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gender & sexuality | human & civil rights oregon elections 2004

Republicans Allegedly Offer $50,000 in Apparently Illegal Attempt to "Buy" an Election

The Oregon Republican Party is alleged to have offered as much as $50,000 to the Constitution Party of Oregon to not run candidates in the 2002 general election.

This action came to light recently when anti-OCA activists found a fund-raising letter from the Constitution Party of Oregon, dated June 28, 2002, that made mention of it. According to the Elections Division, this type of offer is called "undue influence," and it's against the law to offer money to influence the outcome of an election.

The right-wing Constitution Party would obviously "steal" votes only from conservatives, not liberals, so it would of course be to the advantage of the Republicans if the Constitution Party did not run candidates.

The statute of limitations is two years, so at this point it would be no longer possible to press charges in this matter. But let this apparently illegal offer be known! The letter says as follows:

"Politics-as-usual met its match this month. We were approached by an emissary of the Pachyderm Party and offered as much as $50,000 to not run candidates in this year's election. This offer was made on at least two different occasions. We were quite simply offended that such a low price was offered! We want a much higher offer. If that party had offered to use all of its substantial resources to ? eliminate the un-Constitutional federal income tax [etc.] ? then we might have folded up our tent and gone home - but then again, maybe not. In any case, no such offer was made. We are not Republicans and we are not 'For Sale.' Pray that we never will be."

The letter then lists the Constitution Party 2002 candidates, including Lon Mabon for United States Senator ("Think of it.... the Senate was once full of men like him") and Jeremy Bowen for Oregon Representative District 48. (Bowen's Committee for Constitutional Courts, an OCA front group, was slapped by the Elections Division in 2002 for illegally using campaign funds to pay for the anti-gay Lon Mabon's personal legal expenses while he was in jail for contempt of court.) The letter is signed by Bob Ekstrom, chairman of the Constitution Party of Oregon and also its candidate for Oregon Representative District 31.

Although the Constitution Party, in our opinion, is way out there on the right-wing lunatic fringe, we can have more respect for them than for the "Pachyderm Party"?if this allegation is indeed true that the Republicans attempted to illegally buy an election for $50,000.

homepage: homepage: http://www.oregondogma.org/