SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- In the final days of last week's election campaign, conservative Nevada millionaire Loren Parks found a new Oregon politician to favor with his fortune: Lane County's Rick Dancer.
A political action committee almost exclusively bankrolled by Parks paid for $185,672 in TV advertising for Dancer's secretary of state campaign, according to campaign finance filings.
Parks, a longtime Oregonian before moving to Nevada, contributed $200,000 on Oct. 28 to the Conservative Majority Project PAC, according to the Oregon Elections Division Web site.
The next day, the PAC made an in-kind contribution to Dancer's campaign of $185,672 in TV advertising production.
All told, the Conservative Majority PAC raised about $400,000 this year, almost all of it from Parks, who is generous toward political causes he favors.
He's the biggest political donor in Oregon history, with $11 million handed out to date, according to the nonpartisan group Democracy Reform Oregon.
In 2008, Parks contributed $2.23 million to Oregon campaigns of which $259,000, went to candidates such as Dancer through the Conservative Majority Project PAC.
Most of Parks' other donations paid for conservative ballot-measure campaigns, including signature gathering and advertising costs.
The November ballot contained seven measures heavily funded by Parks, all sponsored by either Bill Sizemore or Kevin Mannix. All failed.
Among this year's general-election candidates backed by Parks, Dancer a former anchor on Eugene TV station KEZI, was by far the biggest beneficiary.
Only two other candidates received money from Parks through the Conservative Majority Project: state House candidates Matt Lindland ($48,500) and Matt Wingard ($25,000).
Lindland lost his race in a Mount Hood area district. Wingard won the Wilsonville-Sherwood seat to which he was appointed this year. Both are Republicans.
Dancer, also a Republican, said he didn't ask for Parks money but was glad to get it because it allowed him to boost his TV ads in the campaign's final days.
"I never met him. I didn't talk to him. I just had Rob Kremer, who runs that PAC, call me up and say, 'We're going to put $185,000 or something to keep your commercials on the rest of the time,' " Dancer recalled.
He said Kremer, a Portland Republican activist, told him the PAC was getting its money from Parks.
"I said, 'Well, that's the money we need, so let's go and get it.' "
There were no promises made, Dancer said. He said the ads were crafted by himself and his campaign advisers without influence from Parks or Kremer.
His advertising included messages on voting by illegal immigrants, commingling of political funds and protecting ballot secrecy issues, hot-button concerns for conservative activists.
Parks rarely talks to the media and Kremer said Parks gave no direction on where he wanted the money to go.
Kremer said the PAC thought the donation would help Dancer win, but he lost the secretary of state race to Democrat Kate Brown. Dancer got 46 percent of the vote in a bad year for Republicans.
Dancer raised about $737,000 for his campaign. Aside from Parks, another big supporter was the wood products industry, which donated about $250,000.
(Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.)