Lane County Senators Can Limit PAC Money in Elections

Get big money out of politics

Many of us are excited about the Oregon House of Representatives blocking billionaires from buying our elections and I want to thank most of our Lane County state representatives for their support of this historic legislation HB2714. Thank you Marty Wilde (my representative), Julie Fahey, Nancy Nathanson, John Lively and Paul Holvey.

Cedric Hayden was the only Lane representative to vote against getting big money out of politics.

Unfortunately this historic bill left some political action committees (PACs) “unlimited” and the word unlimited should not be in any campaign finance reform legislation. Through these unlimited PACs wealthy donors can once again influence Oregon’s politics.

The good news is our state senators can close these loopholes by establishing limits on all PACs when HB2714 comes over to the Senate side. The Lane County delegation of senators can lead in this effort. I have personally met with Sens. Floyd Prozanski, James Manning, Lee Beyer (my senator) and Arnie Roblan during my weekly visits to the Capitol and all are big supporters of campaign finance reform.

Sen. Prozanski even served on the historic Senate Campaign Finance Committee which pushed through the important Constitutional Amendment referral for the voters on November 2020 called SJR18. Prozanski cast the deciding vote in the committee which moved it out of committee at the end of March with a 3 to 2 vote.

Sen. Roblan plays an even more decisive role as he serves on the important Senate Rules Committee where HB2714 goes for amendments before it goes to the Senate floor. So if you live on the Coast weigh with your Senator.

We must encourage all of our state senators to fix HB 2714 and close the backdoor on “unlimited” PACs.

The Oregon Senate can easily remove the word “unlimited” from this campaign contribution limits bill. Otherwise, the voters will need to use the referendum process and withdraw the bill and re-write it with the limits we want in 2020. Hopefully, we will not need to gather signatures immediately after the legislative session ends.

We cannot have true campaign finance reform if political action committees are “unlimited.”

Let’s completely match the federal limits and get big money out of politics in Oregon!

Former gubernatorial candidate, Patrick Starnes, lives in Brownsville with his wife where they restore old homes (part of Wilde and Beyer’s district). Their current project is circa 1878. He looks forward to the end of the legislative session where he has been visiting the Capitol every week since the 2018 election.