ARA-13.01 - Purpose, Authority, and Construction

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
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A. Purpose

In 2018, voters amended the City Charter to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures in City candidate elections. Article 3 of the Charter and Chapter 2.10 of the Portland City Code (collectively, “the City’s campaign finance regulations”) set contribution and expenditure limits for campaigns relating to the election of City of Portland candidates (Mayor, Councilors, and Auditor). The City’s campaign finance regulations also require certain campaign communication disclosures, the registration of certain expenditures with the Secretary of State, and the availability of employee political deductions via payroll in certain circumstances. Any person may file a complaint with the Auditor's Office alleging a violation of the City's campaign finance regulations, and the Auditor's Office may initiate a complaint when there is reason to believe that a violation has occurred. The Auditor’s Administrative Rules set forth additional guidance regarding the requirements of City Charter Article 3 and Portland City Code Chapter 2.10.

B. Independence of Auditor’s Administrative Rules

The Auditor’s Administrative Rules - which apply to all City of Portland candidates - are distinct from any administrative rules governing the City of Portland’s voluntary Small Donor Elections program.

C. Authority

Charter Section 2-506 authorizes the Auditor’s Office to adopt, amend, and repeal administrative rules to carry out the Auditor’s Office’s duties.

D. Construction

The Auditor’s Administrative Rules will be construed in conformity with the City Charter and the City Code, and with applicable state and federal laws, rules, and regulations, all of which supersede any conflicting provisions in these rules.

E. Constitutional Limits on Enforcement

  1. The Auditor’s Office will not enforce expenditure limits set out in Charter 3-302(a) and 3-302(c) (also set out in Portland City Code Sections 2.10.020 A. and 2.10.020 C.). See General Judgment, In re Validation Proceeding to Determine the Legality of City of Portland Charter Chpt. 3, Art. 3 and Portland City Code Chpt. 2.10 Regulating Campaign Finance and Disclosure, 19CV06544 (Multnomah Cnty. Cir. Ct. Oct. 6, 2020).
  2. The Auditor’s Office will not enforce limits on self-funded candidates in Charter 3-301(b)(3). Davis v. Federal Election Comm’n, 554 U.S. 724 (2008); Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).


Questions about this administrative rule may be directed to the City Elections Office.

Historical notes


Adopted by the City Auditor on April 6, 2020 as interim rules for a period no greater than 180 days.

Amended by the City Auditor on April 29, 2020 as interim rules for a period no greater than 180 days.

Amended by the City Auditor on October 3, 2020 after a minimum 30-day public comment period.

Amended by the City Auditor on December 5, 2023 after a minimum 30-day public comment period.

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