Lobbyist write bills in Oregon too!

Author Subject: Lobbyist write bills in Oregon too!
Marty Posted At 14:41:07 03/26/2000
The effectiveness of bribing candidates (making a campaign contribution large enough to be noticed) was illustrated when the new Republican Majority took over in Congress and invited lobbyist to draft legislation directly, allowed checks to be passed out on the House floor, and demonstrated their absolute contempt for the American voter by not even masking their payoffs for campaign contributions. At least in the past, the lobbyists drafted legislation behind closed doors, not in taxpayer-provided office space.

There is an alternative - public campaign financing. I know some folks think tax dollars shouldn't go to support politician's campaigns, but when you figure what the sweetheart deals between Congress and its corporate contributors cost taxpayers, paying for political campaigns will be a bargain.

Oregon has the chance, in 2000, to join Maine, Arizona other states who are cleaning up their campaign finance and getting real political accountability back in their government.

- A report on the effect of private money on campaigns
and public policy in Oregon.
Marty Following The Money (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 14:45:35 03/26/2000

Following The Money

A report issued this week suggests that when it comes to Oregon politics, you get what you pay for. Undermining Democracy, a report issued by Oregon Action, is a comprehensive analysis of the 1999 legislative session that connects campaign contributions to laws that were passed or blocked.

The report states, for example, that of 40 environmental bills passed by the lawmakers, 36 were anti-green. Oregon Action links this to the nearly $1.7 million that anti-environmental groups donated to candidates in 1998, which made up 13 percent of the total statewide contributions.

Oregon Action is an outgrowth of the now-defunct Oregon Fair Share and is affiliated with groups such as the Oregon Environmental Council, 1000 Friends of Oregon and Jobs with Justice.

The report also says big money is turning off voters; according to a survey, 64 percent of Oregonians say the candidates with the most cash, not the best ideas, win. The 1998 election cycle had the lowest voter turnout in history. That same year, more than two-thirds of the total campaign contributions came from donors who gave $10,000 or more.

For a copy of the report, call Oregon Action at 282-6588.

--Patty Wentz

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