By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Secretary of States' office investigating elections complaint

The Secretary of State’s office is investigating complaints that Newberg political action committee put into place to support right-wing candidates such as the Newberg School Board members who took over the board last year, is illegally controlling the finances of multiple candidates for the upcoming general election.

County activist Lynette Shaw alleges the Community Oriented Public Servants, or COPS, PAC is handling the finances for Derek Carmon, Robyn Wheatley, Peggy Kilburg and Bill Rosacker in Newberg, and Larry Smurthwaite, Luke Wildhaber and Nathan Smurthwaite in Dayton, despite state law banning PACs from handling the finances of more than one candidate. ­

Rosacker is running for mayor, against incumbent Rick Rogers, and is best known for introducing several controversial initiatives, including “Kids not Camps,” a measure to oppose a tiny village for transitional housing at a Newberg church.

Carmon, Wheatley, who served as co-petitioner on the Kids not Camps initiative, and Kilburg are running for the Newberg City Council. Kilburg was appointed to the council earlier this year.

The Newberg council race will be decided in a special election later this fall.

Larry Smurthwaite, Nathan Smurthwaite and Wildhaber are running for Dayton City Council in a field of seven contestants for three seats.

State campaign finance reports do not show any financial information for Wheatley, Rosacker, Carmon, either Smurthwaite, or Wildhaber. They show a contribution from COPS to Kilburg. They show that the PAC has spent more than $5,000 for yard signs, campaign buttons and other election advertising this fall.

It is not clear when the investigation will be concluded.


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