Betsy Johnson has relied on her “Betsy Brigades”, groups of volunteers circulating petitions, to garner the nearly 24,000 signatures she needs as an unaffiliated gubernatorial candidate to qualify for the November ballot. .
But she also paid more than $200,000 to a Washington-based signature collection company to collect signatures for her campaign, according to state campaign finance records.
“We support job creation and give people real choice in elections,” spokeswoman Jennifer Sitton said in an email response to questions about the use of paid signature collectors.
Johnson has until Tuesday, Aug. 16, to submit at least 23,744 valid signatures from Oregon voters to the secretary of state’s office, and she has spent the past week urging supporters to return signature sheets to her campaign office by Saturday, August 13.
At least some of those signatures, however, won’t be collected by Johnson superfans, but by petition distributors who may have been hired on Craigslist. Initiative & Referendum Campaign Management Services, the Washington-based company Johnson enlisted to help collect signatures, posted more than 75 Craigslist job postings in the past month seeking petitioners.
The advertisements offered a full-time salary of $1,000 per week or a part-time salary of $25 per hour.
“This is the perfect opportunity for you to get your foot in the door for an exciting, high-profile, high-energy and rewarding campaign,” said a sample ad from Tillamook. “Betsy Johnson is fighting the establishment and fighting for the people of Oregon with a very meaningful campaign at her helm.”
The company estimated that campaigns should budget between $3.75 and $5 per signature. Johnson’s payout should be enough for 41,000 and 55,000 signatures, using those parameters.
Most candidates for public office do not have to collect signatures – they pay an application fee of between $25 and $150 and participate in a primary election or a minor party nominating convention. But candidates running without party affiliation must collect signatures from voters.
People seeking to make or repeal laws through the initiative or referendum process must also collect signatures, although they must gather far more than potential candidates and face more obstacles when they pay petition circulators. This election cycle, supporters needed to collect more than 112,000 signatures for new laws created by initiative, nearly 75,000 to return laws passed by the Legislative Assembly to a ballot, and more than 149,000 to amend the Oregon Constitution. .
Supporters of initiatives and referendums must also file statements with the Secretary of State’s office indicating whether they will pay petition circulators and include a bold notice on petition forms indicating that certain circulators are being paid. Applicants are not required to do so.
#Betsy #Johnson #Hired #Craigslist #Petition #Circulators #Qualify #Oregon #Governors #Race #Oregon #Capital #Chronicle