Terry Bean, Arrested for Sex Crimes, is One of America’s Top Democratic Fundraisers
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Bean has made a national reputation for himself as fundraiser for the National Democratic Party and as an activist fighting for gay rights.
Despite Bean’s efforts on behalf of national and Oregon Democrats and gay and lesbian campaign, no elected officials would comment on Bean’s arrest or the allegations made against him.
Bean was arrested Wednesday on sexual assault charges relating to an incident with a juvenile male in Lane County, according to the Portland Police Bureau. However, Bean’s lawyer released a statement protesting his innocence.
“This current arrest is connected to the ongoing investigation of the case in which Mr. Bean has fully cooperated," Winemiller said."We look forward to clearing his name."
Bean bundled over $500,000 for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org. He has personally donated $146,186 for federal candidates, parties and PACs since 1990.
The Victory Fund
Bean was also one of the founding board members of The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a political action committee wielding significant power across the country. The group has donated or directed millions of dollars to gay and lesbian candidates, as well as candidates that supported gay and lesbian issues.
This year the Victory Fund plans to back over 200 LGBT candidates for public office.
In the 2008 general election, 80 of the 111 candidates endorsed by The Victory Fund won their races - including Secretary of State Kate Brown and former Mayor of Portland Sam Adams.
Since 2007, Bean personaly has donated over $19,000 to Oregon political campaigns, according to the Oregon Secretary of State website. His gay rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, has added another $30,000 in donations towards state elections.
The Alleged Crime
An investigation began into Bean six months ago, when he was accused of recording himself having sex with several different men on different occasions at his home in the West Hills of Portland.
However, Bean accused former lover Kiah Lawson of extortion, claiming that Lawson demanded money in exchange for the video recordings, according to a June expose in the Willamette Week.
When accusations started to fly last summer, Bean’s close friend, former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts, wrote a letter to the Willamette Week backing Bean’s character and supporting his claim of innocence.
“I have known Terry Bean for 30 years,” Roberts wrote in the letter. “There is no finer or more trustworthy man in Oregon.”
GoLocalPDX reached out to the Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee for a comment. Phone calls were not returned in time for publication.
Local elected officials did not respond to Bean’s arrest either.
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, who received over $4,500 contributions from Bean since 2007, was traveling and could not be reached.
Governor John Kitzhaber received $1,500 from Bean during his last two elections. The governor’s office did not return requests for comment.
The Democratic Party of Oregon received $3,200 from Bean in 2008, but was unreachable.
Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who received $250 from Bean last year, did not return calls for a comment. Both Portland Commissioner Steve Novick and Mayor Charlie Hales, who received $500 and $250 respectively, would not comment.
Bean will go to Lane County to face indictment, but on Wednesday his attorney did not know if he had made bail.
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