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June 19, 2009

Dems attack DeFazio challenger

Democrats are turning up the heat on Springfield Mayor Sid Leiken, a top National Republican Congressional Committee recruit who is running against Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)

The Democratic Party of Oregon filed a complaint Thursday requesting state elections officials to investigate whether Leiken improperly transferred $2,000 from his mayoral campaign committee to a real estate company owned by his mother.

In the complaint, Oregon Democratic Party Executive Director Trent Lutz says that earlier this year Leiken made a $2,000 transfer to P&G Marketing Research, but notes that the company isn’t listed with the state Corporations Division.

Lutz also notes that P&G Marketing Research’s P.O. Box is the same as the one listed by Glenda Leiken Realty.

“The part that raises the biggest red flag is that there is a company that supposedly exists, named P&G,” Lutz told the Oregon Register-Guard, “and that it is a polling firm that somehow has a P.O. box that’s the same as his family’s real estate agency.”

Leiken faces an uphill battle in his race against DeFazio, who won election to his southwestern Oregon-based seat in 1986. But George Bush won 49 percent of the vote in the 2000 and 2004 elections, and Republicans say that if DeFazio runs for governor an open seat race would easily be competitive.

-- Alex Isenstadt