Public money out of reach

City commissioner hopefuls may not meet the requirements to receive $150,000 in public campaign financing.

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City commissioner candidates have until Jan. 29 to qualify for $150,000 in public campaign financing, but so far, none of them are on track to meet the requirements.

Each of the candidates needs 1,000 signatures and matching $5 donations from registered Portland voters in order to qualify for the financing.

That’s a big contrast to 2008, when six candidates, five of them seeking an open seat, qualified for funding in the May primary. Two then qualified for funding in the November general election, for a total cost to taxpayers of $1.2 million. But a gathering last Friday night of four Saltzman challengers seeking public campaign financing shows Commissioner Amanda Fritz that the setup remains a success. Fritz is the first and only city commissioner to win election with public funding, in 2008.

“To me it’s working because it’s available,” Fritz says. “Citizens have a realistic chance of running for City Council and winning.”

Read the full story at Willamette Week.

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