46 & 47: How Could Something that Sounds So Right Be So Wrong?

By Damiana Merryweather of Portland, Oregon. Damiana is the spokesperson for the Protect Our Voice campaign.

Big money and wealthy individuals have hijacked Oregon’s political process. As a native Oregonian, you won’t get any argument on that from me. Proponents of Constitutional Amendment 46 and Measure 47 claim to have crafted the perfect solution to this real problem. They even provide a Rube Goldberg-esque illustration (pdf) of how simple their proposal is. Their roadmap to the brave new world of low-dollar democracy. (Oddly, this diagram has recently disappeared from their web site.)

Unfortunately, this map doesn’t get us closer to the solution. It actually gets us turned around and headed in the wrong direction. There is a reason that 26 of the 28 groups and individuals that actively supported the Clean Money Campaign – Measure 6 in 2000 – don’t support these measures. In fact, many of them are so concerned about how destructive these measures will be that they have taken the extreme step of urging their constituencies to vote against 46 and 47. Those groups include Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Oregon Action, Oregon ACLU and the American Federation of Teachers – Oregon. See a full list here.

Then there are the groups who would rather stick to their own battles - Basic Rights Oregon, Planned Parenthood, Stand for Children, NARAL/Pro-choice Oregon and the Oregon Education Association to name a few. But when they took a good look at the devastating impact that 46 would have on our right to political free speech and the limits that 47 would create on their ability to continue their advocacy and voter education work they couldn’t stay out.

That is how I got involved. I volunteer as the Board Chair for Equality PAC (BRO) and have done past volunteer work for BRO and NARAL. I believe in putting my efforts and money where my beliefs are. When attorneys explained to me the crippling effect these measures would have on organizations that are the political voice for so many people in Oregon, I had to help explain it to other people. People who, like me, are inclined to think campaign finance reform sounds like a good idea.

The proponents argue that nobody else knows how to read the map they have drawn. And anybody who disagrees with them is clearly either stupid or malicious or possibly both. Apparently that includes nearly every Editorial Board in Oregon.

So let’s break it down.

Constitutional Amendment 46 amends Article 1, section 8 of the Oregon Constitution. It completely eliminates any guarantee under the Oregon Constitution that you or I have a right to impact the outcome of any election through contributions or expenditures.

Of course we would still have our rights under the U.S. Constitution. That means that Scalia, Alito, et. al. will be the ones who decide which limitations on our political speech are acceptable.

(This section was longer but there is already a good discussion about CA 46 here on BlueOregon.)

Measure 47 implements a complicated system of limitations on individual small donors, political non-profits, membership organizations, unions and political parties. At the same time legal analysis shows that key parts of the measure are unconstitutional. The parts that will stick – limits on individual contributions to individual campaigns as well as aggregate limits that lump in gifts to political non-profits. Limits on what non-profits can accept from individual donors if they want to do independent expenditures. Limits on how much political non-profits can give to candidates. Anyone can allege a violation against anyone else that automatically triggers a hearing, regardless of the merit of the claim. Limit on the amount that political non-profits can spend to produce and distribute voter’s guides. A limit that is less than the cost to reach the metro area for any decent sized organization. Individuals will be legally responsible and subject to penalties for how the money they give to non-profits is used, even after they had over the check.

The parts that experts agree will get struck down – limits on wealthy candidates self-funding their own races. Limits on wealthy individuals financing independent expenditure campaigns. Also vulnerable is the requirement that ads and printed materials list the names, personal information and amount contributed by top donors.

The ultimate result – complicated limits with confusing requirements on small donors and political non-profits remain while wealthy individuals get their rights restored and can continue to spend as they please. It will take an already imbalanced system and make it even WORSE. That is why I urge you to join me in voting NO on Amendment 46 and Measure 47.

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    More later, since (unlike Damiana) I am not a paid spokesperson, and I have a real business to run.

    But consider who is endorsing our measures, in addition to the Salem Statesman-Journal, Willamette Week, and the Eugene Weekly (the latter Oregon's two largest progressive weeklies). I guess all these folks were able to understand the measures.

    Sierra Club of Oregon OSPIRG (Oregon State Public Interest Research Group) Oregon Small Business for Responsible Leadership Alliance for Democracy Oregon Gray Panthers Pacific Green Party Northwest Progressive Community Democratic Party of Clackamas County Eastside Democratic Club Public Action for Clean Elections (Granny D) Health Care for All Oregon Jackson County Citizens for the Public Good Native Forest Council Don't Waste Oregon First Unitarian Church Action Groups Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Gifford Pinchot Task Force Injured Workers' Alliance Rural Organizing Project (M 47) Universal Health Care for Oregon Utility Reform Project

    State Senator Charlie Ringo State Senator Bill Morrisette State Rep. Dave Hunt (M 46) State Rep. Dennis Richardson (M 46)

    Ron Buel, founder of Willamette Week Granny D Ken Lewis, former President of Port of Portland Dave Mazza, editor of The Portland Alliance Pete Sorensen, former candidate for Governor

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    I forgot to mention that Thom Hartmann endorses both of our measures, also.

    And, yes, the Oregonian editors are against our measures. And they are in favor of Ron Saxton.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)

    First off, Damiana calls it a "complicated system." If it wasn't thorough and detailed, special interests, like corporations, would find loopholes like they have with McCain-Feingold.

    Then she says, "...legal analysis shows that key parts of the measure are unconstitutional." You later say "experts agree" that parts will get struck down." You folks were wrong about Measure 46. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled this year that Measure 46 is constitutional and "not a complicated measure." I've asked Rep. Buckley and other opponents who these "experts" are and what their specific statements were yet no one will say. Apparently, Oregonians are supposed to take opponents at their word. Sorry, as a degreed paralegal and a legal researcher, that just isn't something I will do for anyone. So I ask once again, provide me these details. I’m easy to find.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld limits similar to those in Measure 47 (the Missouri limits in 2000).

    The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld bans on corporate contributions and corporate independent expenditures.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld bans on labor union contributions and independent expenditures.

    You say "Anyone can allege a violation against anyone else that automatically triggers a hearing, regardless of the merit of the claim." It’s the same situation now with an investigation. Measure 47 requires an expediated judgment, a huge improvement. My complaint against Kevin Mannix is 11 months old next week and I'm still waiting for a decision and penalty (should be $10k to the state).

    A contested state senate race now typically costs the winner about $500,000. A house seat half of that. (Karen Minnis had spent $870,000 as of last week) How many wealthy people are going to take time away from "making money" to seek election and be a legislator? Heck, they're only paid $15,396 a year plus diem. Currently, it’s easier for them to simply make large contributions to get what they want legislatively.

    Of the $18 million spent on legislative races in 2004, 75% of the money came from 1% of contributors. Only 3% of total contributions were $50 or less. Meanwhile, Loren Parks has given candidates about $1.9 million since 2000. He and other fat-cats, like corporations, have a bullhorn to our collective whisper. These statistical facts make opponent’s “don’t end our free speech on political contributions” a highly lame argument.

    Let's also get it straight that Measure 47 does not require individual donors to know which non profits, candidates, political action committees and organizations they can give to and how much is legally acceptable. It rightfully rests with the campaigns.

    Measure 47 contains an automatic adjustment provision so that if the United States Supreme Court ever finds the limits too low, they're adjusted accordingly. Furthermore, if a candidate for whatever reason spends more than the stated limits, then all limits on contributions to that candidate's opponent are adjusted upwards in proportion.

    I only went so far as home page content or I could go on.

    What it really comes down to is that Measure 46/47 opponents are running a highly deceptive campaign. People should visit www.FairElections or the Secretary of State Web site and actually read the language of 46 and 47.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)

    To add to Meek's comment, Our Oregon went on Thom Hartmann's show and spewed the same garbage I've read here. Hartmann said he opposed 46/47 based on what they told him. Once he studied the measures, he reversed course and supports Measures 46 and 47.

    I'm guessing that Our Oregon will be non-grata on future Hartmann shows. Our Oregon has done some excellent work in the past but they're obliterating their reputation in this campaign. Perhaps that's why they're keeping a low profile lately while actually funding Protect Our Voice.

    Oh! And before I'm accused of vicious character assassinations, remember who's been doing it for months. Am I next? Bring it on...

    P.S. Protect Our Voice is an oxymoronic name in itself considering they support the status-quo where huge campaign contributors get what they want from Oregon government - while our voices go unheard too often. And political operatives pull in serious money running campaigns. So who is Protect Our Voice protecting? Themselves perhaps? they're "protecting themselves."

  • Angry Progrsssive Liberal Feed UP with simplistic dirty hippies and thier g (unverified)

    you people are so self righteous it makes me sick. Every progressive Organization that i care about and work for oposses these mesures. there are obvious problems with them and yet you all mighty dan meek and other guy plus annoying people seem to simply know what is best for them and everyone else in this state and anyone who disagrees with you seems to be by default somehow an evil dellusioned hack in need a savior who they will simply thank later once they see your ultimae wisdom. i am so tired of this crap. i have to deal this and john kerry appologizing all in the same day what the hell. here is the deal, 1) dan what was the largest contribution taken by 46 and 47 from a single donor 2) what if you are wrong and destroy NARAL BRO and the Democrati cparty of oregon what will you do? 3) if you are wrong what will you do to correct the situation? will take responsibility or will you just wash your hands of responsibility and say ooppps sorry. how much money will you dedicated to fixing your screw up if it is a screw up. 4) can you promise that we could even fix the situtation if you are wrong. 5) will you also fix all the organizations that you damage if you are wrong. 6)why couldn't you have spent all thsi time money and effert to pass publicly finnanced campaigns. 7) if all these powerful rich moneyed people are going to lose thier ability to influence oregon politics why aren't they dumping millions of dollars into the no on 46 and 47 campaigns they spent millions to get rid of publicly financed camapigns in portland that scared the crap out of them but on this supposedly devastating law to moneyed people i hear not a peep. what does that say... 8) Dan wake up you are not my savior or oregons savior.
    9) The road to hell is paved with good intentions. 10) there is nothing more annoying or dangerous than a person who KNOWS they are right. DAN IF YOU and HARRY ARE WRONG WHAT THEN?????????

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Welcome to BlueOregon, Damiana. Too bad you come with more of the same misinformation [Eugene Weekly] that the anti-Fair Elections campaign has made its stock in trade.

    As you can see from the diagram that Dan Meek linked to above, the measure 47 system is not much different than the present situation in complexity, except that limits are placed on the amounts moving between the boxes. That is, after all, what contribution limits are all about.

    There IS a reason that 26 of the 28 groups and individuals that actively supported the Clean Money Campaign – Measure 6 in 2000 – don’t support these measures. They don't want any reduction in the amount of money moving through their treasuries, even if that means opposing an end to corporate dominance of Oregon's elections and Oregon's government. We have, as the Oregonian put it, "the best Legislature money can buy."

    Possibly most disingenuous of all is your campaign's distortion of Measure 46. It would do nothing but put Oregon on equal footing with the 49 other states in the ability to limit political contributions. I've asked other Fair elections critics, and I ask you - to tell us about all times, in those 49 states, that the ability to limit campaign contributions has had a "devastating impact" on the right to free speech. Please tell us; we really want to know. If things really are so bad elsewhere in America, then certainly, we don't want to limit campaign contributions here in Oregon. But something tells me that your list is going to be quite short, so maybe we don't really need to worry about any "devastating impact" to our free speech rights.

    You continue to refer to "attorneys", "experts" and "legal analysis", but you provide no documentation whatsoever. What attorneys? What legal analysis? Who are the experts? We have asked repeatedly for these opinions. We have asked to speak with these expert attorneys. You expect Oregonians to accept on your word that these unchallenged opinions of these unnamed attorneys should scare them away from ending big money's death grip on Oregon politics. You ask a lot without giving very much, Damiana.

    Some of your claims fall apart under even cursory examination. You claim that limits on self-financing by candidates is sure to be struck down. Why then, do limits on use of personal money by candidates in their own campaigns already exist in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois (judicial races only), Michigan, Nevada, Tennessee, Washington (last 21 days before the election only), and West Virginia. [Federal Election Commission]. What other important information do you leave out? Of course, too much information reduces the impact of a scary tale. The best ghost stories are told in the dark to children who are easily spooked.

    It would be difficult to make our present campaign funding system "WORSE" than it is. This is especially true for a reform that eliminates corporate money from candidate campaigns completely. I've ask opponents already, and I ask you here: show us a hypothetical budget, a projection of total election cycle spending under Fair Elections in which limiting corporate contributions to $0 does not produce a net benefit to progressive interests. It's easy to claim things will be worse. Back up your claim with numbers, Damiana. Readers can judge if your projections look realistic. Readers can judge if your warnings are nothing but hot air meant to blow away a rare opportunity to give us more democratic elections and government that cares more about people than about lobbyists.

    You profess to be concerned about Oregon's hijacked political process, but you propose to do less than nothing to improve our situation. Instead, you want to prevent something being done to thwart the hijackers. There's lots of that going on, unfortunately. Here's another enemy of campaign finance reform:

    “It’s poorly crafted and full of unintended consequences”

    “Experts believe it could give more power to corporations while limiting the unions’ participation in politics”

    “Legal experts believe that the initiative’s restrictions on corporations are illegal and could be thrown out, leaving the unions with the restrictions”

    It could “unfairly limit our voices on critical issues.”

    Sounds familiar, I know, but the spokesman is Mike Myslinski of the California Teachers Association, and he's campaigning against Proposition 89, the California initiative for voluntary public campaign funding. Prop 89 has attracted much of the same opposition that Fair Elections Measures 46 & 47 have attracted in Oregon: unions, big corporations and their trade organizations, and political nonprofits.

    Funny how the anti-89 talking points are so similar to the anti-Fair Elections talking points, even though these are very different approaches to campaign finance reform. Or is it funny? Could it be that in both cases opposition is using language less based on an honest reading of the proposed legislation than on polling data and focus group results groomed by political consultants to do the best job of raising fears and sowing confusion? I'd say the chances of that are good. All the earmarks are present:

    • Generalizations with little supporting evidence

    • Efforts to make voters fearful

    • Suggesting that voters should be confused [have you seen the no on 46 & 47 mailer with the anguished voter in whirligig glasses? Message: be confused, very confused!]

    It's quite a cynical campaign, and, contrary to Damiana's progressive nonprofit aura, it's funded mostly by the corporate interests that would be brought under control by Fair Elections. Whoever suggested following the money knew his stuff.

    It's all very sad, Damiana, that groups who are supposed to fight for a more progressive Oregon are more interested in protecting their cash flow than in resurrecting democratic governance, and more interested in protecting the status quo than in promoting change that will strengthen all progressive interests. It's very sad indeed.

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    tell us about all times, in those 49 states, that the ability to limit campaign contributions has had a "devastating impact" on the right to free speech.

    It's fear-mongering, Tom. "Protect Our Voice." It really bothers me to see so many groups I've supported in the past, BRO, NARAL, the friggin' ACLU which I first joined in High School, nearly 40 years ago...

    It bothers me, I mean to say, to be on the "other side." But digging in to Protect Our Voice's website, it comes down to whether you believe the system is broken or not. And I think the line that turned me was the one about "Do we need to be protected from politicians"...and the answer was "Nope."

    Nope. The system is working. OK, Damiana does say "Big money and wealthy individuals have hijacked Oregon’s political process." But we don't need protection from the hijackers...we need protection from limits on campaign contributions? Protect our voice? Whose voice? The hijackers?

    Sorry, BRO. I'm voting for 46 & 47.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    Sorry Damiana if you assumed you would have an open forum here to debate the issues. Tom Civiletti has set himself up as sole arbiter of what is allowed as valid argumentation here, and if he disapproves he will shut you down with off-topic, personalizing attacks, as happened most recently on T. A.'s post "M46: the price is far too high".

    Kari's solution, "Don't Feed the Trolls" won't work here, as I'm not donating to the R's just to discourage a fellow progressive from operating as a troll. What's a mother to do?

  • anonymous (unverified)

    Ed -

    The only one I have seen acting as a troll here is you. As far as I can tell you haven't made a single substantive comment on measures 46 or 47, you have only attacked its proponents.

    There is plenty of reason to be sceptical here. But it does not seem to me that measure 46 changes the Oregon constitution in a way that would reduce free speech. In fact, it frees the speech of most people by not letting those with lots of money simply shout them down. Or at least allowing legislation in Oregon that would accomplish that purpose.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    I'll admit some of my comments have tended to the snarky, but it has not been I who have attempted to shut down debate.

    I came to the discussion with specific concerns about M 46 and what its construction revealed about the intent of the framers. I feel that its unprecedented attack on the powers of the State Legislature in the form of a practically unreachable bar of 3/4 assent for amending or writing campaign finance law is misguided and counterproductive.

    The institution of representational democracy has not led legislators to believe that corruption can be encouraged without having to take responsibility for it. It is the apathy of voters which has done that; the institution is not the right target.

    The intent of the framers to effectively throw campaign finance law-writing into the arena of the initiative petition where no limits CAN be passed at state level seems ill-advised to me, and unlikely to assure honest campaign finance. It is the framers' intent to forestall a defeat in the Legislature by condemning the institution to ineffectiveness. I can't go along with that.

    I don't see how my position is unsoundly or inadequately reasoned, but I have had to suffer the most outlandish ad hominem attacks here and on Loaded Orygun for expressing my views.

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    Ed, you obviously don't know an outlandish ad hominem attack when you see one if you think you've been subjected to them here.

    Tom isn't doing anything even remotely trollish and when you complain that he is you only reinforce the claim that we can't stand opposing positions here--even from fellow lefties let alone from Republicans. To claim that he is "shutting down" anyone is ludicrous.

    Tom is debating in a perfectly appropriate way with perfectly good arguments. You have proven you are capable of debating in a perfectly appropriate way with perfectly good arguments too--when you aren't drowning out your own arguments with all the whining. As a person who will soon be voting on 46 & 47 partly based on the debate here, I can tell you that you are not doing your cause any good with that kind of post.

  • activist kaza (unverified)

    I'm rather amazed to see yet another vicious attack on measures 46 & 47 on BlueOR in the closing days of the election season. I would have thought that the various merits (or risks) of 39, 41, 43, 45 or 48 would warrant much greater and vitriolic opposition.

    But no, I'm wrong. So why is this? I think it can be explained in a brief sentence: the "professional" class of progressives foresee a great threat to their livelihoods...

    Yes friends, passage of measures 46 & 47 WILL upset your apple carts. It will put an end to "business as usual" in Oregon political circles. And in a state that has lurched from economic crisis to economic crisis, without adequate funding for schools, health care etc. and continued handouts to big business and an increasingly regressive tax system, some of us will say: IT'S ABOUT TIME!

    Self-interest and greed...well, they are about as American as apple pie. However, I have long held that are people on the left side of the political spectrum who had some greater ideals they put into practice.

    At the end of the day, everyone voting on these measures should ask this question: are the opponents of measures 46/47 really looking out for Oregon - or are they busy looking out for themselves???

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    I see BlueO isn't immune from the obfuscation patrol that drops in like the Marines on any argument against 46/47, talking about people's ulterior motives and protection of the status quo, rather than acknowledging honest concern that poor design will only make matters worse and create an unbalanced system.

    What's Rep. Buckley's malicious angle, I wonder? Was it his purpose to originally sponsor the measure, then lie about the grave concerns communicated to him regarding the constitutionality of the restrictions on individuals, and drop out of the process in order to finally oppose it?

    This isn't trolling per se, but it's nearly as invasive.

    Guys, relax. It's not a personal affront. Some people just think it's not good law. Show them a little respect, eh?

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    I mean, really--"vicious attack?" :rolleyes:

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    activist kaza: I would have thought that the various merits (or risks) of 39, 41, 43, 45 or 48 would warrant much greater and vitriolic opposition.

    The reason why 46/47 is drawing so much attention in BlueOregon is because they are some of the few measures this campaign that are truly controversial for progressives.

    Come on, do you seriously think anyone is going to debate the merits of Measure 48, Measure 41, or anything pushed by Loren Parks or Howie Rich?

    However, as much as Mr. Meek and Mr. Civiletti would like you to think otherwise, there are more than a few progressives who think you shouldn't have to register with the State just to buy a damned "Vote Democratic" bumper sticker from the Democratic Party.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Steven Maurer,

    You misread Fair Elections Measures 46 & 47. You can buy all the damned bumper stickers you want from whomever you wish, no registration necessary.

  • Victoria Taft 5-8pm AM 860 KPAM THE TALK STATION (unverified)

    I've been looking into this on my program. Of course it's unconstitutional on its face because it limits expenditures by the candidate, which is, of course, a limitation on free speech. Look ALL of these kinds of laws are limitations on free speech and outrageous. But there's something MORE that this does. Now I realize that a lot of you don't like my political point of view but recognize that having a marketplace of ideas out there is a good thing. Measures 46 and 47 could result in the muzzling of your favorite talk show hosts, me, and BLOGGERS. Why? Because speaking in favor of a measure, candidate, etc, could be construed as an in-kind donation. A lawsuit could be brought against any campaign for non reporting of these donations and the talk hosts and bloggers could be silenced. Essentially it's a SLAPP lawsuit. How do I know that? Because this very thing happened in Washington State. I've had the attorney for the Institute for Justice in Seattle look at these measures. This organization is the one which represents the two KVI radio talk show hosts who were muzzled by four local governments for 'giving' in-kind donations to the repeal the I 912 campaign. As much as I respect Dan Meek he's wrong that his exemption of the media in his measure will really result in the exemption of talk shows hosts, bloggers, and any pamphleteer. The attorney says Oregon's proposed measures aren't like Washington's, they're WORSE than Washington's.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)


    You are correct that courts have struck down limits on candidate campaign expenditures. That's why Fair Elections Measures 46 & 47 limit campaign contributions. This approach has been upheld by the US Supreme Court numerous times.

    I'll let Dan address the media exemption issue you raise.

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    Kari's solution, "Don't Feed the Trolls" won't work here, as I'm not donating to the R's just to discourage a fellow progressive from operating as a troll. What's a mother to do?

    Well, you could donate to Protect Our Voice.

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    So money given to the Democratic Party is not considered a political donation? That's new. Please point out where, in Measure 47, it says that.

    What Measure 47 does say is that if you contribute more than $500 of value (including "contributions in kind"), then you have to get a handle and report it to everyone every time you do just about anything.

    Oh, but $500 is terribly huge amount of money you say? I donated an eight-person gourmet dinner to our local Washington County Democratic Party picnic fundraiser, which was valued at $50 dollars a seat. I've given at least $200 more than that. So no, under this law, I can't buy a bumper sticker from the party without reporting it to the state. Neither can my friends, who donated a week's stay at their vacation home in Cannon Beach, valued at $1000.

    If Measure 47 passes, there's going to be some very bizarre accounting going on. I have some very good friends who routinely give $5 to $10 grand in equivalent contributions that are going to have a very hard time figuring out which progressive organizations they're going to have to cut off.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    You said "buy" a bumper sticker, Steven.

    Less than 1% of Oregonians contribute more than $500. This politically active very small minority are politically engaged and savy. They [including you] should have no problem complying with Fair Elections' disclosure requirements. You do now supply the required identifying information when you make a contribution, don't you? Do you grumble about the outrage of it? Even Republicans support campaign finance disclosure, Steven. It seems such a small inconvenience in the effort to bring money in politics under control. Just think, your small effort at reporting contributions will mean every US corporation will have their political influence in Oregon sliced off at the knees.

    Imagine the increasingly fair tax structure. Imagine the solvent Oregon Health Plan. Imagine schools that meet the quality assurance benchmarks. Imagine rivers without pollutants. Imagine forests with trees. Imagine injured workers compensated fairly. Imagine school districts able to charge SDCs. Imagine utility companies paying their taxes. Imagine, Steven.

  • damiana (unverified)

    A few clarifications seem to be in order here. Civiletti and Meek are quick to tell you that Protect Our Voice has it all wrong. So I would like to hit some of the high (or low, depending on your perspective) points.

    I linked the text of both measures in my entry. Don’t take anyone’s word on what they say. I encourage you to read them for yourself.

    <h2>Then ask yourself, why would the choice community want to be involved in this fight when they have M43 to deal with? Why would education, labor and human services groups want this fight when they have M41 and 48? We didn’t ask for this fight. The proponents did when they insisted on pursuing legislation that takes aim squarely at politically active non-profits.</h2>

    Civiletti and Meek say that this puts us in step with other states. Here is what Janice Thompson of the Money in Politics Research Action Project said in Ed Walsh’s Oregonian article this morning. http://www.oregonlive.com/elections/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/116244150290360.xml&coll=7&thispage=2

    <h2>"This package goes farther than essentially any other state has."</h2> <h2>Civiletti cites other states where candidates are supposedly limited in their ability to contribute to their own races. These are misrepresentations. Some of these states have limits linked to accepting public funding (Hawaii, Michigan) or have voluntary limits (Colorado). Others have limits on what can be spent in a specific time limit, but not on what candidates can give themselves before or after those time frames, meaning they aren’t really limits at all (Alaska, Washington).</h2>

    Finally, I would appreciate if Civiletti would stop posting statements with quotes around them, said by people in other states about other issues unrelated to us, and implying that I or anyone else from Protect Our Voice has said them.


    As far as the personal attacks go. I think the factual discussion about these measures should be enough to keep us busy.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    Kari said: "Well, you could donate to Protect Our Voice."

    True, but I wish to remain independent of organizations that oppose the measures for reasons that may not jibe with my own.

    Defeat of these CFR measures is not my motivation here, but the free debate in this forum is. When I stood on my convictions, I was denigrated personally and informed that it would continue as long as I voiced criticism of the measures under discussion in these public venues.

    There is indeed a hostility to dissenting opinion that is being defended here. The proponents of these measures have demonstrated a lack of respect for freedom of speech that bodes ill for our Constitution's protection of it.

  • anonymous (unverified)

    Look ALL of these kinds of laws are limitations on free speech and outrageous.

    Which I think it the real debate isn't it? All the stuff about how it is written is a side issue. The real question is whether limiting the ability of people to spend money is also limiting their speech.

    The discussion here may be interesting for those of us participating. But the real public debate on this issue is taking place with competing media advertisements and mailings costing thousands of dollars. Only those with large sums of money can participate.

  • Loyal Dem Voter (unverified)

    After studying both sides of this issue, I've been truly stunned that Protectourvoice and other opponents of M's 46 and 47 have blinders on to the fact that they are also working to protect the voices of right wing, anti-union, anti-environmental groups that also oppose Measures 46 and 47.

    These right wing and industry groups oppose 46 and 47 because their huge contributions in politics (mainly to Republicans) would largely be eliminated. They fear the playing field will be leveled between their Republican candidates and Democratic/progressive candidates. Right wing groups have good reason to fear M's 46 and 47.

    Right wing opponents (some of whom have put up tens of thousands of dollars to the opposition campaign) include Associated Oregon Industries, Oregon Right to Life, the Oregon Family Council, Associated Oregon Loggers, Oregonians for Food and Shelter, Oregon Restaurant Association, Oregon Association of Realtors, Oregon Forest Industries Council, the Oregon Association of Builders and Contractors, the Oregon Farm Bureau, and AGPAC. This list reads like a whose who of major right wing political contributors.

    If lefty political insiders succeed in killing M's 46 and 47 they will have destroyed a rare opportunity to put some real limits on the right wing interest groups that dominate political giving in Oregon politics, leaving our elections an out-of-control arms race between whoever can raise more money. This arms race s currently muzzling the voices of average Oregonians and harming our democratic process.

  • (Show?)

    Tom sez: "Even Republicans support campaign finance disclosure, Steven. It seems such a small inconvenience in the effort to bring money in politics under control."

    If it's such a small inconvenience, why did Fair Elections wait until the very last minute to file, resulting in a late filing that stands to cost them $10,000 in fines? And how come they can't be bothered to disclose ALL of their contributors in a fashion retrievable by the general public?

  • a real progressive (unverified)

    Heck yeah I am voting yes on 46 and 47! Let's kick the bucks out of politics and get the game back to the people where it should be.

    I guess there are some so called progressives (the ones earning the paychecks from lefty political organizations) that are only interested in being a player in the game - not actually winning. Hmmm...job security???

    Get the money out of politics and campaigning in the hands of the grassroots. Level the playing field so progressive values actually have a chance at winning.

    Vote YES on M46 &47!

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Damiana now is into bait-and switch mode. Janice Thompson's remark was on both measures. My critique was of Damiana's silly claim that Measure 46 will lead to heinous limits on our free speech. Thompson is correct that that Fair Elections will take us to the lead in controlling money in politics. That's why its such a great plan, Damiana!

    And that's why you, the corporations, the professional lobbyists, and the professional political consultants are against it.

    As to limits on self-financing by candidates: there are different provisions in different states, Damiana. The point is that they are ALL in force; they have not been struck down. Oregon's limits will be in good company.

    Damiana doesn't want Oregon voters to know that the anti-Prop 89 folks in California are using the same arguments that she is against Fair Elections. I think the comparison is most illuminating, Damiana. I made it clear who the speaker was. It is true that if I hadn't, readers might conclude it was you or one of your co-workers speaking. That was my point, Damiana. Try to follow the conversation.

  • Victoria Taft 5-8pm AM 860 KPAM THE TALK STATION (unverified)

    What about the free expression of ideas on the airwaves??? Helloooooooooo????? This means Thom Hartman's hours long democrat commercials in the morning....



  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Loyal Dem Voter | Nov 2, 2006 10:42:12 AM After studying both sides of this issue, I've been truly stunned that Protectourvoice and other opponents of M's 46 and 47 have blinders on to the fact that they are also working to protect the voices of right wing, anti-union, anti-environmental groups that also oppose Measures 46 and 47.

    Have you really thought about what the fuck you just said?

    If stifling voices even if they speak even repugnant political views is "progressive" in your book, I want no part of progressivism at all. What you are describing is not only un-American (and I don't mean in some BS faux-patriotic manner, but in the most profound way about the core principals of our social contract and Constitution) but authoritarian bullshit writ large. Your statement above is the most repugnant sentiment I have read in quite some time.


  • Anon (unverified)

    Guys.....there is no person who is going to post to this thread, nor any meaningful number of people who are going to read this, who have not already made up their minds about this one.

    Drop the subject and do something useful with the last 4 days of the election season.

    Either these will pass, or they won't. And either way we'll make the best of a bad situation.

    It's time to move on and stop poisoning the community with these arguments

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    lestatdelc's comments reflect the positions of the Cato and Heritage Institutes. Progressive, indeed!

    To Anon,

    If Damiana and others stop obfuscating, I won't need to expose their fallacies and lack of facts. I'd rather be working. My daughter's at U of O in the architecture program. She wants to study in Rome this summer.

  • (Show?)

    I'm rather amazed to see yet another vicious attack on measures 46 & 47 on BlueOR in the closing days of the election season.

    Kaza -- I invited both campaigns to submit a guest column on this issue. I posted one from Tom Civiletti, and one from Damiana Merryweather. What are you talking about?

  • (Show?)

    Hey, PSA-- Dan Meek and Damiana will be at City Club tomorrow, 1230p at the Governor's Hotel ballroom debating 46/47. Should be pretty interesting!

  • raul (unverified)

    I find it amusing that Victoria Taft is posting on here, and complaining about Thom Hartmann. Ms. Taft is a paid commentator, not a political activist. You are an ENTERTAINER honey, not a statesperson. You are one of those "conservative" talkers that keep coming back uplike a bad meal. And when nobody would respond to you, you turn troll!

    Hartmann has presented both sides on every measure he has talked about on his show, and then stated his thoughts on it. He is a paid commentator and an ENTERTAINER as well. Both of your jobs are to sell advertising.

    Too bad you have a larger opinion of yourself than is realistic. It must be all of that liberal talk radio we are subjected to in Portland.

    and PS

    How are your ratings Victoria? I thought so. And who owns your station? What would his opinion be on this topic, same as yours?

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    I don't want to impugn the motives of anyone who posts here, or of the organizations opposing 46 and 47. But over the past few decades--or maybe forever--progressives have lost more than they have won in Oregon elections because they were outspent (and, yes, outsleazed). So why would any progressive want to continue a system that guarantees losing the vast majority of the time?

  • (Show?)

    Because the system under 46/47 stands to make it even worse, restricting what abilities we have now, and leaving individuals free to spend in as profligate a manner as they wish.

  • so i am not a real progressive? (unverified)

    heck yeah i am voting NO on 46 and 47! you can't kick the bucks out of politics, money flows and those with money will find a way around.

    i guess that makes me a so called progressive (though i have no connection to any lefty political organization). i am not interested in being a player in the game - but i am interested in winning. Hmmm... principle???

    you can't get the money out of politics and no one is keeping campaigning from being in the hands of the grassroots. run actual progressives so progressive values actually have a chance at winning.

    Vote NO on M46 &47!

  • activist kaza (unverified)

    uh Kari, what about the TA Barnhart piece the week before...and the link to "Really" Loaded Orygun's "investigative journalism" (rolled eyes backatcha, TJ!), insuating that FEO is exhibiting some hypocrisy in its campaign affairs?

    I think that's 4 to 1 against...fair? Hardly...but then, you're part of the "professional progressive" class I was referring to!

    Ultimately, I'm with Anon on this one. This "debate" just seems to get more and more destructive but it's hard for some of us to sit by and watch the left eat its young.

    PS Torrid, I think Buckley's agenda has been explored before; with 7 out of 8 of his largest contributors being union organizations (opposed to 47 & 48), he did his deal with the devil by switching sides, sadly!

  • anon (unverified)

    Then ask yourself, why would the choice community want to be involved in this fight when they have M43 to deal with?

    Look at their contribution and expenditure reports. Planned Parenthood is dependent on Win McCormack's checkbook for more than half of the $67,000 they raised during the 2006 primary and for a third of their total receipts.

    Political non-profits are complaining about Measure 47 because they want to engage in electioneering to influence candidate races and Measure 47 will make it more difficult for them to do it. In other words, they are fighting Measure 47 because they want to continue to have undue influence over our political process.

    Which is exactly the same reason why the OEA, SEIU, AFSCME, and other labor organizations oppose is the same reason why Big Timber, Big Tobacco, the home builders, the pharmaceutical industry, and AOI oppose -- they don't want to see their influence limited in Salem.

    "Protect Our Voices" is not out to protect the voices of small contributors in Oregon. If they were, they wouldn't be complaining about a contribution limit set at $2500 -- far more than a working family can afford to give to political candidates.

    All of this vehemence is about protecting fewer than 300-400 individuals and organizations who give substantially more than $2500 per election cycle and who dominate the political process in this state.

    Measure 47 will dramatically strengthen the hand of candidates who run grassroots political campaigns, and it will dramatically diminish the culture of fear that currently exists in Salem, where the lobby can take out any legislator who refuses to play ball.

    These measures are Oregon citizens last, best hope to begin reclaiming our legislative process from special interest control.

    Of course the special interests on the left and right have banded together to fight against it.

  • anon (unverified)

    Because the system under 46/47 stands to make it even worse, restricting what abilities we have now, and leaving individuals free to spend in as profligate a manner as they wish.

    That's a great talking point, Torrid. The reality is that Measure 47 limits individual contributions to political campaigns at $2500 in aggregate.

  • anon (unverified)

    Dan Meek and Damiana will be at City Club tomorrow, 1230p at the Governor's Hotel ballroom debating 46/47. Should be pretty interesting!

    I feel sorry for Damiana after the spankings that Meek has delivered to Kevin Looper and others who have tried to take him on in public debate on this issue.

  • (Show?)

    anon: "That's a great talking point, Torrid. The reality is that Measure 47 limits individual contributions to political campaigns at $2500 in aggregate."

    Only if it survives the US Constitution, which is a very open question.

  • (Show?)

    Kaza, I'm not "insinuating" anything; I'm stating it flat out: if you're going to hop onto a high horse of regulated campaign finance, it reflects poorly if you can't be bothered to file your own finance information on time, have contributors obscured by a miscellaneous fund that feeds the campaign PAC, and continue to dodge a transparent effort to provide accessible public review of those miscellaneous financiers. And then complain about the books of others when challenged on it.

  • anon (unverified)

    Only if it survives the US Constitution, which is a very open question.

    There are plenty of states with similar limits, torridjoe.

    Maine, Maryland, Massachussetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming all have aggregate limits on contributions.

    Montana, Florida, Colorado, and Massachussetts all have comparable limits on contributions directly to candidates as the ones outlined in Measure 47.

    You do understand the difference between contributions to political candidates and individual independent expenditures on candidate races, don't you?

  • anon (unverified)

    it reflects poorly if you can't be bothered to file your own finance information on time

    ... kinda like it reflects poorly on a blogger when they can't be bothered to acknowledge the fact that the committee did file its report on time, nor the fact that the complete list of donors was provided to said blogger within a few hours of being asked for the list.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Tom Civiletti | Nov 2, 2006 11:49:07 AM lestatdelc's comments reflect the positions of the Cato and Heritage Institutes. Progressive, indeed!

    What blather. Seeking to NOT shut down public discourse by shutting down opposing views is NOT a Cato or Heritage positions, but rather central and core to the very notion of our Constitiution, social contract and at the core of the Democratic Party. You are simply talking out your ass to claim it is progressive to shut down opposing political speech because you don't like it, which is what the blather about how it is progressive to silence groups who hold repugnant political views. That is not progressive, that is authoritarian bullshit.

  • damiana (unverified)


    Thanks for your concern, but I will be fine.

    Instead spend your energy looking at what non-affiliated groups like the Oregon’s Money in Politics Action Research Project, the national Brennen Center for Justice and respected attorneys like Margaret Olney have to say about which limits will stick and which will get struck down. (I am no good at this linking stuff, but we have links on our web site to these materials protectourvoice.org)

    After the court challenges, individuals wealthy enough to finance their own independent expenditures or campaigns will retain that right. At the same time, non-profits will face aggregate limits to contributors that are vague enough to impact donations to 501c4 for all of their activities. That means there will be fewer resources to fight Loren Parks, Howard Rich, etc. next time around.

    And regardless of what happens to 47, we will all loose some of our rights to political speech in Oregon under Amendment 46.

    Even if I thought 47 were perfect (which it isn’t) the price of giving up such a broad portion of protection under the Oregon Constitution is too high of a price to pay.

    Another example where the proponents could have drafted something simpler and more specific if they had really wanted to.

  • (Show?)

    Two weeks back, I spoke with a young activist/political aspirant who worked with Dan, Peter and the others early on in this effort.

    That person told me that the executive director of the state DPO informed that person that their career in Oregon politics would be ended if they continued to publicly support these ballot measures.

    I have no idea who else was subjected to similar pressure, but this behavior, although perfectly in keeping with my understanding of the current "progressive" power structure in Oregon, still infuriates me, and definitely lends credence to the idea that at least some opponents of these measures are deciding at least partly, based upon something other than the common good.


    Suggesting that there may be conflicts of interest on this matter should not be beyond the pale of appropriate discourse.

    If it is forbidden, we are no better than the Right Wing Zombie Army that we all oppose.

  • (Show?)

    I think Pat is referring to me in the above quote.

    It is true that I was told by a key staffer at Our Oregon that something to the effect that it would be a shame to see a promising political career in this state cut short if I continued to publicly support these initiatives.

    However, I can say unequivocally that although the Executive Director of the DPO opposes these initiatives for many of the reasons that we've seen from some of the other groups, he never made such a threat.

    I remain a supporter of both Measures 46 and 47, although I am no longer an employee of the campaign.

    I believe that this is an issue on which reasonable people can agree to disagree, and I am sorry that I was not able to help broker a compromise on these measures that would have enabled us all to move forward together.

  • (Show?)

    anon said: "... kinda like it reflects poorly on a blogger when they can't be bothered to acknowledge the fact that the committee did file its report on time, nor the fact that the complete list of donors was provided to said blogger within a few hours of being asked for the list."

    I can't acknowledge that they filed on time, because they didn't--thus the report from SoS that the campaign will be fined $10,000.

    As for the provision of donors to Carla and I, I have in fact acknowledged that explicitly. What that has to do with a proper disclosure--where the public may view the records on an asynchronous basis (ie, you don't have to ask the campaign for hidden file names not elsewhere linked on their website in order to find them), I don't know. Public disclosure means setting up a place where the public can see what you've done. As flattering as it may be to the breadth of our readership, embedding a reference to the files in one of our comment threads does not really qualify as affirmative disclosure.

    Kari, under this standard I suppose you needn't disclose your connections to Governor Kulongoski's campaign. Just stick a disclaimer into an orphaned file in BlueOregon's archives, and then post the URL in one of our comment threads. And when people complain that they didn't know you made TedForGov.com, you can say, "But I disclosed it!"

  • anon (unverified)

    Instead spend your energy looking at what non-affiliated groups like the Oregon’s Money in Politics Action Research Project, the national Brennen Center for Justice and respected attorneys like Margaret Olney have to say about which limits will stick and which will get struck down.

    Margaret Olney is a labor attorney, not a campaign finance expert. And though Janice Thompson is a very respected voice in the campaign finance field, she is not an attorney, nor does MIPRAP have an attorney on staff.

    After the court challenges, individuals wealthy enough to finance their own independent expenditures or campaigns will retain that right.

    That's one possibility. If that happens, Oregon's campaign finance laws will look a great deal like the laws currently on the books in Montana and Colorado in terms of limits. The small donor committees provision of the statute will provide groups that rely on small contributions from a large number of individuals with an increased voice on a smaller field of play.

    Have a look at what's happened in both of those two states: Democrats are winning elections, and the power of special interests to influence the legislative process is greatly diminished.

    I believe that it's important that we continue to challenge Federal law with regard to independent expenditures. The 2004 election gave us a series of examples that did not exist previously with regard to the corrupting influence of independent expenditure campaigns on our democratic process, which in turn will give the courts new information to parse when intepreting previous case law.

  • GreenLantern (unverified)


    Why doesnt BlueOregon invite Dan or other supporter of 46/47 campaign finance reform to write an article?

    Seriously. Why do I keep finding these vitriolic and unfounded slander pieces against, even in the so-called "progressive" blog of BlueOregon? Why do the overwhelming number of independent responses show me that this whole system here is skewed? I am tired of reading self-appointed political elites with vested interests present arguments any freshman philosophy major could cut to shreds (they are after all STRAWMEN).

    A really interesting question is whether FREE SPEECH = FREE MONEY I dont think so, and most reasonable people (typically not endowed with large amounts of surplus cash) agree: These are not the same thing. But for those of you who think it is the same, well come on, convince me.

    But Blue Oregon, if you have any integrity at all, you are going to start letting different view points be heard. As it is, you continue to play the mouthpiece of dying Democratic Party and it attempts to hold on to the few scraps the current corporate oligarchy leaves you.

    If I am wrong, prove it. Show me some real diversity in opinion - starting with this issue of Campaign Finance Reform.

  • JB Eads (unverified)

    I believe that this is an issue on which reasonable people can agree to disagree, and I am sorry that I was not able to help broker a compromise on these measures that would have enabled us all to move forward together.

    I'm a strong no vote on 47, undecided on 46, but think your reasoned response to this is something we could use more of in Salem. Good luck next few days.

  • (Show?)

    I've said it at LO; doesn't hurt to say it here too:

    While Loaded Orygun disagrees strongly with Mr. Peralta's views on 46/47, in no way are we retreating from a strong endorsement of Peralta for House Seat 24. We wish him luck, would urge people to work hard for his election, and hope to see him in Salem come January!

  • (Show?)

    Who wants to start taking potshots at Earl Blumenauer, apparent "suspect progressive?"

    From an email sent by the Representative:

    "Here is information in an online voter guide that I think describes the measures very clearly. I hope you will find it helpful, and I hope you will share with your friends, family, and neighbors."

    The link points to Our Oregon, which recommends a No vote on 46/47.

  • (Show?)

    Green Lantern asked:

    IS BLUE OREGON FREE? OR HAS IT ALREADY BEEN PURCHASED? Why doesnt BlueOregon invite Dan or other supporter of 46/47 campaign finance reform to write an article?

    Green Lantern, are you an idiot? Or just a troll?

    Just five days ago, Tom Civiletti wrote a pro-46/47 column right here.

    For that matter, the guest columns link is right there on the page - highlighted in yellow on the navbar and in green on the right sidebar. Feel free to use it yourself, Dan Meek certainly knows where it is.

    We've had exactly one guest column posted by the No side and one posted by the Yes side. A handful of our regular contributors have written posts with their own views, but they're allowed to write whatever they want.

  • (Show?)

    Gil wrote But over the past few decades--or maybe forever--progressives have lost more than they have won in Oregon elections because they were outspent (and, yes, outsleazed). So why would any progressive want to continue a system that guarantees losing the vast majority of the time?

    In the last 20 years, there has only been one Republican elected to a state office - Jack Roberts for labor commish in 1994 and 1998.

    Care to revisit your comment?

  • Star Holmberg (unverified)

    Wow, if you are new to this conversation and have actually read through it all and made it to my comment, I commend you. I am a new commenter to this particular blog stream, or whatever the heck it is called.

    I am a union activist in SEIU (Service Employees International). Though I may be wedged into activist kaza’s “professional class of progressives,” I am not on the union’s payroll. but rather am a volunteer leader and have been active in many matters union for over 10 years.

    I have cast my ballot, and I voted no on both 46 and 47. Nothing I have read in this blog has given me reason for regret. Here are some of my observations and thoughts on the allegedly fair elections version of campaign finance reform in Oregon (particularly in regards to Measure 47)…as well as this fascinating conversation you are all having.

    Most ironic of all the elements of Measures 47 (for me personally) is the difference between how much I can contribute per year towards a small donor committee (say, for example, combined with other union members) and how much I am allowed as an individual outside of said committee -- $50 and $2500 respectively. Currently, I can donate X number of cents per hour of my pay towards the Political Action Committee of my union, and I am not restricted to the degree I would be under Measure 47. I am very much in tune with the workings of this PAC, and I have observed this to be an effective way to serve our union members and promote the interests of working Oregonians. This, in my book of life, is a collective way to have a voice.

    Yet Ernie Delmazzo speaks of such fat cats as Loren Parks having a bullhorn (in opposition, I presume) to “our collective whisper.” I figure Ernie does not mean to imply any disregard for the collective voice of unions, but his support for Measure 47 would entail an effective cessation to a real swell system that I am proud to participate in.

    In Ernie’s second comment he further elaborates on how our voices go unheard too often. I think he is talking about that collective voice again. For me, I find my collective voice most effective through my union. Measure 47 seeks to stifle that.

    Unions really do have a lot to offer the progressive movement, thus it is a pity when progressives figure we should just view this as some trivial sacrifice, as though unions and corporations are somehow equals.

    Yayyyy to torridjoe who acknowledges that what some regard as ulterior motives are in fact born of an honest concern regarding the poor design of Measure 47. Yup, you got it, I am not at all impressed with the design.

    Thanks to Angry Progressive for mentioning in his/her item #6 the concept of publicly financed campaigns, which is absent from Measure 47. Coincidentally I have recently been studying California Proposition 89, which does address this issue, and I note that the SEIU California State Council endorses this measure in stark contrast to Oregon’s SEIU Local 503 lack of endorsement of Measure 47.


    (Just thought I would mention the above for the benefit of any who assume that unions in general are opposing all campaign finance reform measures… )

    Gee, could it be that SEIU in California rather likes the idea that the Prop 89 drafters came up with a proposal that sets up a Clean Money Fund primarily financed by a two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) increase in the corporate tax rate?

    Wow, now that’s a concept in campaign finance reform I think I could vote for!

  • anon (unverified)

    How much has Dan Meek and Harry Londsdale spent on this measure so far? Why can't they live by their own laws?

    Also how much of your own money did you spend Mr Kaza?

    "Do as a say, not as I do"

  • Victoria Taft 5-8pm AM 860 KPAM THE TALK STATION (unverified)

    Victoria Taft to Thom Hartman: I did not rag on you. Some guy who called me a troll said I did. I did not. BTW: Please address M 47 on your show---with respect to how it affects talk radio. And...call off your friends.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    lestatdelc doesn't like Fair Elections because we are trying to shut out opposing voices from campaigns [I assume he/she is referring to corporations]. Damiana seems most concerned that the voice of progressive non-profits will suffer. Star Holmberg seems to think that unions will be hurt. Well now, as I wrote, Fair Elections is opposed by every special interest that currently puts a substantial amount of money into the campaign system. They like the status quo.

    I think the status quo stinks and so do a large majority of Oregonians [we polled that more than once].


    Torrid's tantrum about supposed disclosure has bee discussed elsewhere. I think Steve Duin got it right when he suggested temporary insanity was the problem.


    Damiana can go worrying about Fair Election's threat to free speech till she's blue in the face. That won't make the threat any more real.


    Pat Ryan is right about support for CFR being deleterious to a political person's career, though I don't know the particulars of the case he sights, or if Sal Peralta was the person involved. By the way, I was in McMinnville today, and there are Peralta signs all over the place. Way to go Sal!


    I'm glad that SEIU is supporting prop 89 in California. Most unions are opposing it, though. As I've written in several blog threads, I like public financing, everybody else at Fair Elections likes public financing, but the voters of Oregon defeated it soundly, while they passed contribution limits in 1994 by over 72%. Prop 89 is also doing badly in polls. I think the "welfare for politicians" talking point works with many voters, unfortunately. Anyway, every state that has public financing also has contribution limits. The two are synergistic. Oregon has neither. We are election-buying Nirvana. I'll tell you what: if everyone votes for Fair elections, I'll work with you on a public financing initiative.


    As some sharp person noted, if the Fair Elections provisions that Peter Buckley, Damiana, et al question are struck down, we will end up with something very close to Colorado's Amendment 27 of 2004, which led to Democrats taking control from Republicans of both legislative chambers - the first time they controlled both in 30 years. It also led to the suspension of TABOR. When was the last time that Oregonians turned against a tax limiting measure? As of yet, there are no reports of Coloradoans having their mouths duct taped shut, either. Free speech is alive and well in the Centennial State.


    Kaza is correct that Peter Buckley is largely union funded. It is also true that he broke with the Fair elections effort right about the time that the unions walked away from the campaign. Coincidence? I don't know. Ask Peter.


    In discussing small donor committees, Star Holmberg misses the very important point that a union can have many such committees, and a union member [or anyone else] can contribute to many small donor committees, up to the $2500 aggregate limit. Also, the contribution limit amounts were not conjured by Dan Meek out of thin air, they were chosen to conform to limits upheld by federal courts when challenged. Contrary to the scurrilous opposition, Dan Meek is a very careful legislation drafter. He is a detail-oriented kind of guy.


    Here's a suggestion for an alternative title to Damiana's post [props to Mr. Simon]:

    When something goes right Well it's likely to lose me, It's apt to confuse me because it's such an unusual sight I swear, I can't, I can't get used to something so right Something so right as Fair Elections Measures 46 & 47.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)

    Hi Star Holmberg,

    Thank you for your post. I'm well known to SEU 503 and they've advocated more alongside Injured Worker' Alliance (which I lead) than any other Oregon labor union.

    Corporations outspend labor unions 5 to 1. Measure 47's Small Donor Committees will allow unions to continue lobbying. Although, depending on how well they utilize this, they might have less money, corporations will not be able to utilize SDC's anywhere near the extent labor can.

    SEIU and other unions broke form the AFL-CIO, in part, because they wanted to devote more money and resources to building up membership. By greatly reducing business money, they can do this. More members also means more money for their SDC's. More union members translates to more votes for Democrats. And as you confirmed, our brothers and sisters can still conribute $2500 on their own.

    A major concern of mine is Wal-Mart. In the past few years, they've stepped up on political contributions considerably. Because Oregon does not have limits like most other states, Wal-mart can spend much more here. Just imagine if all non-management employees of Wal-mart were union members!

    People should be viewing this as what the "net gain" is for progressive-orientated organizations.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)

    Further thought:

    As reported by The Oregonian in "GOP group banking on Saxton to turn Oregon red" (11/2/2006):

    "Money from the association is one reason Saxton has outspent Kulongoski more than 2-to-1. So far, Saxton has spent about $5.5 million in the general election campaign compared with $2.4 million by Kulongoski."

    If 46/47 were in place today, Saxton would not have any chance of winning. The bulk of Kulongoski's recent money is coming from labor. This is money that could create so much good in other areas.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)

    Early in this thread, I asked for the names and specific statements of the so-called constructional experts. In fact, I've been asking for months. As yet, Rep. Buckley and other opponents have not provided this information so I can verify names, statements, and the dates when statements were made.

    It's sad to see so many progressives willing to accept these claims as fact when no evidence is provided. We should have skepticism when "some" people making claims against 46 & 47 have a financial interests in seeing the measures defeated.

    It’s also disturbing that writings, ads, and campaign literature change “at will” between “could” and “will” in regard to the overturning of limits on wealthy candidates self-funding and wealthy individuals financing independent expenditure campaigns.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)

    I meant to say "constitutional" experts in my first sentence above.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    Didja see in the O about Nike and Phil Knight giving goo-gobs of money to candidates this year? Over $100k to Wayne Scott and $190k to Kulongoski. Minnis got about $12,000. Pete Courtney and Jeff Merkley got money.

    Phil Knight is an interesting person, but politically, he acts like a jerk. Why should he have so much more influence in government than anyone else?

  • activist kaza (unverified)

    to Anon (11-2 10:42 pm) and everyone else still wading through this thread:

    I'm unsure why what I've given - or Dan Meek or Harry Lonsdale - to the 46/47 campaign is even relevant. Fair Elections has played entirely under the rules of the current system...and I am daily grateful that Meek & Lonsdale have been so devoted to the cause.

    Sadly, I haven't given nearly as much to this campaign as I would have liked to. I believe it's about $200 - or maybe less...I'd have to check my checkbook or with the campaign's treasurer, Liz Trojan. But she can tell you that there are over 1,900 other "small" contributors like me and that this campaign (perhaps uniquely in Oregon's ballot measure history) has been funded 99.8% from Oregonians.

    I'm not sure if the writer of that comment is lumping me in as wealthy as someone like Mr. Lonsdale, but it's a pretty laughable assumption. I only wish I were that successful in business! And if I didn't have six kids and have to make my living by being on a plane over half the year, I would have a lot more time and money to devote to keeping Oregon the same great state I knew while growing up here.

    46 & 47 are a BIG step in the right direction. Help Oregon go from "worst to first" and please vote YES this week (and drop off your ballots now, cuz it's too late to mail 'em!)

    PS did you know that Oregon HAD campaign limits from 1908-1973? those of us "old timers" (I'm 47) might remember that the state seemed to be pretty well-led in those days by some outspoken & independent-minded leaders (McCall, Hatfield, Straub etc.) that we appear to be sorely lacking today. Maybe that's just coincidence also!

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)

    Here's more on Wal-mart.

    Money referenced is state and local giving (see last paragraph for federal). This was writen in September. The full article discusses how state limits elsewhere (like California) have prevented them from giving more.

    "Wal-Mart gave a total of $326,875 in the 2000 election cycle, $431,017 in 2002, and $857,179 in 2004, according to research by the Institute on Money in State Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization based in Helena, Mont. For the 2006 election cycle, the company has given $644,655 so far and seems to be on track to hit a record for political contributions."

    "'They've gone from zero to warp speed in political giving all across the board,' says Bruce Freed, co-director of the Center for Political Accountability, a nonprofit group that tracks corporate political spending. The totals include only direct contributions to politicians and political parties. Adding in money for ballot initiatives and other local issues brings the total of Wal-Mart state giving so far this cycle to $1.25 million."

    "Today, Wal-Mart has become one of the most active corporations in the U.S. At the federal level, Wal-Mart is already the No. 1 corporate political contributor, giving $943,455 in the 2006 election cycle..."

    The full article is here.

    This is just one more reason to vote for Measures 46 and 47. Wal-mart is opposed to everything we've fought hard for and hope to change.

  • Star Holmberg (unverified)

    Hey all you bloggers, check out the front page of today’s Register Guard,

    Bloggers find new clout in state politics.

    Right side below the fold, the article makes plenty of reference to BlueOregon, even tells us the true identity of Torrid Joe. (You probably all knew this, but I am a blog rookie.)

    BTW, as for Measure 47, IF it passes I will be smack dab in the middle of the conversation on how this alters the political structure of my union and how to deal with it; and IF it fails, I hope that future campaign finance reformers will have lengthy and productive conversations with union leadership, and that the brainstorm will be fruitful.

    Thanks for all your feedback and for exercising your right to free speech!


    Star I Are (Vote as though your life depended on it. Cuz it does.)

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)

    The problem with Mark Bunster and Carla is that they're all about gaining personal recognition and fame. They immediately blurt out political dirt they hear on the Q-T or discover. Billy Dalto is an example. That LA info about his mother could have defeated Dalto if strung near the election. Now, if Dalta is taken down, it'll have cost money better served in other races.

  • (Show?)

    What a totally unnecessary (and ill-informed) bit of smear, Mr. Delmazzo. You've become a poor spokesman for supporters of 46/47, which is relevant because that's 98% of what you have tried to contribute to any thread in the same zipcode of connection to 46/47. Your personal diatribe about us doesn't make you look good, and makes hypocritical all the stuff on OUR page about "viciously" attacking proponents.

  • (Show?)

    Two more pieces in the mail-box today from the anti side of the aisle.

    From Protect Our Voice:

    "Are Measures 46 & 47 really campaign finance reform? NOT EVEN CLOSE...Putting Our Government in the Hands of the Privileged Few...is it any surprise that most of the money...came from two wealthy individuals.

    On the other side: "When it comes to the so-called "campaign finance reform"...who can you trust? The wealthy interests who would benefit?..."

    From "Paid for by the If You Lose Your Voice You'll Never Get It Back Committee:"

    "Who will win the CAMPAIGN FINANCE GAME? Rich guys!" Over: "Measure 46 and 47 are proposals brought to you by wealthy individuals wanting to change the law to suit their own interests."

    All right, Dan Meek, rich guy. Don't you think you owe it to Blue Oregon folks to finally expose your nefarious scheme to...well, what is it all about (beyond a bunch of silly rhetoric about rich guys)?

    C'mon anti 46/47 Blue Oregonians...don't you find this crap embarassing?

    And Dan...my wife says you won the City Club debate on Friday hands down.

  • Ernie (unverified)

    I didn't post that as a supporter of 46/47 as the two issues clearly have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    I saw something yesterday in one of the anti-Fair Elections groups' literature about Measures 46 & 47 being financed by two rich guys. If you've seen Dan Meek's palatial 1500 square foot ranch house, his flashy Ford Escort, and those decadent Italian suits he wears [not], you know what a bad joke such campaign trash is.

    Dan's legal career has been all about opposing rich guys who try to rip-off the rest of us. The more I think about it, the more pissed off I become about the dishonest campaign that has been run against Fair elections Measures 46 & 47.

  • (Show?)


    I thought it was a fairly even debate, but I couldn't tell very well from the podium. Dan is definitely the more polished public speaker, but every time Damiana read the long list of groups opposing 46/47, it was effective. Dan definitely had the best closing comment--I think it even rhymed!

    My sense after the debate was distress in the audience that two individuals so clearly on the same side of the political spectrum were debating over this. This was clear from the outset, when I asked the two speakers to answer three questions: 1) Were they in favor of campaign finance reform (two yes's). 2) Were they in favor of extensive public reporting of all campaign donations (two yes's) 3) Were they in favor of publicly financed elections (again two yes's).

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Protect Our Voice is running an anti-Fair Elections ad on KPOJ [the only AM radio I listen to] mentioning the "two wealthy individuals" funding Measures 46 & 47. This is clearly a lie.

    So, who is dividing the progressive community? Is it the sincere activists who want to bring democracy back to Oregon elections, or is it the organizations that fund cynical political manipulation to win votes, truth be damned?

  • (Show?)

    It's clearly a lie??

    So Harry Lonsdale and Bryn Hazell did NOT contribute $134,000 between them?

    And you can play "Dan's not rich" all you want, but $160K is $160K, and that's what he's given the campaign. Everyone else who has $160K to spend on a political measure, raise your hand.

    As for the City Club Forum--if you're a lawyer and you're NOT more polished, you picked the wrong career. But Meek was never able to give an answer as to the central concept of the opposition: the fix stands to be worse than the problem.

    I went to Dan afterwards, shook his hand, and told him I certainly had no personal animosity--I just don't like the bill. He did not seem to believe me.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Dan Meek has put a considerable portion of his net worth into this campaign, as well as thousands of hours of his time. As he commented when these Protect Our Voice et al distortions began, "if i was wealthy, I'm not anymore."

    I don't keep day to day tabs on Fair Elections spending, but a few weeks ago, Dan Meek, not Harry Lonsdale, was the biggest contributor to the campaign.

    Personal animosity is not the issue here. Lying, cheating, manipulative campaigning is the issue. I have nothing personal against Kevin Looper, Damiana Merryweather, or Roger Gray; but their political ethics are lacking.

  • (Show?)

    So if you're admitting that what was said was not a lie--there are in fact two non-Meek people funding a big chunk of the FairElections campaign...why are you still saying opponents are lying?

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    No, Torrid, you're not paying attention again. The ad says the Fair Elections Measures 46 & 47 campaign is mostly funded by two wealthy people. One of the two main contributors, Dan Meek, is NOT a wealthy person. The ad is, therefore, a inaccurate.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    the end of the last message should read "an inaccurate statement."

  • Anne Dufay (unverified)

    From where I sat out in the audience my clear sense was that Dan won. The biggest reasons were: 1. (the hands-down deal-breaker for many sitting around me) Damiana wouldn't answer the question, put to her twice, as to who the opposition's financial backers are. I met my hubby after work and we were driving in the car when the debate was being replayed on the radio -- I'd told Frank about it, and then there it was, the first time she was asked (by Paul) and her long-winded excuse as to why she would answer a different question, the question SHE wanted to tell Paul he should have asked, and not the one he did ask her...At the debate folks around me were whispering, "she didn't answer it. Why doesn't he call her on it?"

    She got a second chance, later on, and again, punted. The hissing around me was more audible, this time.

    I can only surmise that she a) doesn't know who is funding the campaign she is spokeshead for, or b) doesn't want to tell. A would be less an issue, though would reflect poorly on her. B implies the possibility that it is either some of those evil "out of state interests" she kept talking about as the real problem to worry about, or just a double-dip by the unions (except, maybe "out of state" unions?) and others already identified as supporters.

    If I've missed an obvious guess, I'll be darned.

    I was curious enough to go look the organization up on Guidestar, but their 990s aren't posted. So, I see the problem...

    When Dan explained that the goofy charts the opponents have been bruiting about have been made-up by the opponents (both the O and Save our Voice – the O actually printed a retraction, as they put in errors in theirs) she lost further credibility.

    Mr Munster's complaint gave Dan even more credence. (Talk about sleezy...)

    But more than any specific issue, Damiana spoke in generalities and sound-bites. Dan spoke specifics. Damiana said "experts" agreed with them. Failed to cite any actual persons. Dan cited specific court cases and specific similar legislation and its effects -- and specifics as to how various legislators had responded... Damiana told a cute story about how we didn't want Goliath to fall on David and crush him -- (a nicely done ad-bite) but it fell flat in the context of a thoughtful, in-depth debate. She couldn't/or forgot to articulate WHY Goliath WOULD fall on David.

    The reading of the list of supporters rang hollow, given all the above. It was a bit too much "trust me, vote as I tell you, don't trouble your pretty head with the details." It became for me a list that spoke more to the current moribund state of my party than anything else.

    In the elevator afterwards a fellow, hearing Jesse C say he thought Damiana had prevailed, said "are you kidding me? I went in there a no vote. I'm voting yes, now." People around me nodded and murmured.

    It was a small crowd, however, so who knows how much difference it will make. Too bad. It was an interesting and more than usually informative debate.

  • (Show?)

    Tom, how is Dan NOT wealthy by any common measure, when he has $160K for the campaign?

    There are THREE main contributors. Even if you throw out Meek, that still leaves two, does it not?

    Are you really going to argue about 2 = 2?

  • (Show?)

    Who the heck is Mr. Munster, and if that's supposed to be me, what did I complain about? I asked if he'd verified the fine to be levied against his campaign, and whether in that context he agreed that campaigns seeking restrictions and regulations on finance reporting and disclosure should aspire to the highest possible standards for their own compliance.

    Damiana made clear they were supported by unions. So did Dan, in fact. How did you miss that, Anne? And what does it have to do with the merit of the measure?

    I thought Dan's point about the "charts" was pretty damning too...to Dan. What does it say about the clarity of the measure when no one can understand it well enough to describe it?

    Damiyana did not specify which "experts," but I noticed that Meek had no answer for their conclusion, in fact adding to their likely point by agreeing that M47 goes beyond almost any similar law in the country. It can't both be judicially tested, AND sui generis. And the rhetoric being flashed at times that we NEED to test judicial limits, also doesn't exactly suggest free and clear sailing--otherwise it wouldn't be a test at all, would it?

  • (Show?)

    Who the heck is Mr. Munster, and if that's supposed to be me, what did I complain about?

    Not to speak for my wife, TorridJoe, (I know better than that) but she was not referring to you. Some Buckmunster poster or something...

    That said, while I wasn't there, I asked the question here if Blue Oregonians weren't embarrased at some of the crap the anti folks have put out. I got a studied silence. Anything to say? Do people keep throwing this crap at the wall, hoping something sticks? The end justify the means? Dan Meek's a worse threat to democracy than the lobbyists --and their corporate sponsors-- lined up against him?

    Did Dan Meek answer your question, TorridJoe? Anne told me that he answered that the failure to file was a computer glitch on the State's side. I don't hear you saying anything about that, while you continue to flog this as some great moral failing.

    I agree with Paul Gronke that it is disturbing to see people who should be --and mostly are--on the same page, going at each other this way. But I'll ask you as well, TorridJoe...do you think Dan Meek --and Harry Lonsdale-- have done this, spent this money, to achieve some personal benefit? As so much of this last ditch anti-propaganda has suggested?

    It seems to me its one thing to disagree with a tactic to get the domination of money --big money-- out of politics. This hysteria about losing your voice, the slash through the Oregon constitution, the focus on "rich guys"...not naming 'em, though, but maybe the unwary voter might think it those other evil, rich guys. Maybe even that New Yawker.

    It's a shabby campaign. And why, precisely, I think you need to get the influence of money --and the capacity to raise it--out of politics. Period. We need a different paradigm, where people make intelligent decisions based on thoughtful reasoning and study...not crappy sound bite ads, and demeaning, negative, and dishonest post flyers our mail boxes are drowing in.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Many people come up with $160,000 to buy a house or start a business. That doesn't mean they're wealthy, it means they are putting their money into what is important to them.

    You'll need to get the C&Es to convince yourself, Torrid, but if Dan is the biggest or second biggest contributor, how would the campaign be "mostly funded by two wealthy individuals", as the ad says?

    As to all this "too difficult to understand" stuff, it seems to me that opponents of Fair Elections Measures 46 & 47 are mostly below average in intelligence. I've heard and read so much whack meant to be thoughful comment, that I am led to believe they are not capable of complex rational thought. So it comes as no surprise that they cannot, even with tremendous effort, understand Fair Elections. Just because something has many details does not make it non-understandable. Have you looked through a calculus, physics or organic chemistry textbook recently? They are much longer and more complex than Fair Elections, but intelligent, diligent students get through them by the thousands. It would be easy for a lazy, uneducated, unintelligent person to pick up one of those texts, leaf through it and honestly announce that it is not understandable. He would be sincere, but he would be wrong. He might better go into journalism, as so many editorial boards seem to have trouble understanding what they read as well.

    Dan Meek might not have an answer for all the anonymous experts who forsee Fair Elections' judicial demise because [and I'm sure I've run this by you recently, Torrid] it's not logically possible to prove a negative. Dan has supplied plenty of evidence to suggest that Fair Elections provisions will be upheld. Opponents don't seem to be able to remember that evidence [more evidence of their intellectual weakness?], but it's quite simple and persuasive to anyone with an open mind.

  • (Show?)

    "it seems to me that opponents of Fair Elections Measures 46 & 47 are mostly below average in intelligence. I've heard and read so much whack meant to be thoughful comment, that I am led to believe they are not capable of complex rational thought. So it comes as no surprise that they cannot, even with tremendous effort, understand Fair Elections."

    Well, thanks for ceding the debate, right there--although I will add that if it takes dilligence to get through 47 just like a physics or chem textbook, who will be explaining it to the legislators? They're still working on whether a free trip to Maui is something they need to report.

    It doesn't need to be simple for me. It needs to be simple for THEM.

  • Star Holmberg (unverified)

    I was starting to feel like a fly on the wall, listening to all this banter, and yes I was even a little miffed that my last comment was lost in the dust. But then Mr. Tom Unciviletti said the following, and my attention was jarred:

    "As to all this too difficult to understand stuff, it seems to me that opponents of Fair Elections Measures 46 and 47 are mostly below average intelligence."

    Gee, I hope I am in the not so mostly part. Truth is, I was reading the darn measure in its entirety last summer when it was still on the street. If I had to take a multiple choice test on the subject, not sure where I would place in Tom’s bell curve; but my lack of support is not due to a lack of understanding. I just oppose the measure as it is written.

    And please do consider the comment I made in my last entry, even though it is not nearly as much fun as tearing at each other’s throats. I.e., if M46 and M47 do not pass, I think conversations with union noggins (even if of below average intelligence) would be highly recommended for future campaign finance efforts. And if said measures do pass, I will be involved in internal union discussions relevant to the fallout. It may be challenging to me intellectually, but I will somehow manage.

    BTW, no offense taken, since I know I am actually no dummy, and you folks are just a wee bit riled up.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)


    I was talking about the people conceiving, running, and executing the anti-Fair Elections campaign, who should have studied what they are urging people to vote against. I was not talking about voters.

    I do grow uncivil when I see the same weakly supported statements over and over from opponents. If they don't understand Measure 47 by now, they shouldn't be giving other people advice on it. The people who need to understand it to put it into operation are the workers in the Elections Office who will write the regulations based on the provisions of Measure 47. They understand election law like science students understand calculus, physics, and organic chemistry.

    As Dan Meek has pointed out, and probably none of the Anti-Fair Elections campaigners remembers, Measure 9 of 1994 was longer and more complex than Measure 47 is. I ran for the Legislature in 1996 under Measure 9 rules and don't remember beating my head against any walls because I couldn't understand the rules. We raised and spent money. We turned in our C&Es. No sweat.

    I hope folks are able to pick up on my argumentative device. I don't really believe Roger Gray, Kevin Looper, Jesse Cornett, Damiana Merryweather, and Patty Wentz are stupid, I believe they are pretending to be stupid because sowing confusion is an effective campaign ploy to get folks to vote NO on a measure. You've seen it used before many times, haven't you? It's right out of campaign consulting 101.

    Union activists will have no problem understanding how to use small donor committees to effectively raise money. Nonprofits will catch on in a flash how to separate regulated from unregulated activities. Corporate executives may go out and shoot themselves in the head when they realize they will now need to deal with governments that cannot be bought and insist on doing what is best for the people.

    Pretty soon Oregon will become the state it looked like we would become 30 years ago: progressive, innovative, well educated, healthy, wealthy and wise. It won't be Nirvana, but it will close enough to make us the envy of the 50 states.

    Making democracy work will make it all possible.

  • Anne Dufay (unverified)

    Torrid -- are you really Bark Munster? Whoa...

    the Internet is an amazing and complicated thing.

    Digressions aside. I tried to read through your posts since mine. I have trimmed the ho-ha down to this -- you don't like rich people. You are, I guess, a Rove Republican dufus. Like, you hated Kerry, the "Rich Guy"? Worse, he had a "Rich Wife"? (Hint, she told him what to do don't you know?)

    Sheet. What - we got that line cheap, because they knew they wouldn't need it ever again against Kerry? After he flubbed a joke, and the entire Democratic populace of the entire country, went, "oh, say you're sorry.." Sorta like we bailed on Dean and went all, ho ho ho, over his laugh...

    laughs on us. Our state seems to be heading for voting for campaign finance reform -- and against any measures that would allow that to happen.

    Say thanks to the powers that be.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    Looks like M 46 is to fail in all counties. I guess I wasn't alone in finding it unacceptable. What does it mean that almost all counties are passing M 47?

  • (Show?)

    Looks like M 46 is to fail in all counties. I guess I wasn't alone in finding it unacceptable. What does it mean that almost all counties are passing M 47?

    I think what it means, Ed, since you ask, is that people very much want campaign finance reform, but the fear factor whipped up by an unconscionable ad campaign, kept them from actually being able to achieve it.

    I'm hopeful, nonetheless, that the message is clear that the upsurge of support for our party doesn't mean support for business as usual. This means this isn't just about it being our turn to feed at the corporate/lobbyist trough.

    As with Clinton's first victory --guess I should say Bill Clinton's first victory-- I hope we, as a Democratic Party, didn't give up too much to get those wins. I'm cautiously optimistic.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
    <h2>I think rather that, as noted CFR is desired, but the current package was found wanting. No need for conspiracy theories, or calling opponents stupid. Puh-leeze enough of that!</h2>
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