Portland Dem Appears to Keep Breaking Transparency Law

May 14, 2023

A portion of a campaign mailing received last week in Wallowa County

Former Portland Democrat state rep. Ben Unger appears to have doubled down on his campaign finance violations in his campaign against a Greater Idaho ballot measure in Wallowa County. After being contacted May 1 about the campaign finance violations regarding his first mailer, two or three more postcards sent by bulk mail from the same printer he used for the first mailer (Boise bulk mail permit #220) arrived in Wallowa County mailboxes. One of the mailers bears the date “May 2, 2023” in the byline of a newspaper article, showing that it was dated after the May 1 press release and phone call about his initial mailer.

May 16 Update: The YouTube ad from Ben Unger was not turned off after he was contacted about their campaign finances either, according to our May 5 recording of the ad.

The Pluto TV ad from Western States Strategies wasn’t turned off after Western States Strategies was contacted. A volunteer saw it running May 14.

The white postcards also continued to arrive long after our press release called them out.

The Greater Idaho movement responded in a press release at greateridaho.org : “It’s disgusting. First he tries to hide the fact that these are coming from Portland Democrats, then he continues to break the law after being caught the first time? Fines are cheap for small counties so he thinks ignoring transparency law is worth it? This is how bad Portland Dems want to squelch eastern Oregon’s vote. They’ve sent more mailers and ads than us, but we hope that voters will show up and vote against their dirty tricks and lies.”

The movement announced that it would file a second complaint with the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s office. A response to the accusations made in the ads and mailers is at greateridaho.org.

Opposition to the Greater Idaho measure held a protest in Enterprise, Wallowa County on Friday evening, but in response, the Greater Idaho movement turned out twice as many adults to hold Greater Idaho signs. A reporter on the scene agreed that our rally was much bigger than the opposition rally.