On Friday, June 17, the Oregon House of Representatives voted 54-5 to reject SB 270A, a bill to limit fines for failure to report campaign contributions and/or expenditures to $5,000 for all violations occurring in any month, regardless of the number of violations or the amount of money involved.
More than 200 IPO members weighed in on the bill, with members in opposition outweighing the bill's supporters by a ratio of of 73%-13% with 14% neutral or of no opinion. The Independent Party was one of three organizations to publicly oppose the bill.
We thank former Senator Rick Metsger for making his views known to House members on the eve of the vote. We also thank house members who spoke against the bill on the floor, (Bill Kennemer, Greg Matthews, Mary Nolan, Chris Harker, Brian Clem, Jeff Barker, and Carolyn Tomei) as well as Jefferson Smith and his staff.
The initial vote was 40-19, but fourteen legislators -- Wingard, Lindsay, Cameron, Freeman, Hoyle, Holvey, Garrett, Hanna, Witt, Bailey, Roblan, Komp, Whisnant, and Cowan -- changed their votes from "yes to no" after the vote was tallied. Berger, Olson, Reid, Kotek, and Schaufler voted for the bill.
The Secretary of State was neutral on the bill, which was being promoted by C&E Systems, a firm that acts as treasurer for many of the state's Democratic campaigns.
"We really want to do something to help C&E systems deal with whatever legitimate policy complaint they may have, but this bill would tear a gaping hole in Oregon's campaign finance reporting system. It is something our members vigorously oppose," said Party Secretary, Sal Peralta.