FEC complaint filed over anti-Conger ads

Dem Party of Oregon alleges coordination between PAC and Wehby campaign

Published May 5, 2014 at 02:46PM

WASHINGTON — The Democratic Party of Oregon has waded into the GOP Senate primary battle, asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether Stimson Lumber CEO Andrew Miller’s political action committee illegally coordinated with Portland pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby’s Senate campaign.

Miller, who is purported to be dating Wehby, is one of two donors to “If He Votes Like That In Salem Imagine What He Will Do In Congress,” a political action committee that has attacked Rep. Jason Conger, R-Bend, for his votes related to the Affordable Care Act. Under campaign law, PACs making independent expenditures cannot coordinate their activities with an official campaign.

Wehby and Conger are the GOP frontrunners for the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., in November’s general election.

In the filing, Oregon Democratic Party chairman Frank Dixon notes that Miller has commented publicly on behalf of the PAC, and has also helped fundraise for Wehby’s campaign as one of the hosts of an April 30 fundraiser.

“It is implausible that, in the course of his involvement with Wehby and the campaign, he has not been exposed to nonpublic information about the campaign’s nonpublic plans, projects, activities and needs,” the complaint states. “Accordingly, there is substantial evidence If He Votes knowingly made, and Wehby knowingly accepted, prohibited and excessive contributions.”

Wehby campaign manager Charlie Pearce flatly denied any impropriety by the Wehby campaign.

“Our campaign has not coordinated with this group in any way. Anyone suggesting otherwise is making a false accusation,” he said.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of The Bulletin on Tuesday.