An election complaint filed by a local Republican against Senate District 3 candidate Curt Ankerberg on May 9 prompted Ankerberg to fire back with a profanity-laced response.
“Hey you little p---- ... I understand that you filed a complaint against me with the Secretary of State’s office for campaign violations,” Ankerberg wrote in a Facebook message to Reagan Knopp, son of Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend. “A--hole, the fact is that I’ve filed all the necessary forms, and the SOS office agrees with me.”
Knopp, who said this isn’t the first time Ankerberg has sent him a message filled with expletives, filed the complaint this week, stating that Ankerberg has made various statements on the Bill Meyer radio show that he intends to raise $300,000 or more to be competitive in the race.
Ankerberg told Knopp he spent less than $3,000. His Republican opponent, Jessica Gomez, has received $90,804, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
Oregon Revised Statute 260.057 states that a candidate, treasurer or political committee that expects to receive or spend less than $3,500 in a calendar year can file a certificate to that effect with the Secretary of State’s Office. Ankerberg filed the certificate on April 11.
If candidates who have filed the certificate subsequently spend or receive more than the $3,500, they are required to file a statement with an accounting of those expenses or contributions, according to ORS 260.057 or 260.118.
Debra Royal, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s Office, confirmed the complaint had been received but it hasn’t been reviewed yet.
She said her office would make a determination first to make sure there isn’t a criminal violation. If there were, it would be forwarded to the Department of Justice.
Knopp, a 22-year-old Medford resident, doesn’t allege that Ankerberg has received or spent in excess of $3,500 but cites in the complaint instances in which Ankerberg has made statements that he expects to receive more than that amount.
A political consultant who has done work with The Leadership Fund, a political action committee, Knopp is working on a race in Central Oregon for state representative candidate Ben Schimmoller and the Marion County commissioner race for Colm Willis. Knopp said he did work on Gomez’s website through The Leadership Fund, which recently sent out a mailer blasting Ankerberg.
Knopp, in his complaint with the state, indicates Ankerberg spent about $1,200 for ads on local radio.
He said Ankerberg should file financial disclosures if he anticipates bringing in more than $3,500 this year.
Knopp said he first tangled with Ankerberg in April after Knopp’s father contributed to Gomez’s campaign. At the time, Knopp said he’d received expletive-ridden responses.
Ankerberg, who also has sent profanity-laced emails to the Mail Tribune as well as other members of the community, told Knopp via a Facebook message on May 10 he doesn’t need to list expenses or contributions until he surpasses the $3,500 for the general election.
Ankerberg wrote, “You lose c---s----r, and I’ll show Bill Meyer your complaint and have him roast your little ass. You can suck my d---, m-----f-----. You lose.”
Knopp said that in this response, Ankerberg again stated that he plans to surpass the $3,500 in the general election.
Earlier in the campaign season, Knopp said he grew alarmed at anger issues with Ankerberg and decided to keep a closer eye on the race.
Since then, Knopp became aware that Ankerberg ran afoul of the U.S. Tax Court, which called out Ankerberg for filing “fraudulent” tax returns three years in a row.
“You would think he would have to come out and apologize for it,” Knopp said. “He hasn’t done any of that. Every time someone attacks him, he doesn’t want to take responsibility.”
Ankerberg refuses to speak with the Mail Tribune and has informed the newspaper he will file a harassment complaint with police if he is contacted by newsroom staff.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on ww.twitter.com/reporterdm.