May 5th, 2014 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: Multnomah County, Health, Politics, Religion, PDX Votes

Deborah Kafoury Files State Election Complaint Over Being Called Anti-Abortion in Voters Guide

UPDATE: State says it can't do anything about Oregon Family Council mailer.

     
Tags:
lede_4021(kafoury)ALL IN THE FAMILY: “My mother taught me if you don’t care who gets the credit, you can get a lot done,” Deborah Kafoury says. “I’ve taken that to heart.” - IMAGE: Adam Wickham

UPDATE, 3:20 pm: State elections officials have told Deborah Kafoury's campaign they don't have jurisdiction over the law prohibiting publishing false statements about a candidate.

"ORS 260.532 requires an aggrieved party to pursue their claim in court," writes Alicia J. Cox of the elections division. "It is not a statute enforced through our office."

Jillian Schoene, Kafoury's campaign manager, tells WW she's outraged.

"I think it's shocking that our elections office cannot take action against an organization that publishes a lie and mails it to thousands of voters who have ballots in their hands," Schoene says. "This means that more people will be encouraged to do the same, knowing that the only recourse is an expensive legal battle. This demonstrates just how weak our state elections laws are."

ORIGINAL POST, 2:21 pm: Multnomah County Chair candidate Deborah Kafoury really doesn't want the support she's getting from a conservative Christian political committee.

Kafoury filed a complaint today with the Secretary of State's Elections Division, saying the Oregon Family Council violated elections laws by listing her as an anti-abortion candidate in a voters guide.

"With voters having ballots in hand," writes Jillian Schoene, Kafoury's campaign manager, "the intent here is clear: falsely represent Ms. Kafoury's position on key issues that put her in direct conflict with the voters of Multnomah County, thus harming her candidacy for chair."

The Oregonian first reported Sunday that Kafoury objected to how the guide represented her views. The Oregon Family Council said today it made a mistake.

The Oregon Family Council's voters guide is distributed statewide, mostly mailed to homes and churches. It offers a scorecard of candidates' positions on social issues, including abortion, gambling, same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization.

This year's guide, provided by the Kafoury campaign to WW, asks each candidate: "Would you support or oppose a law in Oregon restricting abortion with exceptions only for rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk?"

The guide says Kafoury favors those restrictions on abortion. It says her chief opponent, former City Commissioner Jim Francesconi, supports abortion rights.

The state elections complaint asks that the Oregon Family Council be investigated for publishing false statements about a candidate.

"First, none of the answers listed by Ms. Kafoury's name were provided by her," Schoene writes.

"Second, the two most egregious examples, choice and marriage equality, are two issues for which Ms. Kafoury has been a strong public advocate—which undoubtedly is well known by the Oregon Family Council, given its opposing views."

 
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