Who’s Funding County Commissioner Candidates?

showmethemoney-Jerry-Maguire“Show me the money!” was a line made famous in a film about sports agents, but it also applies to local political races. In this case, incumbent Clackamas County Commissioners Jim Bernard and Paul Savas are gathering a lot more money than their challengers in the May primary.

As expected, Savas’ opponent, Karen Bowerman, picked up a cute little $5,000 check from Andrew Miller, the same guy — a sawmill/timberland owner who lives in Portland — who bankrolled Commissioners John Ludlow and Tootie Smith into office in 2012.

Other than philosophical wackos like Miller, who else cares enough to donate thousands of dollars to county commission candidates? Answer: real estate developers and wannabe developers like the Maletis Brothers, who own Langdon Farms golf course in Wilsonville and want to turn it into a truck-based industrial park and make a ton of money. (A notion with 95 percent opposition from their neighboring property owners.)

Certain folks born into money, like Hank Swigert, grandson of the founder of ESCO Corp., are also involved, writing $250 checks to righties Bowerman and Steve Bates of Damascus, the gent running against Bernard.

Lots of interesting tidbits in this report from the big city newspaper.