City Elections Office Finds Mayor Ted Wheeler’s Re-Election Campaign in Violation of Disclosure Rules

Wheeler's campaign website and social media do not tell voters who his largest donors are as city rules require.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler speaks at a rally to denounce violence on Aug. 14, 2019. (Motoya Nakamura / Multnomah County)

The city Elections Office today notified Mayor Ted Wheeler's campaign that it is in violation of campaign disclosure rules that went into effect last year.

The findings come in response to a complaint filed on March 20 by Ron Buel, a founder of WW and now an advocate for campaign finance reform.

"After an investigation, I have identified three violations of City campaign regulations," wrote City Elections Officer Deborah Scroggin in a letter to Wheeler today. "I am issuing this letter of warning and education, pending compliance with the required contribution disclosures discussed on page 3 within ten (10) business days or May 5, 2020. Failure to fully comply by May 5, 2020 may result in civil fines of up to $3,000 for each violation."

In her letter, Scroggin detailed the violations of new city disclosure laws that went into effect Sept. 1, 2019 and require candidates to identify their five largest contributors on campaign communications. Scroggin determined that Wheeler's campaign has failed to make such identifications on his campaign website; his campaign Facebook page; and, on his campaign Twitter account.

Wheeler's campaign manager, Amy Rathfelder, said the campaign will comply with Scroggin's directive.

"We are grateful for the clarifications of these new rules, and will make the needed changes before the City's deadline," Rathfelder said in a statement.

"The City acknowledged that these new rules are complex, and clarity was delayed because of COVID-19 disruptions. We appreciate the work of the Elections Office and will update our website and social media accounts accordingly."

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