By the numbers: Comparing Oregon's secretary of state candidates

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September 29, 2012

By Maresa Strano


SALEM, Oregon: Last week, incumbent secretary of state of Oregon Kate Brown (D) announced that she is placing a $1 million spending cap on her 2012 re-election campaign. Her opponent, Republican and Independent nominee Knute Buehler, who has reportedly raised nearly $1 million and spent about $542,000 so far this election season, stated that he will not be following suit. He went on to suggest that Brown's adoption of a spending limit is a reaction to her own financial concerns. Indeed, she is currently trailing Buehler in fundraising (Brown has raised $575,000 and spent about $264,000 as of September 19th) and recently let go of her campaign finance manager.[1]

Brown responded to Buehler's comments with assurances that her campaign's financial condition is stable-she has already hired a new finance manager-and on the ethical merits of setting a spending limit. "I've raised more than $1 million in the past.... It's not fun and it's also not right... That's why I think it's time for us to do something about it and I'm the one in this race leading by example."[2]

Among the office's myriad duties, the secretary of state administers campaign finance law and maintains all records online. As of 2007, there are no longer "scheduled" reporting deadlines. Committees continuously report campaign finance transactions, which means contributions and expenditures are not calculated and organized periodically into summary reports. In light of this streaming disclosure system, Ballotpedia provides a table displaying the top ten contributors to each candidate's campaign. Below is the campaign donor information for Brown and Buehler, last updated September 29, 2012.[3]

Knute Buehler[4]

Donor Amount
James Young $90,000.00
Phillip H Knight $50,000.00
Patricia Buehler $30,000.00
Karl R Miller $25,000.00
Seneca Jones Timber Company $25,000.00
Howard M Koff $10,000.00
Henry T Swigert $10,000.00
Larry Keith $10,000.00
Murphy $10,000.00
Bizzy B Seven LLC $10,000.00

Kate Brown[5]

Donor Amount
Citizen Action for Political Education $25,000.00
Democratic Association of Secretaries of State $15,000.00
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians $10,000.00
Oregon AFSCME Council 75 $10,000.00
Oregon Education Association-People for Improvement of Education (142) $10,000.00
Local Electricians PAC (4572) $10,000.00
EMILY's List Federal Fund $5,000.00
Plumbers and Steamfitters PAC (221) $5,000.00
Local Electricians PAC (4572) $5,000.00
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund $5,000.00

See also

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