or Immediate Release: Contact: Sarah Wetherson
October 18, 2006 503/756-8537

Almost Two-thirds of Ballot Measure Cash Comes from Out of State
But Campaigns Vary in Terms of Local Control

Nearly two of every three dollars for measure fights to date came from outside of Oregon, concentrated in two campaigns.  Most PACs raise more than three-fourths of their cash from Oregonians.

Contributions to signature-gathering efforts broken out by Oregon and other states

BM # Oregon Other States No state reported $ total
Total $ % Total $ % Total $ %
Pro 39 $12,039 100% $0 0% $0 0% $12,039
Anti 39 No organized campaign.
Pro 40 $307,185 100% $0 0% $0 0% $307,185
Anti 40 $57,400 98% $500 <1% $700 1.2% $58,600
Pro 41 & 48 Taxpayers Association of Oregon (TAO) Spending Limit PAC, which gave pro 41 & 48 forces 62.3 percent of their money, received 94.1 percent of its money from Illinois-based group, Americans for Limited Government. The first row below summarizes the in-state and out-of-state money split when all of TAO dollars are counted as coming from Oregon. The second row below summarizes the split between money from within and outside of Oregon when the portion of support to TAO Spending Limit PAC from Americans for Limited Government is counted as out-of-state dollars.
$102,735 70.5% $42,997 29.5% $33 <1% $145,765
$27,543 18.9% $118,189 81.1% $33 <1% $145,765
Anti 41 & 48 Thirteen PACs contributed to the anti 41 & 48 forces, comprising 30.6 percent of their money.  These 13 PACs raised 2.4 percent of their funds from 20 out-of-state donors. The first row below summarizes the in-state and out-of-state money split when all of the contributions from the 13 PACs are counted as coming from Oregon. The second row below summarizes the split between money from within and outside of Oregon when the portion of funding to those 13 PACs that came from out of state is treated as out-of-state dollars.
$1,753,055 92.0% $150,000 7.9% $1,741 <1% $1,904,795
$1,744,792 91.6% $1,579,535 8.3% $1,741 <1% $1,904,795
Pro 42 No organized campaign.
Anti 42 $6000 <1% $3,733,467 99.8% $60 <1% $3,739,527
Pro 43 $174,421 84.2% $0 0% $32,610 15.8% $242,552
Anti 43 $472,729 66.9% $174,950 24.8% $58,446 8.3% $706,124
Pro 44 $68,639 100% $0 0% $0 0% $68,639
Anti 44 No organized campaign.
Pro 45 $10,555 <1% $1,240,000 99.2% $0 0% $1,250,555
Anti 45 $85,440 100% $0 0% $0 0% $85,440
Pro 46 & 47 $327,109 88.6% $300 <1% $41,574 11.3% $368,893 [i]
Anti 46 & 47 $39,340 100% $0 0% $0 0% $39,340
All $3,416,647 38.4% $5,342,214 60.1% $135,164 1.5% $8,929,454

Data based on disclosure reports filed with the Secretary of State’s office on October 2, 2006. Numbers include cash, in-kind contributions and loans received and may change due to auditing and amendments. MiPRAP’s analysis focuses on the PACs whose sole focus is on opposing or supporting current ballot measures.

Two campaigns have raised more than 99 percent of their funds from out-of-state sources: the effort to defeat measure 42, which would bar insurance companies from using credit ratings to set insurance rates, and the effort to pass measure 45, which would re-impose term limits on state legislators.  These campaigns, taken together, have raised $5,644,322 or 63.2 percent of all the money the 17 campaigns have raised, skewing the overall percentage of out-of-state funding.  In terms of numbers of contributors, Oregonians are the overwhelming majority to all but these two campaigns.

Insurance companies and industry groups from 16 states around the country have poured more than $3.7 million into the state to fight measure 42.  The chief petitioner for measure 42, on the other hand, has not formed a political committee to promote the measure.

“Oregon ballot measure politics often have national implications so it isn’t surprising to see money coming from beyond our borders.  But it’s striking that virtually no Oregon money is going to the campaigns against measure 42 or for measure 45,” said Sarah Wetherson, research and outreach associate of the Money in Politics Research Action Project (MiPRAP).

The term limit measure presents a rare opportunity for comparison with an earlier successful measure on the same issue.  The current campaign urging Oregonians to pass measure 45, raised $1.25 million dollars, more than 99 percent of which came from Illinois-based US Term Limits.  The “no” on term limits campaign raised $85,440 from lobbyists and labor groups in Oregon.

In 1992, only 20.7 percent to the “yes” campaign came from out-of-state US Term Limits and at least 71.7 percent of the contributions came from in-state contributors.  (The remaining 7.6 percent came from contributors whose home state cannot be identified.)  There was no opposing term limits campaign in 1992.

“In 1992, funding to pass the term limits measure came largely from Oregonians.  This year, out-of-state money put this measure on the ballot, and essentially all of the campaign’s money has come from outside of Oregon.  The lack of Oregon financial support may well reflect Oregonians’ leeriness of the issue, having seen the effects of term limits – more partisanship, less legislative experience,” said Wetherson. The board of MiPRAP, a non-partisan, not-for-profit group whose goals are to increase accountability and opportunities for participation in politics, has voted to oppose measure 45, the term-limits measure.

Measures 41 and 48, because of their heavy dependence on money from other PACs, deserve a closer look to track back the original source of dollars.

The supporters of measures 41 and 48 appear to have received 70.5 percent of their dollars from Oregonians.  However, the Taxpayer Association of Oregon Spending Limit PAC, which gave the measures’ supporters 62.3 percent their funding, received 94.1 percent of its funding from Illinois-based Americans for Limited Government.  The level of financial support from Oregonians drops to 18.9 percent when the Americans for Limited Government support for the Taxpayer Association committee is counted as out-of-state dollars.

The opponents of measures 41 and 48 received 92 percent of their money from Oregon-based PACs, individuals, businesses and labor groups.  A close look at the 13 PACs contributing to the opponents of measures 41 and 48 shows that they raised a nominal 2.4 percent of their dollars from out-of-state sources. These out-of-state dollars have a negligible effect on the split between money coming from within or outside Oregon.

“By following the money, we can see that 88.1 percent of the money to promote measures 41 and 48 came from groups outside Oregon,” said Wetherson.  “The money story does not show much Oregon support.”

The campaign opposing measure 43, parental notification on abortion, has the next highest percentage of out-of-state dollars.  The political committee raised almost a quarter of its dollars from out-of-state sources.  However, it also raised more than two of three dollars from individuals and organizations based in Oregon and outside interests are not officers on the no on 43 PAC, suggesting support from Oregonians.  The pro measure 43 campaign, however, has received no money from outside of the state.

“Out-of-state contributions to ballot measures campaigns don’t always mean that a campaign isn’t home grown.  You have to look closely at who controls campaigns and what percentage of money is coming from out of state,” said Wetherson.

MiPRAP released an earlier report detailing the leading contributors to ballot measures campaigns. Readers can find it at http://www.oregonfollowthemoney.org/Press/2006/101606.htm.

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[i] The Money is Not Democracy PAC raised $368,893, which it added to its $5148 beginning cash balance.  It spent $267,610, leaving $106,431 available for the November campaign.