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.