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Friday, October 5, 2012

Campaign finance reform? The Wizard will see you tomorrow.

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the campaign finance reform ballot measures that half passed and half failed in 2006 are not in effect at all, even though part of the part that did pass is probably constitutional. The legal issues are a tangled rat's nest, but the bottom line is that the court's decision is a victory for the Oregon secretary of state, Kate Brown, who doesn't want to enforce any of it.

There's still apparently a theoretical possibility that someone could bring a lawsuit and get a portion of the package enforced, but given that in six years that hasn't happened, as a practical matter it would probably take another successful ballot measure to get campaign finance restrictions imposed. And even then, although the measure could make everything peachy under state law, you'd still have to get it past the U.S. Supreme Court, which thinks that having the political system run by corporate money is essential to a free society.

Comments (3)

"Split hair here, split baby there, and a couple of la-dee-dahs, that's how we rule the day away in the merry old land of Oz."

As Arnold says, "We'll be back."

How about a law that says if you take money from this or that group you can't vote on legislation impacting that group?
Often part of the money the legislature appropriates for this or that group ends up back in the pocket of the politician pushing legislation benefiting that group.
That's called a conflict of interest.

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