The decision of the Portland City Auditor that mayoral candidate Sho Dozono is eligible to receive public funds has been appealed by two rival candidates for Portland Mayor.
From the Oregonian:
A judge will decide by next week if Sho Dozono can use more than $160,000 in public funds to run for mayor of Portland.
On Monday, mayoral candidates Beryl McNair and Craig Gier filed requests for a hearing with the city auditor's office, challenging a decision to give Dozono public financing for the May 20 primary election. City elections officer Andrew Carlstrom certified Dozono on March 5 to get $161,171 in public funds. Dozono's campaign manager, Amie Abbott, said the campaign should receive the funds by March 19.
An Oregon administrative law judge will hold a hearing in Tualatin, perhaps on Thursday. City code says that judge could uphold Carlstrom's decision or overturn it, forcing Dozono to return any public money he has spent.
The appeal is the latest twist in the ongoing controversy surrounding Dozono's reporting of a poll of Portland voters:
Lobbyist Len Bergstein, who is advising Dozono, paid a California firm more than $27,000 for that poll, which he hoped would encourage Dozono to enter the race. Portland's rules on publicly financed elections say a candidate can take no more than $12,000 in in-kind contributions -- donations of goods and services -- before being disqualified for the public money.
Gier said he thinks Dozono was definitely a candidate in December, when he saw the poll. And he said it was inappropriate for Dozono to offer to pay for the poll, as he did before Carlstrom ruled that Bergstein must pay.
Gier is not seeking public campaign financing, which he called "a waste of public money." He said he is running to bring more openness and fiscal responsibility to City Hall, adding that he also opposes Adams and his efforts to pass a transportation tax without a vote. Gier filed for mayor in October, lives in Southeast Portland and works at Brooklyn Hardware.
McNair said she also thinks Dozono improperly violated the $12,000 in-kind limit. She started running for mayor in August, lives in North Portland and works as a patient services assistant with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The decision of the administrative law judge could be appealed to a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge.
Dozono's reaction to the appeal:
Dozono issued a statement Monday saying he is not worried about the hearing and referred to Adams' campaign manager, Jennifer Yocum [sic], although Adams did not file a hearings request.
"I am not surprised by the appeal and recognize that opponents have a right to an appeals process," Dozono wrote. ". . . My focus is on the issues facing the city and not on diversions my opponents might try to create."
[Editor's note: It's "Yocom", not "Yocum".]
Read the rest. Discuss.