Not so fast: Measure 47 passed
All of the campaigning to which our household was subjected linked the two measures together, and we voted against both of them, but it appears that a significant wedge of voters voted no on 46 and yes on 47. And so now we all get to figure out what 47 does and what 46 won't get to do.
Dan Meek, the public power guy who was one of the big backers of 46 and 47, left a comment last night on an older post on this blog; he explained where we stand in light of the split decision. What he wrote is worth reproducing here. And if any other readers are in the know about the meaning of the passage of 47 alone, please chime in in the comments to the present post:
Well, Jack, Measure 47, which passed, does require far better campaign disclosure and reporting. Here are some of its provisions that will take effect, regardless of the absence of Measure 46:Fascinating stuff. But according to this morning's O, it may not mean jack squat unless the state constitution is interpreted or amended to allow such laws to be placed on the books -- and that's just what the voters seemingly refused to do when they rejected 46. Says the O:
1 Every campaign advertisement funded by "independent expenditures" must prominently disclose the top 5 contributors to the "independent" campaign, the businesses they are engaged in, and the amounts contributed by each of them. These disclosures must appear in all advertisements, including TV, radio, newspaper, direct mail, billboards, etc. They need not appear on small campaign items, like buttons or bumper stickers.
2 Anyone making independent expenditures during any 2-year election cycle in excess of $200 must publicly report the expenditures in the same manner and schedule as a political committee in Oregon must report to the Secretary of State or local election officer.
3 Every candidate who spends more than $5,000 of personal money on a campaign for public office must disclose in every subsequent campaign ad the amount of personal money being spent on the campaign.
4 Every contributor of more than $500 per year must obtain a "handle" from the Secretary of State, so that his future contributions can be more accurately recorded. [Note: Every registered voter in Oregon already has a handle, consisting of his or her voter registration number. This provision will, however, include also all out-of-state contributors].
5 "Within five (5) business days of receipt, the Secretary of State shall report and make available on the Internet in an interactive database format all contribution and expenditure reports and all handle registrations. The format shall enable the user to determine the sources and amounts of reported contributions:
1 For each candidate committee, political committee, political party, and independent expenditure campaign; and
2 From each contributor who has contributed at least five hundred dollars ($500) during the election cycle."
6 No employer can, directly or indirectly, "require any employee or contractor to make any contribution or independent expenditure to support or oppose any candidate; or provide or promise any benefit or impose or threaten any detriment due to the fact that an employee or contractor did or did not make such contributions or expenditures. Any person subjected to a violation of this "shall have a civil cause of action against the violator and shall, upon proof of violation, recover a civil penalty of not less than $50,000 per incident of violation."
And Measure 46, which would change the state constitution to allow limits on campaign contributions, failed. But a companion proposal, Measure 47, passed. Authors of the campaign finance measures anticipated that the constitutional amendment, Measure 46, might be defeated but the detailed campaign contribution limits in Measure 47 could pass. They wrote into Measure 47 a section that says that if the measure is adopted at a time the Oregon Constitution does not allow such limits, the measure is to be codified in state law and become effective when the constitution is amended to allow campaign contribution limits.If and when, it appears. Anyway, please help us out, readers. Without 46 or a "son of 46" in the future, does 47 matter at all? Perhaps this is just a prelude to a lengthy court battle over what the existing state constitution does and doesn't allow by way of restrictions.
And in any event, did the Oregon voters who split the ticket know what the heck they were doing? Let's face it, the average person is not going to be able to grasp fully what's going on in Dan Meek's cruller. This thing is more confusing than a Karen Minnis travel expense report and an Emilie Boyles signature sheet combined.