WE WEREN’T the only Oregonians who had no idea which way May’s gubernatorial primary vote might swing. Our excuse: an early print deadline. But we suspect that certain campaign donors were simply hedging their bets. A few high-profile wafflers in particular caught our eye.
For the Republicans, Tim Phillips, a wealth manager and specialist in behavioral economics, led the pack, putting $5,000 down on both front-runners, Chris Dudley and Allen Alley. In the Dems’ camp, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians put $10,000 on Bill Bradbury, but lobbed $5,000 to John Kitzhaber. Ecotrust founder Spencer Beebe also leaned toward Bradbury, giving him $1,200 while gifting only $500 to Kitzhaber.
Nike, the company, gave $20,000 to Kitzhaber while Nike, the man (Phil Knight), blew two $50,000 kisses to Dudley. Astrologers, take note: the Oregon Health Care Association (the senior care trade association) gave $50,000 to Dudley on April 8 and $50,000 to Kitzhaber on April 9.
One bunch that didn’t waffle? Dudley’s former co-workers. Ex-Blazers Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter, plus NBA league commissioner David Stern, backed Dudley, but for only $8,500 combined. Renowned sports agent Dan Fegan, on the other hand, busted a piggy bank for a $100,000 gift. Of course, given that he reps many vertically gifted, skill-challenged current NBA players, maybe it was out of habit.