My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

« More Karen Armstrong: Our "Oedipus complex" | Main | The Trib scores again: Ron Saxton and school choice »

September 25, 2006

Comments

Yes Terry, many of us would dearly love to see publicly-financed elections throughout Oregon, not just Portland, in our lifetime. Maybe it will happen one day, but I won't hold my breath (as Mr. Civiletti points out in the voluminous thread over at Loaded Orygun, this was voted down a few years ago in Oregon).

In the meantime, real progressives (those that support fixing Oregon's political process without their own self-interest foremost in mind) are backing measures 46 & 47. Without it, Oregon's political process will continue to be a mess...and completely governed by the checkbook.

So thanx for the revised headline, Terry. Kari, we know you're a reader of OlsenOnline, so how about fixing that unnecessarily biased header? You know you'll still be getting lots of political work, even after 46/47 pass. After all, you've started branching out of Oregon with leftyblogs.com etc. so your livelihood isn't entirely dependent upon keeping our current constitutional principle that money equals free speech.

Ha! Once again, you guys think that I write all the content on BlueOregon. I don't. And last week, I barely wrote any of it. Spent the night in four different states in six days last week - wasn't blogging much at all. You insult the hard work of several other people by assuming that it's all me.

As I've said before, I haven't taken a position on 46 and 47 yet. I'm not working for either side in the fight, and don't expect to work on either side.

Having actually run campaigns within a number of campaign finance environments, I'll say this: I'm a skeptic of almost everything. I don't believe you can do much to stop the in-flow of money. All you can do is force people to hide the source, and that's a bad thing. One exception: Voter-owned elections. They've passed in Portland, and they're about to pass statewide in California. I see no reason why we can't make 'em happen in Oregon.

As for my personal financial future, you're right - I'm not worried. I've got plenty of work around the country. (LeftyBlogs.com makes about $200 a month, so that ain't it, though.)

In any case, I really do appreciate the attention you guys are giving to the issues... but it's kind of silly to be training your 'media-watch' fire on BlueOregon - a blog that gets 10% of the traffic of (say) WillametteWeek.com; which in turn gets 10% of the traffic of OregonLive.com. It's perfectly reasonable for folks on "our" side to have disagreements now and then, but I'd rather go to war on the bad guys like Karen Minnis, Wayne Scott, Ron Saxton, and the rest of the corrupt and extreme right-wing.

p.s. This is exactly right: The gist of the comment thread is that opponents of Measure 47 should read the text of the initiative before dismissing it.

Which I haven't, and why I haven't.

Thanks, Terry, for the accurate quote. This is one of those uncomfortable contests, where one is pitted against people who are normally allies. It should be, at least, an opportunity for reasonable discussion on both sides. I've been shocked and disappointed by the campaign rhetoric from OurOregon, and now, protectourVoice. It seems as though the decision to oppose was made for some reason [I'm trying to hold myself back from conjecture], and then polling or focus group research was used to come up with a set of talking points that would sway the non-politically savy voter.

That's politics, but it's nice when those talking points have a solid basis in fact. Much of what I've been hearing from Kevin Looper and Jesse Cornett does not. Several of their statements even contain internal contradictions. If the Fair Elections measures weren't so important, I'd feel bad for exposing their embarrassing performance. But I'm sick and tired of a political system dominated by the highest bidder. It leaves us with bad education, a fouled environment, irrational economic policy, poor health care, scapegoated minorities, and ignored people in need. It's clear that working on these problems in isolation leaves us treading water, at best. If we can liberate our political system from corrupting money, many improvements will come much more easily.

"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, 19-Apr-06

Carla has read Measure 47. Several times. And while Mr. Civiletti continues to bluster about how concerns by progressives are baselessoft repeated, he doesn't bother to address them.

I've been perfectly willing to have my mind changed on this issue. So far however, no one is willing to address what I think are valid, fundamental concerns. Instead I've been treated to a long series of name calling and other attempts to obfuscate.

I'm not going to support campaign finance reform just for the sake of doing it. A lot of folks ended up doing that with McCain-Feingold, and there are some serious problems with that law. What appears to be advocated here is "do anything" just for the sake of doing it.

In my view, we need to do this correctly. M46 is a wide open door for ridiculous ballot initiatives to create a bigger campaign finance mess. M47 is complex and confusing (yes Tom..I know you don't like hearing that--but its unreasonable for relatively smart people not to be able to understand a piece of potential law) and its apparent that every campaign finance attorney but Dan Meek thinks at least parts of it will be tossed out by the courts.

I'd rather be fighting conservatives--and I'll continue to do so. But I'm also going to speak out when I think liberals/progs aren't doing the right thing, too.

This is one of those times.

Oh come on Carla. Go back and read the thread. I just read the whole thing and can say with confidence that all of your points have been addressed (even the baseless ones like M 47 would somehow put limits on ballot initiatives yet not impose limits on wealthy individuals). If you have a point that you feel hasn't been covered, well, bring it up again.

C'mon yourself, TM. I've brought up the issue with the ballot initiatives and M46 numerous times..the entire summation of addressing it has been to say its "baseless" and/or that I'm asking for a tossing out of the entire OR Constitution and initiative system.

Neither begins to scratch the surface of the truth.

How are we going to address the fact that M46 allows for people like Sizemore and Jason Williams who will undoubtedly go after every progressive funding source via the initiative process?

For M47, how do we deal with the distinct possibility that the individual donor restrictions will be thrown out by the courts--leaving only restrictions on groups? Further, even if the individual restrictions do hold--they're still vastly less restrictive than what is placed on groups.

And then there's the issue of how vastly complex it is to sort out (47). And then there are other issues brought up in that thread that haven't been dealt with either. Specifically the restrictions on what groups can do (I think the example in the thread was the Bus Project--and how they'd be in violation if they gave people rides for canvassing--but I might not be remembering it completely correct).

The complaint by the proponents is that they tried to get people to come to the table on this and were rebuffed. But in fact, some of those who did come to the table and worked with the proponents have since rejected these Measures as well. I'm still waiting for someone to respond to me on the thread about why the OEA bailed out. Its close to 100 comments so maybe I missed it--but I've been checking for it and haven't seen it.

Its an additional red flag when even those who tried to help put it together can't support it either.

Carla is quite good at making complaints, but not very good at engaging in conversation. Each of her complaints mirrors those of the OurOregon/protectourVoice campaign and are of the same ambiguous nature, or lead to implications that the complainer will not own up to. A few examples:

M47 is complicated and confusing: This is an attitude. If Carla thinks it is, well, then for her, it is. I don't have any problem understanding the measure. Can I recite it from memory? No, but that's not necessary. M47 contains what is need to enact comprehensive contribution limits and disclosure rules.

M46 opens the door for Bill sizemore, etc.: As Rep. Buckley admitted on Carla's blogsite, M46 could not have been written differently, except for the legislative super-majority provision. So, if Carla is deadset against the possibility of future initiative changes to Oregon contribution limits, then she should admit that she opposes all contribution limits for Oregon, since they will never be possible without something like M46. If she admits that, then we get somewhere, and readers can decide whether they agree with her position. Of course, very few Oregonians would agree with the "no limits ever", so Carla and the oposition campaign, as well, pretend that they can critique M46 without mentioning that there can be no limits with out it.

Individual limits will be overturned: All those in opoosition STILL refuse to sight law and/or precedent to back up their fears. As such, these are simply fears. How can anyone answer to that besides saying "don't be afraid." Dan Meek has provided examples of such limits in force in other states. Opposition, including Carla, continue to ignore that and monger unsupported fears.

So, I'mwondering:

- Is Carla lazy?
- Is Carla disengenous? or
- Is Carla incapable of the level of reasoning needed to discuss the issues she raises in a specific, not ambiguous way, or not able to understand the difference between specific and ambiguous.

If I seem blustery, it is because Carla, Jesse Cornett, and Kevin Looper are wasting a considerable amount of my time by NOT engaging in conversation that can lead to enlightenment on the issue, but only in casting about soundbites that prevent meaningful conversation. I refuse to let the voters be cowed by scare tactics, so I will persist, but I'd much prefer a debate trhat would be more than talking past each other.


"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling power. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing."

-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Carla wrote: "C'mon yourself, TM. I've brought up the issue with the ballot initiatives and M46 numerous times..the entire summation of addressing it has been to say its "baseless" and/or that I'm asking for a tossing out of the entire OR Constitution and initiative system. Neither begins to scratch the surface of the truth. How are we going to address the fact that M46 allows for people like Sizemore and Jason Williams who will undoubtedly go after every progressive funding source via the initiative process?"

TM: What do you mean by "progressive funding source"? Are you implying that by allowing for limits on campaign contributions (through passing M46), that people like Sizemore will then promote additional reforms to restrict the ability of progressive groups to raise money? If this is what you mean, then I pose the following to you. 1) There is no other way to enact contribution limits w/o amending the Oregon constitution (sad but true), so, if there's a better way to go please put it forward. 2)

Carla wrote: "For M47, how do we deal with the distinct possibility that the individual donor restrictions will be thrown out by the courts--leaving only restrictions on groups? Further, even if the individual restrictions do hold--they're still vastly less restrictive than what is placed on groups."

TM: First, please know that M47 was designed to withstand the challenge you put forward, and as Dan Meek has repeatedly stated, it is built upon prior rulings in this regards. Until someone, ANYONE, from Our Oregon or any othe opponent sites any ruling to the contrary this is a short-winded argument. Second, if you think that the limits on groups is more restrictive that the limits on individuals, I suggest you re-read the contribution limits in M47. It's at www.fairelections.net

Carla wrote: "And then there's the issue of how vastly complex it is to sort out (47."

TM: Campaign financing is a complex issue. If there were any easy way to do this, I'd imagine the measure would be shorter.

Carla wrote: "And then there are other issues brought up in that thread that haven't been dealt with either. Specifically the restrictions on what groups can do (I think the example in the thread was the Bus Project--and how they'd be in violation if they gave people rides for canvassing--but I might not be remembering it completely correct).

TM: See posts on Loaded Orygun for the skinny on this one. In short, not true.

Carla wrote: "The complaint by the proponents is that they tried to get people to come to the table on this and were rebuffed. But in fact, some of those who did come to the table and worked with the proponents have since rejected these Measures as well."

TM: True. Again, Loaded Orygun has a good thread on this too.

Carla wrote: "I'm still waiting for someone to respond to me on the thread about why the OEA bailed out. Its close to 100 comments so maybe I missed it--but I've been checking for it and haven't seen it."

TM: I missed it too. Great question though. I don't have the answer, but perhaps someone on Loaded Orygun does. I suggest you repost.

Carla wrote: "Its an additional red flag when even those who tried to help put it together can't support it either."

TM: I agree if: A) you know why, B) you trust their judgement at least as much as your own. Since it appears that this is central to your concerns, and has not yet been addressed, I'd suggest asking about it.

Ah, hit "go" w/o finishing:

Paragraph 2, Point #2: We live in a democracy, it's up to us to defend it.

I can't speak for Andrew, Kari, but I don't assume that you personally are responsible for everything that shows up on Blue Oregon. As for "training media-watch fire on Blue Oregon", well, if it's true (I don't think it is), you ought to feel flattered. I hold Blue Oregon to much higher standards, as a progressive site, than I do either the Oregonian, or Willamette Week.

I must say I have enjoyed the conversation here, which is a good thing.

Great comments, Tom. You make a strong case for a yes vote on the two reform measures.

M47 is complicated and confusing: This is an attitude. If Carla thinks it is, well, then for her, it is. I don't have any problem understanding the measure. Can I recite it from memory? No, but that's not necessary. M47 contains what is need to enact comprehensive contribution limits and disclosure rules.

Well gee Tom--I'm not the only one having trouble. There is more than one person on the comment thread at Loaded Orygun that's made this assertion and they're just laypeople like me. M47 is ridiculously complex and confusing. What is needed is public financing, not more confusion. Or do you just want to go down the road that I have no business understanding this measure because I'm too effing stupid?

M46 opens the door for Bill sizemore, etc.: As Rep. Buckley admitted on Carla's blogsite, M46 could not have been written differently, except for the legislative super-majority provision. So, if Carla is deadset against the possibility of future initiative changes to Oregon contribution limits, then she should admit that she opposes all contribution limits for Oregon, since they will never be possible without something like M46. If she admits that, then we get somewhere, and readers can decide whether they agree with her position. Of course, very few Oregonians would agree with the "no limits ever", so Carla and the oposition campaign, as well, pretend that they can critique M46 without mentioning that there can be no limits with out it.

The "legislative majority provision" is a great big caveat, Tom. Dismissing it so lightly is again not addressing a major issue with this proposal. I am for public financing of campaigns because in my view, that's the smartest and most effective way to do enact the needed reforms. I've made this point numerous times--which you continue to ignore in favor of making assertions that I've never said.

Individual limits will be overturned: All those in opoosition STILL refuse to sight law and/or precedent to back up their fears. As such, these are simply fears. How can anyone answer to that besides saying "don't be afraid." Dan Meek has provided examples of such limits in force in other states. Opposition, including Carla, continue to ignore that and monger unsupported fears.

Which campaign finance attorney/experts besides yourself and Dan Meeks believe that this law doesn't have at least a 50/50 chance of being stripped of the individual contributions provisions? Its apparent that there are quite a few that don't buy what you're saying on this Tom. You've dug your heels in here--which is your right to do. But it goes against common sense not to listen to what most of the legal beagles on this have to say, IMO.

So, I'm wondering:

- Is Carla lazy?
- Is Carla disengenous? or
- Is Carla incapable of the level of reasoning needed to discuss the issues she raises in a specific, not ambiguous way, or not able to understand the difference between specific and ambiguous.

Is this where I say "Is Tom Civiletti always a pompous ass or does he just play one in the blogosphere"? Or does ignoring people's valid concerns by blowing them off with childish, silly ravings your plan for winning over those opposed to your POV?

If I seem blustery, it is because Carla, Jesse Cornett, and Kevin Looper are wasting a considerable amount of my time by NOT engaging in conversation that can lead to enlightenment on the issue, but only in casting about soundbites that prevent meaningful conversation. I refuse to let the voters be cowed by scare tactics, so I will persist, but I'd much prefer a debate trhat would be more than talking past each other.

You choose to waste your own time. No one does it for you. At least take some personal responsibility for yourself. You're choosing to duck the legitimate questions being asked of you. That's again your right. But in no way does it prod folks to comfort for your positions.

What do you mean by "progressive funding source"? Are you implying that by allowing for limits on campaign contributions (through passing M46), that people like Sizemore will then promote additional reforms to restrict the ability of progressive groups to raise money? If this is what you mean, then I pose the following to you. 1) There is no other way to enact contribution limits w/o amending the Oregon constitution (sad but true), so, if there's a better way to go please put it forward.

I'm saying that 46 is a big, monstrous, open ended provision that unscrupulous characters can and will use to their advantage. There is a legislative provision that could have been added to prevent this.

Carla wrote: "I'm saying that 46 is a big, monstrous, open ended provision that unscrupulous characters can and will use to their advantage. There is a legislative provision that could have been added to prevent this."

TM: Such as? (BTW, again a constitutional amendment is absolutely necessary to put in place any kind of limit on political contributions to candidate races). Regarding publicly funded campaigns, I hope everyone remembers the vote that took place in 2000, when we Oregonians shot down publicly funded campaigns on the state level. I point this out as a staunch supporter of public financing (which goes for everyone I know who also supports M46 & 47) for this reason only--the majority of Oregonians do not support the idea. I hope attitudes change on this, but until then, it's a bit disingenuous to use public financing as the preferential option to other campaign reforms because it will not happen any time soon.

TM: Such as? (BTW, again a constitutional amendment is absolutely necessary to put in place any kind of limit on political contributions to candidate races).

Such as Mr. Civiletti mentions above...the legislative supermajority provision.

Regarding publicly funded campaigns, I hope everyone remembers the vote that took place in 2000, when we Oregonians shot down publicly funded campaigns on the state level. I point this out as a staunch supporter of public financing (which goes for everyone I know who also supports M46 & 47) for this reason only--the majority of Oregonians do not support the idea. I hope attitudes change on this, but until then, it's a bit disingenuous to use public financing as the preferential option to other campaign reforms because it will not happen any time soon.

I'm not going to give up on public financing of campaigns because the voters shot it down once upon a time six years ago. Its a good idea and an important one. I think we should keep bringing it back--refined if necessary and keep making the case for it.

Its being done in other places around the US (and in Portland). It can work statewide in Oregon.


Terry,

Thanks for joining the conversation.

Back to the "confusing, complicated" conversation. What matters is whether Measure 47 is understandable by those who must follow its provisions and those who must enforce them. There are already over 300 pages of campaign regulations that people in the political process must follow. I seriously doubt these folks will have any trouble with the 12 pages of Measure 47. "Confusing and complicated" is a red herring.

On Measure 46, I was referring to the "opens the door"-for-nasty,-anti-progressive-initiatives argument that Carla, Jesse Cornett, and Kevin Looper have made. Rep Buckley's contention is that M46 could not have been written any differently, except for the supermajority provision. I have addressed the super-majority provision in other posts on Loaded Orygun. Look for my discussion of Colorado's Amendment 27 and Massachusett's public funding measure.

You believe opposition's claims about expert attorneys who predict M47's unconstitutionality. I want the attorneys identified and their opinions made public, so we all can evaluate them. Is this an unreasonable request? Do you accept the word of anyone who tells you their experts have all the answers? If so, George Bush has a war he'd like to sell you.

I have no plans for winning over Carla. I simply want to make it clear that her posts have been ignorant of indisputable facts and full of ambiguous generalizations that make straight forward rebuttal impossible. There are only so many logical possibilities when someone's comments are so divorced from reality. I listed them.


Would you care to list the legitimate questions you believe are being asked? Then, if you would, summarize Fair Elections opponents' positions on these questions, and reference their evidence supporting those positions. That would be a reasonable starting point for conversation.

It is impossible to proof the negative, so I cannot prove that M47 will not have "unintended consequences" [etc., etc.]. I may be able, however to show that some specific concern is not justified. so, if opponents have specific concerns, we need to put them on the table, along with their supporting evidence, before it's reasonable to expect supporters to rebut them.

As I've written many times, I also support public financing of elections, which lost on the ballot. Remember: every state that has public financing ALSO has contribution limits. The two are synergistic.

By the way, I am not an attorney. I am a progressive who believes campaign finance reform is one of the requirements for a progressive world.

Carla,
Glad you're not going to give up on publicly funded campaigns. I agree, it is the best solution to the problem, just an incredibly hard one to pass. As for the legislative super-majority, the reason it is in there is actually directly related to reforms that have passed recently. In states that have passed contribution limits (notably Colorado) as well as public financing (notably Massachusetts) state legislatures have worked to gut reforms. In Massachusetts, public financing was de-funded, rendering it useless. In Colorado, the state leg continues to attack the contribution limits put in place by voters in 2002. In both cases a simple majority is all that's needed to gut clean government laws such as these. That is the reason for the super-majority provision.

I'm late to joining this thread, so not sure if anybody still's reading.

But I'll make two points.

First, in response to those seeking citations from Supreme Court decisions that show that many provisions in Measure 47 -- particularly those related to individual independent expenditures -- will be thrown out. I've posted some at our blog. Look at what is now the last comment, but probably won't remain the last.

http://olcvblog.typepad.com/olcvblog/2006/09/olcvs_oppositio.html#comments

Second, as somebody who's a brighter than average attorney, who's studied election law, including Oregon's, I can tell you that Measure 47 is, in fact, remarkably complex compared to the existing statutes and compared to Measure 9 (passed by voters in 1994 with OLCV's endorsement). I spent 5 hours one day just trying to sort through all of Measure 47's provisions and how they work together, and work in the context of existing Oregon and federal IRS rules. My list of terms I couldn't figure out grew rather long. In the end, I THINK I get how it all works together.

But I can guarantee a LOT of groups are going to spend a lot of money on lawyers sorting through it, and even then, it will take groups willing to do things and risk being given huge fines to figure out what it really means by the Courts. There are other campaign finance laws out there like Colorado's that are models of clarity compared to 47. Why the backers of 47 didn't follow an existing model is beyond me.

First to Kari (if you're still checking into this thread): I never suggested you were "solely" responsible for the content of BlueOR. Of course you know I know that's not the case. But you are its co-creator. And defacto "publisher". So was it so out of line for me to suggest that you fix a very misleading headline (a one-word insertion would have done nicely)?

And to Jonathan, to whom we've had a spirited debate via e-mail and over at the OLCV blog: yeh, M9 was uncomplicated and M9 was also thrown out by the Oregon Supreme Court. We are for CFR that sticks; hence we have a pretty complicated measure on our hands.

We're damned if we do and damned if we don't, aren't we, Jonathan? According to the opposition's rhetoric, 47 ultimately doesn't go far enough, even at 16 pages. Which is it...too complex or too simple?

And on the case law, my point about Buckley (1976) is not that it's too old to be a valid precedent but that it's "old news" and it has to do with spending limits, as opposed to contribution restrictions (which the Supremes said was OK).

M47 will be upheld under Buckley, and even if parts of it fail, we can look forward to at least five years of decent campaigns in Oregon until it reaches the Supreme Court.

By then, our next Democratic President might even have the opportunity to have a couple new, progressive nominees in place.

Don't you guys EVER think of the positive outcome? vote YES on 46 & 47!

So much to respond to, so just a couple of notes:

Measure 47 is shorter than Measure 9 of 1994.

Prop 89 (public funding of campaigns) is not going to pass in California. The unions, particularly the teachers' union, are spending against it, and current polls show it losing by over 40 points.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Most Recent Photos

  • War_prez_prima_1
  • Bushvaca2nh
  • Dscn1145_2
  • Dscn1144_4
  • Dscn1144_1
  • Dscn1137_3
  • Dscn1137_4
  • Dscn1051
  • Dscn1046
  • Dscn0883_1
  • Dscn0881_1
  • 422d683505eb4821_1