Campaign $$ limits officially shuts up voters this election

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

The Front page Oregonian shows how the Portland/Multnomah super-restrictive and anti-free speech campaign finance limits have crippled modern candidate campaigns trying to communicate with voters.   In the article, it explains how the Multnomah County Commissioner race between Jessica Vega Pederson and Sharon Meieran has grinded to halt because the candidates can’t raise any more money as they are handicapped by the new limits.

The article states, “Multnomah County chair candidates Jessica Vega Pederson and Sharon Meieran are fighting a quiet race amid new donation rules that have limited their cash flows…it’s unclear either of them will have the money to command much attention, given new voter-enacted campaign contribution limits. Following the May election, both campaigns nearly stopped spending. Vega Pederson reported spending only about $2,100 since the primary through the end of August…”

It continues “…There is an obvious reason for the low spending: Donations nearly flatlined for both women since the May 17 primary.This is the first fall election in which the county’s voter-enacted $500 per donor limit has been in effect. And unlike other campaign caps, which set a limit for the primary and another for the general election, the county’s $500 limit applies to both – so donors who gave that much to Meieran or Vega Pederson in the spring can’t give her a dime for the Nov. 8 runoff.  The impact has been glaring. Since May 17, Meieran has raised about $20,000 and Vega Pederson only $9,400 – each sum a tiny fraction of the fundraising totals they amassed in the primary. ”  (bolding mine)

This is a red flag to voters everywhere.

But wait there is more.

The article continues, “Overly strict campaign finance laws censor candidates from speaking to their voters and it censors voters from participating in helping their candidates by limiting how much they can contribute.To make up for her lack of endorsements, Meieran loaned herself the $30,000, reporting the loan one minute before midnight on May 10, which was the last possible minute she could report the action during the primary. Oregon courts have ruled that campaign finance limits do not apply to candidates’ donations to their own races.”

This is the fatal flaw of campaign finance limits, they can’t block candidates from donating millions to themselves and neither does it factor in the huge advantage of incumbency.

When government blocks citizens from making donations it blocks the candidate from reaching more voters.  It is legalized censorship.

Be warned Oregon citizens, Tina Kotek and others have pledged to pass Campaign Finance Reform in 2023 to block all Oregonians from fully participating in elections.   It was bad enough that Tina Kotek blocked rural Oregon lawmakers from participating in the redistricting process of redrawing their own political boundaries (so partisan was her scheme it earned one of the worst scores in the nation for partisanship and even lawmakers of her own political party sued her to stop it) that Kotek now wants to diminish voter’s voices even further.

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