"END MAD CASH DISEASE" CAMPAIGN BEGINS IN OREGON
noimage
“Because Oregon is only one of five states with no limitations on campaign contributions or expenditures, special interests run a-mock here. Passage of these two new initiatives will end MAD CASH DISEASE in Oregon. They will remove corporations and the wealthy from their current special position in our elections; they will return us to government of, by and for the people.”
David e. Delk, Co-chair, Alliance for Democracy – Portland Chapter

************************************

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

Oregon has no limitations on campaign contributions or expenditures, one of only 5 states in that condition.

That was not always been the case. In 1996, Oregon through the initiative process enacted CFR only to have the Oregon Supreme Court throw the measure out. They said such laws were a violation of free speech. And since that time campaigns have gotten more and more expensive. Corporations have pushed up the total reported spending on political races in Oregon from $4.2 million in 1996 to $49 million in 2002.

And the voice of the people has been replaced by the voice of special interests. Special interests like Enron. Special interests like Big Pharma. Special interests that give away our tax revenues in the form of tax "credits" to multinational corporations. Special interests like the Oregon Restaurant Associations. In 2004, the Oregon Lottery Commission disregarded its own study, showing that Canadian provinces pay video poker outlets commissions of 15% of the money taken in, instead of the 32% paid in Oregon.
So video poker parlors get to keep an extra $85 million per year that should be going to schools. Why?
The Commission answers to the politicians, and the Oregon Restaurant Association contributed over $1.2 million to them in the last 3 elections.

Oregonians are now fighting back!

Signature gathering has begun on two initiatives for Campaign Finance Reform. One of those is a single line constitutional amendment (Petition #8). The other is a statute which puts in place the limitations which are missing today (Petition #37)..

Petition #8 - a constitutional amendment

Petition #8 is very simple - a single sentence: "Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, the people through the initiative process, or the Legislative Assembly by a three-fourths vote of both Houses, may enact and amend laws to prohibit or limit contributions and expenditures, of any type or description, to influence the outcome of any election." (Note: AfD national vice-co chair, David e. Delk, is chief Petitioner on this one)

This single sentence gives the people the right to enact limitations on campaign contributions and expenditures. It places that right in the Oregon Constitution where it is protected from the Oregon Supreme Court. It is also protected from the legislature. The legislature can enact such laws as well but only with a super majority. In 2004, in Ohio, the legislature changed the campaign finance laws to increase the amount which an individual could donate four fold from $2,500 to $10,000. Most people do not come close to making a contribution of $2,500. Increasing it is only benefits special interests, interests seeking special benefits from elected officials. In Ohio that change in law happened with a simple majority vote; in Oregon a super majority of 3/4 vote would be required. (Note that this single sentence allows us to change the laws regarding both candidate campaigns and initiative campaigns. At this time the second petition affects candidate campaigns only).

Petition #37 - a statute

Petition 37 is a statute and much more complex. In broad outline, it:
O Bans all corporate and union contributions
O Limits individual contributions. Those limits are
O $500 per election period (primary + General); $100 for all other offices
O Aggregate contributions from individuals to all candidates and committees are limited to $2500/year.
O Limits contributions by political committees and political parties to candidates.
O Allows formation of Small Donor Committees. These committees can accept contributions of no more than $50.00 per individual member per year. They are allowed to spend that money on candidate elections however they like. Membership organizations (think Sierra Club, for instance or labor unions) are allowed to form SDCs and then transfer up to $50/member to the SDC.
O Limits amount a candidate can contribute to his/her our campaign to at most $50,000 per election period campaigns for statewide office; $10,000 for all other offices. Non-incumbents can increase this limit by 50%.
O Permits independent expenditures only by the sources above and limited to $10,000 per individual. Corporations cannot make independent expenditures for candidate races.
O Requires strict reporting of contributions and expenditures with disclosure before the election, instead of after the election as is the current case.
O Requires that major contributors to candidates or independent expenditures be cited in all print or electronic ads.

Join the Campaign to End Mad Cash Disease

Your help is needed now! Here is how to help:
O If your live in Oregon, contact David Delk at daviddelk-afd@ecosky.com or at 503 232 5495 to get copies of the text and the signatures sheets. Collect some signatures for this effort to reclaim our democracy.
O Learn more about the measures and the need for them at www.fairelections.net.
O Make a money contribution to the campaign. Contributions can be made out to Fair Elections Oregon and mailed to
FairElections Oregon
P.O. Box 8488
Portland, OR 97207
Make sure your check shows your name and address. Please include a note indicating your occupation, which can be "retired." And a phone number is helpful in case you need to be contacted.

(Oregon Political Tax Credit: An individual with taxable Oregon income of $2,400 or more can give up to $50 to political campaigns and get it all back (every dollar) as a state income tax credit. A couple filing a joint return can give $100 and get it all back, if their income is at least $4,800. Those with lower incomes can get back amounts contributed, up to their total state income tax withheld or otherwise paid.)

Additional resources for this effort:
Fair Elections www.fairelections.net (This is the official website for the campaign)
Democracy's Edge http://www.demaction.com/?q=initiatives


views