Big Money in Clackamas (again)
Last night, we learned that Clackamas County’s controversial light rail ballot measure (3-401) passed. This measure has, in effect, prohibited county commissioners from doing the job that they have been elected to do – to make decisions on behalf of the community they represent.
Opponents rightly identified the measure as an attempt to limit government’s ability to do its job. Eleanor Hunter told the Oregonian, “"The measure is unconstitutional because it's an administrative rather than a legislative measure... I feel the county commissioners deserve our full support to be able to do their full job." (And with those questions of constitutionality may come legal challenges.)
Now, would it surprise you to learn that most of the campaign’s funds came from well-known conservative backer (and completely batty multi-millionaire) Loren Parks and the Oregon Transformation Project PAC.
Parks donated $15,000 to the campaign in March and then again – by terribly, misleading way of the Oregon Family Farm Association – in August. (See if you can catch how he’s tried to distance his connection.) Oregon Transformation Project, directed by GOP leader Allen Alley and Rep. Dennis Richardson, contributed over $10,000 throughout the campaign.
These are the same big funders that have been written about at length, in their quest to take over Clackamas County as a base camp for their conservative political strategy. So while they may claim that they are “giving voice to voters,” it appears as though they are actually working to cripple current government to pave way for their attempted takeover. That takeover began with recruiting wacky, Tea Party replacements John Ludlow and Tootie Smith, gained traction when the duo provided them with buckets of money, and now they’ve handed the candidates a “victory” to run on.
Unfortunately, they’re not simply running candidates and issues and hoping that most voters agree with them; instead, they are throwing big money to support dangerous ideas that, as the Oregonian reports, have “effects that will resonate for decades.”