By Gary Leitke, Election Integrity Study Group
Campaign Finance may well be the FOREMOST PRIORITY for this Oregon legislative session. Until comprehensive limits are set, elections will remain unfair and unreachable to everyday citizens.
Voters resoundingly approved constitutional amendment Measure 107 last November, to allow finance limits, post SCOTUS Citizens United decision.
But unless follow-up legislation establishes stringent, comprehensive limits—elections will continue to be “bought” and money will steal the ability of everyday citizens to be heard fairly. Electeds will be chosen by money and subsequently influenced by money. Few of lesser means can compete as candidates. Legislation aimed to benefit everyday (esp. poor) people will be impaired. That includes many, many bills for which MultDems advocate in our Platform and support by testifying at hearings and writing to their electeds.
Our Election Integrity study group sees HB3343 as the best of 3 current limit-setting bills still alive. But we are not satisfied that any of them satisfactorily limit money flow FROM groups (e.g., PACs, SuperPACs, and party caucuses).
Unless legislation effectively limits ALL contribution sources, especially including groups, from funding a campaign, it’s like squeezing a balloon; flow may be partially restricted, but rushes in from the rest of the balloon.
Write your legislators to boldly restrict contributions by groups.