Yeah, so for the past couple days I just thought my neighbors were really into Chris Dudley. It wasn't until reader Todd Mecklem emailed in a photo today of the fake Chris Dudley campaign signs that have popped up all over Portland that I actually read the tagline and (finally) got the joke. The signs take a jab at Dudley for living in Washington to avoid paying Oregon income taxes. It's dirty politics, but at least it's funny dirty politics.
So who's putting up the signs? Kitzhaber's campaign says they're not involved. State Democratic Party spokeswoman Amy Wojcicki says it's not her camp either.
In 2001, the Oregon state legislature repealed the law mandating that political groups identify themselves on campaign material, so now political groups can put up signs like this without saying who they are at all. At the very bottom of these fake Chris Dudley signs, though, is the logo of Painters and Allied Trades Local 1094 (close up here). That seems to point to the union being behind the fake signs, but they haven't listed any campaign finance activity related to the governor's race with the secretary of state's office (which, I think, they would need to do if they're printing what amount to pro-Kitzhaber signs), so maybe they just printed them. The phone number listed for the union HQ is out of service, but I have an email into a Local 1094 rep.
Deputy Secretary of State Barry Pack explains that the fake campaign signs are probably legal under state law. Election law bans knowingly making a "false statement of material fact" about a candidate, but these signs don't include any sort of fake facts. Pack says that if someone filed an official complaint with the election division, they state would likely investigate.