The piece from May 26 on the potential repeat congressional race between Rep. Peter DeFazio vs Alek Skarlatos in 2022 says, “the two candidates are a study in contrasts.” They also have a remarkable similarity - neither seem in tune with reality.

Skarlatos apparently had “no comment” when asked who won the 2020 presidential race. At least he thought better than to say it out loud, which cannot be said of DeFazio, who claimed “Skarlatos and the super PACs that supported him outspent him two to one in 2020 and still didn’t win” and that “funding isn’t everything.”

It only takes a moment to google “opensecrets Oregon district 4” to see that DeFazio outspent Skarlatos both in campaign spending and in outside spending, the main difference being made by a whopping $2 million from a “hybrid PAC/super PAC” spent on negative TV ads against Skarlatos. Over ninety percent of elections for the House since 2000 have gone to the campaign spending the most money, so while “funding isn’t everything” it sure makes a big difference, as DeFazio’s 2020 win confirms.

While DeFazio presents himself as a grassroots kind of politician who is being attacked by big money interests, FEC receipts prove otherwise. DeFazio only received one third as much from small individual donations as Skarlatos but almost 20 times more in PAC donations including from Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Cargill. If you are unfamiliar with Cargill, just google “worst company in the world.” You may be surprised to learn that while “Skarlatos said timber issues remain his top priority,” it was actually DeFazio who had money pouring in from timber behemoth, Weyerhaeuser.

Yes, there certainly are contrasts between the two candidates and the two parties. One proudly professes how they suck while the other does their best to hide it.

Colin Moran

Eugene

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

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(8) comments

dejadoodoo

Regardless to obvious contrasts between the two candidates and the two parties, two truths stands out: 1) Peter DeFazio is currently in office; Alek Skarlatos is not, and 2) Biden won both the U.S. popular vote and the Electoral College vote last November 3rd; Don Trump did not.

NJ

Colin Moran has a penchant against DeFazio as noted in your opinion piece to the Register Guard last September -- https://www.registerguard.com/story/opinion/letters/2020/09/26/dont-pacified/3512239001/ -- and chooses Cargill, Inc. as proof of how awful he is based on the worst company in the world giving him and/or his campaign a donation.

OpenSecrets.org, who provides information on campaign finance and gets stellar standing with Charity Navigator - https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=7703 - shows that Cargill, Inc. did not donate to DeFazio's campaign in the 2020 election. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see 14 pages of those Cargill, Inc. donated to - DeFazio is not among them: https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/cargill-inc/recipients?id=D000000511

Could be Cargill, Inc. is giving funds to dark money groups “which are outside groups that don’t reveal all the sources of their funds.“ according to the Brennen Law Center. Are you assuming DeFazio has some deep knowledge of all those who donate to dark money groups who won't reveal where they get their money? You seem intent on blaming DeFazio for campaigning not done by his campaign or his knowledge.

When I look into your accusations, I find you to be dishonest, who must feel the people of Douglas County are too stupid to ferret out the truth of your deception. I also question the true intent of your opinion piece. Is your attempt to damage a candidate your singular effort or are you part of larger, more organized group of those bent on doing whatever it takes to elect your supported candidate by spreading damaging lies about a candidate you do not support? Come clean about your intent or shut up. You are just one of the problems with political campaigning and elections.

I suggest people do go to opensecrets.org and peruse all their statistics: https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2020&id=OR04

Colin Moran

DeFazio is among that list of 14 pages of recipients of Cargill $$ and you don't have to scroll through 14 pages to find it. Just type in DeFazio into the filter search to see that he took $2,000. You can verify through his own receipts on fec.gov. If you need help with that, let me know. Now, is there any other accusation of mine that you challenge? I am opposed to MY representatives blatantly lying to MY community. It my letter bothers you, maybe you should take it up with DeFazio.

NJ

Colin, I don't need to take anything up with DeFazio, just you. First though, I do stand corrected on the $2,000 donation listed from Cargill, Inc. as it's reported and found at Opensecrets.org. Thank you for leading me to what I missed, it helped that you led me to it.

As they are required to report and done so by OpenSecrets, it is indicated Cargill, Inc. donated $2,000, found under the Organization column, which includes a tidbit of information which reads: “From the Organization Column: Contributions from a PAC affiliated with the organization, or made directly by the organization only when giving to outside groups”.

As the League of Women Voters defines them, A Type A PAC, “...solicit a limited amount of voluntary contributions from individuals. A PAC may be managed by a corporation, a union or by a group of individuals... it can give as much as $10,000 in a two-year election cycle directly to a candidate, and may engage in “independent expenditures” such as funding TV ads.”

A Type B PAC, Super PAC “... is a particular kind of “independent expenditure only” PAC – ... it cannot give directly to, or coordinate with, a candidate or party. ...required by law to file reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that disclose their contributions and their expenditures.”

From the Post General Election 2020 - Original FEC database, there are 29 PACs or Super PACs with the specific final donation of $2,000, none with an indication they were formed or managed by Cargill, Inc., the company has no listing in the database. However, there is an untold number of PACs that may be affiliated with Cargill, Inc. or receive donation from them that have reported. Raytheon is not listed either, Lockheed-Martin is.

You're alluding to defame DeFazio by trying to make people think he's directly taking money from the worst company in the country when it just simply isn't true. Cargill, Inc. is not affiliated with him, his campaign, or his Party, he would know nothing of what Cargill, Inc. does. If you feel he should, perhaps you should take it up with him. Theirs is a Super PAC donation used for any number of things including advertising whether it's in support of a candidate or against the opposing candidate.

Don't persist with the “DeFazio is not a grassroots politician” assertion when he has no control over what the Super PACs do. He was the incumbent candidate who has been in his elected position for 34 years. In that period of time, yes, he will garner support from many individuals and PACs who want him to remain in Congress. It certainly doesn't mean he's in bed with Cargill, Inc. By the way, he has been attacked by big money interest: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2010/10/defazio_battles_opponent_at_ho.html

I don't blame you for not answering my question whether you just need to try and defame DeFazio solo or are working as part of an organized group. Who would admit that.

Colin Moran

Letters from organizations are signed as such. My letter is from me. Correcting the lies of a politician isn't defaming. Question for you since you have been looking at opensecrets: is the quote from DeFazio that I referenced a lie?

Grassroots politicians get most of their campaign funding from small individual donations. DeFazio only gets about 20% of his campaign funding from small individual donations. He gets more money from "business PACs than from small individual donations.

The Cargill corporate PAC donated directly to DeFazio's campaign, just like I said in the letter: "PAC donations including from Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Cargill."

https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/?data_type=processed&committee_id=C00215905&contributor_name=C00067884&two_year_transaction_period=2020&line_number=F3-11C

NJ

Colin, the NR platform was not kind to you, nor is the FEC with their awe inspiring link length. I commend you in your practiced ability in getting the information you put forward. But Cargill is still a PAC, a company PAC, which takes contributions from members, some in support of him, some not. This PAC donated to 803 individuals among them both Dem and Repub candidates. The company has no direct connection to any of these candidates, their campaigns or the Party.

Had you put this forth 30 years ago, it might actually mean something, but then 30 years ago he started out as a grassroots candidate. His individual donors now donate through - you know the answer to that.

This is a conversation I would love to have been able to have in person with you as words on the screen don't allow for complete, thorough points being made for either of us. Ultimately, you're bent on trying to make him look bad in some way, I see no reason for you to even try. There's no doubt that either of us will post anything to change the other's mind. Neither one of us possess enough insight into the other's position. Plainly, I don't have any appreciation in your method of calling him a liar and it's no secret this is a method you feel will help... what? who? The only thing left to say is we can both count on our First Amendment rights to continue.

Colin Moran

Try copy/pasting my prior comment into another format. That worked for me.

Corporate PAC donations have quickly become unpopular for obvious reasons with large numbers of candidates taking pledges to not take corporate PAC money. If corporate PACs are okay with you, then that is your opinion - but that doesn't change the fact that DeFazio is lying. On his website he said, "93% of donations to my 2016 campaign came from individuals donating $100 or less. That's what I call powered by the people!" In the middle of last cycle he said, "Grassroots donors are the heart and soul of our campaign. We are powered by the people, for the people. I'm proud to say that over 93% of my individual contributions have come from people donating amounts of $250 or less. Now that's people-powered." Opensecrets shows that in 2016 and 2020 he ended up with 20% of his contributions coming from small individual donations <$200. That's called lying. It's also lying to say your opponent and his super PACs outspent you 2 to 1 when in reality DeFazio and his super PACs outspent Skarlatos.

Since you seem so confused about why someone might write a LTE sharing these facts to counter the dishonesty of their elected official, I'll refer you to your own take on me before you realized everything I said checks out (or maybe you haven't realized that yet?): "I find you to be dishonest, who must feel the people of Douglas County are too stupid to ferret out the truth of your deception."

I'm not your representative nor am I the one lying to you or thinking constituents are too stupid to look any of this up. DeFazio is. Does that help you understand?

Colin Moran

Here is another example. Just a couple days ago klcc reported that DeFazio said, “Some super-PAC bought a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of ads attacking me…” and “DeFazio said the majority PAC in the House responded with its own ad talking about the congressman’s role in…”

That House Majority PAC is the very same “hybrid PAC/SuperPAC” from my letter which tilted the spending towards DeFazio in an otherwise close spending race. The super-PAC buying ads attacking DeFazio must be the Congressional Leadership Fund.

According to DeFazio, a Republican super PAC “attacked him” with ads opposing DeFazio and a Democratic hybrid PAC/superPAC “responded” with ads supporting DeFazio, which he says talked about DeFazio. Let’s see what FEC receipts show:

The “Date of Public Distribution/Dissemination” for the 1st Republican super PAC expenditure for an ad was 10/3/20 and the sum of all the anti-DeFazio ad expenditures from this super PAC amount to $273,000.

The “Date of Public Distribution/Dissemination” for the 1st Democratic “hybrid PAC/superPAC” expenditure was 10/2/20 and the sum of all the anti-Skarlatos ads from this PAC/superPAC was over $2 million, with $1.7 million being tv ads.

There was zero spending by the Democratic PAC/superPAC on ads supporting DeFazio - they were all oppositional ads against Skarlatos. The FEC receipts report what candidate is mentioned and whether in opposition or support.

So do DeFazio’s comments in the klcc piece accurately depict what the FEC receipts show? No! That’s not my fault for fact-checking him, it’s his fault for bringing up campaign funding in very dishonest ways, over and over and over.

If you want to fact-check me and want any help digging up any of these receipts, let me know.

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