Oregon Politicians Have a History of Using Campaign Funds to Pay Personal Bills

State lawmakers were poised to write them a blank check for that shell game.

Last week, state lawmakers pulled House Bill 2351 just before a floor vote, after campaign finance expert Dan Meek argued the bill would allow candidates to convert campaign funds to personal use with only a 10 percent penalty. Even without that incentive, Oregon's notoriously lax campaign laws have provided plenty of opportunities for mischief. Here are five of the most glaring examples.


Rep. Dan Doyle (R-Salem) pleads guilty to 11 felonies relating to the conversion of $150,000 of campaign funds to personal use.


Commissioner Dan Gardner uses nearly $7,000 in campaign funds to build a home office. Elections officials OK the expenditure.


Portland City Council candidate Emilie Boyles is ordered to repay $145,000 in public campaign funds after paying her 16-year-old daughter $15,000 for marketing advice, among other improper expenses.


Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) pays $3,092 in fines to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission for 11 counts of using campaign funds to pay for car insurance for her personal vehicle.


Rep. Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) uses campaign funds to pay 159 tabs at two Salem bars ($8,000), rent a room in his home for a campaign office ($4,800), and stay 58 nights at a Salem hotel ($7,400). Elections officials OK the expenses.

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