FIRST ON FOX: Oregon Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tina Kotek has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from a group bankrolled by “dark money,” despite railing against “unlimited” and “undisclosed” political donations in a recent social media post, according to campaign finance disclosures reviewed by Fox News Digital.
“It’s time to end the flow of unlimited and undisclosed money in politics,” the former speaker of Oregon’s House of Representatives tweeted last week, pushing what her campaign website has described as her campaign finance reform priorities, which include contribution limits and reducing the “influence of dark money.”
“Dark money,” an increasingly common phrase in campaign platforms, refers to unlimited funds raised to influence elections by organizations not required by law to disclose their donors, and that choose not to do so.
In contrast to her call to end such political financing, Kotek has taken in $590,000 this year from a group called Stand for Children Oregon PAC, a political action committee affiliated with Stand for Children Inc., a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group that the IRS defines as a “social welfare” organization. The group is not required to disclose its donors, and chooses not to do so.
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In its annual financial reports, Stand for Children Inc., which says it advocates for “education equity and racial justice” and encourages people to “vote in support for students, teachers, and high-quality public schools,” selectively lists some of its donors for the purposes of appreciation, however the information is not available on any public database.
Stand for Children Oregon PAC does disclose its donors, which includes the hundreds of thousands of dollars it received from Stand for Children Inc. before, in turn, filling Kotek’s campaign coffers.
In addition to the undisclosed money, Oregon election data show Kotek has received millions in campaign contributions from the Democratic Governors Association, as well as a number of other left-leaning groups. In total, she has raised nearly $10 million since the start of the year.
Fox News Digital reached out to Kotek’s campaign for comment about her criticism of “dark money” while still accepting such contributions, but did not receive a response.
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Fox News Digital also reached out to Kotek’s opponent, Republican gubernatorial nominee Christine Drazan, for comment and received a response from communications director John Burke, who blasted the Democrat as a “hypocrite.”
“Tina Kotek says one thing but does the opposite. If she truly opposed unlimited contributions, she wouldn’t be accepting multimillion dollar donations from national Democrat groups who are desperate to save her struggling campaign,” he said.
“Oregonians deserve a governor who stands by their principles, not a hypocrite who will do whatever’s politically convenient for them,” he added.
Fox News’ Power Rankings has rated Oregon’s gubernatorial race as a “tossup.”
The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8.
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