Project breaks down campaign contributions

Thirteen political action committees are advocating for Ballot Measure 30 and seven are urging a “no” vote on the measure, according to campaign contribution information gathered by the Money in Politics Research Action Project.

The “yes” side has raised $925,078 while Measure 30 opponents have raised $871,041, according to the Portland group, which monitors political finances in Oregon.

Voters have until Feb. 3 to cast ballots on Measure 30, which would uphold a package of tax measures approved by the Legislature.

Public employee unions dominate the yes side, but there is also support from the Oregon Business Association, which contributed $30,147. Smaller regional “Yes on 30” groups are also involved, and there is support from a small committee representing Oregonians with disabilities.

Among the contributors to the yes campaign are the Service Employees International Union ($119,864); the Oregon Education Association ($155,422); the Oregon School Employees Association ($100,500); and the American Association for Retired Persons ($50,417). Nurses United has collected gifts of $50 or less that have amounted to $48,881.

Anti-tax groups dominate the no side, according to the research group. Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy received contributions amounting to $420,807, including contributions from several businesses, such as Columbia Helicopters ($85,100); Adec ($80,100); Seneca Sawmill Co. ($75,100); Jeld-Wen ($55,100) and Freres Lumber Co. ($27,550). Other business groups such as Associated Oregon Industries are remaining neutral on Ballot Measure 30.

The primary expenditures by three yes PACs are contributions to the Yes on 30-Our Oregon committee. These ally PACs are Nurses United, the PAC affiliated with the Oregon Business Association, and the ballot measure PAC of the Oregon Public Employees Union. In all, Yes on 30 has received contributions of $681,303.

Over half (55 percent or $375,786) of the contributions to Yes on 30-Our Oregon, came from the three major public employees unions: Service Employees International Union, Oregon School Employees Association, and the Oregon Education Association. These labor unions represent about 106,000 members who provide services to Oregonians and are directly affected by changes in state budgets.

On the no side, Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy has 12,000 statewide members. The Oregon Family Council, which has received contributions amounting to $200,462, reports that 1,700 churches and 13,000 individuals in the state distributed its Voters’ Guide. The Taxpayer Association of Oregon has had contributions of $75,443 and lists as a goal to recruit 6,000 taxpayers to inspire “citizen-based” lobbying in Oregon.

For more information, see Web site of the Money in Politics Research Action Project at www.oregonfollow