Advocates are pressing a crop of political candidates to abide by local campaign finance limits, which were passed by voters last year but quickly faced legal challenges.
On Thursday, members of Honest Elections, a local group pushing for campaign finance reform, filed a complaint with the Portland City Auditor. The filings accuse three candidates for upcoming local elections — including Mayor Ted Wheeler — of violating the ballot measure approved overwhelmingly by voters last November, which capped individual donations at $500.
Those limits were struck down in June. A judge found they violated a two-decade-old decision by the Oregon Supreme Court, which ruled political contributions were a form of free speech.
The Oregon Supreme Court is currently considering whether to overturn the landmark ruling. Most reason whether or not Portland's finance limits go into effect hinges on the outcome.
But not Honest Elections.
In Thursday's complaint, advocates with the group argue the measure is in effect right now — and the mayor, who they say has taken 11 contributions of over $500, is in violation of it. So, they allege, is mayoral candidate Ozzie Gonzalez, who they say has taken four donations greater than $500, as well as city council candidate Jack Kerfoot, who has allegedly contributed $106,000 to his own campaign.
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