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.