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.