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Senator defends against campaign complaint

The Leadership Fund sent out a press release last week alleging Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson had violated Senate rules, but the claim was inaccurate.

Backing Republican opponent Tamie Tlustos-Arnold in the race for Senate District 25, The Leadership Fund said Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, used her legislative Facebook page to promote a town hall meeting.

That is true.

But the group alleged the post violated an in-house rule forbidding campaigning with legislative resources within 60 days of an election.

The distinction is in what the Secretary of Senate ruled. Monnes Anderson had her Facebook link to her page on the legislative website, but the link did not advertise an event.

She said when the Senate secretary called to inform her of the complaint Friday, March 25, she took the link down.

“What I failed to do was remove my Facebook link that’s on my legislative website. So you would have had to go into my website and click on my Facebook link to find out that I had a town hall on Monday the 28th,” she said. “It was not a campaign event. My job is to let my constituents, my public, know what’s going on and I need to hear from them. Communication from my public is extremely important.”

The Leadership Fund’s press release also alleged using the state seal on her event notice with Rep. Chris Gorsek was a violation.

“The rules are very clear, and every legislator must abide by the legislative blackout period to prevent the use of taxpayer dollars for campaign purposes,” said Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, in the press release.

Monnes Anderson said she’s angry the Republican group made the allegations against her.

“This isn’t what the public likes, they don’t like character assassinations,” she said. “To say that I’m not following the rules and attacking my character is ridiculous. My staff and I, we follow the rules.”

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