PORTLAND – Mayoral candidate Charlie Hales pledged Thursday to limit campaign fundraising in the general election.
Hales said a very expensive primary race with unlimited fundraising and spending should not be repeated.
“We have heard the concerns from Portlanders about the influence of money on politics everywhere -- we don’t want that here,” said Hales. “Let’s do this the Portland way.”
Hales pledged to not accept contributions over $600, not accept out of state money, and not contribute his own cash to his campaign.
“It’s not the law, but it’s the approach I want to take to make this campaign about people, our neighborhoods and ideas,” said Hales.
Jefferson Smith, who faces Hales in the general election, says he’s been suggesting that all candidates agree on fundraising restriction since the primary campaign.
“(I’m) glad that Charlie agrees with us that we should do something -- wish we’d do a stronger deal,” said Smith, who was at his campaign headquarters today.
Smith says his camp and Hale’s team have been negotiating an agreement for several weeks, that he hopes would require both candidates to do more to restrict fundraising.
Smith said he favored a $500 limit, and a limit to overall fundraising, as well as a ban on outside groups running side campaigns for either candidate.
Smith said he was “a little disappointed that they short circuited what I thought we good faith negotiations and instead decided to do something unilaterally, which is a step backwards.”
KGW Political analyst Len Bergstein said both mayoral candidates are jockeying for position on a campaign spending issue that matters to Portland voters.
“So we’re going to see a lot of this kind of tactical gamesmanship going on before the real campaign engages,” said Bergstein.