Hypocrisy Lives:  Shemia Fagan’s embrace of union money

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State Sen. Shemia Fagan announcing her entry into the Democratic primary race for Oregon Secretary of State

Rabid liberal Democrats like Secretary of State candidate Shemia Fagan rail against the power of corporations and their donations to political campaigns.

In that vein, she’s a critic of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that the government cannot restrict corporations, associations, and labor unions from making independent expenditures in support of or opposition to candidates.

But in a display of raw hypocrisy, Fagan is a big fan of political donations by labor unions, apparently considering union money more virtuous. In fact, union donations  were the lifeblood of her 2020 primary campaign, even though unions represent just 14.4% of Oregon workers.

A late entrant to the Democratic primary for Secretary of State, after Rep. Jennifer Williamson dropped out, Fagan quickly gained the support of unions and amassed a substantial campaign war chest. Public employee unions, in particular, backed Fagan because she voted against Senate Bill 1049, which limited PERS benefits

According to the Oregon Secretary of State, reported union contributions to Fagan’s campaign from when Williamson dropped out on Feb. 10, 2020 to May 15, 2020 totaled at least $796,775.68.

I guess Fagan’s worries about undue influence don’t apply to unions, only to businesses.

 

Union contributors to Committee to Elect Shemia Fagan

      Feb. 10 – May 15, 2020

  • SEIU – Citizen Action for Political Education – $239,389.86
  • Oregon AFL-CIO – $35,696.16
  • SEIU/American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – Oregonians for Ballot Access – $47,500.00
  • AFSCME Local #328 – $200.00
  • International Assoc. of Firefighters – $25,000.00
  • SEIU Local 503, OPEU – $3,825.91
  • Oregon Education Association – OEA PAC – $115,275.00
  • Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest – $1,000.00
  • Oregon Laborers Political Action Committee – $11,000.00
  • Lane Professional Firefighters Assoc – $1,000.00
  • Local 48 Electricians PAC – $7,500.00
  • Sheet Metal Contractors National Association (SMACNA) PAC – $1,000.00
  • American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) – $75,000.00
  • Portland Metro Fire Fighters PAC – $5,000.00
  • National Education Association – NEA Fund for Children and Public Education PAC – $25,000.00
  • Oregon State Firefighters Council – $5,000.00
  • Oregon AFSCME Council 75 – $91,638.75
  • Oregon School Employees Association – Voice of Involved Classified Employees – $25,000.00
  • Plumbers & Steamfitters PAC – $15,000.00
  • Local #1159 FirePAC – $1,000.00
  • SEIU Local 49 COPE Fund – $5000.00
  • Professional Firefighters PAC – $750.00
  • Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters -$2,500.00
  • Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local 16 -SMART Local 16 PAC – $5,000.00
  • Service Employees International Union Local 503/ American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 75 – Oregonians for Ballot Access – $47,500.00
  • Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council – Building Trades PAC – $5,000.00

*All organizations noted above are as identified in campaign finance information provided by the Oregon Secretary of State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brad Avakian and his party are worried

With polls showing Republican Dennis Richardson leading Democrat Brad Avakian in the Oregon Secretary of State race, it looks like Avakian’s supporters are worried.

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Why isn’t this man smiling?

Just in the first three days of this month they pumped $398,915 into his campaign, according to state filings.

Although union members account for just 14.8 percent of wage and salary workers in Oregon, they play a big role in Avakian’s campaign. Union donations in the first three days of November included:

  • The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education – $50,000
  • AFSCME – $30,000
  • Local 48 Electricians PAC (4572) – $15,000
  • American Federation of Teachers-Oregon Candidate PAC (113) – $10,000
  • Ironworkers Political Action League Muti Candidate Committee – $5,000
  • Our Oregon – $5,000
  • Oregon AFSCME Council 75 – $4,000

Some donors to other Democratic candidates may be surprised to learn that another significant source of recent donations to Avakian is the campaign committees of fellow Democratic candidates. In a move that should be prohibited, those committees simply took contributions to them and, in effect, passed them on to Avakian.

These donors include:

  • Friends of Tobias Read – $5,000
  • Sara Gelser for State Senate (4680) – $1,000
  • Blumenauer for Congress – $2,000
  • Friends of Mark Hass (11487) – $1,000
  • Rosenbaum for Senate (Diane) (1430) – $1,000
  • Friends of Lee Beyer (14049) – $5,000
  • Friends of Tina Kotek (4792) – $5,000
  • Reardon for Oregon (15621) – $3,000
  • Kurt Schrader for Congress – $5,000
  • Elect Ellen Rosenblum for Attorney General (15406) – $5,000
  • Friends of Jeff Barker (4270) – $2,000
  • Friends of Jennifer Williamson (15145) – $2,500

Other large contributors to Avakian’s campaign in early November included the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians ($10,000) , the Oregon Health Care Association PAC (275), $5,000) , Cain Petroleum ($5,000) and James D. Fuiten, President of Metro West Ambulance ($5,000).

These recent contributions brought Avakian’s campaign committee total to $2,216,482.79 as of Nov. 3, 2016, substantially more than the $1,490,837.52 raised by Richardson, as of Nov. 4.

We’ll see whether all this loot can pull Avakian ahead.