Last November, Multnomah County voters passed Measure 26-184, and last week the Board of County Commissioners implemented the Measure and requested that the County Attorney petition the Oregon Courts to validate it. I’ve been inspired by the passionate and informed comments I’ve received from constituents about this topic. The Board of County Commissioners is committed to following the will of the voters by defending the measure in court, and we have authorized the County Attorney to proceed with filing a validation action in court to start the process. Please see our official statement for more details.
I strongly support campaign finance reform, endorsed Measure 26-184 when I was running for office, and continue to personally support this Measure. Having no limits on campaign contributions or expenditures often creates major obstacles for new candidates for elected office, including women, people of color, and low income people. I've spoken publicly about my own challenges running for office, and I know firsthand from these experiences the importance of reforming our campaign finance system.
The validation action the County is pursuing provides an expedited process to ask the court system to confirm the legality of the Measure so the County can implement it by its effective date of September 1, 2017. In the proceeding, the County Attorney will highlight the Board’s support for the measure, along with, of course, the voters’ overwhelming support. The County Attorney will pursue arguments designed to challenge current legal precedent. Interested parties will have the opportunity to provide briefs and other information to the court. They will have the opportunity to join the suit, and would have the standing to appeal any decision. Validation is a relatively quick and cost-effective alternative to what could otherwise be a lengthy and expensive process in the courts.