Saturday, September 6, 2008

OR Measure 64: Penalizes Public Employee Unions For Political Purpose

OR Elections: SUMMARY: Current law allows individuals, organizations to use money for "political purposes," including money collected with public resources. measure prohibited individuals, organizations, other entities from using money for "political purposes" if "public resources" were used in collecting it. "Money" includes in-kind contributions, independent expenditures, pass-through contributions. "Public resources" include money, public employee work time, buildings, equipment, supplies, unless used for conducting elections, issuing official voters' pamphlet. "Used for a political purpose" means: contributed to candidate, political committee, political party, initiate/referendum committee; spent supporting, opposing candidate, ballot measure, gathering signatures for proposed measure, petition; excludes lobbying an elected official. Mandates civil penalty, bar government from collecting money for entity that uses such money for "political purpose" or commingles it with "political" money. Other provisions.

[_] Yes

“Yes” vote prohibits person, entities from using money for "political purpose" (defined) if collected with "public resource" (defined), commingled with such money; mandates penalties.

OR "Family" Council
Victoria Taft

From arguments in favor (pdf):
• Bill Sizemore
• OR Tax Payers United

[X] No

“No” vote retains current law, which does not restrict person's, entity's use of money collected with public resources or commingling such money with "political" funds.

EMO (pdf): ". . . This is a poorly written measure and quite broad in its scope, so the full implications of this measure are not fully known. Some critics are concerned that this Measure will also further limit the ability of charities to engage in public discussion and advocacy on important public issues. . . " ". . . Measure 64 is Unfair:
This flawed proposal curtails the individual rights of tens of thousands of hard-working Oregonians—like teachers, nurses, firefighters and police officers—by denying them the ability to make their own decisions about payroll deductions. It limits the voices of charities, but provides a large loophole for lobbyists. And it does nothing to limit the political influence of corporate special interests. . . ."

Portland Mercury
Just Out
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune

• ACLU (pdf)
OR Working Families Party
• Ecumenical Ministries (pdf)
League of Women Voters
NARAL Pro-Choice
Jack Bogdanski

From Who We Are:
• Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian
• fmr Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner
• Gov Ted Kulongoski
• MultCo Democrats
• Democratic Party of OR
Basic Rights OR
• Black United Fund of OR
• Pacific Green Party of OR
• OR League of Conservation Voters
• OR Humane Society
• United Way of the Columbia-Willamette
• United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley
• OR Natural Resources Council ACTION
• OR Education Assoc
• OR Fair Trade Campaign
• Portland Jobs with Justice
• Southern OR Jobs with Justice
• OR Food Bank
• Rural Organizing Project
• Community Alliance of Tenants
• 6 OR St Senators
• 2 OR St Representatives
• OSU Pres Edward Ray
• PSU Pres Wim Wiewel
• 7 senior organizations
• 28 union, labor, and professional groups

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: At first glance, this seems like a common sense law. However, the definitions seem broad and vague. I'm especially weary knowing anti-guv'ment activist Bill Sizemore is the Chief Petitioner. This is obviously Sizemore's revenge bill against the public employee unions. I haven't heard of any problems of unions using public facilities to raise political funds, so it seems this law is looking for a problem. I suspect this law is vaguely worded to allow Sizemore to sue public unions from any political activity. I'll probably vote no.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Norm,

There's more information on why Measure 64 is a bad idea here: