Press Releases

Chris Dudley uses his Tax-Exempt Foundation in Political Ad

Jun 23, 2010


Amy Wojcicki, Communications Director
[email protected]

PORTLAND, Oregon (June 23, 2010) – 

Dudley’s current campaign ad raises a few eyebrows with the use of children who attended a basketball camp hosted by his tax-exempt foundation.

Dudley certainly has a history of dancing along the legal line with his foundation, among the questionable activities he has filed with the IRS late, spent more than the takes in, and has failed to get properly licensed for events. Now he has decided to use his foundation, which enjoys a tax-exempt status, in his political campaign.

501 (c) (3) foundations such as Dudley’s are prohibited from direct or indirect involvement in political campaigns. The fact that Dudley is willing to bring his foundation into the campaign brings up questions about his judgment and management skills.

“The fact that Chris Dudley would use his foundation for political gain shows just how desperate he is to take attention off of his complete lack of specific policy positions,” said DPO Chair Meredith Wood Smith. “Dudley may have gotten away with flaunting the rules in the past, but Oregon voters deserve a leader who will show good judgment and not take risks just for political gain.”

For FIVE years in a row, Chris Dudley’s Foundation failed to file with the IRS on time. “In each of the past five years, however, the foundation filed its taxes late. In three of those five years, the foundation’s expenses exceeded its income. Assets shrunk from about $800,000 to about $400,000—although some governance experts think spending down assets is exactly what nonprofits should do.” [Willamette Week, 12/23/2009]

And in most of those years, the foundations expenses exceeded their income. According to news reports late last year,In three of those five years, the foundation’s expenses exceeded its income.”  [Willamette Week, 12/23/2009]

Dudley also received special treatment when his foundation ran afoul of the law, because “of the public image of Mr. Dudley” “In 2004, records show a DOJ investigator contacted Dudley because he failed to obtain a required license before holding a celebrity poker fundraiser for the foundation. The agency took no action. ‘Because of the public image of Mr. Dudley and his foundation, this matter was handled as discreetly as possible,’ DOJ investigator Michael Zagyva wrote in a Nov. 24, 2004, case summary. ‘During this interview [with Dudley] I did not ask too many probing or difficult questions.’” [Willamette Week, 12/23/2009]