Campaign Finance Regulation
(1)(a) “Candidate” means:
(A)An individual whose name is printed on a ballot, for whom a declaration of candidacy, nominating petition or certificate of nomination to public office has been filed or whose name is expected to be or has been presented, with the individual’s consent, for nomination or election to public office;
(B)An individual who has solicited or received and accepted a contribution, made an expenditure, or given consent to an individual, organization, political party or political committee to solicit or receive and accept a contribution or make an expenditure on the individual’s behalf to secure nomination or election to any public office at any time, whether or not the office for which the individual will seek nomination or election is known when the solicitation is made, the contribution is received and retained or the expenditure is made, and whether or not the name of the individual is printed on a ballot; or
(C)A public office holder against whom a recall petition has been completed and filed.
(b)For purposes of this section and ORS 260.035 (Treasurer and statement of organization for political committees and candidates) to 260.156 (Rules for reporting expenditures and contributions), “candidate” does not include a candidate for the office of precinct committeeperson.
(2)“Committee director” means any person who directly and substantially participates in decision-making on behalf of a political committee concerning the solicitation or expenditure of funds and the support of or opposition to candidates or measures. The officers of a political party shall be considered the directors of any political party committee of that party, unless otherwise provided in the party’s bylaws.
(3)Except as provided in ORS 260.007 (Exclusions from definitions of “contribution” and “expenditure”), “contribute” or “contribution” includes:
(a)The payment, loan, gift, forgiving of indebtedness, or furnishing without equivalent compensation or consideration, of money, services other than personal services for which no compensation is asked or given, supplies, equipment or any other thing of value:
(A)For the purpose of influencing an election for public office or an election on a measure, or of reducing the debt of a candidate for nomination or election to public office or the debt of a political committee; or
(B)To or on behalf of a candidate, political committee or measure; and
(b)The excess value of a contribution made for compensation or consideration of less than equivalent value.
(4)“Controlled committee” means a political committee that, in connection with the making of contributions or expenditures:
(a)Is controlled directly or indirectly by a candidate or a controlled committee; or
(b)Acts jointly with a candidate or controlled committee.
(5)“Controlled directly or indirectly by a candidate” means:
(a)The candidate, the candidate’s agent, a member of the candidate’s immediate family or any other political committee that the candidate controls has a significant influence on the actions or decisions of the political committee; or
(b)The candidate’s principal campaign committee and the political committee both have the candidate or a member of the candidate’s immediate family as a treasurer or director.
(6)“County clerk” means the county clerk or the county official in charge of elections.
(7)“Elector” means an individual qualified to vote under Article II, section 2, of the Oregon Constitution.
(8)Except as provided in ORS 260.007 (Exclusions from definitions of “contribution” and “expenditure”), “expend” or “expenditure” includes the payment or furnishing of money or anything of value or the incurring or repayment of indebtedness or obligation by or on behalf of a candidate, political committee or person in consideration for any services, supplies, equipment or other thing of value performed or furnished for any reason, including support of or opposition to a candidate, political committee or measure, or for reducing the debt of a candidate for nomination or election to public office. “Expenditure” also includes contributions made by a candidate or political committee to or on behalf of any other candidate or political committee.
(9)“Filing officer” means:
(a)The Secretary of State:
(A)Regarding a candidate for public office;
(B)Regarding a statement required to be filed under ORS 260.118 (Treasurer and statement of organization of petition committee);
(C)Regarding any measure; or
(D)Regarding any political committee.
(b)In the case of an irrigation district formed under ORS chapter 545, “filing officer” means:
(A)The county clerk, regarding any candidate for office or any measure at an irrigation district formation election where the proposed district is situated wholly in one county;
(B)The county clerk of the county in which the office of the secretary of the proposed irrigation district will be located, regarding any candidate for office or any measure at an irrigation district formation election where the proposed district is situated in more than one county; or
(C)The secretary of the irrigation district for any election other than an irrigation district formation election.
(10)“Independent expenditure” means an expenditure by a person for a communication in support of or in opposition to a clearly identified candidate or measure that is not made with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of the candidate, or any political committee or agent of a political committee supporting or opposing a measure. For purposes of this subsection:
(a)“Agent” means any person who has:
(A)Actual oral or written authority, either express or implied, to make or to authorize the making of expenditures on behalf of a candidate or on behalf of a political committee supporting or opposing a measure; or
(B)Been placed in a position within the campaign organization where it would reasonably appear that in the ordinary course of campaign-related activities the person may authorize expenditures.
(b)(A) “Clearly identified” means, with respect to candidates:
(i)The name of the candidate involved appears;
(ii)A photograph or drawing of the candidate appears; or
(B)“Clearly identified” means, with respect to measures:
(i)The ballot number of the measure appears;
(ii)A description of the measure’s subject or effect appears; or
(c)“Communication in support of or in opposition to a clearly identified candidate or measure” means:
(A)(i) The communication, when taken as a whole and with limited reference to external events, such as the proximity to the election, could only be interpreted by a reasonable person as containing advocacy for the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate for nomination or election to public office, or the passage or defeat of a clearly identified measure; and
(ii)The electoral portion of the communication is unmistakable, unambiguous and suggestive of only one meaning; or
(B)(i) The communication involves aggregate expenditures of more than $250 by a person;
(ii)The communication refers to a clearly identified candidate or measure that will appear on the ballot or to a political party; and
(d)“Made with the cooperation or with the prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate or any agent or authorized committee of the candidate, or any political committee or agent of a political committee supporting or opposing a measure”:
(A)Means any arrangement, coordination or direction by the candidate or the candidate’s agent, or by any political committee or agent of a political committee supporting or opposing a measure, prior to the publication, distribution, display or broadcast of the communication. An expenditure shall be presumed to be so made when it is:
(i)Based on information about the plans, projects or needs of the candidate, or of the political committee supporting or opposing a measure, and provided to the expending person by the candidate or by the candidate’s agent, or by any political committee or agent of a political committee supporting or opposing a measure, with a view toward having an expenditure made; or
(ii)Made by or through any person who is or has been authorized to raise or expend funds, who is or has been an officer of a political committee authorized by the candidate or by a political committee or agent of a political committee supporting or opposing a measure, or who is or has been receiving any form of compensation or reimbursement from the candidate, the candidate’s principal campaign committee or agent or from any political committee or agent of a political committee supporting or opposing a measure.
(B)Does not mean providing to the expending person upon request a copy of this chapter or any rules adopted by the Secretary of State relating to independent expenditures.
(11)“Initiative petition” means a petition to initiate a measure for which a prospective petition has been filed but that is not yet a measure.
(12)“Judge” means judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, circuit court or the Oregon Tax Court.
(13)“Mass mailing” means more than 200 substantially similar pieces of mail, but does not include a form letter or other mail that is sent in response to an unsolicited request, letter or other inquiry.
(14)“Measure” includes any of the following submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at an election:
(a)A proposed law.
(b)An Act or part of an Act of the Legislative Assembly.
(c)A revision of or amendment to the Oregon Constitution.
(d)Local, special or municipal legislation.
(e)A proposition or question.
(a)The nature of an individual’s principal business; and
(b)If the individual is employed by another person, the business name and address, by city and state, of the employer.
(16)“Person” means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, labor organization, association, firm, partnership, joint stock company, club, organization or other combination of individuals having collective capacity.
(17)“Petition committee” means an initiative, referendum or recall petition committee organized under ORS 260.118 (Treasurer and statement of organization of petition committee).
(18)“Political committee” means a combination of two or more individuals, or a person other than an individual, that has:
(a)Received a contribution for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate, measure or political party; or
(b)Made an expenditure for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate, measure or political party. For purposes of this paragraph, an expenditure does not include:
(A)A contribution to a candidate or political committee that is required to report the contribution on a statement filed under ORS 260.057 (Electronic campaign finance filing system) or 260.076 (Statements of contributions received during session of Legislative Assembly) or a certificate filed under ORS 260.112 (Filing of certificate by candidate or treasurer of political committee or petition committee who expects neither contributions nor expenditures to exceed $3,500); or
(B)An independent expenditure for which a statement is required to be filed by a person under ORS 260.044 (Statement of independent expenditures).
(19)“Public office” means any national, state, county, district, city office or position, except a political party office, that is filled by the electors.
(20)“Recall petition” means a petition to recall a public officer for which a prospective petition has been filed but that is not yet a measure.
(21)“Referendum petition” means a petition to refer a measure for which a prospective petition has been filed but that is not yet a measure.
(22)“Regular district election” means the regular district election described in ORS 255.335 (Regular district election).
(23)“State office” means the office of Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, state Senator, state Representative, judge or district attorney. [1971 c.749 §1; 1973 c.744 §1; 1975 c.683 §6; 1977 c.678 §1; 1979 c.190 §339; 1983 c.350 §81; 1983 c.392 §8; 1985 c.808 §52; 1987 c.727 §1; 1989 c.80 §1; 1989 c.503 §41; 1991 c.87 §4; 1991 c.719 §61; 1993 c.18 §44; 1993 c.493 §52; 1993 c.710 §1; 1993 c.797 §30; 1995 c.1 §1; 1995 c.607 §56; 1997 c.249 §77; 1999 c.318 §42; 1999 c.999 §1; 2001 c.82 §11; 2003 c.542 §9; 2005 c.797 §1; 2005 c.809 §§20,21; 2007 c.848 §28; 2009 c.818 §1; 2011 c.652 §3; 2011 c.731 §16; 2013 c.756 §8; 2013 c.758 §1; 2017 c.419 §1; 2018 c.70 §14; 2019 c.637 §7]
See also annotations under ORS 260.305 in permanent edition.
Notes of Decisions
For purposes of defining contribution, "any other thing of value" means any item that has fair market value, regardless of whether contributor used item for purposes related to that fair market value. Jim Bernard for Clackamas County Commissioner v. Elections Division, 229 Or App 419, 211 P3d 321 (2009)
For purposes of defining contribution, to furnish means to give something needed or desirable. Jim Bernard for Clackamas County Commissioner v. Elections Division, 229 Or App 419, 211 P3d 321 (2009)
Atty. Gen. Opinions
Compensation for political activity, (1974) Vol 36, p 903; expenditures by independent nonpartisan group, (1974) Vol 36, p 915; political contributions as credit against Oregon tax return, (1974) Vol 37, p 159
Notes of Decisions
Disclosure requirements, specifically with respect to third parties, do not infringe on right to associate for political purposes and are constitutional. Oregon Socialist Workers v. Paulus, 432 F Supp 1255 (1977)
Atty. Gen. Opinions
Application to committee collecting contributions to establish fund to defray elected official's expenses incurred in performing political functions of office, (1980) Vol 40, p 11; preemption by federal law of campaign financing with respect to federal candidates, (1981) Vol 41, p 420
Law Review Citations
50 OLR 299-321 (1971); 55 OLR 253-266 (1976)