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Newspaper Article

    10 Proposals Top $100,000 in Spending

    BY Peter Wong
    05/05/2006
    by Peter Wong on 5/5/06.

    Ten proposed initiatives have topped the $100,000 mark in contributions, but the campaign that has collected the most so far isn't assured of winning a spot on the Nov. 7 statewide ballot.

    In reports filed Thursday with the state Elections Division, backers disclosed they have raised $348,045 for their effort to create Oregon's first non-tribal casino at a defunct greyhound racetrack in Multnomah County. They spent all but $470.

    Supporters have not yet gotten clearance to circulate petitions for either of their measures. One would remove the constitutional ban on casinos that voters approved in 1984 when they created the Oregon Lottery. The other would authorize the casino.

    Opponents have until May 16 to ask the Oregon Supreme Court to review the official summaries prepared by the attorney general -- and the deadline for filing signatures is July 7.

    Campaigns for each of three other proposed initiatives have topped $200,000, according to reports.

    Election of appellate judges: $265,307 raised and spent on a measure that would require election by district, instead of statewide, of the seven Supreme Court justices and 10 Court of Appeals judges. A similar measure failed narrowly in 2002. Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy, part of the national organization FreedomWorks, contributed the most this round at $100,000.

    Abortion: $244,111 raised and $211,636 spent on a measure that would require notice to parents before a girl younger than 18 can have an abortion. The political action committee of Oregon Right to Life contributed the most at $154,789. A similar measure failed in 1990.

    Open primary: $207,776 raised and $189,291 spent on a measure that would revamp Oregon's primary election so that the top two finishers, regardless of party, would go on to the general election. Top contributors were the Oregon Business Association, $10,000; state Sen. Ben Westlund of Tumalo, who is mounting an independent bid for governor, $6,000; Regence Group of Portland, $5,000.

    Supporters of six other initiatives each raised $100,000 or more for their efforts.

    A proposed Colorado-style spending limit drew $189,122, of which $75,000 in the latest round came from Americans for Limited Government of Glenview, Ill., which contributed $40,000 previously. Voters rejected a spending limit in 2000.

    Restrictions on government authority to obtain private property drew $158,253 --
    $50,516 this round from the political action committee of the property-rights group Oregonians in Action, and $25,000 from the Oregon Family Farm Association PAC.

    New limits on legislative terms drew $151,497 -- $50,000 in the latest round from U.S. Term Limits, which contributed $60,000 previously. Voters in 1992 approved lifetime limits of six years in the House, eight in the Senate, and 12 overall. The Supreme Court overturned them in 2002. The new proposal would set a 14-year overall limit, but also would count previous service.

    Hope for Oregon Families, whose measure would require the Legislature to provide universal health care, raised $138,115. Contributing $10,000 each this round were American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; CareOregon managed-care organization; Oregon School Employees Association PAC, and Willamette Dental Management Corp.

    A measure barring insurance companies from using credit scoring to calculate rates and premiums drew $110,625, $100,000 of it contributed by Loren Parks, a medical-equipment manufacturer who moved from Oregon to Nevada.

    The money went to an intermediary, rather than directly to Bill Sizemore, the former initiative champion who is under a court order prohibiting him from raising or spending money for political purposes. He is challenging a $2.5 million racketeering judgment against him.

    Staffing levels at nursing homes would be increased under an initiative bankrolled at $102,142, $94,830 of which came from Local 503 of Service Employees International Union.