NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a ballot title and explanatory statement for a Multnomah County Initiative Petition have been filed with the Multnomah County Director of Elections.  The initiative petition complies with constitutional requirements. Any registered voter dissatisfied with the ballot title or explanatory statement may file a petition with the Multnomah County Circuit Court for review on or before 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 15, 2015.  Any person filing a challenge must also file a copy of the challenge with the Director of Elections, 1040 SE Morrison St., Portland, by the end of the next business day after the petition is filed with the Circuit Court.

Ballot Title

Caption: Amends County Charter: Limits Campaign Contributions, Expenditures; Advertisements Identify Funders.

Question: -Should County Charter be amended to limit campaign contributions and expenditures and require that campaign advertisements identify major funders? 

Summary: Restricts contributions and expenditures to support or oppose candidates for public office in Multnomah County elections: Bans Entities from contributing to candidates, political committees, political parties or making Independent Expenditures. Limits: contributions and Independent Expenditures by individuals and Political Committees; candidate self-funding of campaigns; prohibits loans by candidate.  Requires: group, association, Entity seeking to influence candidate election to register as Political Committee and requires name of Political Committee to clearly identify economic, other interests of major donors.  Allows formation of "Small Donor Committees" which may contribute all amounts received from individuals of $50 or less per year. Requires that each communication to voters disclose its funders, including the top five Dominant Contributors or spenders and their businesses.  Prohibits public officials of Multnomah County from voting on official government actions that would provide a benefit over $2,000 to the public official, members of their household or relatives, dominant contributors to their campaign, businesses owned, controlled by the above persons.  Administered, Enforced by County Auditor.  Provides   penalties if violated.  Allows for adjustments, Severability if Constitutional Challenge successful.

Explanatory Statement

Measure would amend Multnomah County Charter to impose limitations on Campaign Contributions and Expenditures to support or oppose Candidates in Multnomah County Elections for each general or primary Election Period as follows: 

Ban Entities, defined as corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, proprietorships or other legal entities, from making contributions to candidates, Political Committees, and Political Parties.

Limit contributions to any Candidate Committee or Political Committee to $200.00 per Individual, $500.00 per Political Committee, $2000.00 per Political Party. 

Allow formation of “Small Donor Committees” for purpose of influencing outcome of Multnomah County Candidate Elections, which may accept Contributions from Individuals only and contributions are limited to maximum $50.00 per Individual per year.  “Small Donor Committee” may contribute any amounts to Candidate Committees, Political Committees, and Political Parties.

Limit Expenditures by Candidate Committee, Political Committee, Political Party or Small Donor Committee to support or oppose Candidate in a Multnomah County Candidate Election to funds collected in accordance with these Contribution limits. 

Defines “Coordinated Expenditure” to be consistent with state law as one that is made with the cooperation or prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of a Candidate, Political Committee or agent of a Political Committee.  A “Coordinated Expenditure” shall constitute both a contribution to the relevant coordinated Entity, and expenditure by the relevant coordinated Entity.

Defines “Independent Expenditure” as Expenditure to influence the outcome of a Candidate election that is not made by the Candidate’s committee and that is not a Coordinated Expenditure. Requires any Group, Association or Entity that makes an Independent Expenditure seeking to influence a candidate election to register as a Political Committee. Limits Independent Expenditures in any Election Period to support or oppose a Candidate in a Multnomah County Candidate Election as follows: An Individual in any calendar year an aggregate of not more than $10,000; A Political Committee in any calendar year an aggregate of not more than $10,000; prohibits any individual under 14 years of age from making any Independent Expenditure.

Limits Candidate Personal Contributions to the Candidate’s own committee during any election period to $10,000 plus 50% of (A) Contributions received by another Candidate for the same public office in the same contest from Dominant Contributors (more than $500 in an election period); plus (B) Independent Expenditures benefitting the other Candidate by Dominant Independent Spenders.  Requires Candidate to report contributions to the Candidate’s own committee and prohibits a Candidate from making a loan to their own campaign.

Requires timely disclosure of contributions and expenditures. Prohibits public officials of Multnomah County from voting on official government actions that would provide a benefit over $2,000 to the public official, members of their household, relatives, dominant campaign contributors, businesses owned, controlled by these persons.

Provides for Administration and Enforcement by Multnomah County Auditor, and for civil actions against alleged violators.  Civil penalties imposed are payable to Multnomah County.

Includes Severability Clause to preserve operation of constitutionally valid elements of Measure should any portion  be judicially determined to be unconstitutional.