Cash Connection: Insiders say lobbyist’s political vendetta could decide Telfer-Knopp race
The story would be interesting enough if Telfer’s run-in with lobbyist Mark Nelson had simply cost her his financial support, and it most certainly has—he’s thrown his weight behind Tim Knopp, Telfer’s challenger and helped funnel stacks of cash into his coffers.
But more than that, the support of Mark Nelson—a man who reps big tobacco, Anheuser Busch and Koch Industries, and is the de facto head of a pro-business lobbying group called the Oregon Committee—is seen by a number of lobbyists, legislators and Telfer herself as a “king-maker” whose political backing will give Knopp the oomph he needs to bust into Salem, change the GOP leadership and remake the Republican party at the state level into a no holds barred anti-tax, pro business consortium.
“They've decided to get rid of me and put Tim Knopp in there so he can take over the caucus,” said Telfer.
With just days before the ballots are counted, it looks like a very real possibility. Knopp has raised $150,000 to Telfer’s $50,000, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s online record of campaign contributions and expenditures, and Knopp says there’s more rolling in between now and election day.
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May 10, 2012
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