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Meet the guy working tirelessly to install far-right candidates on local school boards
And he is singularly focused on using Oregon Right to Life cash & connections to influence Salem-Keizer school board campaigns
SKP looked recently at campaign finance records for the May 2023 Salem-Keizer School Board election and found that progressive candidates had built a grassroots effort. While the far-right slate of candidates were heavily reliant on dark money from PACs and special interest groups.
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We also saw the same political consulting company popping up over & over again. And not just in this 2023 campaign cycle, but for the last several years.
We found that Intisar Strategies is the go-to political chop-shop for the most extreme candidates in Oregon. Pick the worst elected officials you can think of in recent years…
Bill Post - Intisar did more than $15k in business with Post in his various races. And Intisar Strategies eventually HIRED Post during the 2022 gubernatorial cycle, where he helped absolutely tank the campaign of Stan Pulliam. Post is perhaps best known for being an asshole. But he is also known for quitting on his constituents when he was in the Oregon House of Representatives after he moved out of state and pretended like he could still serve out his term.
Kari Zohner - In her 2021 candidacy for Salem-Keizer School Board, Zohner’s campaign collapsed in a racist heap. But not after she spent nearly $50k with Intisar Strategies.
Kim Thatcher - Current Oregon State Senator and unmitigated conspiracy theorist of the dumbest order, Thatcher is a proponent of the “Big Lie” and feeds religiously at the Oregon Right to Life trough. She has spent more than $15k with Intisar Strategies.
Linda Farrington - Failed Salem-Keizer School Board candidate and leader of christofascist “parents” group SK We Stand Together, Farrington has helped organize book bans and demonstrations that target marginalized communities in Salem-Keizer. In her failed 2021 candidacy, Farrington spent nearly $30k with Intisar Strategies (and was reprimanded for being racist!).
Mike Slagle - Also a failed school board candidate in Salem-Keizer. Slagle is best known more recently for taking pictures of children at a school board meeting, and then filing a complaint (and multiple appeals) with the district claiming he had been targeted. Slagle has spent around $33k with Intisar Strategies.
Stan Pulliam - Mayor of Sandy, Oregon, whose GOP primary campaign for governor accidentally revealed that he was secretly leading a swinger lifestyle with his wife (leader of Oregon Moms Union, Mackenzie Pulliam) and then mounted a “War on Woke” during which he wandered into Portland and hid behind a bus after using aggressive rhetoric to provoke local folks. Swingin’ Stan spent nearly $270k with Intisar Strategies.
We could keep going. Just one terrible douche-bag after another. Even though Intisar Strategies is a relatively small and young organization, they do book a decent amount of business.
So…who is Intisar?
Basically one guy. David Kilada.
Kilada’s path to building Intisar Strategies is a familiar one for young-ish Oregon Republicans.
Some type of political internship in college.
Some political campaign work.
Get a gig at a local right-wing political communications/media shop
Get a job with Oregon Right to Life.
Transition into either the public or private sector. Kilada obviously chose private.
It’s really not more complicated than that. There are others that have followed very similar paths.
Kilada, however, is thought to have set a new tone during his time with Oregon Right to Life.
Based on some of his writing during his tenure with Oregon Right to Life, Kilada seemed clearly committed to focusing the political power of the group on school boards. You might say he was obsessed with the idea.
In fact, Kilada’s successor at Oregon Right to Life carried forward the organization’s focus on infiltrating school boards with far-right, pro-life candidates. Reagan Knopp, son and Chief of Staff to his dad, State Senator Tim Knopp, followed Kilada’s footsteps pretty directly when it came his time to lead the extremist group.
During his time at Oregon Right to Life, Kilada penned a number of blog posts with an intense focus on school boards and children in public schools. Eventually, Kilada dropped any pretense and wrote what amounted to a desperate “Help Wanted” ad for pro-life school board candidates in which he grossly distorted the role of reproductive health services available to students.
And even though his tenure at Oregon Right to Life is over, Kilada continues to use his connections to influence Salem-Keizer School board races THIS YEAR.
How else is abortion-obssessed Kilada trying to influence public schools in Salem-Keizer?
For starters, the current crop of far-right candidates - Chandragiri, Troutt & Hudson - is using him as a consultant. They’ve spent around $25k with Intisar Strategies this election cycle.
But shady political groups are also funneling money to Kilada and his anti-abortion crusade aimed at children. Dark money Marion+Polk First PAC has dumped huge amounts of money to support the same slate of far-right candidates. Nearly $50k has been spent by this far-right group with Intisar Strategies, so far.
And don’t forget about Oregon Right to Life! Kilada’s former comrades have kicked around $30k his way to help influence school board elections in the Salem-Keizer area. They also appear to be paying for campaign workers to go through our community and spread disinformation - something they’ve done in the past.
You can see all the people, campaigns, and political entities that have spent money with Intisar here. Data from Oregon’s campaign finance system - ORESTAR.
So…a guy with a demonstrated fixation on indoctrinating school children with anti-abortion messaging by aiming the Oregon Right to Life firehose of cash on the Salem-Keizer School Board race is trying desperately to spread disinformation to sway an election towards his extremist views on reproductive health & women’s rights.
Probably not a great influence on public education, right?
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