Minnis cash shift sent wrong message


Former House Speaker Karen Minnis, R-Wood Village, should realize she created the impression of wrongdoing with recent maneuvers involving leftover campaign dollars.

Minnis, who is retiring in December as an Oregon lawmaker, shifted $20,500 of leftover campaign funds to four Republican committees. Around the same time, she was hired as a paid consultant by those same committees - although she ended up not accepting payment from two of them.

State law allows politicians to donate leftover campaign money to committees and nonprofit organizations, but it's illegal to convert those dollars into personal use.

We aren't saying Minnis violated that law, but we believe her actions contribute to an already- negative public perception of legislators. This incident must provide further motivation for the 2009 Legislature to approve campaign-finance reform - including a long-overdue ban on pass-through donations from one campaign to another.