Dudley's Largest Donor Fined for Violating Clean Air and Water Standards

Jon Isaacs

Jeff Mapes reported on Tuesday that Stimson Lumber company put another $50,000 into Chris Dudley's campaign, bringing the total donated to $235,000. This easily makes Stimson the largest single contributor to either candidate for Governor in 2010. Since then I have been asked by reporters and other interested parties to speculate why Stimson is bankrolling Dudley's campaign.

We may now have some of the answer. Yesterday, Stimson lumber was fined $14,600 for failing to comply with hazardous air pollution standards, failing to operate an air quality control scrubber properly and discharging wastewater into Scoggins Creek.

It's pretty easy to tell who's side Chris Dudley is on.

There is at least one issue you can get Chris Dudley to be forthright and candid about - his strong desire to dramatically increase logging in Oregon's State and Federal forests. His repeated public statements go further than any candidate we've seen run for Governor in some time.

For example, in August Dudley said "We need a governor who pounds the table to increase the (timber) harvest.” He's made similar statements here, here and here. So the big money from Stimson and other big logging companies makes sense right? Dudley is going to push for cutting down more trees and companies like Stimson will make boat loads more money cutting down those trees. It's a simple business investment right? It's an even better deal that that.

Take a look at what Dudley's policies will do to air and water quality monitoring programs. We all know that Dudley has called for an $800 million tax give-away for the very wealthy with no plan to pay for it. And Dudley's budget proposals will almost certainly lead to the gutting of DEQ, where air and water quality enforcement is already dramatically underfunded.

When you look at the whole picture the $235,000 Stimson has given to Dudley is a great deal. If Dudley becomes Governor they will make millions more cutting down trees, pocket thousands in new tax cuts and have to worry less about being held accountable when they pollute our air and water.

During the past year I've met with about a dozen timber industry leaders - private timber owners, policy experts, lumber company owners, advocates. We've had really great productive discussions about working to find common ground on Oregon's forest management. We've talked about sustainable harvests, forest restoration, bio mass expansion, the potential for bio fuels, valuing carbon sequestration, permanent reserves and more. We know that cooperative, sustainable management, such as the plan brokered by Senator Ron Wyden for Eastern Oregon's forests is the direction we need to go. This is why I find Chris Dudley's rhetoric about logging and his willingness to take downright massive contributions from the hard line timber companies so irresponsible.

John Kitzhaber's plan to create jobs in our forests and his record of bringing parties together to make progress on natural resources is exactly the leadership Oregon needs now.

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      Did or does Kitzhaber have a policy proposal or position that would financially benefit said ship-repair company? (I don't know.) Did or does Kitzhaber have plans for massive tax cuts benefiting wealthy owners of contributing companies while also necessitating spending cuts that could benefit those companies through reduced enforcement? (No, that's Dudley.) Does Kitzhaber prattle on endlessly about how "excessive" regulation is partly to blame for our economic woes (without offering a shred of evidence), thus also pleasing both his ideologically and financially motivated donors? (Nope. Dudley again.)

      Do you seem to jump at any chance to say that anything bad that Dudley does, Kitzhaber also does/did or did something "almost" as bad? Why yes, I think you do!

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        Not a single word above is mine. Just a cut-n-paste from the linked BO article.

        As they say..."those that live in glass houses..."

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          And not a single response to anything I said!

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            What's there to respond to? You answered your own questions. I don't disagree with them.

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              Actually, Michael, Jay said that he didn't know the answer to his first question.

              And his questions get to the point that the comparison with Kitzhaber and Dudley here is not apples-to-apples, it's more like apples-to-quince. They're somewhat similar, but one is much more sour than the other.

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    Just to be clear on the facts, Dudley reports $5,470,980.26 on his most recent financial (disclosure)[https://secure.sos.state.or.us/orestar/publicAccountSummary.do?filerId=13998].

    $235,000 constitutes 4.2% of the total.

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    But of course! Who wouldn't give away $235,000 in the hopes of avoiding a $14,600 fine.

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      Of course Dudley saying openly that he wants more timber harvesting has no bearing on the donation by Stinson lumber, as well as the general push to relax regulations, right?

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    Wait, but Chris Dudley said, "I come into this not beholden to any special interest group." You must be mistaken Jon. Receiving $235,000 doesn't mean anything! /end sarcasm

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    "It's pretty easy to tell who's side Chris Dudley is on."

    Yep. The side of people who make a living cutting trees and working the woods. Democrats used to support loggers and small towns in Oregon, before the DPO decided to throw loggers under the bus and suckle at the teat of the Sierra Club and their ilk.

    But that was way back when... before the Democratic party slid left out from under me, and others who still believe that timber isn't evil.

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      how is keeping the air clean being anti-logger?

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        See above. I shan't defend a statement I never made.

        But I take it you are too young to remember the early 90's when environmentalists comepletely shut down logging and decimated small towns across Oregon with the spotted owl ledgerdemain.

        A species which is still declining since the real threat is another owl species that is more aggressive.

        Meanwhile Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi all now have the logging industry that used to be in the Pacific Northwest. When Democrats decided they were in bed with the extremist environmentalists it meant they own the destruction of good-paying jobs in the northwest.

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          By all means, yes. Let's aspire to destroy our natural environment at an even faster rate than Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. Just what Oregon needs: more regulators turning a blind eye to violations of environmental laws (Don't like em? Change em! But don't complain about environmental groups that sue to get the government and industry to obey them.), more habitat destruction, more greenhouse gas emissions. And when the trees are gone, the jobs will be, too, and all that will be left is a giant environmental mess to clean up, on the taxpayers dime.

          No thanks.

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          Ken, do you remember the town of Valsetz? It was a company logging town in the Coast Range. It was closed in 1984, and it had nothing to do with environmenalists.

          What did Republicans do to prevent the over-harvesting during the 80s that necessitated the limits on logging in the 90s? Not a damn thing.

          What did Republicans do to stop the shipping of raw logs overseas? Not a damn thing.

          What did Republicans do to prevent the loss of timber jobs from mechanization? Not a damn thing.

          Republicans have long talked about "balancing jobs and the environment", but they NEVER talk about balancing jobs and corporate profits.

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      Yeah, because clear-cutting the forests like they'll never run out worked out so well for timber-dependent communities. If the timber companies could strip-mine all of Oregon, what do you think they'll do when the trees are gone--reinvest in the communities? No, they'll move their operations to Asia or anywhere else that will let them, leaving both a human and natural wasteland in their wake.

      Which is exactly what would have already happened if "the Sierra Club and their ilk" hadn't been fighting for the environment for the last 40+ years.

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        Ah, yes. You are a true representation of your party. When someone mentions facts you don't like, throw out hyperbole that takes the other point of view to a ridiculous extreme.

        That may work with the college crowd, but it won't work with me.

        But, with a modicum of digging into the truth, you will discover that what the Sierra Club is really good at is raising money. They spend far more money on raising more money than they do on putative environmental causes. Look it up.

        Or you could just drink more of the Kool-Aid. It is easier, after all.

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          Uh, no:

          Fact: Timber harvest levels of the 1970s and 80s were not sustainable.

          Fact: The timber industry has resisted any and all attempts to lower harvest levels, regardless of the environmental damage.

          Fact: Just like coal and other resource-extraction industries, when the timber's gone, the companies pull out, leaving the communities with no jobs and usually a big environmental mess on their hands.

          Seems like you're the one drinking the Kool-Aid, if you think, "If only if it weren't for that no-good Sierra Club, there would be plenty of logging jobs left in Oregon." Especially considering that what most environmental organizations do these days to fight to get companies and the US Government (especially the Forest Service) to obey the law.

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          No, your previous post didn't mention facts.

          How about the fact that timber employment dropped in the '80s, despite record (and unsustainable) harvest levels. What did Republicans and conservatives do about that?

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    You can believe that these timber companies are planning on getting this clear cut timber from public lands on the cheap. They have paid top dollar for their candidate. Timber prices are low now so they will pay next to nothing to log our forests.

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    I like you, Ken. And I couldn't agree more.

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