Loren Parks, the eccentric octogenarian multimillionaire from Nevada, continues to be the main money man behind right-wing causes in Oregon, contributing more than half of the total raised to put initiatives on the state's November ballot.
According to a report by Democracy Reform Oregon, Parks' contributions totaled $839,606 or 52% of the total donated to qualify the eight measures that made it to the ballot. Parks money is behind six measures from Bill Sizemore, Kevin Mannix, and Russ Walker of the conservative organization FreedomWorks. Hire Calling Public Affairs, a Klamath Falls outfit with connections to Richard Wendt, founder and CEO of Jeld-Wen Inc., is the second-biggest donor, giving $175,000 to another Sizemore measure.
Excluding Initiative Proposal 109, a primary election reform measure being backed by former Oregon Secretary of State Phil Kiesling, Parks accounts for an amazing 70% of the total funds raised to qualify initiatives this campaign season.
"Ballot measure politics are often dominated by big donors," said Janice Thompson, executive director of Democracy Reform Oregon. "But are the interests of typical Oregonians represented when one 'mega-donor' like Loren Parks is the major bankroller of issues that will face voters this November?"
Parks, who made his fortune from a medical equipment company in Oregon that, among other things, produces a device to measure penile erections, has a long history of bankrolling right-wing causes and candidates in Oregon. In addition to helping push the ballot measures this year, he also gave $175,000 to Kevin Mannix to help retire the debt from his unsuccessful 2006 gubernatorial bid.
Besides politics, Parks is interested in psychotherapy through hypnosis and has established something called the Psychological Research Foundation. He also has posted a series of 47 videos on YouTube offering the viewer "self-therapy for depression, phobias, anxiety, headaches, allergies, sleep problems, school problems, dyslexia, stage fright, etc."