Oregon Legislature

Sunlight Foundation Too Generous in Giving Oregon a D on Lobbyist Disclosure

Update (August 13): The Sunlight Foundation, having been notified by us about HB 2058,  has now downgraded Oregon to an F, joining Florida, Nevada, and West Virginia in the F category.

The Sunlight Foundation issued a report on August 12 , 2015, rating each state's lobbying disclosure requirements. They assigned Oregon a grade of D, but that grade was based on their error in failing to account for the new bill passed by the 2015 Oregon Legislature (and not vetoed by Gov. Kate Brown), HB 2058.

That law allows lobbyists to avoid reporting for the next 2 years what amounts to over 99% of their expenditures.  So Oregon now clearly deserves a -1 on the Expenditure Transparency criterion, which would give Oregon a correct overall score of -3 and place it firmly in the "F" category in the Sunlight Foundation analysis, along with only 3 other states (Florida, Nevada, West Virginia).

I testified to the Oregon Legislature (on behalf of Oregon Progressive Party) that I was "in the rare position of agreeing with an editorial in the Bend Bulletin, which pointed out that this bill would relieve lobbyists of the obligation to report all but $92,000 of the over $26 million actually spent on lobbying in Oregon in 2014."

"This 99.6% reduction in reporting of such spending seems particularly inappropriate in light of the recent events that caused the resignation of Governor Kitzhaber. Oregon needs more disclosure of money in politics, not less, and lobbying spending is definitely part of money in politics."

It was the only written testimony against HB 2058, which passed the Oregon House by a vote of 42-16, with Democrats providing 24 of the yes votes. It passed the Oregon Senate by a vote of 18-11, with Democrats providing all of the yes votes.

Here is the Oregonian article on the Sunlight Foundation report.

Dan Meek and David Delk Discuss Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

Dan Meek and Davlid Delk discussed recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and actions (and inactions) of the 2015 Oregon Legislature. Must See TV!

Oregon House Unanimous: All Government Buildings Must Fly POW-MIA Flag, Every Day

The Oregon House voted 57-0 for HB 2892, which requires that every government building in Oregon (state, county, city, district, etc.) fly the POW-MIA flag every day of every year. The bill is now in the Senate Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness.

The bill also requires new government buildings to install more flagpoles in order to fly the POW-MIA flag. The Legislature's Fiscal Office says that the cost of those flagpoles and of buying thousands of POW-MIA flags and replacing them as they wear out is so small that it need not be quantified.

The Testimony of the Oregon Progressive Party was the only testimony on the bill, except from veterans' groups. We testified that it is such a good idea that it should be adopted for all political and social groups and causes. We offered examples of 10 other flags that should fly from all Oregon government buildings, every day of every year, including the flag of the Oregon Progressive Party. There are literally tens of thousands of other suitable flags.

Some might think that flags on government buildings should merely identify those buildings as housing government functions and not be used to trumpet various groups or causes.

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

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.

Health Care for All: Bus to Salem Rally on Feb 11

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Catch a bus to Salem to Rally on the Capitol Steps for Health Care for All!

We want everyone to be able to attend.  Reserve yourself a seat on a bus to Salem.  We ask for $15 to cover the cost of the buses.  IF you can not pay the full price and need a scholarship please contact Robin Cash robinjc@pacifier.com or call or text 503-421-6125.  Also, if you would like to help cover the costs of the buses so that more people can participate who otherwise could not afford it, please also contact Robin Cash about making a donation.

If you would like to be a Bus Captain, contact Robin Cash.

Note:  Board your bus at 9am.  Buses will be returning from Salem to Portland approximately 3:30 to 4:00 pm.

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