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Week in Review: Johnson is Paying a Washington-Based Firm to Gather Signatures, Drazan Can’t ‘Walk Out’ on Her Failed Record on Homelessness, Kotek Picks Up Two More Endorsements


In other news: New Poll Confirms Oregonians Overwhelmingly Support Abortion Access

[Portland, OR] – Betsy Johnson’s campaign has spent the past few months painstakingly promoting her “Betsy Brigades,” the volunteers circulating petitions for her gubernatorial bid, as a signal of grassroots momentum. But now that the August 16th deadline for submitting the signatures is looming, the Oregon Capital Chronicle broke the news yesterday that Johnson’s campaign is also paying a Washington-based signature gathering firm more than $200,000 to collect signatures for her campaign: 

“At least some of those signatures, though, will be gathered not by Johnson superfans but by petition circulators who may have been hired off Craigslist. Initiative & Referendum Campaign Management Services, the Washington-based firm Johnson enlisted to help her gather signatures, posted more than 75 Craigslist job ads over the past month seeking petition circulators.” 

Meanwhile, Tina Kotek picked up two more exciting endorsements this week: former Governor Barbara Roberts, the first woman to serve as Oregon Governor, and Community Alliance of Tenants Action Fund, Oregon’s first statewide tenants’ rights political organization.

“With evictions spiking across the state, CAT Action recognizes the importance of a leader with a record of prioritizing housing issues,” said Donovan Scribes, CAT Action Board President. “We are confident Tina Kotek will listen to renters and take real action to solve the current housing crisis.” 

The CAT endorsement comes on the heels of a stunning pivot from Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan, who earlier this week attempted to rewrite her failed record on homelessness by echoing Tina Kotek’s call for a homelessness state of emergency. Notably, Tina made that call in January 2020, right before Drazan walked off the job and derailed the entire 2020 legislative session, which included bills on homelessness, wildfires, and aid for flood victims.

Community Alliance of Tenants Executive Director Kim McCarty set the record straight in a statement pointing out that Drazan’s new promises don’t align with her track record: she consistently voted “no” on key policies brought forward to address Oregon’s housing and homelessness crisis.

In contrast, Tina has spent her whole career fighting to help working families – first as an advocate, then as a legislator, and now that is the driving force behind her run for Governor. As she told Mark Mason in an interview on 1190 KEX earlier this week:

“Inflation is a real issue for people. Of all the folks running, I really do understand what it means when people say they can’t put food on the table. Our food pantries are seeing increased use because of inflation going up — the cost of gas, cost of groceries. 

“One of the things that I did do — you mentioned rent gouging — we worked on a bill that is protecting Oregonians right now by capping the rent increases that they can see year over year…. 

“So, we have work to do. People are having a hard time making ends meet. I think I’m the one candidate who’s understood those issues over the years, who has fought hard for working Oregonians, and I think I’m the right person to help make sure people have what they need.”

Also this week, new data was released by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center showing that an overwhelming majority of Oregonians support abortion rights and would support reinstating Roe v. WadeAn Do, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon, summed this news up well:

“Tina Kotek is the only candidate that we trust to go to the mat for Oregonians to defend and expand access to abortion care. The results from this latest poll show us what we’ve long known: Oregonians overwhelmingly support abortion access and they are motivated to elect leaders who will fight for everyone to have the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures.”

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