Oregon, Congress debate funding candidates with 6 to 1 government money

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon


The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed, HR1, which would limit how much a political candidates could spend in exchange for 6 to 1 match of federal government money for the politician to use on their political campaign.   Depending on the final rules, this might mean government may be funding a candidate’s plane trips, lavish cocktail fundraising parties and negative mudslinging ads.   One source says this new program might cost $3 billion over a decade.

In order to avoid using direct tax dollars to fund this money monster, HR 1 plans to use government money collected from a new surcharge on government fines and payouts from corporations who owe the government money.

A similar bill in Oregon (HB 2921) also would establish a 6 to 1 smaller dollar contribution matching program for Oregon legislative candidates has been introduced by Rep. Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis).

House Bill 2921: “Establishes small donor elections program to enable candidates for office of state Representative and State Senator to receive 6 to 1 match on small dollar donations.”

It would enable candidates who agree to accept no more than $250 total from one person, to receive public funds equaling 6 times the amount raised.

State Senate candidates could qualify for up to $1,000,000 in matching state funds, and State Representative candidates could qualify for up to $700,000 in matching state funds.

To qualify, Senate candidates would need 400 individuals to donate to their campaign and raise at least $10,000 and Representative candidates would need 250 donors and raise a minimum of $6,000.

Do you as a taxpayer want up to $15 million of your taxpayer dollars being spent on State Senate campaigns every two years (there are 30 Senators with rotating elections), and up to $42 million spent every two years on 60 State Representative campaigns??

City of Portland candidates already have a similar campaign match system. Candidates agreeing to a campaign donation limit of $250 per person receive a 6 to 1 match for contributions of $50 or less.

With so many public officials claiming our public schools and social services are underfunded, it will be interesting to see if this boondoggle to increase public financing of legislative campaigns gains momentum.

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