EUGENE (AP) — U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio and Republican challenger Art Robinson are trading some political jabs in the 4th District congressional race in Oregon, accusing each other of dishonest campaigning.
DeFazio, a Democrat seeking his 13th term, and Robinson were in Eugene on Friday, where The Register-Guard reports that DeFazio accused Robinson of taking extreme positions such as abolishing public schools and not taxing oil companies.
DeFazio called Robinson "dangerous" and an "ultra right wing libertarian," saying he is using Robinson's own writings and comments to question his views.
Robinson responded that DeFazio was misrepresenting his statements, and some are out of date.
Robinson, a Cave Junction scientist and author of home-schooling materials, said he has made "unguarded statements" in the past. But he said a claim leveled by a DeFazio TV commercial that Robinson does not believe in taxing oil companies and their executives was untrue.
DeFazio, however, cited an excerpt from a Robinson article in his monthly newsletter titled "Access to Energy" that said "all local, state and federal taxes should be waived for all persons employed in the energy industries."
Robinson countered that a DeFazio TV ad that claims Robinson is "bankrolled by special corporate interests" is false.
As of Thursday, Robinson said he had received a little more than $1 million in campaign contributions, virtually all of it from more than 4,000 individual donors, with no corporate or oil industry contributions.
But The Oregonian newspaper in Portland reported Saturday on its website that wealthy hedge fund manager Robert Mercer is the mysterious donor who's been paying for $300,000 worth of attack ads aimed at DeFazio.
The Oregonian said new federal disclosure reports show the money for the political action committee running the ads, Concerned Taxpayers of America, comes from Mercer, who heads Renaissance Technologies of Setauket, N.Y., along with Peter Brown.
The attack ads, which also praise Robinson, have been attracting national attention for weeks because Concerned Taxpayers of America refused to say where they got their funding.