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Wheeler, Bailey campaigns spar over donations


State Treasurer Ted Wheeler announced Thursday that he opposes independent committees spending money to support his campaign for Portland mayor — and he challenged other candidates in the race to do the same.

In a morning press release, Wheeler said he has signed the so-called People's Pledge that says if a committee or organization spends money for television or Internet advertising on his behalf or against an opponent of his, he will donate 50 percent of the cost of that advertising to charity.

The pledge is modeled after one taken by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in her race against Scott Brown.

“This agreement puts into writing what I promised the day I launched my campaign to be the next mayor of Portland. I’m committed to an open and transparent government, one that will not be influenced by powerful outside interests — this is how I put action behind my words,” wheeler said.

Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey's campaign responded by saying he has limited his contributions to $250, while Wheeler has set no such cap.

“It’s ironic Ted Wheeler wants to talk about campaign finance reform after taking checks as large as $10,000 each from bankers, developers, lawyers, and timber companies. Jules has already taken a pledge to limit his contributions to $250 per person per election. We challenge all of the candidates for mayor to follow our lead and limit contributions to ensure regular Portlanders have their voices heard and special interests don't run the show, or explain or why they won’t,” says Bailey campaign consultant Stacey Dycus.

Bailey did not agree to sign the People's Pledge, however. That could be because he might benefit from independent committee spending. Bailey is likely to be endorsed by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, which rated him as a "champion" when he served in the Oregon Legislature. In 2010, the OLCV spent $385,000 supporting Bob Stacey over Tom Hughes in the race for Metro president. The OLCV also spent $127,498 supporting successful Democratic challenger Chuck Riley over Republican state Sen. Bruce Starr in the 2014 general election.

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