Dozono Public Funds Ruling Appealed

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.

  • Sam and competitors afraid (unverified)

    It's been in some of the other papers so far that Jennifer Yocum has done background research on the appeal process. Although Adams campaign has not yet filed an appeal, it is clear that they have been ready to do so and armed with information they requested from the Auditor's office.

    Like the Oregonian also said in a recent editorial, Sho Dozono should be in this race and be certified. They brought it up again the the City of Portland voters have spoke, and that voters want to see a good race in which the candidates debate the issues.

    It's just really clear what a strong candidate Sho is, to have such a hullaballoo about his candidacy.

    Most people know what a great ambassador he has been for Portland, even though he hasn't been an elected official. I think Sho Dozono has almost been like an honorary Mayor all these years, helping represent Portland in other major cities in the U.S. and abroad. Sho has been key to helping put Portland on the map.

    Regardless of what happens with this hearings process I hope to see Sho run as a Mayoral candidate anyway.

    Sho didn't run as a public finance candidate because he couldn't raise the money, he did it because he didn't want to be influenced by special interests.

    I'm glad to hear Sho is welcoming the appeals process - it shows his respect for the system.

    Remember everyone, this guy has been running as a public finance candidate since January 7 - over two months now, and he is being pretty cool about all these obstacles that have been put in his way.

    He's showing strength of character and determination, which is exactly what I want to see in the next Mayor of Portland.

  • joel (unverified)

    Dozono is a legitimate candidate with or without public financing. Get used to it. Adams' campaign is nervous. Whether his campaign is behind the latest complaint, we'll probably never know for sure, but if so, it has the mark of someone really scared. I mean, Adams himself turned down public financing; what's he going to do, criticize Dozono if Dozono winds up not using public financing either?

    It all just sounds like an effort to create more "noise" in the media to distract people from the issues.

  • Miles (unverified)

    Um, folks, Adam's campaign didn't file this appeal. You can dream up as many conspiracy theories as you want, but it just didn't happen that way.

    As for Dozono, he hasn't shown any of the skills needed to be a good Mayor. He didn't follow the state elections rules because he failed to list the in-kind contribution for the poll -- that's now a fact. He may have broken the City's rules for public financing -- that is yet to be determined. And he's already in the pocket of Len Bergstein, one of Portland's most well-known lobbyists. Why is Dozono surrounding himself with these people?

    Dozono's only hope is to keep Adams below 50% in the primary -- which is going to be tough to do. Even then, he's almost certain to lose in a head-to-head race.

  • jeff (unverified)

    I'm sorry but I don't get why Sho is trying to pin this on Adams when two other candidates filed an appeal. Especially if he's trying to take the "high road." The mercury covers the depth of questioning the Adams folks have done with even links to the files. I would ask the same questions. But as i said elsewhere there's no way Adams can file a complaint. It'd look terrible.

  • Terry Parker (unverified)

    Even though Adams did not file the appeal, he appears to be running a little scared. His backers are the special interests that include the bicycling community, streetcar and transit advocates that want a bigger slice of motorist paid transportation dollars, and big developers that want to keep taxpayer subsidies flowing in their direction. Adams likes to initiate mandates and dictate to the people, often through tax codes while ignoring opposing voices. Dozono appears to be more of the type of person that will listen to all views and not only be the Mayor of Portland, but also a Mayor of the people.

  • Eliot Ho-Ness (unverified)

    Sams campaign staff had nothing to do with this. They're denied it (twice) and the 17 page memo has been shredded, the cellphone call histories erased, and the hard drive reimaged. It never happened. Deal.

    It's not a story unless Willy Week says it's a story.

    It's like a mini P-town version of Brave New World: give the Betas a polite tap on the shoulder and remind them they're not Alphas....Because the Alphas are running the show. Back to work, sheeple.

  • anony (unverified)

    I hope that the folks that filed these complaints understand the laws that Sho has broken so they can properly explain them to the judge.

    If you scratch the surface, Sho's got some big-time ethical problems. I read over at the Mercury's blogtown that the Oregonian old-town blog has a story about Sho's ethics problems.

    Dozono's got a lot of ethical baggage. If the Oregonian blog's to be believed, then we need to have a serious discussion if he's going to be running for mayor.

  • J Ramsay (unverified)

    Hmmm. Shredded docs. Reformatted hard drives. How so Karl Rove.

  • check the public record (unverified)

    For all you "follow Sam around like a puppy dog" writers here: Jeff, Eliot and anony

    check the records that come out tomorrow - Sam's camp is on the record for contacting the Auditor's office today with some very interesting news....

    asking to submit evidence to the 3 appeals filed from the Sam Adams campaign without having to file a complaint.

    Ha Ha you fools. It's all about Sam - although it's all about him being a POOR SPORT

  • jeff (unverified)

    Like I said, it's public record. I think they know that.

    Personally, I don't think it makes any sense for them NOT to submit their opinion for the record. But you do not see Adams out there banging the drum against the ruling or filing an appeal.

    Look, even the creators of public campaign financing have expressed their concern over the ruling. Not because they don't think Sho should run, but because the system is supposed to treat candidates equally. You raise a private dollar, s/he gets a public dollar.

    <h2>Honest mistake or not THAT is the issue being raised in "pollgate." Not this Sho vs. Sam thing. Reasonable people can support their candidates for their positions--but don't drag either name through the mud when this is about fair administration of a taxpayer funded program.</h2>
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