OPP Candidate Bob Wolfe Calls Out Kate Brown on Phony Campaign Spending Limit

OPP candidate for Secretary of State, Bob Wolfe, issued this press release on September 19. It was quoted by the Oregonian at Oregon Secretary of State candidates trade tough words over campaign spending limits.

Kate Brown today announced that her campaign for Secretary of State will limit its spending on the general election to $1 million. "This is a cynical political trick and does not reflect any concern for the huge influence of big money in Oregon elections," said Bob Wolfe, the candidate for Secretary of State of the Oregon Progressive Party.

“Brown has already spent millions promoting her name to Oregon voters, and her pledge won’t restrain limitless spending by public employee unions, her biggest supporters,” Wolfe said. Her pledge does not stop unions or corporations or other entities from making unlimited "independent expenditures" that would not be counted toward the $1 million limit.

In fact, Kate Brown refuses to enforce Oregon Measure 47, adopted by voters in 2006, as a solution to independent expenditures. That requires that every ad funded by independent expenditures prominently disclose the names, business interests, and amounts donated to the independent expenditure campaign by the top 5 donors to the campaign. This would let voters know where the money is coming from, which Kate Brown apparently does not want.

"If Kate Brown were concerned about money in politics, she would be enforcing the contribution limits and other provisions of Measure 47 (2006) instead of attacking that measure in court," Wolfe said.

Kate Brown has already spent over $2.6 million since 2000 promoting her name to Oregon voters. Now she wants all other candidates to comply with her spending limit going forward. That is like cutting the rations for everyone after only you have eaten a series of huge meals.

Brown’s ‘limit’ of $1 million this year comes on top of the $1.2 million Kate Brown spent in 2008. “Kate Brown is a poster child for excessive spending and the current record-holder for campaign spending in Oregon for any State office except Governor,” says Wolfe.

Brown has also avoided all opportunities to reform campaign spending in Oregon. According to Willamette Week (April 25, 2012) , "Brown has been silent on campaign finance reform and otherwise largely invisible."

“She has neither pursued nor accomplished anything on campaign finance reform during her 20 years as a candidate and state office-holder. Now she is suddenly concerned about money in politics? The only reason appears to be that for the first time one of her opponents might outspend her,” said Wolfe.

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