One Oregon campaign spending leads other campaigns to ask for future spending caps

The three slates running for various University of Oregon student government offices released information on their campaign donations and spending on Tuesday. The wide margin of spending between One Oregon and the other campaigns has caused some to question whether ASUO should institute a spending cap next year.

One Oregon spent about $15,000 in this year’s election, more than double the amount spent by I’m With UO and Duck Squad combined, that spent $3,774 and $3,500 respectively.

At Tuesday’s ASUO election debate, Zach Rentschler, One Oregon‘s presidential candidate, characterized his campaign’s spending as proof of his team’s ability to raise funds.

“Our campaign’s fundraising has been a total blessing,” Rentschler said. “Fundraising from the community has been huge, and it’s something we’re going to help clubs do next year if we’re elected. We have no idea how much the other campaigns are fundraising, so we never stopped fundraising, and we never will stop fundraising because there is no way of knowing where other people are at going into elections.”

A majority of One Oregon‘s campaign funds have come from the candidates. Adam Scharf, One Oregon‘s internal vice president candidate, contributed $1,000. Rentschler himself contributed $4,000. External vice president candidate Tori Ganahl contributed $7,000. Of the $22,995 One Oregon has raised, 52 percent comes directly from the candidates themselves. That’s not counting an additional $3,000 donated by an Albert and Pnina Scharf, and $3,000 by a Heidi and Jason Ganahl.

One Oregon‘s spending is the highest in recent history. Last year, the election campaigns spent less than $10,000 combined. In 2014, it was $16,000.

“It’s clear they’re trying to buy this election,” I’m With UO‘s campaign manager Andrew Dunn said. Dunn hopes the elections will be reformed next year, specifically around spending caps.

“It makes the elections much less accessible. Students will run based on their ability to fund raise rather than the importance of the issues,” he said.

“There should absolutely be a spending cap,” Duck Squad‘s campaign manager Vickie Gimm said. “If One Oregon thinks they can abuse the elections process and get away with all this bribery, I will be uber disappointed.”


Here’s a breakdown of each campaign’s revenues and what they spent it on:

Duck Squad

  • Total raised: $3,413
  • Total spent: $3,500
  • Largest contribution: $370
  • Three biggest expenses: T-shirts: $500; posters and flyers: $600; food: $300.

I’m With UO

  • Total raised: $6,034
  • Total spent: $3,774
  • Largest contribution: $900
  • Three biggest expenses: T-shirts: $2,774; campaign kickoff: $372.34; room rental: $175.

One Oregon

  • Total raised: $22,995
  • Total spent: $15,573
  • Largest contribution: $7,000
  • Three biggest expenses: T-shirts: $7,500; advertising: $3,116; FedEx: $2,142.

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Noah McGraw

Noah McGraw

Noah is the 2016-17 Senior News Editor at the Emerald. His earliest journalistic influences were Tom Wolfe, Eric Schlosser and Batman. He loves '70s comics, '80s action movies and '90s music.