The Money Chase, May 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 $124k. This month, his lead is down to $66k. Kroger picked up a single $120k donation from SEIU on April 4. (Excluding that donation, Macpherson outpaced Kroger's fundraising for the month.)

Last month, Macpherson's daily pace (over 90 days) was $2081/day, while Kroger's was $3074/day. This month, Macpherson's daily pace is up to $2628/day, and Kroger's jumped up to $4297/day.

Here's the box scores and the charts:

last updated4-23-20084-23-2008
2007 starting balance$0$125,501
current total$578,386$644,151
cash contributions562971
average contribution$990$503
daily pace (last 90)$4,297$2,627
daily pace (last 30)$7,879$3,617


Technical notes on the jump...

We retrieved this data from ORESTAR on May 1, 2008. Because campaigns can choose to delay their reporting up to 7 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.

  • Jonathan (unverified)

    Good job John! I am impressed John has been able to catch up in the fundraising after Greg started with a huge advantage, both with cash on hand and his position in the Oregon House.

    It is also notable that the Timber industry has thrown their financial support behind Greg. Despite Greg's work on Measure 49, the Timber industry, I am guessing, recognizes which candidate is more favorable for their interests. It shows that John's message of prosecuting environmental polluters is being heard by the Timber industry, and they are worried.

  • localjoe (unverified)

    Yeah, I'm really disappointed Macpherson's been taking so much money from the timber industry and polluters (his biggest donors in fact). This is some of the in-state money he's so proud of.

    The fact is, this is Republican money that would have been spent for the Republican challenger. Since there is none, they are giving to Macpherson, and it shows that either they think he'll be a less aggressive AG on environmental enforcement, or they are scared as hell of Kroger. Since some of Greg's donors even fought Measure 49 and have rarely if ever supported Democrats, but are now pouring money into the D. primary, it seems like a bold play by industry to ensure the weaker environmental candidate wins.

    I supported Measure 49 and think Greg's done some good things, but this decided it for me. I can't support Macpherson if he's going to win with the help of polluters and industry he's supposed to be a watchdog over.

    Kroger is the right choice. Democrats should reject the right wing power play going on in the Attorney General race.

  • NoSpinZone (unverified)


    Other recipients of significant timber contributions include: Governor Kulongoski, Senate President Peter Courtney, Senate Majority Leader Dave Hunt, and Democratic standard-bearers Mike Schauffler, Debbie Boone, and, yes, Greg Macpherson. (According to

    And that's just at the state level. Already in this cycle, Senator Wyden has raised more than $100,000 from the timber industry, according to I only hope Greg Macpherson turns out to be as good a leader as Ron Wyden has been.

    And I suppose the big-business contributions received by John Kroger don't bother you? (Not to mention contributions from such unsavory characters as Norm Frink, Mannix pal and author of Measure 11.)

    Let's stop playing this game of pretending that you were leaning toward Macpherson until you found out who his contributors were. That's just silly.

  • alex (unverified)


    First, you should be cautious about how you are calling a Democratic standard-bearers.

    Second, no matter your opinion of John Kroger's stance on Measure 11 at least he's been forward enough to voice his public support. It isn't out of step with that support to take contributions from people who share that opinion. This is in marked contrast to Greg "I Passed Measure 49" Macpherson. He claims to be an environmental candidate and then accepts money from people who want to destroy our environment. You may disagree with Kroger's Measure 11 stance but at least he doesn't seem to be pandering to both sides as Macpherson does.

  • NoSpinZone (unverified)


    Golly, you're right. I'd much rather vote for a candidate who I disagree with than one who I agree with (and has a stellar record of accomplishment on the issues I care about) but accepts donations from people I don't agree with.

    Makes perfect sense.

    BTW -- the reason why a voter might care about what special interests are funding a candidate's campaign is out of fear that the candidate will be beholden to those interests. Greg Macpherson has always taken timber money and he has never been beholden to timber interests (see, e.g., his leadership on Measure 49). So we have nothing to worry about. (In fact, agree with him or not, Macpherson's record on PERS reform is proof positive that he is not beholden to his campaign donors (he received significant labor support before his votes on those issues and he acted on his conscience anyway).)

    By contrast, we have no idea what kind of relationship Kroger would have with his many corporate campaign donors if elected, because he has no legislative record. So there's plenty of reason to be concerned in his case.

  • A. Rab. (unverified)

    FYI, Kroger's money comes form unions, not major coprartions. If you are worried about his relationship with unions, fine, but they are the backbone of the Democratic Party, so there are a lot of Democrats you probably do not like. As for Macpherson, he has a sometimes questionable relationship with people who pay the bills, most notoriously with Northstar and Enron. In the later, Macpherson voted to let Enron subsidiary PGE continue to overcharge rate payers, while with the former, Macpherson refuses to take a stand on Northstar's LNG project. Both companies are clients of the law firm that Macpherson is a partner at (before "Ben Rivers" jumps on that statement, I am aware that Stoel Rives has a lot of lawyers, but Macpherson is not just some lawyer there, he is a partner with major political connections - Clinton was not just some lawyer at the Rose Law Firm, and Macpherson is not just some lawyer at Stoel Rives). Does this mean Macpherson is automatically a stooge of big energy? No, but like his major contributions from timber, it seems to mean something. The bulk of Kroger's money comes from the unions, the bulk of Macpherson's money comes from major companies or their owners. My own guess is that the major industries like Macpherson because he is the candidate least likely to change things. Hardy Myers was a fairly liberal guy, and not the first pick of GOP types. However, he has been in power for 12 years, so the companies at least know what they get with him. Macpherson, as the candidate closer to the status quo, seems like the "devil they know," and one should never discount big business' desire to preserve the status quo.

  • A. Rab. (unverified)

    Of course, I meant "major corporations..." One day there will be an edit option.

  • Podger (unverified)

    I can't believe that someone called Kroger's opponent a "right wing power play." I have no doubt that Kroger would needlessly overcrowd prisons by increasing prosecutions of and sentences for trivial crimes. He has said that, in his experience as an east coast federal prosecutor, he dealt largely with defendants who were part of large criminal organizations and so it is hard for him to understand the workings of the Oregon criminal justice system. Kroger is certainly not the right man to handle a meth epidemic.

  • A. Rab. (unverified)

    Kroger never said he didn't understand Oregon's criminal justice system, and you have his plan for meth exactly backwards. Kroger supports mandatory minimums for violent crimes (homicides, assaults, rapes, etc.) and opposes it for property and drug crimes. Furthermore, Kroger has made drug treatment the cornerstone of his anti-meth platform. This will keep people out of prison, not in prison. Macpherson's plan, in contrast, will put more people in criminal justice system. Macpherson wants to target treatment to Drug Courts and the jails, which will mean someone has to get involved in the criminal justice system before they get help. Also, it should be noted, that most of Oregon's meth comes via organized crime, not local production, so experience in taking on organized drug traffickers is going to be important to curbing the meth problem.

  • 18yearoldwithanopinion (unverified)


    Kroger is the one candidate with an actual plan to reduce meth related crimes thus reducing jail populations in Oregon. Considering that 25 Oregon District Attorneys (Greg only has 2), 8 Oregon Sheriffs (2 for Greg), Portland Police Association, Oregon State Police Officers Association, Oregon Police Council Association, and Beaverton Police Chief David Bishop all endorse Kroger over Greg I think its fair to say that Kroger does understand Oregon’s criminal justice system. Cops and district attorneys don’t usually go for candidates who don’t understand how to reduce crime. Also for the record Kroger was the first to bring up drug treatment in this campaign. It’s very telling that the people fighting meth on the front lines every day are running to Kroger.

open discussion

connect with blueoregon