You may ask: Why does Portland need to publicly fund the campaigns of candidates, as proposed by the Fair Elections Portland initiative, to appear on the ballot this fall?

The answer is in the campaign finance reports filed by candidates over the last five years. These reports show that from 2012 to 2015, the average cost of an at-large City Council campaign was $3,500, with the most expensive campaign spending $14,600.

From 2016 to 2018, the average cost of an at-large council campaign was $21,000, with the most expensive campaign spending $51,000. Much of this increase is attributable to large donations from a small number of donors seeking to influence the votes of candidates.

We need public financing to counteract this corrosive influence of money on politics so that people without wealth and connections can run for office. We need public campaign financing to elect officials who work for all Portlanders.

Scott Vonnegut

Portland


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