The Better Portland Alliance accuses Mayor Vera Katz of allegedly not being pro-business and of allegedly not encouraging the police to be aggressive enough against peace marchers. The complaint was filed by Marvin Moore, chief petitioner for the rival Recall Vera Katz Committee, which is using its recall effort to focus on escalating police violence and to lobby for changing the paramilitaristic structure of Katz's police bureau to one based on a civilian model. "The police pepper-sprayed a television reporter and hauled peace marchers off to jail for allegedly jaywalking and threatened to hold them in jail until trial at a time when they are releasing real criminals for lack of jail space. In the wake of the Kendra James killing, it's absurd and offensive for this group to claim that the police aren't aggressive enough," said Moore.
In response to the first complaint, the BPA faxed elections officials a statement of organization for another illegal committee; this filing was promptly rejected. Currently, contributions are being solicited by the BPA, which is not a legal political committee.
And although the Elections Division sent treasurer John Belgarde a letter on May 21 which spelled out the requirements that a detailed contribution and expenditure report must be filed at the same time as a recall petition is filed fully accounting for all funds collected and spent on behalf of the recall effort to that point, he filed a report showing all zeroes in spite of evidence of both contributions and expenditures by the BPA. The complaint alleges that this report is fraudulent and asks elections officials to assess penalties for failure to file a sufficient report. The matrix for calculating civil penalties is complex, but it appears that fines could be assessed of $10 for each missing contribution and expenditure. The complaint also requests a fine for failure to receive contributions through a legal PAC.
"Given that this group has been loudly complaining that the pepper-spraying police were not aggressive enough when peace activists allegedly did not obey pedestrian laws while protesting George Bush's blatantly illegal mass murder of Iraqi citizens, I find it quite hypocritical that they themselves do not bother to obey state election law. It's too bad that there's never any police violence against right-wingers who violate campaign-finance law," said Moore.