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Oregon Money Trail

Local Funding for Presidential Hopefuls



The 2008 US presidential election will undoubtedly be historic on a number of levels. A new tone and direction could likely be set for the nation, and more money than the gross domestic product of many countries will be squeezed out of wealthy donors by a crowded field of presidential contenders. But where does the sleepy backwater of Oregon fit into the financial fray?

Each of the top contenders for the highest office in the land have tapped the support of a number of Oregon's deep-pocketed political insiders with varying degrees of success.

Among the field of Democratic contenders, former North Carolina Senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards is tops, raking in over $61,000 from Oregonians. Unsurprisingly, many of his top supporters are lawyers—Edwards is an attorney—who also composed much of his base in 2004. Contributors of note include Kari Chisholm, who publishes the left leaning blog BlueOregon in addition to running Mandate Media, a company that has managed the websites of politicians like Representative Earl Blumenauer and Governor Ted Kulongoski.

Coming in second is Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who convinced Oregonians to open their wallets to the tune of over $51,000. Obama's campaign drew support from over 100 donors in the state—more then any other Democratic candidate—with many donating small amounts.

Finishing third is New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who pulled in $30,000 here. Many of Clinton's top supporters come from the ranks of the retired, or those who work in the financial sector. However, the money came from a relatively small number of people in Oregon, less than 40 total.

On the Republican side, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney trounced his opponents, vacuuming up over $210,000 from nearly 200 people in Oregon, overwhelmingly from the business community. Just shy of 30 people gave Romney the $2,300 maximum donation allowed during the primary under Federal Election Committee rules. On the list of donors are Oregon's last two GOP gubernatorial contenders, Kevin Mannix and Ron Saxton. Also on the list are GOP benefactors Janet and Richard Geary, who doled out heaps of cash in 2006 trying to turn Oregon red.

Arizona Senator John McCain squeezed $40,000 from over 40 Oregonians, many also from Oregon's business community, which includes Portland developer Homer Williams of HGW, Inc.

Current GOP front-runner and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani finished third with a comparatively weak $24,000.


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