Here's some fun facts about Danielle Bethell, a Republican who is running against Democrat Ashley Carson Cottingham for a seat on the Marion County Board of Commissioners.
(1) Campaign finance reports show that to date, Bethell has gotten cash contributions of $7,500 from Oregon Right to Life and in-kind contributions of $57,263 from the Women's Leadership Coalition PAC -- which is a thinly-disguised arm of Oregon Right to Life.
(2) So far, in 2020 Friends of Danielle Bethell, her campaign finance organization, has gotten $151,939 in contributions. So the $64,763 Bethell has gotten from the two anti-abortion groups make up 43% of her total contributions.
(3) At a Salem City Club meeting on October 9, Bethell and Cottingham were asked who the top three donors to their campaigns were. Bethell said Freres Lumber, Mountain West Investment, and Mid Valley Association of Realtors.
(4) What Bethell told the City Club audience, which included me, wasn't true.
She failed to mention Oregon Right to Life and the Women's Leadership Coalition PAC, both of which have given her much more than Freres Lumber ($12,500), Mountain West Investment ($5,000), and Mid Valley Association of Realtors ($0, yes, zero, according to the campaign finance reports I reviewed via ORESTAR).
Thus Danielle Bethell failed to inform the City Club audience that she has gotten $64,763 from anti-abortion groups, and so far as I can tell, fabricated a non-existent contribution from the Mid Valley Association of Realtors.
Is this someone who should be on the Marion County Board of Commissioners? In my opinion, absolutely not. Which is why I urge you to vote for Ashley Carson Cottingham. (She correctly said that SEIU and other unions have been her major contributors.)
Daniielle Bethell (lower left) and Ashley Carson Cottingham (top right) at City Club ZOOM meeting
Now, maybe you're thinking that Bethell wasn't aware of the anti-abortion contributions because they came in shortly before the October 9 City Club meeting. Think again.
The three contributions from the Women's Leadership Coalition PAC that totaled $57,263 were received by her campaign on October 3 and October 5. The $5,000 Mountain West Investment contribution was received on October 6.
Yet Bethell mentioned Mountain West Investment, but not the larger $7,500 that Oregon Right to Life contributed to her campaign on July 28 and September 15, nor the Women's Leadership Coalition PAC contribution that is by far the largest donation Bethell has received.
Seemingly a candidate would remember getting $57,263 less than a week before the City Club meeting. So why did Danielle Bethell fail to mention this?
My suspicion is that Bethell realizes that most people in Salem and Keizer favor a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion. In my May 2019 blog post, "Oregon Right to Life behind deceptive Marty Heyen postcard," I shared this chart of how people in this area voted on a Measure that would have prohibited public funding of abortions.
Note that a No vote, in blue, implied support for a woman's right to choose, whereas a Yes vote, in red, implied anti-abortion support. Likely Bethell realizes that her opposition to abortion is out-of-step with a majority of Marion County voters, or at least a very large percentage of Marion County voters.
Don't be fooled if you get a mailer from the Women's Leadership Coalition PAC supporting Danielle Bethell. This is a front group for Oregon Right to Life. The two directors of the PAC work for Oregon Right to Life.
Danielle Bethell is a right-wing Republican who is trying to appear more moderate than she really is. Fortunately, the massive amount of money she's getting from anti-abortion groups is speaking the truth about who Bethell really is.
Vote for Cottingham. A Democrat should be on the Marion County Board of Commissioners to bring balance to the board, which currently is made up of three Republicans.
UPDATE: Wanted to add that at the City Club debate, Danielle Bethell said that she doesn't believe in universal health care, while Ashley Carson Cottingham said that she does. Another reason to vote for Cottingham, since Marion County provides health services to underserved populations.