Saturday, November 04, 2006

Oregon Measure 46 and 47

Yes, we have lots of ballot measures to think about here in ole Oregon this year.  And these are just the state-wide ones.

Measures 46 and 47 are out campain finance solutions.  Or, rather, someone's attempt at a solution.  The first one just modifies the constitution to allow limits on campain contributions.  As it stands now, the constitution plainly states that you can't limit it in any way.  In that way Oregon is one of the least controlled environments for election contributions in the United States.  Do we think that's a problem?
Measure 47 is, then, a limit on contributions to campains that is pretty far reaching.  All contributers to all sorts of political action is touched by this measure. 

I might be amenable to the first measure, seeing as there might be some reason to limit contributions for something, like, for instance, money coming in from out of state (there, my hat tip to all the nuts who put that as their reason for opposing some of the other measures).  However, it's far from certain where this opening would take us.  Just look at the second measure I'm referring to, measure 47.  It places limits on everybody, limits candidates spending on their own campains, and has unspent money reverting to the government after the election is over!  What, is that a tax?
Oh, my, gracious does the text of this revision to Oregon statues take up pages and pages of the ballot guide.  Do we really want that kind of trash added to the state books?  Even Willamette Week, who seemingly endorsed the measure, admitted that their eyes glazed over after a period of trying to wade through all the regulations involved with the bill.  (Here's WW's endorsements of all the measures and Candidates, most of which I disagree with).
Anyone wanting to know what limiting campain contributions does just has to look nationally.  People with money and some agenda will find a way to get that money into the process for the purpose of influence.  Wouldn't you like that transfer of money to be a little more obvious to follow?
If you want to improve this, go for more transparency laws in contributions and in the bill making process.  See where the money is coming from during election time, and where the money is going during legislative sessions.  That might be a measure I'd vote for.
Voting: NO on both.

Side note.  Interesting collection of folks opposing these measures.  The ACLU is opposed.  As is the right wing Oregon Family Council.

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