Loren Parks

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Loren Parks (born in 1926) is a businessman from the U.S. state of Nevada. He previously lived in Oregon (from 1957–2002),[1] and is the biggest political contributor in the history of that state.[2] He has financed numerous ballot measure initiative petitions and campaigns since the mid-1990s. He has also contributed heavily to races for prominent offices by his attorney, and frequent chief petitioner of ballot campaigns, Kevin Mannix.

Early life[edit]

Parks was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1926.[2] He served in the military from 1944–1946.[2] He has a BA in psychology,[3] having studied at five different universities. He speaks several languages.[2]

Parks later started a business while living in Aloha, Oregon. He founded Parks Medical Electronics in 1961. The business sells a number of instruments, including a plethysmograph, which measures the blood flow to sexual organs and is used in treating sexual dysfunction and assessing the arousal of sex offenders.[2]

Influential in Oregon politics[edit]

From 1996 to 2006, Parks contributed over $6 million to various political campaigns – far more than any other individual, and more than most organized lobbies.[2] His entry into backing political concerns followed the passage of Ballot Measure 5 in 1990.[2] His support was instrumental in launching Oregon Taxpayers United, according to executive director Bill Sizemore.[2]

Parks' dominance of the ballot measure system has been said to undermine the grassroots intent of the system.[4]

In 2001, a former employee filed a sexual harassment complaint and lawsuit against Parks.[5]

Parks moved from Oregon to Henderson, Nevada in 2002.[2]

Parks made contributions to uphold the Oregon Death with Dignity Act in 1997.[2]

Parks has been a strong supporter of former state legislator and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix. Mannix has served as Parks' attorney.[5] Parks' staff once said: "Mr. Parks thinks Kevin is one of the few leaders who keeps his word and gets things done."[2]

Parks has not indiscriminately backed Mannix's proposed measures. In 2008, for instance, he declined to fund a proposed initiative that would have allowed for expanded local regulation of strip clubs. As a result, Mannix stopped pursuing ballot qualification.[6]

In 2008, Parks was the source of over half the money used to qualify ballot measures for the statewide ballot.[7] None of the measures he supported in that year was successful.[8]

Parks is also a major contributor to charitable organizations, including health care and environmental concerns.[2]

Parks is not religious, but is a believer in faith healing.[2]

In March 2014, Parks gave a $30,000 donation to Greg Barreto (R) of Cove, OR towards his campaign for Oregon State Assembly.[9] That donation was returned in April.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Loren Parks responds". The Oregonian. October 13, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Smith, Carlton (April 19, 2006). "The Man Behind Mannix: Reclusive Republican moneyman Loren Parks finally talks.". Willamette Week. 
  3. ^ "Loren Parks Oregon’s $13 Million Man" (PDF). Common Cause Oregon. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Cain, Brad (December 13, 2008). "Ore. ballot measure system under scrutiny". Associated Press (OregonLive.com). 
  5. ^ a b Budnick, Nick (May 15, 2002). "Dirty old [money] man: GOP bankroller Loren Parks hit with sexual-harassment charges.". Willamette Week. 
  6. ^ Law, Steve (January 15, 2008). "Mannix drops strip-club regulation initiative". Portland Tribune. 
  7. ^ Lehman, Chris (July 7, 2008). "Signature Gathering Fueled By Handful of Donors". Oregon Public Broadcasting. 
  8. ^ Budnick, Nick (November 6, 2008). "Voters slap down Sizemore, Mannix ballot measures: Legislative version of tough-on-crime measure and double-majority law repeal both are passing". Portland Tribune. 
  9. ^ Katy Nesbitt (March 26th, 2014)(http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/News/Local-News/Barreto-rakes-in-30K-donation

External links[edit]