Following The Money

Author Subject: Following The Money
Marty 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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