A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the City's political consultant regulations. For exact language and legal requirements, view Portland City Code and City Charter.
What is the effective date of the political consulting regulations?
Per Ordinance No. 187689, the program was effective and implemented September 1, 2016.
What are the disclosures required for political consultants?
Reporting is on an on-going basis, as of September 2016.
Political consultants (individuals and entities) must register on an on-going basis within 15 calendar days of providing services and disclose the following:
If providing political consulting services to a covered client, the political consultant must report the date services began and related information. A covered client includes:
A City elected official or their principal campaign committee
A successful candidate for City office or their principal campaign committee
If the political consultant also provides services for a City-referred ballot measure, the measure information and date services began must be reported.
When no longer providing services to a covered client, the political consultant must terminate their registration through the online portal within 15 days.
What are the disclosures required for City elected officials?
Reporting is on a quarterly basis as of October 2016.
City elected officials must report quarterly on the previous quarters' activities, the date the services commenced, and any political consultants who provided services to the following:
A candidate who successfully becomes a City elected official
Current City elected officials running for re-election
A City elected official sponsoring a City-referred measure
Updates are required within 15 calendar days if previously provided information changes.
Do political consultants only working on behalf of a measure sponsored by a City elected official need to register and report their activities?
No. Although City elected officials must disclose political consultant services on sponsored City-referred measures, political consultants do not need to register if they are only providing political consulting services for City-referred measures.
However, political consultants must register and disclose all services if they provide services on a sponsored City-referred measure AND any of the following:
- Political consultants who provided services to a candidate who successfully becomes a City elected official
- Political consultants who provided services to current City elected officials running for re-election
Do all the people involved in a campaign need to be disclosed as political consultants on City elected official reports?
Any individual involved in reportable political consulting services should be disclosed on City elected official reports. These are individuals and entities that:
Provide political consulting services as a trade or profession, characterized as making up at least 50 percent of an individual’s or entity’s actual work or volunteer time on a quarterly basis; and
Are involved in actions in campaign management or political strategy services on behalf of a City elected official, their candidate campaign committee registered with the Secretary of State, or on behalf of a sponsored City-referred measure (see the full definition for Political Consulting Services in City Code 2.14.020 C.)
Example: In addition to political consultants, a City elected official’s disclosures may include campaign managers, communications strategists, and field organizers.
What about a political consultant who participates in an interview process to determine whether they will provide political consulting services? Does this process need to be disclosed in reports?
No. Interview processes are not reportable as political consulting services by either the political consultant or the City elected official.
Do general political conversations and communications involving political consultants need to be disclosed in reports?
No. Communications between political consultants and an elected official or successful candidate for City office regarding general topics, including those of a political nature that do not involve providing political consulting services to or on behalf of an individual, are not reportable services.
How are reports filed?
All reports must be filed online for the previous quarter's reports and for all political consultant registrations going forward. The filing system portal can be accessed from the consultant home page here using a Portland Online account (create one here if needed).
Have additional questions? Please contact the City Elections Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-865-6503.