Vote Yes on Measure 107 to amend the Oregon constitution and allow state and local governments to put campaign contribution limits in place. If this passes, it gives Oregon lawmakers the green light to draw up regulations around limiting contributions.
- Source Weekly
The influence of multinational corporations and wealthy donors has disproportionally tipped the scales away from the average voter in American politics—and Oregon's state politics. Oregon is one of seven states that allows corporations to donate money. In 2019, corporate interests donated half of what lawmakers raised. You may be surprised to learn that Oregon leads the nation in per-capita corporate donations. This is not a healthy accolade for our body politic.
"The most common effect isn't what you do. It's the bills that you never submit, much less fight for," former Oregon Secretary of State Phil Keisling told The Oregonian.
The cost of campaigning has also become prohibitively expensive. In 2016, the cost of running for a seat in the Oregon House was nearly $250,000, twice what it costs in neighboring Washington. The 2018 race for governor broke state records, with both candidates raising $40 million.
But the key to this amendment lies in the message it sends to state lawmakers, some of whom have used campaign funds to pay for lavish dinners, hotels and vacations. They'll be challenged next year to place limits on themselves.