By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Every business in Oregon must register with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee. These businesses also have to provide an official contact email to the State. The Secretary of State just used that email (as many as a quarter million or more) to send out a political message asking people to lobby in favor of a bill in the State Capitol. The bill is asking for millions more taxpayer dollars to enrich the Secretary of State office. Capitol Chronicle has more.
This is an abuse of taxpayer resources for lobbying purposes.
This is a also a warning sign of things to come in the future if Oregon passes strict campaign finance laws that limit people’s ability to donate (it may be $100, $500, etc) to political candidates of their choice. Under campaign finance laws, people’s free speech will be limited, but politicians will not. Politicians like Shemia Fagan will be able to spend millions of taxpayer resources communicating with the public and engaging in active political lobbying — something that her future candidates will be unable to do. Future candidates who dare to challenge a sitting Secretary of State will have to communicate with the public only by raising tiny $100 or $500 contributions. Meanwhile the Secretary of State will use her office as a daily promotion for her political campaign.
This is the imbalance and danger of campaign finance limits.
We also previously reported this article below:
“On Wednesday, January 11th, The Protect Democracy Project, put out a full page advertisement in The Oregonian. The ad placed by the Protect Democracy Project, thanked Senator Jeff Merkley for approving the Electoral Count Reform Act.
We cite this advertisement, not just to show who is making big political advertising buys in the off campaign season, but to also note that such full-page thank you ads are common in our local newspapers. Senator Ron Wyden and former Governor Kate Brown have recently had such ads in The Oregonian. This is important to remember if Oregon adopts strict campaign finance laws. Campaign finance advocates wish to make it illegal for people like you and I to contribute more than $100 to a candidate. Yet, $40,000 full page ads praising a sitting politician for everyday activities would remain legal. So, everyday voters will be censored and have their Free Speech reduced to bread crumbs, but big private corporations and out-of-state non-profits will be able to spend unlimited amounts of ad money praising sitting politicians. These ads are not seen as direct lobbying nor as campaign funding (therefore would be exempt from campaign finance limits) even though such ads have similar impact and results. Interestingly, a non-sitting politician running for office against Senator Merkley would likely not be able to have the same corporations run ads in his/her favor because they are just a candidate (and not an elected official) and therefore any ad would be considered a campaign contribution and therefore be illegal. If this sounds complex — it is. That is why campaign finance limits on free speech are bad for political participation.Campaign finance proponents will sell voters on a utopian promise to remove money from politics. It will definitely remove YOUR money from politics but not corporate money. Corporate money will not be removed from politics but will likely be moved around to different activities like the full-page advertisement we just witnessed.”
— This article will be downgraded on social media. Because our article graphic has a lot of text in it (not much but enough), social media outlets will diminish the reach of this article as they do not like promoting photos with heavy text use. Yet, we feel it is important to show people in a single graphic the double standard. More people will understand our point in the graphic than people who will read the article. So, if you like this article, please Tweet and Like it. The extra boost of Tweets and Likes will help compensate for the diminished social media slow-down.
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