The Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP) regrets to report that the Multnomah County Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission is proposing to reject a petition challenging Councilor Eudaly’s misuse of taxpayer funds by pressing City employees into service to go door to door to solicit votes in the November elections.
The Commission’s tentative findings, to be approved at a Commission meeting to be held February 20, 2019 (at 2:00 p.m. at the Commission’s offices at 808 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 540), are that: (1) the event was lawful; (2) the event was “consistent with the City’s mission;” and (3) “the budget included appropriations for this event”.
The findings were based on language in the City’s 2018-2019 Budget for the Office of Community and Civil Life, which reported that the City’s “10-year performance metrics” for the office included “increasing voting and participation in activities relating to local elections”. According to the Commission, because Oregon law allows budgeting by “organizational unit,” multimillion dollar general fund appropriations to City offices allow those offices to spend the money in any fashion they desire that is broadly consistent with the City’s general goals.
Multnomah County Republican Party Chair James Buchal criticized the Commission’s finding, saying: “If City Commissioners can spend City funds however they want, we might as well dispense with forcing the taxpayers to fund enormous complicated thousand-page budget documents that the City’s leaders are privileged to ignore.” He noted that the twenty-three pages of detailed budget information for the Office made no reference to any new program to get out the vote, even as it purported to micromanage issues down to tiny rent increases in individual offices.