Campaign Finance Reform
The Oregon legislature is working on some campaign finance reforms ($ after 14 days):
Shortly after Doyle’s Jan. 31 resignation, Merkley and House Speaker Karen Minnis, R-Wood Village, announced that House legislation would tackle six campaign finance topics. Those included increasing the maximum penalty for personal use of campaign money, prohibiting candidates from paying themselves for professional services, and prohibiting double dipping.
They should be encouraged to continue this effort however it does seem a bit like the fox is in the hen house. I suspect they will look more after their own interests than those of the people they are supposed to represent.
Those with a real interest in campaign finance reform should start at the beginning. Let’s posit as a basic premise that elected officials are to represent the people living in the geographic area that they serve. Let me know if you think this is wrong…
Following from this premise, then, is this fundamental reform: candidates for office may spend funds or utilize goods and services on their campaigns that have been received only from individuals living in the area they represent. e.g., mayors – cities, legislators – legislative districts, etc. No corporate contributions allowed as corporations are not people and elected officials represent people.
Think about this. We’ll talk about it more in the future.