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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanks Archivists and Librarians! Candidate Expenditure Records Uncovered

Thanks to wonderful archivists/librarians Austin Schulz at the Oregon State Archives and Alice LaViolette and Dave Hegeman at the Oregon State Library I've been able to find campaign expenditures for Esther Lovejoy's primary and general election run for U.S. Congress in 1920.

The 1908 Oregon Corrupt Practices Act mandated that all candidates report campaign expenditures to the Secretary of State, who would then make them public, and limited the amounts they could spend (what great ideas . . . ). But where were these reports? They were not published separately until the 1960s. Some of the big ledgers remain safely in the Oregon State Archives but thanks to these dedicated history detectives we now know that all of the figures are published in the Biennial Report of the Secretary of State of Oregon for pertinent years, available at the Oregon State Library and the Oregon State Archives and at other repository libraries in the state.

In the May 21, 1920 primary Lovejoy and her supporters (including former Governor Oswald West who contributed $50) outspent her opponent Sylvia Thompson by almost three to one: $1134 to $385.
And here is the campaign expenditure list for the third district seat from the general election on November 2, 1920 (90 years ago today):

Both the 1920 primary and general election data come from the Biennial Report of the Secretary of State of the State of Oregon 1921.

In the general election Lovejoy's Republican opponent C.N.McArthur raised $1380 to the Lovejoy coalition's $3609 and F.T. Johns's $168. More in subsequent posts about the outcome of this race.

While I was in the candy store I gathered more treasures. Some I'll share in an upcoming post. But I can't resist posting this one today from the Biennial Report of the Secretary of State of the State of Oregon, 1913 for the campaign expenses for supporters and opponents of the woman suffrage measure in 1912:

Some things to consider on this election day. Thanks Alice, Dave and Austin for preserving and retrieving the treasures.