The Money Chase, February Update: Attorney General

Here's the latest look at the money chase for the Attorney General race.

Last month, Greg Macpherson led John Kroger by $219k. This month, his lead has dropped to $185k (on the strength of four $10,000 donations to Kroger.)

Last month, Macpherson's daily pace (over 90 days) was $1672/day, while Kroger's was $995/day. This month, Macpherson's daily pace is up to $1895/day, and Kroger's is up to $1416/day.

Here's the box scores and the charts:

 KrogerMacpherson
last updated1-31-20081-19-2008
2007 starting balance$0$125,501
current total$207,994$393,901
cash contributions246596
average contribution$781$426
daily pace (last 90)$1,415$1,895
daily pace (last 30)$2,794$1,916

2008febag

Technical notes on the jump...

We retrieved this data from ORESTAR on February 1, 2008. Because campaigns can choose to delay their reporting up to 30 days, some recent data isn't available yet. The "daily pace" is based on the last 30 or 90 days for which we do have data. Our chart starts in July 2007 because most campaigns didn't raise money during the legislative session. The "average contribution" is based on actual cash contributions since January 1, 2007 - while the "current total" includes in-kind contributions, sold items, interest income, and the starting balance. Also, some campaigns lump together under-$100 contributions into a single line item - so the number of contributions may be slightly understated and the average contribution slightly overstated. In order to measure campaign strength, these numbers include the initial cash-on-hand on January 1, 2007 plus all funds raised since then.

Why not look at cash-on-hand? Because it doesn't lend itself to an apples-to-apples view. The goal is to provide a snapshot view that compares the financial strength of the statewide campaigns and legislative caucuses. Does a low cash-on-hand mean that a campaign is failing to raise money? Or does it mean that they're spending money on big-ticket items like polling, direct mail, and television? We assume that campaigns spend money in whatever way they think is most strategically smart. So, looking at the total funds raised since January 1, 2007 (plus the opening balance that day) is the best snapshot of overall financial strength.

And yes, we'll include Republican candidates - if any of them ever decide to run for statewide office in Oregon ever again.

Comments

  • ben rivers (unverified)
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    There is no question that this race depends highly on money. It looks like Macpherson has the money to reach out to the statewide electorate more than Kroger. You have to think these numbers still favor Macpherson.

  • A. Rab. (unverified)
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    I am not so sure how the money plays out in the end. Clearly, Macpherson has more money and that is a a plus. However, it is worth looking at how they got there.

    Kroger is a first time candidate, so he did not have a personal fundraising operation in place. Macpherson, as he likes to remind us, is a third generation politician, a partner at the state's largest law firm, and chair of a powerful committee. Yet, he only out raised Kroger by $60,406 (I am taking out the money Macpherson started with). Kroger's total still puts him third for state office candidates, behind only Macpherson and Kate Brown (I am discounting the US Senate race because it is a whole different world). It will be interesting to see how this shakes up in the few months, as the public becomes more aware of the race.

    Macpherson should be proud of what he was able to pull in, but Kroger did okay too.

  • ben rivers (unverified)
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    Small donor support means a lot. Macpherson is pushing 800 individual donors. $40,000 of Kroger's money has come from 4 people. Great, he has four rich friends. Macpherson has hundreds of friends and supporters who do what they can. And, looking at his website, he has 200 plus not afraid to show it: http://www.votemac.com/2007/08/endorsements.php

  • A. Rab. (unverified)
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    That does not change anything I said. Macpherson has raised more money, that is a given. However, that is not the whole story. He did not out raise Kroger by that much, particularly when you consider the level of organization the two started with. Kroger is a law professor who has not run for office before; Macpherson is a third generation politician who also happens to be a partner at the state's biggest law firm and chair of a powerful committee. Those are two very different starting points.

    Also, I cannot find the numbers right now, but it looks like both candidates are on pace to out raise Meyers in 2004, who I thought pulled in $400K in the primary (Misha will probably correct me on this).

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    I agree with A. Rab that once you take out the funds Greg started with, his lead is very slim and it is a competitive funding race. I expect it to remain so and ultimately neither candidate will have a real financial edge.

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    Ben, if money could truly buy votes, Ron Paul and Rudy Guliani would be leading contenders for the presidential nomination of the Republican party. Instead, they're nowhere.

    All money does is let you get out your message. To win, your message has to actually be attractive to voters. And it doesn't seem that Greg's crude appeal to Oregon nativism is working.

    Most people who meet John, on the other hand, come out convinced that he has the energy and experience to bring his innovative ideas to fruition. That's why he's gotten the bulk of the endorsements.

    Which is another thing, by the way, that money can't buy.

  • ellie (unverified)
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    Very well put, Steve.

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    $40,000 of Kroger's money has come from 4 people. Great, he has four rich friends

    Two of those four have the last name of "Kroger" and are from Houston, TX. My guess is they're family. The other two are attorneys here in Portland (my guess would be partners in the same firm, based on their last name and the name of the firm).

    From there he has six donations between $2,500 to $5,000. Everything else is basically below $2,000. So yes, he got four large donations. Once you go beyond those, the amounts on the donations to both candidates are very similar (a lot of $1,000 donations, a lot between $100-250, and a lot under $100).

    I pulled up Macpherson's C&Es in Excel and ordered them by date. I then removed everything through August 22, 2007 since that was the last date that his PAC was for his legislative seat. On the 23rd it was converted to his race for AG. And of course you have to file changes to your organization to the SOS within 10 calendar days, which means you could go back to August 13, which adds another $5,800 onto the total below. Another $3,500 came in before the 10 day period.

    I then ran some numbers - he had approximately $238,000 in cash contributions, $9,477 in in-kind contributions, and $3,604 in interest/investment income for a total of just over $251,000 (a few refunds knock that down to just under $251,000). His current balance is $325,785.64.

    So as you can see, Macpherson would have come into the race with a large amount of money - right now he has almost $75,000 more than he's raised for this race, and that's after expenses (more than $55,000 in expenses).

    So while yes, Kroger has two family members and two friends give large donations, Macpherson was able to come in the race with more than $100,000 in his account. Of course you're going to try to find a few people who can help you make up at least a portion of that difference. Because even if you can match him in daily fundraising (or come close), he still has more than a hundred grand head start.

  • K.Iaf (unverified)
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    And it doesn't seem that Greg's crude appeal to Oregon nativism is working.

    LOL. But John's low-class appeal to Oregon nativism and play to the middle by making his campaign for AG almost exclusively about aggressively fighting a bogus drug war against those south-of-the-border to hook into anti-immigrant emotions seems to be playing just fine with Blue Oregon types. And good Republican that he is, he's all for the death penalty because it fits so well into a political message that strokes the reptilian part of the brain. Also, the A.G.'s office is not the right place to deal with treatment of meth addiction if that is Kroger's real goal. It is the place, however, to advance regressive theories and tactics of using medical and psychological need to advance tactics of disempowering more and more people socially and politically by bringing them under the paternalistic and maternalistic institutional control of the justice system.

    When the regressive threads of his campaign strategy are set against the reality of the A.G.'s office, it gives a very different picture of his run for this office. I would only propose that he does sincerely want to help Oregon deal with the tragedy of meth addiction, he should sign on to devote whatever time he has available for that cause as a low-paid legal counsel for any number of social-service agencies who could use all the help on the ground from such self-assured, white, upper-middle class professionals they can get. On the other hand, if his public appearance doesn't do justice to what he actually feels, what does that say about him and how he chooses to define his candidacy?

    I am consistently amazed how each day in this campaign makes it apparent how many of the people who praise Kroger here are so easily led by the nose. One can only wonder if that is because they are so desparate to feel they are part of something, anything. Remember, most of us only know Kroger thorough the sum of his presented public statements, apart from any personal charisma he may or may not have in personal interactions, and from these facts he looks to be a very, very bad choice for AG. This is in part because of how he "embellishes" his actual record as prosecutor, the very thing he choses to emphasize in his candidacy. (For those who haven't read Chris Matthew's 1988 book "Hardball" when he actually was a political operative, you might want to read that to understand Kroger's game.) I have to suspect if his supporters do actually embrace the negative values of politician Kroger, because they truly delude and embarrass themselves if they actually believe some very unflattering characteristics about themselves don't shine through in their praises for Kroger.

    At the bottom line, most of the supporters here --- who I am in full agreement with that Macpherson would be an equally bad A.G. because he is equally bad as a representive of Democratic Party values --- give testimonies that mainly just reflect how easily they are suckered by his apparent charisma and which do not evince an understanding of or fealty to progressive values. Leaving aside the classist and nativist tendencies, their empty arguments really boil down to nothing more than "compared to Macpherson (or Mannix)", which is pretty much just like comparing one spoiled apple to two others. If you don't like this criticism, learn to actually think rather than just being a cheerleader and a follower.

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    But John's low-class appeal to Oregon nativism and play to the middle by making his campaign for AG almost exclusively about aggressively fighting a bogus drug war against those south-of-the-border to hook into anti-immigrant emotions seems to be playing just fine with Blue Oregon types.

    This is so wrong that it's plain silly. Almost exclusively about a bogus drug war? I guess you've overlooked the more than half of his campaign dealing with consumer protection, environmental protection, collecting child support, etc. - all items clearly within the AG's jurisdiction. Or that his issues regarding our meth problem are about treatment so that we can get people off of meth, which helps solve other crime problems like identity theft, burglaries, etc. Because by reducing the demand, you do a lot more to get rid of the drug problem than you do with this "war on drugs" that we've had the past few decades.

    Anti-immigrant emotions? You're too much.

    And by the way - not all Democrats are against the death penalty. There are people who are Democrats and are for the death penalty. Those that are for it typically feel the same was as Kroger - it should be reserved for special cases, used very rarely, etc. At Rebooting Democracy, Kroger brought up the story of a young child who had witnessed a gang killing. That gang then came back and murdered the child in front of the child's mother. It was cases like that which made him not want to get rid of the death penalty completely.

  • Misha (unverified)
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    A. Rab.-- Since Hardy did not have a primary opponent in 2004, he raised almost no money before the primary. He also started fundraising that cycle with a near-zero balance in his campaign account.

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    I am consistently amazed how each day in this campaign makes it apparent how many of the people who praise Kroger here are so easily led by the nose.

    Ah yes, anyone who supports someone other than your candidate has been duped. Has it ever occurred to you that others might actually have different values, concerns, and interests than you, or are you simply too arrogant to believe that there're any possible points of the view in the world other than your own?

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    No, of course it hasn't occurred to him or her (3 or 4 to 1 it's him, though), Nate -- it's one of the self-limiting qualities of the kind of arrogance in question that it precludes serious consideration of such possibilities. Herme(neu)tically sealed. :-)

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    I just wonder if "K.Laf" - the artist formerly known as "No on Kroger" - ever heard the statistic about the percentage of seriously abused children in Oregon that come from meth households.

    It's something appallingly high, like 9 out of 10.

    I doubt it. Otherwise that purity troll, self appointed guardian of all true Democratic values, wouldn't be pretending meth isn't a problem in the State.

  • K.Laf (unverified)
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    Wow, three really empty but snarking comments in a row:

    Almost exclusively about a bogus drug war? I guess you've overlooked the more than half of his campaign dealing with consumer protection, environmental protection, collecting child support, etc. - all items clearly within the AG's jurisdiction.

    Jenni must have missed Kroger's own comment Jan. 3 on this very blog arguing for his candidacy which was primarily dedicated to different facets of his particular crusade against meth, including the inherent appeal to nativism that we know have to go against organized criminals from south-of-the-border. That is because the simplistic solutions he and Macpherson supported didn't do a thing to reduce meth trafficking, but did escalate the problem in line with the standard Republican tactic of internationalizing and militarizing U.S. drug enforcement. His drug treatment "plan" is window-dressing when viewed against his inherently impoverished viewpoint as a prosecutor (his choice of how he defines himself to voters, not mine).

    Ah yes, anyone who supports someone other than your candidate has been duped.

    Nate and Chris, as I made clear, neither Mannix, Macpherson, or Kroger are anywhere close to being good candidates. As far as why you are led by the nose, that too was laid out and you continue to provide evidence for that too. Whether you like it or not it is quite fair to judge the values of someone who is running for office and is asking for your vote, as well as to judge the values of those who support him. Kroger's values demonstrate he doesn't deserve my vote and comments like yours strongly confirm that.

    I doubt it. Otherwise that purity troll, self appointed guardian of all true Democratic values, wouldn't be pretending meth isn't a problem in the State.

    Steve - Interesting how you respond to substantive criticism of the failure of the meth policies advocated by Kulongoski, Macpherson, and Kroger, based on the facts such as no significant reduction in consumption, an exacerbated crime problem that has led to replacement supply at costs the market will bear, increased health care costs and interference in medical decision making, with a laughable claim that I'm pretending meth isn't a problem. In fact, it is those who just go blind with rage when the fraudulence of those policies is exposed who are the deniers, because mainly what those policies have done is just remove the meth problem from the immediate view of average (mostly white) middle and upper-middle class Oregonians who are fortunate enough to not have a family member or friend with a meth problem.

    As I pointed out, if Kroger really did have the level of concern about the destructive impact of meth on our state equal to how he is using this issue for political mileage (and I hopefully assume he does), he could use his talents in better ways than running for A.G. The facts suggest that either my desire to believe that he does care is misplaced, or that his judgement is lacking because he has chosen to aggressively run for A.G. on a platform that structured on the limited viewpoint and values of a prosecutor. Either way, this demonstrates that on the substantive grounds of his own deficiencies he doesn't deserve my vote.

    So here's the bottom line to people like Steve, Jenni, Nate, and Chris: If you are so ticked off with substantive criticisms of both candidates, the fact that I assert that he and Macpherson are embarrassing representatives of the Democratic Party (as I am finding you to be), and that I exercise my right as a voter to judge Kroger's and your values if you are asking for my vote, do you want me and people like me to leave the party and take our votes with us? If so, just have the guts to say that, rather than snarking If not, I suggest you might want to try different tactics rather than snarking about substantive arguments demonstrating why Kroger's character and values make him such a bad choice for the job.

  • (Show?)

    I haven't heard Kroger suggest any kind of a "crusade" against meth users. I have heard him vehemently oppose the extension of mandatory minimum sentences to property crimes because most property crimes are committed in order to get money to buy illegal drugs, those mandatory minimums foreclose the possibility of treatment, and the best way to prevent property crime is to offer comprehensive treatment to those addicted to illegal drugs. That sounds nuanced and intelligent to me.

    I have also come to the belief that if Kevin Mannix ends up as the Republican nominee for AG, Mannix will be exploiting the public's exasperation with property crimes to try to win office as well as trying to get his new mandatory minimums measure passed, and if he does, then John Kroger is uniquely equipped to defeat him. John has the prosecutorial experience and expertise to convince voters that Kevin Mannix is just a fear-peddler. I do not think that Greg Macpherson is as robust an opponent as we will need to defeat both Mannix and his ballot measure(s).

  • K.Laf (unverified)
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    I haven't heard Kroger suggest any kind of a "crusade" against meth users.

    You also need to learn to read carefully Stephanie V. The statement was: "which was primarily dedicated to different facets of his particular crusade against meth, including the inherent appeal to nativism that we know have to go against organized criminals from south-of-the-border." You see the word "users" in there anywhere?

    My other point is that with regard to meth and Kroger is that his stated polices are in step with the only role the A.G.'s office can statutorily play, which is to exploit medical and psychological need "to advance tactics of disempowering more and more people socially and politically by bringing them under the paternalistic and maternalistic institutional control of the justice system."

    John has the prosecutorial experience and expertise to convince voters that Kevin Mannix is just a fear-peddler.

    Kroger's formulation is every bit as much peddling fear, just in a way that appeals more to the degenerated segment of Oregon Democrats he clearly chooses to rally to his cause. He clearly is actually more in tune with Republican political values for that reason and doesn't deserve my vote.

  • (Show?)

    Snub the snide troll. Snide; malicious, spiteful, sarcastic, cynical, mean, derogatory, invidious.

  • (Show?)

    So here's the bottom line to people like Steve, Jenni, Nate, and Chris: If you are so ticked off with substantive criticisms of both candidates...

    No, I believe you may have misread my post. I was not ticked off by your substantive criticism of both candidates. I was ticked off that you arrogantly assumed that I share the exact same values and concerns as you, instead of deciding based on my values and concerns that I support one of the candidates. While I don't 100% agree with every point you made, I think by and large they are valid issues. What I resent is your insinuation that I have not rationally evaluated the candidates and picked one who I believe will do the best job (of the available options) on the issues I care most about. Rather you state in no uncertain terms that I am a fool who has been duped into that support. That just makes you come off as an asshole that no one wants to listen to.

  • (Show?)
    <h2>dammit. Close italics.</h2>
open discussion

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