By News-Register staff • 

New PAC funding school board campaigns

Town and Country PAC was formed at the beginning of March with directors Kathleen Sitton of Carlton, Tom Hammer of Salem and Forrest Peterson of McMinnville. The nature of the committee is “Financial support for candidates and measures in Yamhill County,” according to its statement of organization.

The PAC spent $4,218 with Bridgeview Press, a Cave Junction business that makes campaign signs, in early April. The transaction is filed with the state as three in-kind contributions of $1,416 each for candidates Anita Humlie, running for Position 4 against incumbent Larry Vollmer; Audrey Aase, running for Position 5 against incumbent Gerardo Partida; and Shellie Reyes, running for Position 7, an open seat, against Doris Towery.

Town and Country lists Jessica Miller of Independence as its treasurer, who also is serving as treasurer for the candidate committees of Humlie, Aase and Reyes.

Sitton and Peterson each gave $1,000 to the PAC, while Hammer, secretary of the Yamhill County Republican Party, has contributed $4,000. The YCRP also gave $2,500 to the PAC, and Craig Pubols of McMinnville donated $1,500.

The PAC also spent $1,500 on April 12 to ECMO Mail Print for a mailer sent to local residences that states McMinnville School District science assessment scores dropped from 70.7% proficiency in 2015 to 37.3% in 2022. In 2018, the state science assessments were changed to the Next Generation Science Standards, a more rigorous set of testing that pairs with the state’s Smarter Balanced tests for English language arts and math. McMinnville students’ science proficiency scores have been above the state average every year between 2015 and 2022; there were no scores reported for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years due to the pandemic.

The mailer directs voters to “vote for a change on May 16” and includes photos of and the campaign websites for Humlie, Aase and Reyes. There currently are no in-kind contributions listed on ORESTAR by any of the three candidates for the campaign piece.

Towery, whose candidate committee was transferred from her 2022 run for county commissioner, has received $3,360 in contributions and spent $1,050 this year, according to the latest filings on ORESTAR, the state’s campaign finance website. Her largest contributors are Steven Rupp ($1,000), Patricia O’Leary ($1,000) and Russell Mark ($500).

Both Lu Ann Anderson and Todd Hyder, running for Position 6, created a candidate committee and listed themselves as treasurer, but neither has filed any campaign finance activity.

State law says a candidate is not required to form a candidate committee if they serve as their own treasurer, do not have an existing committee and do not expect to receive or spend more than $750 over a calendar year.

Partida also has a committee filed without any finance transaction listed, and Vollmer does not have a candidate committee filed.

Committees must file all transactions with ORESTAR if they expect to receive or spend more than $3,500 in a calendar year. Otherwise, a candidate can file a Certificate of Limited Contributions and Expenditures, and maintain its own records of contributions and expenditures. Campaign transactions completed after the 42nd day before the election must be filed within seven days of the transaction.

Aside from the in-kind contribution from Town and Country, Humlie has received $360 in miscellaneous cash contributions and $68.10 in miscellaneous expenditures.

Aase contributed $300 to her campaign along with a $500 loan, and received small donations from John Cramer ($140), Jennifer Malo ($110) and Greg Susmilch ($150). In total, she’s received $1,160 in cash contributions and lists $141.80 in expenditures on her finance filings.

Reyes received $1,000 from Yvonne Davis and $335 in miscellaneous expenditures, and has spent $129 in miscellaneous expenditures.

[Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed a $952.50 contribution from Paul Horton to Doris Towery's campaign. The amount was a cash expense made by Towery's committee.]



In other words: "The flyer is complete B.S."

Rich B

If you look up transaction ID# 4565977 on Orestar (the state website for campaign contribution information), you'll see that on 4/25/23 the Taxpayers Association of Oregon PAC had a cash expenditure to EMCO (which creates and mails campaign fliers) in support of 33 candidates, including Aase, Reyes, Humlie, Hyder, and also Dave Brown, Rachel Peregino de Brito, Sue Osborne and Shelley Kolb. This PAC also funded mailers in 2020 (see transaction #3665049) for Heidi Parker and B Ruiz, among others. -Val B


Rich B-
Can you please cite or link to where Hyder is one of the 33? I believe he was totally self funded and took zero outside contributions for his campaign.

Undo Influence

I'd like to know if Hyder was funded by the same group as Reyes, Aase, Humlie and Brown.


Rusty and Undo:
I personally checked the public filing cited by Rich, and printed off a copy. It does, indeed, show an EMCO expenditure of $559.73 on 4/25 on behalf of 33 candidates, including Todd Hyder.
This represents an independent expenditure on behalf of a candidate. It does not represent, nor can it legally, of a contribution directly to a candidate or group of candidates. Nor does it represent an expenditure made with candidate involvement, or even, necessarily consent or knowledge.
I think it's fair to infer the church and party coalition backing the Humlie/Reyes/Aase slate favor Hyder over Anderson because it regards him as the more traditional and conservative of the two.
I think it's also fair to see Hyder as a traditional, independent, service-oriented and education-minded candidate who is in no way up for replicating the Newberg takeover disaster. My assessment is that he's drawing favor from the dissidents because he's in the only race in which they weren't able to field a coalition candidate of their own.


This is the same group or people that landed Berschauer on the County Commission. Don't say you weren't warned.


It's good to see some conservative push back on the progressive takeover that has already occurred in this city and school district.


So just so we're clear, that's:

$4,000 from Tom Hammer, who does not live in McMinnville School District.

$1,000 from Kathleen Sitton, who does not live in McMinnville School District.

$2,500 from Yamhill County Republican Party, money that clearly came from a large $10,000 donation from George Packing Company (aka Larry George, former Republican State Senator, whose wife is Kathy George, former Yamhill County Commissioner, whose daughter Christy Cooke just got appointed to County Parks Board along with Bershauer's husband and largest donor) -- the Georges do not live in McMinnville. The Georges also donated another $5,000 to YCRP on April 14th through a different business, CAN Enterprises.

Donors in McMinnville only put in $2,500, or 25% of the funding being used to try to take over the school board:
Craig Pubols $1,500
Forrest Peterson $1,000


Yes Megan, we’re clear.


I know for a fact that Todd Hyder has not received any money from anyone besides himself. He is 100 percent self funded


As I tried to make clear, the PAC expenditure was made independently on Hyder's behalf. It was not made to him or to his campaign, and he would not necessarily have had any knowledge of it. I'm suspecting he did not.


I just don't think there are enough giant signs on disappointed. Time to use football field paint right on the crops so folks glancing down from airplanes can see it.


Another MAGA group that wants to ruin MAC schools so they can tell the town what our students can read, how to dress and what can and can't be said. Of the persons forming the group 2 dont live in MAC and 1 doesnt even live in Yamhill county.


Hyder may not have taken money but it was spent on his behalf - by extremists - the same folks who support Berschauer. He formed a committee and didn't report expenses. There are tons of Hyder signs. Who paid for all of those? According to his own Orestar, it wasn't him.


Just another group of MAGA people trying to hide their affiliation so people would vote for them not knowing better. Remember this PAC and the george family please. you know they will be back and trying to hide their affiliations again.

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