PORTLAND, Ore. — With the big-money Democratic presidential nomination process in full swing this month, Oregon's in-state political fundraising might be expected to be quiet and lackluster.
Not so. Oregon political action committees (PACs) have raised nearly $32 million in cash since the last state legislative session ended in June. Donors made nearly 50,000 cash contributions during that time.
The single-biggest recipient of these donations has been Oregonians for a Smoke Free Tomorrow, which raised $11.3 million in the past seven months to back a measure on November's ballot to raise and impose new taxes on cigarettes, cigars and nicotine vaping products. Proceeds would combat youth nicotine use and fund state Medicaid programs.
Thus, the top three biggest donors have each contributed more than $1 million to this anti-tobacco campaign and 15 of the top 25 in our gallery are large health care systems and organizations who primarily donated to this cause.
Two of the top 25 are timber companies, motivated by the expected dueling ballot-measure battle over new forestry regulations. Gov. Kate Brown recently negotiated an agreement between environmental groups and timber interests that may bring a major truce to this battle.
The rest of the top 25 are an assortment of building contractor and real estate associations, unions, drug policy groups and local government fundraisers.
Portland Business Journal is a KGW News partner.