Political Clout

BY KIM MOORE

Businesses spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence political decision makers by piling money into campaigns.

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BY KIM MOORE

Businesses spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence political decision makers by piling money into campaigns. Oregon has several statewide measures on the November 4, 2014 ballot, which have attracted money from local and out-of-state corporations. Some businesses have donated funds directly, while others have sought to gain influence by giving money to political action committees. Here we look at the largest contributions behind three measures on November’s ballot.


1114btn-90 250pxOregon Open Primary

Creates a “Top Two” system of general-election voting in which there is a single primary open to voters of all parties. John Arnold, a former Texas-based Enron trader and hedge-fund manager, contributed the largest sum — $1.5 million — supporting the measure.

CONTRIBUTORS FOR:

Contributor Amount ($) Type
John Arnold
2,750,000
Individual
     

CONTRIBUTORS AGAINST:

Contributor Amount ($) Type
Defend Oregon (13130)
950,604
Political Committee
American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO
100,000
Labor Organization
SEIU Local 503, OPEU PAC (2102)
69,052
Political Committee
Oregon Education Association
52,400
Labor Organization
American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO
50,000
Labor Organization
Oregon AFSCME Council 75
50,000
Labor Organization
Our Oregon
30,430
Other
Service Employees International Union
30,000
Labor Organization
Nurses United Political Action Committee (12987)
30,000
Political Committee
United Food and Commercial Workers Int'l Union, AFL-CIO, CLC
30,000
Labor Organization
United Food & Commercial Workers Local 555
21,408
Labor Organization
Working America
15,428
Labor Organization
     

1114btn-91 250pxOregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative

Legalizes recreational marijuana for people ages 21 and older.

CONTRIBUTORS FOR:

Contributor Amount ($) Type
Drug Policy Action
1,740,000
Other
New Approach PAC
1,100,000
Other
New Approach Oregon (16171)
855,410
Political Committee
Drug Policy Action of Oregon (17008)
90,000
Political Committee
Blumenauer for Congress
40,020
Other
Tikka Trust
25,000
Other
UFCW Local 555
15,000
Labor Organization
Green Oregon Enterprises
15,000
Business Entity
Jason Zidell
10,000
Individual
Travis Maurer
10,000
Individual
Brent Kenyon
5,000
Individual
Green Oregon Enterprises
5,000
Business Entity
AJS Holdings
5,000
Business Entity
Jupiter Hotel
4,800
Business Entity
Megawood Enterprises Inc
1,000
Business Entity

 

CONTRIBUTORS AGAINST:

Contributor/Payee  Amount ($)  Type 
Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association
145,000
Business entity
Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association
20,000
Business entity
Roger Nichols Music, Inc.
10,000
Business entity

1114btn-92 250pxThe Oregon Mandatory Labeling of GMOs Initiative

Mandates the labeling of certain foodstuffs that were produced with or contain genetically modified organisms.

CONTRIBUTORS FOR:

Contributor Amount ($) Type
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
1,752,110
Business Entity
Center for Food Safety Action Fund
1,200,000
Other
Mercola.Com Health Resources LLC
700,000
Business Entity
Tom Hormel
500,000
Individual
Organic Consumers Fund
425,000
Other
OSPIRG
336,408
Other
Food Democracy Action
300,000
Other
Organic Consumers Fund
300,000
Other
Presence Marketing, Inc.
200,000
Business Entity
Oregon GMO Right to Know (16728)
164,000
Political Committee
Friends of the Earth
144,391
Other
Ben & Jerry's
133,117
Business Entity
Eric Lemelson
110,000
Individual
Wendy Seldon
75,000
Individual
Consumers Union
70,098
Other
Nature's Path Foods U.S.A. Inc.
56,144
Business Entity
Food and Water Watch
51,165
Other
Karen Swift
50,000
Individual
Kathryn Taylor
50,000
Individual
Amys Kitchen, Inc.
40,000
Business Entity
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
38,520
Business Entity
Whole Foods Market
37,432
Business Entity
Clif Bar and Co.
35,000
Business Entity

 

CONTRIBUTORS AGAINST:

Contributor Amount ($) Type
Monsanto Company
4,608,450
Business Entity
DuPont Pioneer
4,518,150
Business Entity
PepsiCo, Inc.
2,350,000
Business Entity
Coca-Cola
1,170,000
Business Entity
Dow AgroSciences LLC
1,157,150
Business Entity
Kraft Foods
870,000
Business Entity
Land O'Lakes
760,000
Business Entity
General Mills
695,000
Business Entity
Kellogg Company
500,000
Business Entity
Mondelez Global, LLC
330,000
Business Entity
Hershey Company
320,000
Business Entity
Dow AgroSciences LLC
310,150
Business Entity
The J.M. Smucker Company
295,000
Business Entity
ConAgra Foods
250,000
Business Entity
Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc.
230,000
Business Entity
Grocery Manufacturers Association
166,880
Business Entity
Abbott Nutrition
160,000
Business Entity
McCormick & Company, Inc.
130,000
Business Entity
Cargill, Inc.
111,000
Business Entity
Hormel Foods
85,000
Business Entity
Mead Johnson
50,000
Business Entity
Bumble Bee Foods, LLC
45,000
Business Entity
Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
35,000
Business Entity
Welch's
30,000
Business Entity
Michael Foods
30,000
Business Entity
Rich Products Corporation
30,000
Business Entity
Shearers Foods LLC
30,000
Business Entity
Sunny Delight
25,000
Business Entity
Knouse Foods
20,000
Business Entity

Clarification:  The original list included both contributors and vendors associated with the ballot measure campaigns.  We have updated and amended the list to include contributors only.

Kim Moore

Kim Moore is the editor for Oregon Business magazine.

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