The Oregon healthcare industry is putting the weight of sizeable political donations behind Democrat John Kitzhaber
August 4, 2010 -- In the race for Oregon governor, healthcare organizations and the industry’s top executives have contributed nearly five times more to Democrat John Kitzhaber than his Republican opponent, Chris Dudley, with one noticeable exception.
Mark Ganz, president of The Regence Group, gave $10,500 to Dudley. Ganz also donated $500 to Kitzhaber’s campaign, according to the latest campaign finance reports
filed with the Secretary of State’s office.
The Oregon Health Care Association
, which represents nursing homes and assisted living facilities, gave a whopping $50,000 to each campaign, accounting for Kitzhaber’s largest contribution and Dudley’s third largest.
Kitzhaber, a former emergency room physician, accepted at least $450,000 from healthcare organizations or individuals who earn their income from the healthcare industry, while Dudley accepted at least $100,000 from this group, according to an analysis by The Lund Report.
All told, Dudley has raised nearly $1 million more than Kitzhaber. Dudley accepted $2.74 million to Kitzhaber’s $1.77 million at the end of July, although Dudley only reported slightly more cash on hand – around $300,000 – than his opponent. The fundraising advantage has allowed Dudley to post more advertising spots earlier than Kitzhaber, who came out with his first television ad last week
With unions still largely out of the fundraising picture, it’s the healthcare industry that has accounted for Kitzhaber’s top four donors. Along with the Oregon Health Care Association, Dentists of Oregon PAC gave $30,000 and Doctors for Healthy Communities and Douglas County Physicians PAC each gave him $25,000.
The list of individual healthcare donors to the Kitzhaber campaign covers every aspect of the statewide system including top executives at insurance companies, hospitals and state agencies.
Notable healthcare executives who personally gave to Kitzhaber include Dr. Bruce Goldberg, director of the Department of Human Services and acting director of the Oregon Health Authority; Jack Friedman, CEO of Providence Health Plans; Russ Danielson, former CEO of Providence Health and Services; Andrew McCulloch, president of Kaiser Permanente NW and Andy Davidson, CEO of the Association of Oregon Hospitals and Health Systems.
“(John) is one of the foremost thinkers in the nation on healthcare and has been actively contributing to this field for many years,” said Larry Mullins, president of Samaritan Health Services, who also gave a personal contribution to Kitzhaber’s campaign. “He has demonstrated the ability to build consensus and achieve significant outcomes. During this critical period of healthcare reform, I believe he’ll serve our state well.”
In 2006, Kitzhaber created the Archimedes Movement
to push for national healthcare reform, which allowed him to ingratiate himself into Oregon’s healthcare industry.
A separate analysis by The Oregonian
found that Dudley earned a “quarter of his donations…from people who can be identified as chief executives, corporate presidents, board chairmen or business owners.”
The paper also calculated that Dudley received $320,000 from the financial industry, and that most of his contributions are fueled by anger over the passage of tax measures 66 and 67.
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