Struggle Continues to Set OR Campaign Contribution Limits
Friday, January 31, 2020
SALEM, Ore. - Oregon is among a handful of states with no limits on campaign contributions in elections. The 2020 session offers lawmakers another chance to change that.
Senate Bill 1524 would cap donations from individuals to candidates for state office at $750, and $15,000 from committees, including political parties. The limit for statewide offices, such as governor, would be $2,000 dollars from individuals and $40,000 from committees.
Dan Meek, an attorney and campaign finance expert, says the bill is better than past attempts.
"Oregon politicians have so little experience with limits on contributions, they don't know how to write a bill to limit them," says Meek. "In other states where they already have limits, they understand how they work and what the loopholes are."
Meek says Oregon has the most expensive races in the country - and legislative candidates are raising ten times more than they did two decades ago.
The Oregon legislative session begins on Monday.
Meek says 2018 gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler received the third-largest contribution for any race in United States' history. That was from former Nike CEO Phil Knight for $2.5 million.
Together, Buehler and Gov. Kate Brown raised $37 million in the race, more than twice the previous record in Oregon.
Meek sees campaigns without donor limits as "arms races."
"It's bizarre that Oregon politicians are so heavily dependent on large contributions," says Meek. "They take contributions here that would, of course, be criminal in 45 other states."
He thinks the best shot at campaign finance reform is a constitutional amendment allowing limits that is being referred to voters in November.
get more stories like this via email
RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than $1 million in COVID-19 relief grants are helping rural organizations increase their focus on locally sourced food relief…
DES MOINES, Iowa -- This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is hosting meetings to inform the public about a proposed underground pipeline, which would …
MANDAN, N.D. -- North Dakota has had nearly 18,000 job openings in recent months, with roughly 1,000 in construction. A labor leader in the trades …
Health and Wellness
DAYTON, Ohio -- An Ohio county is taking a trauma-informed approach to its work on preventing marijuana use in teens. As marijuana policy changes …
DENVER -- As Congress considers making significant investments in the nation's child-care system, children's advocates say now is the time to make …
MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …