Oregon Citizens Alliance, a conservative political group, makes no attempt to conceal that it is fronting a congressional candidate in Oregon to make sure the group's antiabortion television commercials are broadcast this fall.
Rick Livingston, a family counselor, was nominated at a rally last week as an independent candidate challenging Rep. Les AuCoin (D-Ore.), an abortion rights supporter, in Oregon's 1st Congressional District. Livingston said his campaign will center on opposition to abortion. The alliance is sponsoring a ballot measure, Measure 8, that would prohibit abortions except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the woman's life.
Two years ago, the group's ads for a ballot measure limiting homosexual rights were rejected by local television stations. Federal law requires stations to accept advertising from candidates for federal office -- hence, Livingston's candidacy.
"I am being used, exploited even," Livingston told The Oregonian. "But I'm glad to. I want to get the pro-life movement the exposure it deserves."
The alliance expects to raise several hundred thousand dollars to promote Measure 8 but the commercials will be officially sponsored by Livingston's campaign committee. The group plans to air a four-minute tape that shows the development of a fetus.
Rachel Gorlin, press secretary for AuCoin, who also is being challenged by Republican Earl Molander, said, "It is one of the strangest situations a candidate can imagine."