Subscriber Special: Is OR Gov. Kate Brown Forcing Taxpayers to Fund Her Campaign? 103_kate_brown

September 14, 2018 08:00 AM
"By campaigning under the guise of 'official' business, Governor Kate Brown is keeping Oregon’s "new day" permanently beyond the horizon."
According to Oregon law, public funds cannot be used for a political purpose. Yet, data we’ve compiled at shows a troubling pattern of Governor Kate Brown mixing taxpayer-funded travel with campaign fundraising events.
Our auditors found Brown repeatedly blurred the lines between state agency resources and campaign activities – for years. Here are some examples:
  • On May 10, 2018, Brown was the commencement speaker at the University of Colorado Boulder. Over a two-day period, the governor’s office, which includes her security detail, racked up $8,277 in expenses including hotels ($4,148), airline flights ($2,222) and rental car charges ($1,046). The trip was packed with ten campaign events. Brown spent only four hours on Boulder’s campus. 
  • During the week of February 22, 2018, Brown attended the National Governor’s Association conference in Washington, D.C. Landing two days early, Brown scheduled twelve campaign events. In total, Brown spent a full day and a half of the three-day trip campaigning. Taxpayers paid $11,984 in total charges including airfare ($5,796), the expensive Marriott hotel near the White House ($4,627), car rental ($927), plus food and beverage costs ($600). 
  • On February 2, 2018, Brown flew to Seattle to share a panel discussion with Governor Jay Inslee on the topic of off-shore drilling. Once she arrived, Brown did four campaign events in six hours. Oregon taxpayers covered nearly $2,000 in costs including airfare ($1,156) and charges at the self-proclaimed "best wine bar in Seattle" ($79).
Brown is exercising the power of incumbency and engaging in old-school politicking on the public’s dime. Repeatedly using taxpayer money to lower the cost of campaigning and leveraging her office to raise campaign cash seems to be a violation of Oregon law, and the governor’s ethics standards. 
 Remember, It's Your Money! Join the Transparency Revolution!
Jessie Fox
Communications Specialist
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski)
CEO & Founder,
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director at Large
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