Measure 28 Momentum Shifts

Supporters have raised more money than opponents.

Measure 28 would raise income and corporate taxes for 2002, 2003 and 2004 to avert cuts to schools and state services over the next 2A years.

New polls show that it is running neck and neck with voters. Ballots must arrive in county elections offices by Tuesday evening.


Statesman Journal

Polls show that the temporary income tax increase on Oregon’s Jan. 28 ballot has become surprisingly close, but you wouldn’t know it from money trickling into the campaigns last week.

The main Measure 28 opposition committee, Taxpayers Association of Oregon, reported raising $2,000 last week, enough for modest radio ads on two Portland stations. Supporters in the Yes on 28 Committee scored $26,200 for a phone campaign, plus more for polling, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday.

With only one week to go in the election, momentum clearly has shifted to supporters, who have raised far more dollars and mobilized countless more volunteers. Opponents apparently were caught flat-footed by the sudden surge of voter support after most political analysts dismissed the measure’s chances of passage.

Jason Williams, executive director of the taxpayers association, said the recession crimped fund raising for his committee. His group has raised about $8,200 during the campaign so far and reported about $2,000 cash on hand last week.

“I think there are some people on our side that called this thing wrong,” said opponent Russ Walker, Northwest director of Citizens for a Sound Economy.

“We’re having difficulty raising money on it,” Walker said. “Most people didn’t think it had a chance of passing.”

By contrast, the Yes on 28 campaign has raised more than $400,000, mostly from labor unions.

Supporters aren’t going to be complacent about the opposition’s weak fund raising, insisted Patty Wentz, Yes on 28 spokeswoman. She expects opponents could get a quick money injection from conservative Aloha businessman Loren Parks or the national Citizens for a Sound Economy.

“We’ve always known that they have access to as much money as they need,” she said.

Still, fully 29 percent of registered voters already had cast ballots by Friday, and Measure 28 supporters have a better grass-roots effort to mobilize their voters.

“I do worry about the get-out-the-vote machine the other side has,” Walker said. “The truth about politics is, whoever can get the most people to show up wins.”