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Checkbook Democracy? Loren Parks Contributes Nearly 3/4ths of Total Cash to 2008 Initiatives

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Publication Date: September 2007

Publisher(s): Democracy Reform Oregon

Author(s): Janice Thompson

Topic: Politics (Campaigns, lobbying, and pressure groups)

Type: News release

Coverage: Oregon


Loren Parks has contributed almost $1.1 million to ten initiatives filed by conservative activists Russell Walker, Bill Sizemore, and Kevin Mannix, exceeding his past record domination of signature gathering fundraising. In 2002, Parks gave over $300,000 to three initiative campaigns, and has a history of giving frequently to conservative candidates and measures in Oregon.

Parks is giving even more money to a broader range of initiatives aimed for the 2008 ballot. His contributions of $1,086,000 are 73 percent, or almost one out of every four dollars, given thus far for signature gathering efforts. Parks, who now lives in Nevada, is the owner of an Oregon-based medical equipment company. "Ballot measure politics are typically dominated by big donors," said Janice Thompson, executive director of Democracy Reform Oregon. "But this level of giving by Loren Parks to signature gathering efforts is so high that the populist originators of the initiative process are probably rolling over in their graves."