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.

 

Who owns Brad Avakian? Unions.

 

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I’m tired of all these wealthy donors thinking that because I’ve been bought and paid for, they own me.                                                                                                                      (With thanks to the New Yorker) 

Brad Avakian, a Democrat running for Oregon’s Secretary of State, insists that one of his highest priorities is campaign finance reform.

“Everyone’s voice should be heard in our democracy – but that’s not happening right now,” Avakian says. “The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision was a terrible mistake. It’s allowing big corporate donors to drown out the voice of everyday voters…But what can we do about it? Here’s what: Oregon can lead the way. As Secretary of State, I’ll fight to reform Oregon’s campaign finance system.”

Really?

Mr. Avakian conveniently leaves out that the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizen United Ruling not only removed virtually any restriction on corporate money in politics. It also removed virtually any restriction on union money.

So how does Mr. Avakian feel about jumbo contributions to candidates from unions? He seems to be OK with those, based on the union contributions he’s received to date, including:

Oregon Education Association –People for Improvement of Education (142)                                         $95,000

Oregon School Employees Association –Voice of Involved Classified Employees (2307)                                    $65,000

Citizen Action for Political Education (33)                                     $60,000

United Food & Commercial Workers                                                $50,000

Oregon AFSCME Council 75                                                                 $30,000

Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters, SSF                           $30,000

Laborers’ Political League                                                                     $25,000

Oregon, South Idaho District Council of Laborers                         $15,000

Local 48 Electricians PAC (4572)                                                          $11,000

Oregon AFL-CIO                                                                                        $10,364

Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 598                                        $10,000

DRIVE Committee (Teamsters’ political action committee)      $10,000

American Federation of Teachers-OR Candidate PAC (113)        $  7,500

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees PAC         $  6,000

Working America (Political organizing arm of the AFL-CIO)      $  6,668

Portland Association of Teachers PAC                                                 $  5,000

IUPAT Political Action Together Political Committee                     $  5,000

 

Talk is cheap Brad.

What’s particularly striking is that union members accounted for just 14.8 percent of wage and salary workers in Oregon in 2015, but union contributions represent almost 40 percent of the total Avakian has raised in 2016.

So who do you think Avakian is going to represent if he’s elected?