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It didn’t take long for Portland mayoral candidate Charlie Hales to take advantage of his new voluntary campaign contribution limitation.

Hales sent a letter to opponent Jefferson Smith on Oct. 15 saying that he was lifting the limit for in-kind contributions from membership organizations, such as labor unions. Until then, Hales had been capping both cash and in-kind contributions at $600.

Two days later, Hales received a $20,000 in-kind contribution from the Service Employees International Union Local 49 for “postage.” That same day, Hales also received a $14,067 in-kind contribution from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 for “literature, brochures and printing.”

Hales said he made the change because it unfairly limited donations by individual members of such organizations. He is still refusing out-of-state donations. Smith is maintaining his $1,000 limit for both in-state and out-of-state donations.

A most serious write-in candidate

LaVonne Griffin-ValadeSeveral people have been mentioned as write-in candidates for Portland mayor, including City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade.

But only one is running an active campaign. He is Scott Fernandez, a supporter of Portland’s open reservoirs. Since the May 15 primary election where Hales and Smith qualified for the Nov. 6 runoff election, Fernandez has loaned his campaign $5,200 and raised another $125 in contributions.

Fernandez already had one shot at the office, however. He ran for Portland mayor in the primary election and received just 1 percent of the vote, compared to more than 37 percent for Hales and 32 percent for Smith.

Fritz reaches deep into her piggy bank

Commissioner Amanda Fritz has spent $141,000 of her own money in the general election, edging up on the $184,000 she contributed to her primary election campaign.

After she was forced into a runoff election by state Rep. Mary Nolan, Fritz said she could no longer afford to self-finance her re-election. But as the last few campaign filings show, she apparently changed her mind.

Most recently, Fritz spent $25,000 of her own money to buy TV advertising on Oct. 15. Before that, on Oct. 8 and 9, she spent $53,675 for cable TV advertising, $9,465 for ad production, $50,000 for advertising, and $6,000 for polling.

None of Nolan’s contributions is as large as those donations. Nolan’s biggest recent contributions include $3,000 from Plaid Pantry on Oct. 19 and $5,000 from SEIU Local 49 the day before.

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