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Sources: Contribution limit might not limit spending

Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey would seem to be hurting his chances of being elected Portland mayor in 2016 by limiting his contributions to $250.

State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, the other major candidate in the race, has made no such pledge and already received many contributions of $1,000 or more.

But Bailey is likely to have the support of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, which has spent on candidates large sums that aren’t always reported as contributions.

For example, in the 2010 general election, the OLCV paid for four mailers supporting Bob Stacey over Tom Hughes for Metro president that were not reported by Stacey. The OLCV also spent $127,498 supporting successful Democratic challenger Chuck Riley over Republican state Sen. Bruce Starr in the 2014 general election that Riley reported as in-kind contributions.

Bailey received high marks from the OLCV during his three terms in the Oregon House before being elected to the county commission, including being named Environmental Leader of the Year in 2013. He said environmentalists were among those who urged him to run for mayor

Faux affordable housing initiative

Affordable housing advocates have not really filed a statewide initiative petition to repeal the law from preventing local government to require developers to include low-income units in their projects.

Prospective Initiative 75 was, in fact, filed by students enrolled in a Reed College political science class to raise public awareness of the ban on so-called inclusionary zoning, according to co-chief petitioner Theodore Landsman.

The initiative, which is based on a bill that passed the Oregon House but stalled in the state Senate during the 2015 legislative session, could still be placed on the ballot if lawmakers fail to repeal the ban during the 35-day session that starts this February.

Although House Democrats are talking about taking the issue up again, developers repeatedly have prevented it from being repealed in the past.

Not-so-strange bedfellows

The conflicting OLCV contributions might make it seem as though Starr and Hughes are on opposite sides of the fence. But in fact, they are both chief sponsors of a statewide initiative petition to prohibit the sale of products made from endangered species.

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) is the third chief sponsor of the initiative, which was crafted by the Humane Society of the United States and other animal rights organizations.

Starr says his sponsorship should not be a surprise, since he supported humane society legislation when he represented the Hillsboro area in the state Senate.

Since being defeated in 2014, he has taken a job with iCitizen, a Nashville-based company developing software to better connect lawmakers with constituents in their districts. It is still in the testing phase, Starr says.