Hales Pocketed Big Checks Just Before Limiting Contributions

Back on June 21, mayoral candidate Charlie Hales announced he'd limit contributions for the Nov. 6 general election to $600 and would not take any out of state money. 

Turns out he was grabbing as many big checks as he could—right up until the time he promised he wouldn't.

Currently, candidates are in a 30-day reporting window, which means under elections law they don't have to report contributions for up to a month after receiving them.

So what Hales is reporting this week is his fundraising activity in the days preceding his unilateral announcement. Hales stole some thunder from his opponent, State Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-Portland) who has talked a lot about campaign limits.

Filings show that a month ago Hales was hoovering in hefty contributions—this week he's reported eight checks of $5,000 and a total of $62,000. Nearly all of that money actually came in a month ago. Among the $5,000 donors are Tin House publisher Win McCormack; investor Peter Stott; shipyard owner Frank Foti; and the Greenbrier Companies, makers of barges and railcars.

Earlier this week, Smith who was in California for a series of fundraising events, told WW that before he placed limits on his own activity, he wanted to see how much Hales had raised before self-imposing the $600 limit. 

"Any consideration of additional steps probably will hold until seeing the reporting," Smith said via email.

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