John Nelsen unfairly attacked for error caused by State Election software

[John Nelsen Press Release]Nelsen Campaign Rejects Fiscal Mismanagement Attacks from Opposition, Explains Reporting Errors

East Multnomah County —Candidate John Nelsen (R-HD49) has recently been attacked by the Democrats and local press for some campaign finance reporting errors. The Democrats have charged that John has been financially irresponsible both in his campaign and on the Reynolds School Board, where he sits as Chair.

John Nelsen said, “The Reynolds School Board has repeatedly and publicly refuted that the budgetary issues fall on the shoulders of any one person, yet the Democrats have continued to ignore the information in an attempt to make me look bad to voters. Their information is false and as the investigations proceed, it will be even clearer that they are incorrect in their attack. Once again, they are just using this to distract and mislead voters like they’ve done this entire campaign.”

Regarding the campaign finances, Nelsen’s campaign manager Rebecca Tweed said, “As I stated when I spoke with the press last week, the accounts payable amount that was referenced was a mistake in the ORESTAR system. It took a few days to figure out exactly what was wrong, but we did and the error has been corrected. It was brought to our attention and all of the issues will be rectified within 24 — 48 hours.”

On the ORESTAR system used by the Secretary of State for public recording of campaign finances, it listed an accounts payable amount of $429,205.56. The ORESTAR system will automatically add decimal points at the end of a entry if they aren’t entered manually. The Nelsen campaign had entered an accounts payable of $2,488.00, but forgot the decimal point, which then automatically reported as $248,800.00, a clearly incorrect and very large mistake.

When the Nelsen campaign called officials to confirm the error and take the necessary steps to correct it, the Secretary of State’s office said this is a common mistake and has happened before in other campaigns. It is just a matter of making a logistical amendment to the report, which the Nelsen staff has done and will show on the system within a few days.

Tweed continued, “We will not have a balance deficit when this is said and done, we don’t run our campaigns that way. We do what we can afford and spend a majority of our time focused on grassroots campaigning. We’ve been hugely outspent by our opposing candidate and FuturePAC, yet we’ve still managed to knock on almost every door and get out almost 1,000 lawn signs in the district. Our campaign has focused on hard work and real communication with the voters and John’s done that. We’ve far outworked our opposition and we believe it will make the difference.”
In regards to a few other reporting errors, John Nelsen stated, “My campaign staff has been working long, hard hours for months and sometimes mistakes get made. No campaign is without an accident here or there. We have all of the information on record and it will be reported publicly in the next day or so””somehow the copies of checks just never made it from the copy machine to the fax machine.” He continued on, “We take responsibility for it and apologize to everyone for the mistake; there was never an intention to mislead citizens on the amount of fundraising we’ve done.”

“We haven’t financially mismanaged our campaign. Every mistake is important to correct and we do our best to ensure everything is 100% perfect, but sometimes things just happen and you have to make them right.” said Tweed. “I’m glad it was brought to our attention, but it’s frustrating that it automatically becomes an attack from the Democrats before they’ve even taken the time to ensure their charges are accurate.”


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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 53 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • HD49 Observer

    It’s good to see that Nelsen’s finances are cleared up. However, how exactly is his campaign so grassroots? When he takes 6k from Anheuser Busch (out of state), 5k from Reynolds American, money from Eli Lily and Pfizer, it is hard to be convinced that his efforts are by the people, for the people. Constituents shouldn’t be impressed by those 1,000 lawn signs when they are bought by tobacco, beer, and pharmaceutical corporations from out of state! And of those 1,000, about 200 seem to be in public right of way spaces, not in the lawns and windows of supporters.

    • Anonymous

      As opposed to the millions of out of state dollars from nice folks like trial lawyers the Democrats are pouring into every race in the state?

    • Anonymous

      I happen to like beer, and if it weren’t for pharmaceutical companies a huge number of Americans lives would be a whole lot shorter and more miserable.

  • Bugs

    Let me get this straight: John Nelsen’s campaign is “only” $190,000 in debt and that’s supposed to be a GOOD thing?

    No wonder Nelsen has left his school district in such a debt-ridden mess.

  • Dave A.

    The Nelsen Campaign is no less “funded” by out of district interests than his Oponnent – who is a low income law student. By the way, if it wasn’t for Mr. Nelsen’s questions about Reynolds School District finances,, the financial problems in that district might have been even worse. The Democrat he is running against is a garde a SCHMUCK!

  • HD 49 constituent

    Bugs – how many times, in this release or on the other articles, does the campaign have to repeat that there are some reporting errors that are being fixed that are causing the problems? Check it again…it’s already changed and dropping all the time. I’ve been tracking it too since the story popped up because it would have been pretty damn messed up if someone could rake up that debt and it looks like they just had a lot of amendments to make.

    Clearly, you just don’t want to view this with an open mind. Your connection to the Reynolds School Board is ridiculous-the board, the teachers, even the administrators have stated that there are a number of aspects involved that A) aren’t the boards fault, let alone John’s and B) that there is an actual investigation going on to unveil some other things as well right now. How do YOU, Bugs, know differently? Do you have some sort of proof that the entire thing falls on John’s shoulders? If you do, then I highly suggest you take it the school district and tell them so that you can save them the time of doing the investigation. Gimme a break, the only people blaming Nelsen are the Nick Kahl and his Democrat allies in Salem. Nobody else.

    And why wouldn’t they try? They’ve got nothing else to go on. No experience in east county, never worked in east county, no family, no real ideas of his own-he piggy backs the Democratic caucus every change he gets, he lies about his school situation, he sleeps on his brothers couch…I mean seriously? If Nick Kahl wins, it will be because of the democrat insurgency across the state. I highly doubt that the democratic registration in that district has increased because Nick Kahl waddled to someone’s doorstep once a month and asked for their vote, creating this wave where everyone in east county is just so excited about Nick, that they register as a democrat and vote for him.

    I’ve never seen such ridiculous efforts to take down an opponent than from the Kahl campaign…I guess if you have nothing to run on yourself, that’s you’re only option, but it makes him and his Democrats look like idiots.

  • HD49 Observer

    Let me quote the opinion piece at

    “Despite the fact that Nelsen is the school board chair in Reynolds, he claims that the district’s massive financial problems aren’t his fault.

    “Maybe his campaign wasn’t deliberately trying to hide these donations. As I’ve said here before, we shouldn’t ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

    “But that’s just it. Either John Nelsen deliberately hid these donations, or he’s just plain incompetent at managing money.”

    And John is currently asking anyone and everyone to find him a job. Good luck!!

  • Theresa Davis

    As a Reynolds School Board member, I challenge Nick Kahl to bring his comments to one of our board meetings publicly and on camera. I strongly urge him to become INFORMED OF THE FACTS instead of issuing unfounded accusations and using the situation as a political football for his campaign.

    As a Democrat, we’ve complained for years about the Republicans’ dirty tactics and how to turn the tables. However, this level of political nastiness will come back to haunt us in the future and is not a good representation of the Democratic Party values.

    Theresa Delaney Davis

    • HD49 Observer

      Theresa, your days of being a John Nelsen sycophant are over on Tuesday. You are about as proud a Democrat as Barbara Kyle. Why don’t you use a small ‘d’ since it isn’t about the Party for either of you PUMAs? Further, I am shocked no one else has mentioned your name in the list of people culpable for the Reynolds troubles.

      Perhaps you would reconsider your own “political nastiness” in this race as you have repeatedly bad-mouthed Nick Kahl at many public events. There doesn’t seem to be a bad time to be nasty for you. When you bad mouth Democrats to other Democrats word gets around.

      That’s great that you’ll offer your sanctuary as a place to criticize John Nelsen, but there are several other mediums that serve this purpose outside of your control. And there are plenty of people who are genuinely concerned about John Nelsen’s ability to represent East County in Salem. Your issue here isn’t with Nick Kahl. It is with people who support Nick Kahl and reject John Nelsen.

      It was odd that IBEW was the _ONE_ union that endorsed John Nelsen. Odd because Nelsen doesn’t support unions or labor in general. It was odd until John Nelsen’s campaign lit and commercials came out with you and your husband, Clif Davis, involved. Connect the dots… John Nelsen -> Theresa Delany Davis -> Clif Davis -> IBEW. It is sad that the hard-working union members had their dues go to a “friend” of the Business Manager rather than to a candidate who will represent their interests.

      And to close, I’ll ask what in the hell Terry Kneisler is doing mentoring students at the high school? Isn’t he the disgraced scapegoat with the golden parachute who caused all this mess according to Nelsen? Why is he still involved? And now it is possible that staff may be asked to roll back salary and cut school days? So now these students and hard-working teachers are asked to make even more sacrifices?

      John Nelsen cannot be expected to represent district 49 in Salem. He needs to focus his attention on Reynolds School District if anything positive is to come of this.

      • LoriR

        How would they keep Terry Kneisler out? He no longer works for the District, he goes in as a volunteer, on what grounds would they have to ban him from being there. Sure, ban the guy so he will litigate and cost the District even MORE money.

        Theresa has never been nasty to Nick Kahl. Not sure where you get your info.

        If you want to point fingers, why don’t you look at the person who was chair on the school board prior to John Nelsen. Once the Board started asking questions that Terry was waffling on that is when they knew something was up. Opinion + perspective does not always = facts.

  • Theresa

    I will politely agree to disagree with you. I personally know both candidates and made a an issue-driven, non-partisan choice of Nelsen over Kahl.

    FYI, I have attended only two events this campaign season where Nick Kahl was present. Ask him directly yourself and he will acknowledge we have both behaved in a most professional and friendly manner. There are no dots to connect, John has earned his endorsements independently.

    It is your right to express your “opinion”. Scathing comments, veiled threats, swearing and uninformed personal attacks are apparently your communication style. You do it anonymously as well.

    If your words containted less venom and personal feelings, I would consider an appropriate response to your comments. Good luck to you.

    Theresa Delaney Davis

  • kenny

    Nelsen sounds like the statesman in this one.

  • Bugs

    Bottom line:

    Even after all the corrections were made, John Nelsen has over $100,000 in campaign debt. That’s unheard of in Oregon legislative races.

  • Still don’t know what you’re talking about


    There won’t be any debt on November 4th. The campaign has said it many times. Why don’t you just wait so that you look like less of an idiot come election day.

  • CC

    In reply to kenny above. Nelsen IS a statesman.

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