Wheeler challenges Hales to sign lobbying restriction pledge
Calling it the first major announcement of his campaign for Portland major, Ted Wheeler has challenged incumbent Charlie Hales to promise his campaign consultants and paid staff members will not lobby him on city business if he is reelected.
Wheeler said on Monday that he has signed such a prohibition if he is elected mayor next year.
Portland residents need confidence that City Hall is making decisions based on the interests of the public, not those who can buy the best access. Too often in recent years and too frequently after an issue is decided, do we learn that powerful interests were guiding that decision behind closed doors, said Wheeler.
Wheeler has signed what he calls the Working for the People of Portland Pledge, and called upon Hales to sign it, too.
"I, Ted Wheeler, do hereby pledge that as Mayor of Portland I will only work for the people of Portland. I will not permit any individual who was a paid member of my campaign or my mayoral staff to lobby me or my office on behalf of a private entity. This prohibition will extend through my full four-year term in office," reads the pledge.
Wheeler's campaign manager Jake Weigler says the pledge was signed in response to news stories about an unannounced Dec. 13, 2014, meeting Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick had with a lobbyist for Uber at the home of political consultant Mark Wiener. Wiener subsequently was hired by Uber, which is operating in Portland under a pilot project approved by the City Council after the meeting.
Hales paid Wiener's company, Winning Mark, over $70,000 during his first campaign for mayor.
The Portland City Auditor has sent Hales and Novick letters saying the meeting should have been listed on their public calendars. Hales and Novick have agreed and promised to list all such meetings on their calendars in the future.
Hales and his campaign staff did not immediately reply to a request for comment.