The FuturePac, House Builders is a political action committee established for the purpose of electing Democrats to the Oregon House of Representatives. It is controlled by two Democratic House members, Dave Hunt, who is Speaker of the Oregon House, and Peter Buckley. Rep. Hunt and Rep. Buckley both joined PERS after they were elected to the Oregon legislature and they have a vested interest in PERS. Any changes to PERS that would reduced benefits would have a direct, negative affect on them. Naturally, they will do everything they can to see that such changes are not made.
Democratic Rep. Judy Stiegler is running for reelection to the Oregon House and, to date, has received $219,650 in contributions to her reelection campaign. Like Rep. Hunt and Rep. Buckley, Judy Stiegler joined PERS after she was elected to the legislature. In fact, that was one of the very first things she did after assuming office in January, 2009. During the 2009 – 1010 legislative sessions, Judy was a very loyal PERS legislator. She never saw a PERS bill that she didn’t vote for.
Rep. Stiegler’s PERS loyalty has resulted in substantial financial support from FuturePac during 2010. It has contributed over $91,850 to Judy’s campaign, 42% of all of her contributions, and is by far her largest financial supporter. Most of the FuturePac contributions received by Rep. Stiegler have been in-kind contributions where FuturePac pays expenses for Judy’s campaign, rather than giving money to her. That way, it can control exactly how its money is used. In Judy’s case, the in-kind contributions have primarily been used to pay for political advertizing, such as the fliers that have recently inundated Bend mail boxes.
Those fliers have relentlessly attacked Judy’s primary opponent in this election, Republican Jason Conger. Frequently, the fliers have contained false information about Mr. Conger and his political views. The Bend Bulletin editorial on October 20, 2010 described one of the attacks against Mr. Conger as a desperate lie. As I pointed out in my post of October 20, however, candidates for the Oregon legislature can lie all they want to and it will not result in disqualifying them from office, if they are elected.
Jason Conger has promised that if he is elected to the House, he will not join PERS. That is a direct threat to Rep. Hunt, Rep. Buckley, Rep. Stiegler and all who support keeping PERS as Oregon’s highest financial priority. They will do anything, they will say anything and they will spend every cent they can get their hands on to preserve the super priority that has been given to PERS funding. That priority requires PERS to be funded before anything else is paid for. It is a priority which they created and maintained and from which they expect to benefit handsomely at the expense of all Oregonians.