Campaign Finance Reform

Multnomah County Decided to Defend Campaign Finance Reform Measure

After hearing from dozens of concerned citizens on April 13, the Multnomah County Commission decided instead to defend Measure 26-184 in court.

We congratulate the Commissioners for making this new decision.

Multnomah County Commission votes to throw campaign finance limits measure to courts

HONEST ELECTIONS MULTNOMAH COUNTY

For immediate release:
April 06, 2017

For more information, contact:

David Delk
davidafd@ymail.com
503-232-5495 
Moses Ross
moses@committowin.com
503-309-7985
Liz Trojan
liz@progparty.org
503-970-2069
 

Multnomah County Commission votes to throw voter-enacted campaign finance reform measure into the courts, without defending it

Today the Multnomah County Commission voted to throw the voter-enacted campaign finance reform Charter Amendment (Measure 26-184) into the courts, without defending it from any claims that is it not valid or constitutional.

Voters enacted Measure 26-184 by a count of 89% to 11%.

"Throwing the measure into court, without defending its validity or constitutionality, is certainly not implementing the will of the voters, who clearly demanded campaign finance reform," said David Delk of the Alliance for Democracy and Honest Elections Multnomah County, the group that spearheaded the campaign for Measure 26-184.

"The corporations and other donors can now challenge Measure 26-184 and not face a defense from the Multnomah County Attorney," noted Dan Meek, volunteer attorney for Honest Elections Multnomah County.

The measure amended the Multnomah County Charter to:

1. Requires that each Communication (defined) to voters related to a Multnomah County Candidate Election prominently disclose the five largest true original sources of funding (in excess of $500) for the Communication.

2. Limits contributions to support or oppose candidates for public office in Multnomah County elections to $500 per person or political committee.

3. Requires any entity that spends more than $750 per election cycle on independent expenditures to register as a political committee, which requires reporting of the sources of its funding.

4. Limits independent expenditures in any Multnomah County candidate race to:

  • $5,000 per individual
  • $10,000 per political committee, but only from contributions by individuals of $500 or less per year.

For more information: honest-elections.com info@honest-elections.com

Oregon Progressive Party Candidates and Measures Do Well

In the midst of the disaster of Trump triumph, our measures and candidates have done well.

A top priority was Multnomah County Measure 26-184, the campaign finance reform measure that passed by 89-11%. Chris Henry so far has 72,000 votes for State Treasurer (5% of the vote). His performance was needed for the Oregon Progressive Party to maintain its status as a recognized political party in Oregon for the next 4 years.

David Delk earned 7.3% of vote against Earl Blumenauer in Congressional District 3.
James Ofsink earned 14% in Oregon Senate District 21.
Sami Al-AbdRabhun earned 15% in Oregon House District 16.
Cynthia Hyatt earned 16% in Oregon House District 15.
Fergus McLean earned 10% in Oregon House District 7.

The above are all record high numbers for candidates of the Oregon Progressive Party.

We also cross-nominated some candidates who are affiliated with other parties.
Peter DeFazio (D) won easily in Congressional District 4.
Joe Rowe (PGP) earned 18% in Oregon House District 44.
Jill Stein (PGP) earned 2% for President.
Brad Avakian (D) earned 43% for Secretary of State but is 4 points behind Dennis Richardson (R) there.

Multnomah County Charter Review Committee Sends Campaign Finance Reform Measure to November Ballot

Measure would limit campaign contributions in Multnomah County candidate races and require that political ads disclose their largest funders

The Multnomah County Charter Review Committee (MCCRC) on July 6 voted to send to the voters a measure to limit political campaign contributions in Multnomah County candidate races and require that political ads in those races disclose their largest funders.

The Charter Review Committee is a special board of up to 15 persons, assembled once every 6 years, that has authority to place measures on the November ballot (pursuant to Section 12.70 of the Charter).  A MCCRC Subcommittee unanimously adopted and forwarded to the full Committee a measure to enact limits on political campaign contributions in Multnomah County elections, similar to those adopted last year in Seattle, and to require that political advertisements identify their true largest sources of funding.

The full text of the proposal, the Subcommittee's report, and a 2-page summary, and other memoranda are at http://mccrc.fairelection.org.

Oregon Secretary of State Blocks Campaign Finance Reform Initiative Petition

In a stunning display of democracy suppression, this afternoon the Secretary of State of Oregon refused to issue a ballot title for Initiative Petition 77 for 2016, which would amend the Oregon Constitution to allow limits on political campaign contributions and expenditures and allow laws requiring disclosure of the true sources and amounts of such contributions or expenditures in the communications they fund.

The Secretary of State claims that the Initiative would constitute more than one "closely related" amendment to the Oregon Constitution. 

"When a similar contention was made against Measure 46 (2006), the Oregon Supreme Court rejected it in Meyer v. Bradbury (2006)," noted attorney Dan Meek.  "This decision now requires the chief petitioners of Initiative Petition engage in costly litigation to defend the right of the people to amend their own Constitution to achieve campaign finance reform."

OPP Supports Democracy Spring!

Oregon Progressive Party Launches Initiative to GET BIG MONEY OUT OF OREGON POLITICS

Get Big Money OutThe Oregon Progressive Party has begun actively collecting signatures on a new statewide initiative petition (IP 77). This petition would:

  • allow Oregon to join the ranks of 46 other states with limits on money in the political process, and
     
  • ensure that the actual sources of that money are disclosed to the public.

Oregon is the only state whose constitution has been interpreted to prohibit limits on contributions and expenditures to influence the outcome of elections, be they candidate elections or initiatives/referenda. As a result, Oregon elections are among the most expensive in the nation. The Oregonian reports that only New Jersey campaigns are more expensive on a per capita basis.
 
The chief petitioners are:

  • Liz Trojan, State Council, Oregon Progressive Party
  • Rob Harris, IPO Caucus, Independent Party of Oregon
  • Seth Woolley, Member, Coordinating Committee, Pacific Green Party

We Need Your Help

We need to collect 1,000 valid Oregon voter signatures in order to get a ballot title for the initiative. You can help us with this effort. Please contact David e. Delk, Co-Chair of the Oregon Progressive Party, for instructions and petition sheets. David can be contacted at davidafd@ymail.com or 503.232.5495.

How the Petition Reads

It is a model of simplicity.  It reads:

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Oregon, there is added an Article II, Section 25, of the Constitution of Oregon:

Oregon laws consistent with the freedom of speech guarantee of the United States Constitution may:

1. limit contributions and expenditures (including transfers of money or resources) to influence the outcome of any election; and

2. require disclosure of the true sources and amounts of such contributions or expenditures (a)to the public and (b) in the communications they fund.

Thanks to Reps. DeFazio and Blumenauer for Sponsoring Constitutional Amendment to Nullify Citizens United and More

FOR RELEASE
July 31, 2015
Contact:  David Delk
delk@progparty.org   503.232.5495

The Oregon Progressive Party commends Oregon U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio for recently signing on as co-sponsors of the “We the People” proposed U.S. 28th Constitutional Amendment (HJR 48).

Since the January 2010 U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision much interest has been expressed in Congress and by citizens working at the local and state level in amending the Constitution to address the granting to corporations of the right to freely spend corporate funds on elections campaigns.  The Court did so by concluding that corporations have constitutional rights--that they are in effect human beings with constitutional rights.  

Oregon and 15 other states have now called for a constitutional amendment to at least overturn Citizens United.  The “We the People” proposed amendment would go further by amending the U.S. Constitution to say that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Such an amendment would overturn court decisions going back to Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1886), which gave 14th Amendment human rights to corporations, and would include more recent decisions like Buckley v Valeo, First National Bank of Boston v Bellotti, and others.

Democrats in Legislature Propose Campaign Finance Loophole Bill

Governor Kate Brown and Democrats in the Oregon Legislature are getting lots of laudatory press about proposing campaign finance reform.  But their bill, SB 75, is 100% loophole and 0% limits.  The only thing it would actually accomplish is repeal of the meaningful limits and disclosure requirements adopted by Oregon voters as Measure 47 of 2006.  See the Testimony of Daniel Meek.

Major Parties Like Phony Campaign Finance Reform

Kate Brown favors campaign finance reform?

IN a letter to the editor of the The Oregonian, OR Progressive Party state council member wrote:

The Oregonian continues to repeat Kate Brown's talking points of favoring campaign finance reform. The record suggests that is a smoke screen to get votes. In fact, as Secretary of State, she has had the opportunity to enforce Measure 47, passed in 2006 by the state's voters, with strict limits on campaign contributions and expenditures. She has chosen not to enforce the law.

In the present legislature she has proposed two bills - one a constitutional amendment to allow limitations on contributions in candidate elections only. An effective amendment would also cover independent expenditures in candidate elections as well spending on initiative campaigns. The second would set some contribution limits in candidate elections but leaves gaping holes, and then, to add insult to injury, would overturn those limits contained in the voter approved Measure 47.

If Ms. Brown were truly in favor of campaign finance reform, she would have enforced the law which already exists instead of trying to eliminate it.

Million Dollar Races for Oregon Legislature

Big Spending for Seats in Oregon

The Oregonian
January 16. 2015
by Jeff Mapes

Spending on Oregon legislative campaigns appeared to rise to a record level last year – but this time Democrats had a decided financial advantage.

An analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive of campaign disclosure reports shows that legislative candidates spent about $23.7 million last year running for office.

That's an increase from the nearly $23 million spent by candidates in 2012, according to a similar analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive two years ago. Studies done in past years by the National Institute on Money in State Politics, which focused on fundraising instead of spending, add to evidence that Oregon's legislative campaign spending hit a record last year.

The Udall Resolution to Amend U.S. Constitution is Inadequate

On September 11, the U.S. Senate voted 54-42 to break the filibuster on the resolution to send to the States a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.  The Democrats all voted to break the filibuster but did not invoke the "nuclear option" that would allow that 54-42 vote to prevail.  Instead, the Democrats allowed the Republicans to "win" with only 42 votes, thereby blocking a vote on the resolution itself.  Thanks, Democrats.  Of course, since such a resolution requires 2/3 affirmative votes in both houses of Congress, it would not be adopted by the current Congress.

The piece below shows that the resolution left much to be desired, anyway.

-- Dan Meek

As the US Senate moves to vote on the Udall proposed constitutional amendment to address the effects of the US Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, let's be clear.

by David Delk

We need a single constitutional amendment that says:
*Corporations are not people and do not have constitutional rights, and
*
money is not speech, it is property and shall be subject to regulation at all levels of government.
 
From the sounds of the letters received as well as the emails, our democracy can only be saved from the plutocrats and corporatists if we sign the petitions and contribute some money to endorse passage of Senate Joint Resolution 19, the so-called Udall amendment. According to the letter dated August 13, 2014, from Public Citizen, “Senators Cantwell and McCaskill just announced that they will vote for our constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, McCutcheon and all the other disastrous Supreme Court decisions that are handing effective control of our democracy over to giant corporations and a tiny cabal of super-wealthy individuals.”
 
We agree with Public Citizen that this is a crucial time for our democracy and that urgent action is required. But is Senator Tom Udall's (D-NM) Amendment (SRJ19) the right amendment? Will it do what it is hyped to do?
 
Oregon Progressive Party says “Get some teeth in that”
 
We need a proposed constitutional amendment with some teeth, something that will really do what Public Citizen suggests the Udall Amendment will do, but actually would not.

MovetoAmend U.S. Constitution to Control Big Money in Politics

Big special interest money and national/multinational corporations dominates the political process. We need our democracy back! Now!

It is time to amend the U.S. Constitution.

This Public Service Announcement directs you to Movetoamend.org to support amending the constitution to say the corporations are not people and money in politics is not speech and should be regulated.

Produced by David Delk and Geoff Holland.

OPP Candidate Bob Wolfe Calls Out Kate Brown on Phony Campaign Spending Limit

OPP candidate for Secretary of State, Bob Wolfe, issued this press release on September 19. It was quoted by the Oregonian at Oregon Secretary of State candidates trade tough words over campaign spending limits.

Kate Brown today announced that her campaign for Secretary of State will limit its spending on the general election to $1 million. "This is a cynical political trick and does not reflect any concern for the huge influence of big money in Oregon elections," said Bob Wolfe, the candidate for Secretary of State of the Oregon Progressive Party.

“Brown has already spent millions promoting her name to Oregon voters, and her pledge won’t restrain limitless spending by public employee unions, her biggest supporters,” Wolfe said. Her pledge does not stop unions or corporations or other entities from making unlimited "independent expenditures" that would not be counted toward the $1 million limit.

In fact, Kate Brown refuses to enforce Oregon Measure 47, adopted by voters in 2006, as a solution to independent expenditures. That requires that every ad funded by independent expenditures prominently disclose the names, business interests, and amounts donated to the independent expenditure campaign by the top 5 donors to the campaign. This would let voters know where the money is coming from, which Kate Brown apparently does not want.

"If Kate Brown were concerned about money in politics, she would be enforcing the contribution limits and other provisions of Measure 47 (2006) instead of attacking that measure in court," Wolfe said.

Kate Brown has already spent over $2.6 million since 2000 promoting her name to Oregon voters. Now she wants all other candidates to comply with her spending limit going forward. That is like cutting the rations for everyone after only you have eaten a series of huge meals.

Brown’s ‘limit’ of $1 million this year comes on top of the $1.2 million Kate Brown spent in 2008. “Kate Brown is a poster child for excessive spending and the current record-holder for campaign spending in Oregon for any State office except Governor,” says Wolfe.

Brown has also avoided all opportunities to reform campaign spending in Oregon. According to Willamette Week (April 25, 2012) , "Brown has been silent on campaign finance reform and otherwise largely invisible."

“She has neither pursued nor accomplished anything on campaign finance reform during her 20 years as a candidate and state office-holder. Now she is suddenly concerned about money in politics? The only reason appears to be that for the first time one of her opponents might outspend her,” said Wolfe.

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