City Elections Officer Will Begin Enforcing $500 Contribution Limits, Starting May 4

The change comes after a historic Oregon Supreme Court ruling allowing contribution caps.

Portland's city elections officer today said her office will begin enforcing campaign contribution limits following an Oregon Supreme Court ruling last week.

That ruling brought to an end more than two decades in which Oregon has operated without contribution limits, one of only five states to do so.

In Historic Ruling, Oregon Supreme Court Says Campaign Contribution Limits Are Legal

"Based on recent court decisions, the Auditor's Office will now begin enforcing the campaign contribution limits in city code effective Monday, May 4, 2020," said City Elections Officer Deborah Scroggin a statement late Tuesday afternoon.

The import of Scroggin's decision—to implement the limits that voters approved in 2018—is that Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has regularly accepted contributions in excess of the $500 limits, will have to dial back his fundraising asks.

His leading opponent, Sarah Iannarone, and the front-runners in the other three City Council races on the May 19 ballot are using public funding, so it will not affect them.

Scroggin said the limits will be enforced prospectively, i.e., from May 4 onward, which means Wheeler will not have to cough up the 30 or more contributions in excess of $500 he's already accepted. Here's further background on her decision.

Wheeler has already pledged to follow the new limits.

Alan Kessler, a Portland lawyer who supports Iannarone, yesterday filed an elections complaint against Wheeler for accepting contributions over the $500 limit.

Kessler shared the complaint on Twitter.

That complaint is probably now moot but, as of May 4, so is Wheeler's access to big donors.

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