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Brief History of CFR in Oregon. In 1994, Oregon voters enacted CFR by vote of 72% Banned corporate and union contributions Limits on individuals were $500 for statewide race and $100 for legislative race

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brief history of cfr in oregon
Brief History of CFR in Oregon
  • In 1994, Oregon voters enacted CFR by vote of 72%
  • Banned corporate and union contributions
  • Limits on individuals were $500 for statewide race and $100 for legislative race
  • In 1997, Oregon Supreme Court decided that Oregon Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) does not allow any limits on contributions

What Tom Delay is accused of doing in Texas is perfectly legal in Oregon.

He is accused of channelling $190,000 of corporate campaign contributions into candidate races for the Texas Legislature.

Corporations contribute $15 million to Oregon legislative candidates.

campaign spending skyrockets in oregon
Campaign Spending Skyrockets in Oregon
  • In 1996, total spending on Oregon campaigns was $4.2 million
  • In 2002, total spending was $42 million
  • With McCain-Feingold in effect on federal level, more corporate money will flow into Oregon, one of 5 states with no limits on contributions (Illinois, New Mexico, Utah, Virginia)
loot for legislative races
Loot for Legislative Races
  • State Senate Races: Candidates spending more than $500,000 each:
    • In 2004: 7
    • In 2002: 6
  • State House Races: Candidates spending more than $250,000 each:
    • In 2004: 11
    • In 2002: 10
governor race gushes cash
Governor Race Gushes Cash
  • Candidates for Governor of Oregon spent $15 million in 2002
  • Each major party candidate spent over $4 million in general election
  • Four losing candidates in primaries spent average of $1.5 million each
business outspends everyone
Business Outspends Everyone
  • Corporations outspend labor unions by 5-1 and environmental groups by 100’s to one
  • In 1996 (CFR temporarily in place), business outspent labor by $1.9 million in Oregon
  • In 2002 (with no CFR), business outspent labor by $11.4 million
wealthy business people make big contributions 2002
Wealthy Business-People Make Big Contributions - 2002

To the 2002 Mannix campaign for Governor:

  • Lauren Parks contributed over $540,000
  • Rod & Rich Wendt (timber) gave $250,000
  • Joan Austin (medical equipment) gave $200,000
  • James Monaghan (rock products) gave $115,000
  • Ron Coffman (ranching) gave $71,000 + $60,000 more from his corporation
wealthy execs fork over the bucks 2006 primary for gov
Wealthy Execs Fork Over the Bucks – 2006 Primary for Gov

In the 2006 primary for Governor:

  • Loren Parks gave $713,000 to Mannix
  • Rod Wendt (timber) gave $100,000 to Saxton
  • Bill Swindells (timber) gave $100,000 to Saxton
corporate interests pile on the cash 2006 primary for justice
Corporate Interests Pile on the Cash – 2006 Primary for Justice

In the 2006 primary for Supreme Court Justice, Jack Roberts spent over $400,000. He got:

  • $150,000 from National Ass’n of Manufacturers
  • $50,000 from Loren Parks
  • $10,000 from execs of Holiday Retirement
  • $5,000 from Lone Rock Timber$5,000 from Freres Lumber
corporate interests do independent expenditures
Corporate Interests Do “Independent Expenditures”

“Independent Expenditure” campaigns help favored candidates in a deniable way.

The 2006 Oregon primary included these efforts:

  • Loren Parks - $170,000 against Ron Saxton
  • Grand Rhonde Tribe - $820,000 against Kevin Mannix (R) and Ted Kulongoski (D)
average person is left out
Average Person is Left Out

In 2002 election for Oregon Legislature:

  • 98.5% of Oregon voters contributed nothing
  • 69% of money came from just 1,183 donors--averaging $6,700 each
  • Only 2% of the money came from those contributing $50 or less
money buys election results
Money Buys Election Results
  • Oregon Legislature: biggest spender won 91% of races in 2002 and 2004
  • Only exceptions in Oregon Senate were 3 former legislators who spent average of $195,000 each
  • Only exceptions in Oregon House still spent average of $167,000 each
political results enron pge
Political Results: Enron, PGE
  • Enron buys PGE in 1997 and raises rates by $400 million per year
  • Enron/PGE charges us over $800 million to date for “state and federal income taxes” never paid by PGE or Enron
  • Enron/PGE destroys over $100 million in PGE employee pensions
  • Why? Because PGE/Enron has handed out over $500,000 to candidates for the Oregon Legislature and both parties
pge s 800 million tax retention
PGE’s $800 Million Tax “Retention”
  • Since 1997, PGE has charged us over $800 million for “federal and state income taxes” that neither PGE nor Enron has ever paid
  • We continue to pay $93 million per year in these phony “income tax” charges
  • SB 408 (2005) would have stopped these charges by PGE, but Oregon PUC (Dec. 2005) approved distribution of 30% of PGE stock, which defeats a 7% rate cut
money buys political results corporate taxation
Money Buys Political Results: Corporate Taxation
  • Corporations pay less taxes while schools and services suffer; effective tax rate on corporate income has fallen by 40% in past 12 years
  • Council on State Taxation (2005): Oregon ranks 47th among states in business taxes per $ of economic activity, ranks 49th in business tax burden relative to individual tax burden
corporations pay little in taxes oregon center for public policy
Corporations Pay Little in Taxes(Oregon Center for Public Policy)
  • Corps pay 71% less in state income taxes than they did in 1975 (as % of gross state product)
  • In 1975, corps paid 18.5% of income taxes in Oregon; now they pay 4.6%
  • Without new tax breaks, the corps would be paying $900 million more per year
oregon corporate taxes go down down down
Oregon Corporate Taxes Go Down, Down, Down

Corporate Income Taxes in Oregon (as a percent of all Oregon income taxes) have declined from 18% in 1975 to less than 5% now

fraud of the corporate kicker
Fraud of the Corporate “Kicker”
  • Corporations get their state income taxes cut, if state economist says that overall state revenue will exceed an earlier projection
  • “Kicker” just cut 2005 Oregon corporate income taxes by 36% ($101 million)
  • Half of the tax cut goes to just 50 corporations
next year corp taxes cut in half
Next Year Corp Taxes Cut in Half
  • In March 2006, State Economist announced that corporations would receive additional kicker refund of $205 million next year
  • Last year total Oregon corporate income tax payments were only $325 million (down from $384 million in 1996, for example)
oregon taxes the working poor
Oregon Taxes the Working Poor
  • Oregon ranks 2nd highest in U.S. in share of state and local taxes paid by individuals, not business
  • Oregon has the 5th highest income taxes in U.S. for a family of 3 earning minimum wage
  • Oregon has 2nd highest income taxes in U.S. for family of 4 at 125% of poverty line
political results restaurants bars gambling
Political Results: Restaurants, Bars, Gambling
  • Video poker parlors receive $160 million per year in commissions
  • Audits show could cut in half (as in Canada) and produce $80 million per year for schools
  • In 2004, Oregon Lottery Commission decided to reduce commissions by only 3%
  • The Commission is appointed by politicians, and Oregon Restaurant Association contributed over $1.2 million in last 3 elections.
political results tobacco
Political Results: Tobacco
  • SB 738 would require sale of only fire-safe cigarettes in Oregon, as in other states
  • SB 544 would require smoke-free bars and bowling alleys
  • Tobacco, restaurants forked over $626,000 in 2002-04 contributions to sitting legislators
  • Nothing passed
fate of statutory initiatives 1
Fate of Statutory Initiatives 1
  • In 1996 Colorado voters enacted statutory contribution limits by 2-1 vote
  • In 2000 the Colorado Legislature raised the contribution limits:
    • from $500 to $5000 for governor
    • from $100 to $1500 for State Senate
    • from $100 to $1000 for the State House
  • Legislature also repealed bans on corporate and union contributions and created new loopholes for political parties
fate of statutory initiatives 2
Fate of Statutory Initiatives 2
  • Massachusetts Legislature in 2003 (by voice vote) repealed “clean money” public funding system enacted by initiative
  • Ohio Legislature in 2004 had “emergency session” to increase limits by factor of 4 and open corporate loopholes
protect from legislative repeal
Protect from Legislative Repeal
  • Petition 8 allows initiatives to set or amend limits on contributions and expenditures
  • Petition 8 allows Legislature to change limits, only with 3/4 vote of both houses
  • Legislative repeals and amendments in Colorado, Massachusetts, and Ohio were by simple majority votes
need constitutional amendment
Need Constitutional Amendment

Petition 8 is one-sentence amendment to Oregon Constitution:

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.

pet 37 contribution limits
Pet 37: Contribution Limits
  • Bans all contributions for or against candidates by corporations and unions
  • Limits individual contributions to $500 in statewide races (primary & general are considered 2 separate races)
  • $100 in non-statewide race (legislative seat, city council, county commission, etc.)
  • Individual cannot contribute more than $2,500 per year in total to all campaigns, committees
pet 37 small donor committees
Pet 37: Small Donor Committees
  • Small Donor Committees (SDCs) can accept only contributions from individuals of up to $50 per year
  • Membership groups, including unions, can allocate dues to the SDC, up to $50 per member per year
  • Each union local with authority to support or oppose candidates can form an SDC
pet 37 independent spending
Pet 37: Independent Spending
  • Bans all independent expenditures for or against candidates by corporations and unions
  • Such bans upheld by U.S. Supreme Court in 1990; reiterated by the Court in 2003
  • Limits independent expenditures by an individual to $10,000 per year, with detailed disclosures in right in the sponsored ads
limited use of candidate wealth
Limited Use of Candidate Wealth
  • Candidate cannot contribute more than $50,000 to her own statewide race
  • Candidate cannot contribute more than $10,000 to his non-statewide race
  • Non-incumbent candidate can spend 50% more than these limits
  • Every ad must disclose amount candidate is contributing to own campaign, if over $5,000
pet 37 disclosures in ads by independent expenditures
Pet 37: Disclosures in Adsby Independent Expenditures
  • Every ad must prominently disclose everyone who contributed $1,000 or more to the campaign, their lines of business, and the amounts contributed; and
  • Anyone making independent expenditures during any 2-year election cycle in excess of $200 must report the expenditures in the same manner as a political committee.
detailed disclosures in ads
Detailed Disclosures in Ads
  • Must state name of contributor, primary businesses engaged in, and total expenditures during election cycle
  • Information must be current within 5 days of the TV or radio ad
  • Video disclosure must remain on regular screen long enough to be fully read
  • Audio disclosure must be spoken no faster than 5 words per second
limits are constitutional
Limits are Constitutional
  • Petition 8 will be part of the Oregon Constitution and overturn the Oregon Supreme Court’s 1997 decision striking down contribution limits enacted by voters in 1994
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld similar state limits on contributions (Missouri 2000)
  • 10 States and D.C. already limit aggregate individual contributions
limits are constitutional 2
Limits are Constitutional 2
  • U.S. Supreme Court has upheld complete bans on corporate contributions and corporate independent expenditures
  • U.S. Supreme Court has uphld complete bans on labor union contributions and (implicitly) independent expenditures
  • 8 states have limits on use of candidate personal wealth in campaigns

Sierra Club of OregonAlliance for DemocracyPacific Green PartyClackamas County Democratic PartyOregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG)Oregon Gray PanthersNorthwest Progressive CommunityFirst Unitarian Church Action GroupsWomen's Int’l League for Peace and FreedomPete Sorensen, candidate for governorGranny D

oregon voter poll aug 2005 riley research
Oregon Voter Poll, Aug 2005Riley Research


Oregon currently has no limits on campaign contributions for any state or local office. Would you favor or oppose the establishment of some kind of campaign contribution limits?

  • 76% favor (57% strongly)
  • 12% opposed
  • 11% undecided
oregon near worst in campaign contribution disclosure
Oregon Near Worst in Campaign Contribution Disclosure
  • Pew Trust, UCLA Law School studies in 2003 and 2004 gave Oregon an F in disclosure content accessibility and online usability; Oregon among worst 5-10 states
  • Pew’s 2005 study gave Oregon an F in disclosure content accessibility and a D in online usability
  • Oregon has no searchable online list of candidates and contributors (just PDF images of C&E pages)
oregon near worst in contribution disclosure 2
Oregon Near Worst in Contribution Disclosure (#2)
  • Oregon has no printed list of candidates’ contributors until months after the election
  • 2005 Legislature enacted bill requiring Secretary of State to implement web-based electronic reporting with searchable database (after one politician pocketed $60,000 of contributions; was not illegal)
  • No deadline for SoS to implement this system
get involved
Get Involved!

FairElections Oregon

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