The truth on Measure 64

By Guest Opinion,

Measure 64 prohibits public resources from being used to collect political funds. The idea is to draw a wall of separation between government resources and private political organizations. This idea is not new. In many places, laws prohibiting the use of public resources to collect political funds have been on the books since statehood.

This election cycle, organizations that use public resources to collect political funds have spent millions of dollars to defeat Measure 64. The reason these organizations are willing to spend millions opposing Measure 64 is that passage of Measure 64 would require these organizations to raise money for their political campaigns without the government’s help. Without the use of our tax dollars, these organizations would not have as many millions to spend on high-priced political campaigns.

The multi-million dollar campaign against Measure 64 is one of the ugliest political campaigns Oregon has ever seen. Rather than explaining why there should not be a wall of separation between our government and the political fundraising activities of special interest organizations, opponents have resorted to the argument that voters’ should oppose Measure 64 because Bill Sizemore is one of the chief sponsors of the measure. Opponents have also resorted to ads that falsely assert Oregonians will go hungry and charities will be hurt if Measure 64 passes. Most outrageous of all is the fact that our tax dollars helped produce these cynical advertisements.

The multi-million dollar campaign against Measure 64 is an affront to the intelligence of Oregon voters. Whether or not there should be a wall of separation between our public resources and private political organizations has nothing to do with Bill Sizemore’s character. A law that keeps the nurses’ union from using our tax dollars to build their political action committee will not keep nurses from nursing. A law that prevents teachers from using our public school buildings to raise political money that will be used to advocate for higher teacher salaries, will not keep teachers from teaching. A law that prohibits public resources from being used to collect political funds will not prevent teachers, the Oregon Food Bank, or any other organization from having bake sales and food drives on public property to raise money for educations, charitable, or other non-political purposes. Measure 64 will not prevent firefighters from putting out fires or cause Oregonians to go hungry.

The argument for why there should be a wall of separation between public resources and private political organizations is simple: Your tax dollars should not be used to help fund organizations advancing political agendas with which you disagree. The organizations you disagree with have the right to raise political funds to advocate for their interests, but they should raise the money on their own without the government’s sanction or support. The government exists for the benefit of everyone and public resources should not be used to promote the political views of certain favored organizations, just as public resources should not be used to promote the religious views of certain favored organizations.

There should be a wall of separation between public resources and private political organizations. Please Vote Yes On Measure 64.

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Posted by at 11:42 | Posted in Measure 37 | 4 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • John Fairplay

    I understand the government employee union bosses’ opposition to this measure, as it would make it much more difficult to raise money from their members for the kinds of issues they currently take on. Many union members certainly support the bosses’ ultra-liberal political views, but right now, 100 percent of members are forced to support those views with their dollars.

    It seems like common sense to me – if we’re going to have laws that prohibit government employees from engaging in politics while on the job – that we not allow government employees to collect campaign contributions while on the job.

    • Paul

      Dear John: I am a public safety employee here in Oregon. I quit the union that I was FORCED to join three months ago. I told them that I did not want them to deduct any money from my check for the union. They stated that they take “fair share” Money from me against my will. I then informed them in writing that I refused to allow any of the money they take from me to be spent on politics. They (AFSCME) returned to me for a quarter of the year a check for $109.41. I don’t think it fair that I have to loose my voice in a union just because I don’t want them AFSCME using my money for politics. I was told that they AFSCME have a system that I can stay a union member and get my money back that is spent on politics. I checked it out and it is virtually impossible. Then when I see the Adds on TV stating that fireman, teachers and nurses would not be able to do their job if this measure were to pass I was awe struck. All of the cops I work with can do their job quite well without a dime of our money being used for politics. I also can, and do donate money to charity just fine. I give them donations of clothing and money without my union or employers help just fine.

  • Jerry

    People – remember what I have said before about this measure. The unions are incapable, ill-equipped, and unprepared to collect these political dues themselves. In fact, they are so helpless they simply can not collect these dues without help from the state. So, if they are unable to do this themselves due to poor management and simple laziness and lack of skill, then we must do it for them.

    It is that simple. What would they or we do without those political dues? We need them and they need them. They are the life blood of our state.

    So, unless these unions can figure out how to collect their own dues, which they are unable to do now, then we must continue to assist them.

    Vote to save this vital state process.

  • CC

    Right on! “Measure 64 is one of the ugliest political campaigns Oregon has ever seen.” I agree. Voters have gotten no decent debate on this measure. I saw no pro-con peices in any newspapers. I saw no debates publically announced. Don’t get me talking about the report. Where has it been? Measure 64 has been a big let-down.

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