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NEW: Democratic Party Accuses Dennis Richardson of Taking Campaign Kickbacks

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Republican gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson

The Oregon Democratic Party is claiming Republican gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson’s campaign is taking kickbacks from a consulting company. 

Democratic Party of Oregon Chairman Frank Dixon filed an elections complaint Tuesday against Richardson’s campaign, claiming the campaign violated elections laws by receiving $15,000 from consulting firm Strategy Group for Media in July and then paying that same firm $20,000 to produce a TV ad. 

Election laws state: “No person shall accept employment with the understanding or agreement, express or implied, that the person will contribute any of the compensation to be received because of the employment to or on behalf of a candidate or political committee in support of the nomination or election of the candidate or in support of or in opposition to a measure.”

Richardson’s campaign called the claim “outrageous” and said the consulting group was hired in the spring to do work for the campaign. The complaint alleges the firm was hired a month after donating the $15,000. 

“The DPO is making false claims to try and distract from the ongoing investigation into why the Kitzhaber campaign tired to hide an adviser on their staff,” Campaign spokeswoman Meredith Glacken said. Glacken was referring to questions raised by the GOP last week over the role of Patricia McCaig, an unpaid political adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber’s campaign who was also a lobbyist for the Columbia River Crossing project. 

Glacken acknowledged it is odd to have a consulting firm contribute to a campaign. 

"It is unusual, but SGM is a well known firm and has a history of helping candidates financially," she said. "Everything was above board there."

Richardson is already facing a $365 fine from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office Elections Division for late campaign filings, election officials confirmed. 

Last month conservative radio talk show host Lars Larson filed a complaint over Kitzhaber’s appearance in a CPR public service ad by the fire department. The Secretary of State’s Office found no violation of the law


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