THE DOZENS of candidates vying for spots on Portland's city council—as commissioners or the mayor—are doing more than sticking lawn signs all over your neighborhood.
In Sam Adams and Sho Dozono's case, both are furiously raising money in the weeks before they appear—along with 11 others—on the mayoral primary ballot. Since Dozono announced on March 24 that he would continue his mayoral bid by raising private funds, he's raised $18,314, according to state elections reports, and has a little over $43,000 in the bank.
Adams, who's already spent nearly $100,000, has almost $67,000 left. But he isn't bringing it in as fast as Dozono currently is: In the same week Dozono pulled in over $18,000, Adams raised just over $6,000, according to state records.
Untethered from the fundraising phone, the five voter-owned candidates with their eyes on Adams' council seat have been appearing at neighborhood forums, holding house parties and—in Jeff Bissonnette's case—forums on issues like energy and Portland's family friendliness.
But John Branam, one of the publicly financed candidates in that race, is also cooperating with the auditor's evaluation of "whether there have been violations of city code" for paying his campaign manager, Phil Busse, a lump sum of $15,000 shortly after Branam cashed his city check, and for promising Busse $10,000 more through the end of the election.
A request sent to the campaign on Monday, March 24, asked for copies of contracts, Busse's resume, any timesheets, invoices, or "other documentation describing work performed," and any correspondence between Busse and Branam regarding the payments. Lastly, the auditor requested an explanation of Busse's large prepayment.
Branam complied with the request, sending City Elections Officer Andrew Carlstrom a 10-page packet with his answers, Busse's resume, and the campaigns' contracts with staff. Branam did not, however, include timesheets or invoices outlining what Busse's $25,000 payment covers. "The 'documentation' of the work performed during the period following certification is the work-product itself," writes Branam. "Timesheets have not been kept."
Branam explained that the payment works out to about $30 an hour for the hours he's expecting Busse to keep through the election, and reflect the fact that Busse will be working overtime, without health benefits, and that he's got multiple talents the campaign will tap.
Carlstrom—who was out of the office last week—says he and the auditor don't yet have a timeline for what happens next in their evaluation of the payment.