County Commissioners’ statement on Campaign Finance Ruling

March 7, 2018

Last April,  the Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted an ordinance to implement the Campaign Finance charter amendment approved by voters in 2016. We believe big money in politics creates a power imbalance and has a corrosive effect on our democracy.  But we also realize that campaign contribution limits and other reforms have been repeatedly challenged for violating free speech rights.

As a Board, we asked the County Attorney to defend the voter-approved campaign finance reforms while seeking a ruling from the Courts on the constitutionality of these provisions. We also deferred implementing the campaign provisions at the County until the Court ruled.

On March 6, the Court delivered its ruling, upholding some requirements such as registration and payroll deductions, and striking down others as violations of free speech. We continue to strive to represent the will of the voters within the limits of the law. As a Board, we’ll be sitting down with the County Attorney to evaluate the Court’s decision and consider next steps.  

A copy of the opinion is here: Circuit Court finding on Legality of Campaign Finance and Disclosure (3.12 MB)

Chair Deborah Kafoury

Vice Chair, District 4 Commissioner Lori Stegmann

District 3 Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson

District 1 Commissioner Sharon Meieran

Multnomah County Commissioners' Statement on Campaign Finance Ruling (523.14 KB)