For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Woon
press [at] dpo [dot] org
DPO files election complaint against SOS Richardson for misusing public funds to electioneer
December 1, 2017
PORTLAND — The Democratic Party of Oregon filed an elections complaint against Secretary of State Dennis Richardson today, citing a recent newsletterwhere the Secretary blurred the line between the Secretary’s official roles as the chief elections officer and chief auditor of public accounts. The publication of the newsletter on his official website and distribution through official channels is evidence that Richardson used state resources to advocate for a elections matter, in violation of Oregon law.
Jeanne Atkins, Democratic Party of Oregon Chair and former Oregon Secretary of State, released the following statement:
“Dennis Richardson made promises during his campaign to run an office that could be trusted to act in a nonpolitical and even-handed manner, yet it’s clear that he has infused politics into the work of both the state audits and elections divisions. As the chief auditor of public accounts, the Secretary of State should be working to improve government, not abusing his authority by using selective audit findings as fodder to achieve political goals. As the chief elections officer, he should not be overtly suggesting that his interpretation of audit materials should be considered by voters when casting their vote on any candidate or measure.
“As one who formerly held the office of Secretary of State I am deeply disappointed in the Secretary’s failure to adhere to his responsibility for maintaining neutrality in both fact and appearance when it comes to elections. At a time when national politics aim to undermine voters’ confidence in elections overall, it’s more important than ever that our local elections are run in a fair, non-partisan and transparent manner. Secretary Richardson’s apparent illegal activity here undermines that confidence.”