June 21st, 2012 | Corey Pein News | Posted In: City Hall, PDX Votes, Politics

UPDATED: Hales Pledges To Cap Campaign Contributions

murmurs.charlie_hales.narCharlie Hales

Portland mayoral candidate Charlie Hales today announced he would limit donations to his campaign, and challenged his rival, state Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland), to do the same.

"From now on," Hales said in a campaign press release, "this campaign will only accept contributions up to $600 and all from within the state of Oregon. And I call on Jefferson Smith to join me."

The limits are somewhat arbitrary, but it's become increasingly clear that raising too much money can be counterproductive when it comes to winning over Portland voters. Smith announced limits on his own spending in the primary election that ended May 15, and earlier asked Hales to agree to a different set of limits.

Hales' announcement continues:
"I am making this commitment because as I speak to Portlanders they tell me they are concerned about the role of very large contributions from individuals and businesses and out of state money trying to influence our local elections. They also want their mayoral candidates to spend as much time as possible talking to as many Portlanders as possible about our visions of the future and how we will actually make it happen. They are right, and this pledge will help on both counts."
Hales ' move trumps Smith, who has been advocating for campaign limits in the race and tells WW he thought he and Hales were close to a joint agreement they could announce together.

“This was an interesting move for them to do this,” Smith tells WW. “I thought we had agreed to it, and that it was a matter of finalizing. But I’m glad Charlie has agreed we need to do something. I hope we can return to a stronger arrangement.”

Smith says he was hoping they could agree to an overall expenditure limit of $250,000, and work out the details on limiting individual contributions.

WW intern Katy Sword contributed reporting to this story.

 
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