Rick Dancer: Dancing with the Sex Hypnotist

Jesse Cornett

Recently failed Secretary of State candidate Rick Dancer showed his true colors to the public only after the last ballots had been cast this week by reporting a funneled donation by Kevin Mannix's very own sex hypnotist, Nevada millionaire Loren Parks.

From today's Register Guard:

In the waning days of the Nov. 4 election, conservative Nevada millionaire Loren Parks found a new Oregon politician to lavish money on: Lane County's Rick Dancer.

A political action committee almost exclusively bankrolled by Parks paid for $185,672 worth of TV advertising for Dancer's secretary of state campaign, according to new campaign finance filings with the state.

Parks, a longtime Oregonian before moving to Nevada, contributed $200,000 on Oct. 28 to the Conservative Majority Project PAC, according to campaign finance records on the Oregon Elections Division Web site. The next day, the PAC made an in-kind contribution to Dancer's campaign of $185,672 in TV advertising production by George Advertising Inc. All told, the Conservative Majority PAC raised about $400,000 this year, almost all of it from Parks.

While the issue of funneling money is one that I doubt the legislature can fully address given the broad interpretation of Oregon's constitution on campaign finance as speech, the issue of donations within the last days of the campaign is any easy one.

In the 2005 session the legislature enacted major disclosure reform that has drastically improved the public's ability to know who is giving money on an ongoing basis. Continuous reporting was a major win for Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and then Senate Majority Leader now Secretary of State-elect Kate Brown that moved Oregon from the bottom of national disclosure ratings to the top. Inadvertently, disclosure in the waning days of an election was weakened from what previously existed and that should be rectified.

Rick Dancer flaunted that loophole in our disclosure law. To be clear, 46% of Oregon voters supported Dancer, 0% knew of Loren Park's contribution that equaled more than 25% of the money raised for Dancer's entire campaign.

Oregon law allows for continuous reporting. Dancer could have and should have reported a contribution from Bill Sizemore and Kevin Mannix's financier immediately but chose to wait until all ballots were cast, a poor decision for someone who sought to be Oregon's Chief election official.

Comments

  • Jesse Cornett (unverified)
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    And to be clear, this is a post about Rick Dancer breaking no laws but misleading voters. It is not about campaign finance reform in general or even funneling money. I would appreciate if there are going to be comments that our friends who advocate limits not use this as a forum to do so.

  • Rulial (unverified)
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    This scares me. The Secretary of State's office oversees the process that determines whether an initiative has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. If I'm not mistaken, they are also partly responsible for enforcing the law that says you cannot pay a signature gatherer on a per-signature basis. Was this donation made with the intent of weakening the regulations that ensure the integrity of the petition process? I hope not.

    Maybe we should consider making continuous reporting mandatory.

  • Anonymous (unverified)
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    It is not sex-positive to try to smear Lorn Parks for being involved in hypnosis and sex therapy. It makes all legitimate individuals involved in that activity sound weird and creepy. Since when is Blue Oregon anti-sex?

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    Anon -- There's nothing wrong with sex therapy when appropriately prescribed and provided by a licensed professional.

    Loren Parks is NOT a licensed therapist of any sort. He's just a creepy guy with a video camera.

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    I can appreciate that same-day or 24-hour reporting can be a huge administrative nightmare.

    But it shouldn't be that big of a burden to require same-day reporting on any contribution that's more than, say, $10,000.

    Voters have a right to know.

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    @Jesse, thanks for so clearly presenting this issue, and the specific kind of behavior that is allowed under current state law.

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    Loren Parks is NOT a licensed therapist of any sort. He's just a creepy guy with a video camera.

    Kari, what do you mean he's not a real sex therapist? ....<hits palm="" to="" forehead=""> No wonder he only charged me 50 bucks!

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    Sorry, to be clear, if I had a proposal, it would be to require reporting within 24 hours of any contribution over a certain size, say $500 within the last 7 days of the campaign. This would exclude the vast majority of contribs but prevent situations like this one.

  • rick metsger (unverified)
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    Kari, Your point is well taken but is universally exploited, not just by friends of Mr. Dancer. Check out the democratic primary of May and see the significant contributions that were made in the waning days of the election but not reported until after the election so neither opponents or the electorate would know. Ask Steve Novick about the U.S. Senate race down the final days.

    In the week before the very election you spoke about Sen. Kate Brown received a huge contribution from OEA that wasnt reported until the day AFTER the election. Add in the independent expenditure (wink-wink) dollars that often flow into elections on both sides-many of which are never reported to the SOS- and it is clear the problem you talk about is everywhere and played by every political persuassion. Until Oregonians are willing to change their constitution to make the kind of changes to our free speech protection necessary to reign in sepnding on campaigns this will continue. Same day reporting in the final week would be a nightmare for a campaign treasurer and they are hard enough to find now since many are volunteers and they are legally liable now for any errors. And the cold hard fact of campaign life is that even if a huge contribution is made a week before the election it is essentially too late for your camapign to print instant money to repond to it.

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    I am in favor of Jesse's proposal to tighten reporting on contributions at the end of campaigns. However, Senator Metsger's point is well-taken. The SOS race is not the only statewide race in which a winning candidate received more than 25 percent of his funding from a single donor in this election cycle.

    In 2006, we also had the governor's race, in which several individuals, including Parks, donated $100,000 or more. Individual entities in that race, such as the Republican Governor's Association, gave $600,000 or more to individual candidates.

    Disclosure only takes you so far. At some point, you need to decide whether you want to have a system in which statewide elections can be dominated by just one or two groups, or whether you believe that this level of control may have a corrupting influence on our system of government.

  • Jeffrey (unverified)
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    Deceiving voters took many forms this time:

    I voted against ALL of Sizemore and Mannix's measures -- always have. I supported Open Primaries/Measure 65.

    But union honchos couldn't find anything negative about Measure 65's actual sponsor, Phil Keisling, so they blanketed members with alarming ads that linked Measure 65 to Sizemore.

    I got a mailing at my door that was way beyond arguments of open primary merits -- it was too slimy to touch.

    Supporters of Measure 65 responded, saying, "The ad, paid for by the OEA and brought to our attention by an outraged teacher, claims Bill Sizemore is the author and lead proponent of the Open Primary/Measure 65... Linking us to Sizemore is blatantly false, cynical, and offensive. I can’t believe OEA’s political bosses are so afraid of losing power that they would knowingly lie and mislead their own members."

    Those are stark words but they are backed by union contributions to kill M65 for Oregonians: Oregon Education Assn gave $100,000 Oregon AFSCME gave $25,000 Service Employeess (SEIU) gave $65,000 Electrical Workers gave $10,000 Union flacks PacWest Communications gave more than $260,000

    After a great victory for Democrats this election, I'm now more wary of our union leaders than Sizemore.

  • Jeffrey (unverified)
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    If they could back-stab Keisling, why wouldn't they do the same to Kate Brown, or Ted, or JM?

    I'd like to think the "bosses" might have some bad conscience in going "slash & burn," but I've personally witnessed only back-slapping victory laps without a tinge of regret.

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    After a great victory for Democrats this election, I'm now more wary of our union leaders than Sizemore.

    They're two sides of the same coin. They're both grinding opposite sides of the same two-edged axe. Being more (or less) wary of one than the other strikes me as a disconnect.

  • Jason (unverified)
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    Let's see...

    Loren Parks is an eccentric human being. So what? Just visit Eugene and Portland, and you'll find more wackos in two minutes than you'll see in a lifetime.

    Has he done anything illegal? NO!

    Has he done anything unethical? NO!

    Has he ever been charged with a crime? NO!

    Is he an American? YES!

    Can he freely participate, like the rest of us, in the democratic process? YES!

    People always like to connect Parks with Sizemore. Just because the guy agrees with, and has financed some of Sizemore's ballot measures, doesn't mean squat. It just means Parks has an opinion like the rest of us, and expresses it.

    Again, nothing illegal, unethical, etc. Rick didn't hide anything. He reported exactly when it was required.

    Jesse, I'm so glad you know so much about Rick and I love how you pass judgment, accusing him of "misleading" the voters. How typical.

    Gee, I wonder what Kate would've done without large unions who take advantage of, and exploit the political process, by using union dues to fund campaigns and lies about political measures, including 64. (You want to talk about misleading the voters? How about the unions trying to connect Sizemore to 65?) Oh, yeah. That's different. Right. Double standard is always easy when you're the one making up the standards, isn't it?

    If you honestly think enough Oregonians know anything about Loren Parks, your head is in the sand. Sure, those of us who follow politics on a regular basis know of him, but the average voter doesn't.

    To try and correlate Park's contribution to Rick, and the outcome of the election if it was known before, is a stretch - by a long mile.

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    About Loren Parks, Jason says: Has he done anything unethical? NO!

    From WW, 2002:

    On Nov. 23, 2001, Guerin, 56, filed a complaint against Parks with the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries. Her complaint, which forms the basis of last week's lawsuit, claims the 75-year-old Aloha inventor pressured her into having sex with him while accompanying him on overseas trips and sent her and other employees frequent emails bearing graphic sexual images, statements and jokes. ... The lawsuit says that Parks and Guerin first had sex during a June 1999 cruise in the Baltic Sea, where Guerin "submitted to Parks' sexual advances out of fear for her safety and her job." ... Guerin claims that after she stopped sleeping with Parks in the winter of 2000, he retaliated by severely scrutinizing her work and "encouraging...coworkers to fabricate customer complaints" about her.

    Care to amend your comment, Jason?

  • Zachary Vishanoff (unverified)
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    Your postings make me sick. You give democrats a even worse name than they already have.

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    Kari, since you have repeated the seven-year old charge, perhaps you can enlighten us as to how that particular lawsuit between Parks and his employee was ultimately resolved.

  • Anonymous (unverified)
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    Parks being unlicensed isn't the smear - it's that he's a "creepy sex hypnotist". This is a dark underbelly of this party - smearing people personally rather than address their points. Read the title: "Dancing with the Sex Hypnotist." Like that's wrong. Listen to Marc Wiener at City Club getting laughs by talking about Parks as a creepy sex hypnotist. It's personal attacks. This is the best we can do? It's demeaning to legitimate sex therapists and demeaning to this web site and this movement.

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    No, what's demeaning to legitimate sex therapists is Loren Parks.

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    Kari, since you have repeated the seven-year old charge, perhaps you can enlighten us as to how that particular lawsuit between Parks and his employee was ultimately resolved.

    I don't have any idea, Jack. Is there some information on the internet about that? Because I can't find it.

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    No, I don't believe there is. Which is my point. Charges get made--and repeated years later--without anyone knowing what, if anything, was ever proven.

    It's sort of like those who keep saying that Bill Clinton was impeached, without mentioning that he was not convicted by the Senate.

  • Dave Muckey (unverified)
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    It would seem that the courts haven't been very friendly to Mr. Parks: http://wweek.com/editorial/3224/7461

  • George Seldes (unverified)
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    How about we just require reporting before the spending? No funds can be spent from campaign coffers until those funds have been reported.

    And if the spending occurred on the basis of borrowed money, then it must be reported the instant it is received (within the hour). If the campaign is awake and taking in money, it can report electronically. If the money comes in in cash or checks, then someone must be awake and gathering it, so why not require reporting within an hour?

  • Mike (unverified)
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    For the record, I think Parks is bizarre....but neither Oregon nor Nevada requires any licensure for hypnotherapy, sexual or otherwise....just sayin'.

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