Corporate accountability measure pulled

The corporate accountability and reporting measure (discussed here on BlueOregon by Chuck Sheketoff) has been pulled by its sponsors - despite turning in an early set of 84,000 signatures last week.

Why? Because Our Oregon and OEA have decided that they need to marshal resources for the fight against TABOR - the Colorado Spending Trap. From the AP:

Our Oregon spokeswoman Patty Wentz said it was a "tough decision" to drop the measure, which she said would have made it clear to people that no state asks businesses to pay a lighter share of its state budget than Oregon.

"But we have a big fight on our hands," Wentz said. "We have to focus our efforts on defeating the spending limit."

Among other things, pulling the measure means that the TABOR fight might pick up more business support:

Rasmussen said she hopes Oregon businesses will join the fight against the spending limit, but she said there was no agreement by business groups to do so if the teachers union dropped its initiative requiring public disclosure of corporate tax payments.

However, the head of one business lobbying group on Monday praised the union's decision to dump the disclosure measure. Lynn Lundquist of the Oregon Business Association said the move "paves the way" for more cooperation between education and business interests.

"Now we can focus together on securing stable and adequate funding and other investments needed for Oregon's public education system," Lundquist said.

More on TABOR from BlueOregon. Learn more from Our Oregon, OCPP, Oregon Business Association, and OEA.


  • Ben Dover (unverified)

    [off-topic comment deleted -editor]

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    I'd really love to believe that the TABOR fight won't be a serious one--I mean, come on, does anyone think the pinhead GOPpers are fiscally accountable? On the other hand, TABOR was a catastrophe of the first order in Colorado, and it's worth taking seriously.

    I guess I'd just like to be playing offense on this one, but what are you going to do?

  • Jesse O (unverified)

    Smart people. Tough choice. Undoubtedly made after some tough looks at polls, and campaign budgets, and the reality of the uninformed voter.


  • Matt Singer (unverified)

    This is a really interesting update. Having to drop that accountability measure is unfortunate, but the fight against TABORs is critical.

    Getting the resources for offense is always an interesting issue.

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    It is deeply disapointing to be looking at yet another year of solely playing defense against a sea of bad ballot measures. I was really hoping folks were going to move forward with this, even though I'm sensitive to the trade-offs that were weighed. And I don't really have a million dollars lying around to get an effort off the ground.

    What a bummer.

    Still, defeating TABOR is the type of must-win apocalypse ballot measure that has to be taken extremely seriously, despite what an unmitigated disaster it's been for Colorado. Jeff, in a perfect world defeating TABOR would be a piece of cake, but the reality is the effort's still going to need all hands on deck. They have a bad ballot title, but it's still going to be a real fight. Folks can sign up to help here.

  • Becky (unverified)

    Looks like the anti-tax folks are still succeeding at preventing the unions from pursuing their own agendas. This will surely be trumpeted as a victory even if TABOR is defeated.

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    I get a bit fatigued with the "most important ____ ever" scenario that we seem to encounter every two years, but I'll be damned if I'm not completely buying it again. Killing TABOR is a must. Oregon's relationship with revenue--which seems to be based upon the principle of upward redistribution--is already screwed-up enough. TABOR in Oregon might be as close to an honest-to-goodness bathtub drowning as the Right has gotten in any state.

  • progvoice (unverified)

    That is ridiculous!

    84k sigs in the bank and they pull the plug? It would take another $50k to qualify it, max. How much will it cost to mount an offense to TABOR? about a half a million for TV alone.

    They could not have been serious about the attempt in the first place to pull the plug that close to a happy ending. You see, if they were genuine about the reasons, why not put up the measure and force the corps to spend the half-mil to counter it (thus draining resources from other campaigning such as TABOR.)

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    The Oregon Center for Public Policy remains committed to the issue and will continue to pursue the disclosure of corporate taxes. It is vital for changing the climate for tax reform that will result in corporations paying their fair share. Sign up to stay involved.

  • snl (unverified)

    Oregon's labor movement is our best hope for reforming our tax system in ways that help, instead of hurt, working families. They are the only part of the progressive movement with both the will and the resources to get anywhere on this. My fear is that labor will continue to hold onto the unrealistic expectation that business will step up and help them with this endeavor.

    This scenario of giving in to business for what turns out to be a small amount of help has been repeated over and over. Killing a measure the merely requires business to reveal what they pay in taxes in order to get business support for a fight against an anti-tax measure? Haven’t the unions done something like this before? What did they get for it? • A compromised message - can't use any messages that say businesses might not be paying their fair share, might tick off the “allies” • Money, for the political consultants who have made a living supposedly delivering business support to the many battles against the anti-taxers • If the past is any indication, a five figure contribution to a several million dollar campaign. I hope there really was a million dollar plus commitment that persuaded OEA to drop the corporate accountability measure – because, in every other election cycle, business hasn’t come through with much money when it comes to these kinds of deals. Business may want a great school system but not enough to step up and pay their fair share of the cost of it. Oregon's large businesses will continue to lobby for their own tax breaks and increased school funding at the same time, will continue to make back door deals that keep the public from voting to increase their tax burden and will continue to put on a progressive face while they undermine progressive causes until someone calls them on their hypocrisy. The corporate share of the overall tax burden in Oregon has steadily diminished over the years and, while some businesses have made small contributions against the ballot measures that have largely caused this, none of them has stepped forward to lobby that the share of taxes paid by business return to pre Measure 5 levels. They have instead lobbied for an even smaller share and, because the give generously to both sides of the aisle, they’ve often gotten it. They may indeed step up in small ways to battle this latest anti-tax measure but they will never be supportive of the kinds of changes our tax system really needs.

  • huh? (unverified)

    Looks like the anti-tax folks are still succeeding at preventing the unions from pursuing their own agendas. This will surely be trumpeted as a victory even if TABOR is defeated.

    Are you the Becky Miller who worked for Bill Sizemore for years? And you're on BlueOregon? OK, Becky and Miller are both common names, but weird...

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    Mr. Huh.... That's the very same Becky Miller. She's been commenting and writing guest columns here for months. Perhaps you should read this famous post.

  • JHL (unverified)

    I'm so glad that there's more resources available to take down TABOR.

    And while this may not be the most popular thing to say on BlueOregon, I'm glad that those resources came from "Corporate Accountability." I think it's a very slippery slope to start down...

    Maybe next year it'll make sense to require rich people to disclose how much they pay in taxes (after all, they also use loopholes that the public needs to be informed about). Before you know it, there's one set of disclosure requirements for the rich, and one set for the not-rich. Even if if favors the non-rich, it's still not fair.

    I don't see why we can't work to close these loopholes and inject some fairness into our tax system without some semblance of finacial privacy.

    TABOR sucks!

  • Merilee Karr (unverified)

    Does anyone know if the three chief petitioners will still accept completed petitions?

    <h2>Bradbury's office doesn't accept them. If the chief petitioners won't turn them in, there doesn't seem to be any way to bypass them to get this measure to the ballot.</h2>
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