Supporters of Oregon’s political donation limits give Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tobias Read a ‘B’, misfire Tina Kotek and leading Republicans

A group advocating campaign contribution limits in Oregon released its candidate ratings this week and only one prominent gubernatorial candidate received its support.

State Treasurer Tobias Read received a “B” from the group, making him the only frontrunner in the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries to receive a high enough rating to win support from the groups.

Former House Speaker Tina Kotek, who resigned earlier this year to focus on campaigning, received an “F” from the group because she failed to respond to the survey.

Leading Republican candidates Christine Drazan, Bob Tiernan and Bud Pierce also received “F”s from the Honest Elections Oregon contribution limit-friendly coalition for not responding.

“We appreciate the efforts of those who responded,” Honest Elections Oregon volunteer Dan Meek said in a press release. “We are dismayed that most candidates did not attempt to complete the survey. Perhaps they don’t care about campaign finance reform or don’t want voters to know where they stand on specific proposals. »

Mindy Lowden of Wolf-PAC Oregon, a member of the pro-politics donation limits coalition, noted that a large majority of Oregon voters support limits on campaign contributions. The state is one of only five in the country that does not limit political donations for statewide offices, even though voters have repeatedly said they support the limits. In 2020, Oregon voters voted overwhelmingly to amend the state Constitution to explicitly allow contribution limits and political ad disclosures.

“Even though Oregon voters voted overwhelmingly for campaign finance reform, including in 2020, Oregon lawmakers did not enact meaningful contribution limits or disclosure requirements,” said said Lowden.

Honest Elections Oregon asked gubernatorial and legislative candidates if they support proposed contribution limits advocated by the group, including a ballot initiative proposal that Democratic Secretary of State Shemia Fagan killed in February, and if they would support a public funding system to match small donations. They also asked if candidates would support specific requirements for political ads to disclose major campaign donors. Additionally, the group asked if the candidates would sign a “people’s pledge” to donate money to charity if a third-party group ran ads in support of them, similar to what Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown had. agreed during their Massachusetts Senate race.

—Hillary Borrud