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Smith accuses Hardesty of lying about the size of her contributions as City Council as Nov. 6 election approaches.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTOS - Loretta Smith (left) and Jo Ann Hardesty.With a little more than two weeks to go before the Nov. 6 general election, the City Council candidates are sparring over campaign contributions.

On Saturday, Loretta Smith's campaign accused Jo Ann Hardesty of lying about the size of her contributions. In a press release, the Smith campaign said Hardesty has repeatedly claimed her largest contribution was $5,000 from her former mother-in-law.

But in fact, the campaign said, Hardesty has received three $10,000 contributions and two other $5,000 contributions.

"In multiple forums, including today's at Maranatha Church hosted by the Albina Ministerial Alliance, and on KGW's Straight Talk, Hardesty claims to have only received a single $5,000 check from her ex-mother in-law," reads the Oct. 20 release."She will tell outright lies to gain favor, even to a room of pastors and preachers in a church basement."

Hardesty's campaign says she has only claimed her largest "individual" contribution was $5,000 from Mary Hardesty, however. The three $10,000 contributions and one of the other $5,000 contributions are from union political action committees.

"Our latest large contributions during these last few weeks of the election hail from SEIU and AFSCME, which both represent thousands of individual members, who collectively work together to make political contributions based on their shared values," Hardesty campaign manager Anna Nguyen said Sunday.

The other $5,000 contribution was from a business, Raimore Construction.

Smith's campaign also said that although Hardesty is a vocal advocate for limiting campaign contributions, she has received over $150,000 this year from contributions of $500 or more.

"This is not about our opponent taking large checks, it's about purposely misleading voters," Smith's campaign manager Mazzara Myers said in the release.

Hardesty said she would not limit her contributions in the council race, however, because she expected Smith to receive large contributions. Smith has reported raising over $555,000 in cash and in-kind contributions so far this year, with several being above $10,000. Hardesty has so far reported raising more than $287,000 in 2018.

"Jo Ann is happy to have a public conversation regarding campaign finance and the history of public financing measures at any time," said Nguyen.

Smith is a Multnomah County Commissioner and Jo Ann Hardesty is an activist and small business owner.


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