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Auditor's office is not enforcing the limit on self-financed campaigns because U.S. Supreme Court has rejected limits on candidate spending.

COURTESY OPB - Mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone at the City Auditors Office.Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone's campaign has asked a court to make the city auditor enforce a strict cap on the money candidates can lend themselves to fund their election efforts.

The order, filed Tuesday, Oct. 6, by attorney Alan Kessler on behalf of Iannarone's political committee, her campaign treasurer James Ofsink, and campaign finance reform advocate Seth Woolley, comes less than a week after Mayor Ted Wheeler loaned his own campaign $150,000.

Voters overwhelmingly approved strict campaign finance limits in 2018, including a $5,000 cap on how much candidates can loan themselves. After a series of court challenges, the city auditor announced in May she would begin enforcing most of the campaign finance changes — except for the limits on self-funding.

The city has taken the position that the self-funding portion of the charter conflicts with U.S. Supreme Court precedent and would not hold up in court.

Plaintiffs are taking legal action against City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero, alleging that she violated the city charter and circumvented the will of Portlanders by not finding Wheeler in violation of city rules. The order was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their full story can be found here.


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