Collectively, we’ve served 18 years as Ward 1 city councilors. In all our campaigns for office, the contest was always about issues, policy and accountability. This election for Ward 1 city councilor is critically different, and the overarching issues are transparency and integrity.
The challenger to Emily Semple’s Ward 1 City Council seat, Eliza Kashinsky, has apparently decided that enormous out-of-state funding — over $34,000 from the National Association of Realtors PAC — is the best way to buy the Ward 1 City Council seat.
The Oregon Department of Justice is currently investigating these contributions as potentially being made under a false name (i.e., the Eugene Realtors for Community). These contributions have not been fully reported in the financial reports of Kashinsky’s campaign.
The exceptional size and nature of the Realtors’ contributions raise the questions: What do the Realtors expect in return? And why weren’t these contributions reported by the Kashinsky campaign, as is the normal practice by candidates?
Voters deserve to know which special interests may be funding a campaign — before the election, not after it. The Ward 1 City Council position should not be for sale to an out-of-state PAC, or any special interest, for that matter. Regrettably, we can reach no conclusion other than that Kashinsky should not be entrusted to represent Ward 1 voters.
George Brown, Ward 1 councilor 2009 to 2017
Bonny Bettman McCornack, Ward 1 councilor 2000 to 2009
Gary Rayor, Ward 1 councilor 1999 to 2000