, but he also took his share of out of district contributions.
Like Krieger, his top contributor was the Oregon Victory Committee of Republican Mark Hemstreet of Shilo Inns, with $30,000.
He received $10,000 each from the Oregon Forest Industries political action committee, and the AIO Center for Citizen Leadership, a business political action committee that contributes mostly to Republicans. The Leadership Fund contributed $5,441 and Messerle received $5,000 each from the Oregon Republican Party and the Oregon Business Leadership Council political action committee.
AG-PAC, made of 22 aggregate and agricultural companies, gave $3,000. He received $2,500 each from the ABC State political action committee and the Oregon Restaurant Association political action committee.
Contributing $2,000 each were Cornelius Duffie of Portland, the Oregon Soft Drink political action committee, AOL political action committee, and the U.S. West Oregon Employees political action committee.
Business contributors to Messerle include the Oregon Auto Dealers Association, 7-Eleven, Willamette Industries, Avista Corporation, Freres Lumber Company, and Weyerhaeuser. Each contributed about $1,000.
Messerle also received $1,000 from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and $500 from the Oregon Right to Life political action committee.
Dodrill said the long list of campaign contributors points out the need for campaign finance reform, which she backs.
Its outrageous, she said, What we spend on campaigns could be spent for schools and other things.