Portland City Council hopeful demands waiver of $77K fine

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland City Council candidate has formally asked elections officials to waive a $77,000 fine, arguing that a deeply discounted downtown office space he received from a wealthy backer doesn’t go against the city’s campaign finance rules. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports since May, Rene Gonzalez’s campaign has paid a $250 a month to rent office space in a downtown building owned by real estate mogul Jordan Schnitzer. Portland’s Small Donor Elections program director Susan Mottet has said the fair market value of the office and two parking spaces is about $6,900 a month and calls the discount an illegal in-kind contribution. The Gonzalez campaign contends that assessment of downtown rental rates is grossly exaggerated.