The Independent Party: A new kind of force in Oregon politics
by Sal Peralta
June 8, 2010
There have been various news accounts about my role in fundraising for the Independent Party of Oregon's upcoming statewide election. The stories include excerpts from recordings of conversations secretly taped by a Democratic state senator and a Senate Democratic staffer in which I asked candidates to help defray the cost of holding a full and fair Internet election. I made mistakes.
My rationale for asking these candidates to donate was simple and maybe too naive: I thought that if a candidate was committed to an open process and seeking nomination from thousands of voters, then he or she might have an interest in helping the process -- making sure the election is held by an experienced Internet voting firm, that all party members receive mail notice of their secure log-on codes, and that the results are certified as unimpeachable and fair.
The state of Oregon spends millions of taxpayer dollars on primary elections for Democrats and Republicans. Minor parties receive nothing -- no subsidy from taxpayers, no filing fees from candidates, not a cent.
I understand that I didn't always express my rationale clearly enough. I've learned a tough lesson. But let's not lose sight of the facts: No candidate has paid to participate in this election, and not a dime is at taxpayer expense. Read more ...