Ashland bootmaker Bill Shanor is one of more than 800 people in Jackson and Josephine counties who have contributed to Barack Obama’s campaign. - Bob Pennell

Campaign finances come home

Every time Bill Shanor fashions one of his fancy cowboy boots out of crocodile or frog skin, he dreams he'll be making the next pair for Barack Obama.

With all the political mud slinging going on recently, the 63-year-old Ashland bootmaker said he can craft them tough enough to wade through whatever the Illinois senator comes across and still look snappy at a rally.

"I'll make a couple of lace shoes that'll knock 'em dead," he said. As to Obama's Democratic rival, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, he said, "I wouldn't make her a pair of sandals."

Shanor is one of more than 800 people who have helped Obama raise three times more money than Clinton in Jackson and Josephine counties. Shanor made donations totaling $175 through March 31.

The finance data, released by the Federal Election Commission last week, covers contributions through March 31.

In the two Southern Oregon counties, Obama raised $99,345 compared to Clinton's $31,980, which she raised from fewer than 200 contributors. In Oregon, Obama has pulled in $1,560,932 compared to Clinton's $540,257.

Shanor just lost his grandson, 12-year-old K.J. McKinster of Gresham, in a go-kart crash this month. He said, "The only thing that will get me out of what I'm going through is an Obama win."

Obama has netted more than all Republican presidential contenders combined in the state. In Jackson and Josephine counties, all Republican presidential candidates received $73,199.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona trails behind the two Democrats, raising $13,311 in the two counties from fewer than 100 contributions and $276,152 in the state. Statewide, the presumed Republican presidential nominee also lags behind donations to Mitt Romney and John Edwards, who have both dropped out of the race.

"McCain is not the charismatic, energizing character as some of these other candidates," said Bryan Platt, chairman of the Jackson County Republican Central Committee.

He doesn't expect the momentum for McCain to build until after the Democrats have nominated their candidate.

Platt said it will then become more apparent to Republicans just how liberal McCain's rival will be.

"It's going to take time for the Republicans to realize what the consequences are in this election," he said.

While McCain hasn't been receiving as many contributions as Obama or Clinton, he's also not spending as much money, which will help in the general election, said Platt.

"Hopefully, he's just squirreling it away," he said.

Nick Shapiro, spokesman for the Obama campaign, said his candidate has not only successfully raised the most money so far, but hasn't taken a dime from special interests, unlike his opponent.

Based on the last time he looked at the data, Shapiro said Obama received 1.3 million contributions that averaged less than $90.

"Barack Obama is raising great sums of money from regular Americans," he said. "It just shows the growing amount of support for Barack Obama."

Julie Edwards, spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign, said, "We know we've been outspent 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 in the last few states."

Despite raising less money, the Clinton campaign is confident it has the resources it needs to win this election, said Edwards.

She said people from across the state have responded enthusiastically to Clinton, particularly after her recent visit to Oregon.

"This is a campaign about issues," she said. "The most important thing is she's going to focus on Oregon issues."

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476 or

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