PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler violated new city election rules by not properly disclosing his top campaign contributors on his reelection website or campaign social media accounts, the City’s Auditor’s Office ruled Tuesday.
City election rules that took effect with this election cycle require candidates to prominently list the largest five donors who’ve given more than $1,000 on campaign communications, said city elections officer Deborah Scoggin. Wheeler announces “Paid for by Friends of Ted Wheeler” on his campaign website, but the top contributors weren’t identified there or on his reelection Facebook page or Twitter account, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The ruling came in response to a complaint filed in March by Ronald Buel, a member of political action committee Honest Elections Oregon, which has pushed for increased campaign finance rules.
Wheeler’s campaign website was updated to list the top five contributors by Tuesday evening.
Wheeler had until May 5 to list the contributors, appeal or risk being fined up to $9,000 for the three violations, Scoggin said. Wheeler’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
In an April 7 letter to Scroggin in response to Buel’s complaint, Wheeler’s campaign manager Amy Rathfelder said the mayor was in compliance with state elections law and that noting “Paid for by Friends of Ted Wheeler” on all communications to Portland voters should be enough of a funding disclosure.
Buel said Tuesday that he thought it was “ridiculous” that Wheeler’s campaign was allowed until early May to comply.
Scoggin said the extended deadline was “due to the complexity of the newly adopted campaign regulations and the disruption to business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”