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Oregon’s fight for campaign finance reform nears its end.

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TLDR: Oregon’s ‘30 Years War’ over campaign finance reform approaches its final battle

Key Points:

  • Voters in Oregon support campaign finance reform, with 75% agreeing that laws should regulate unlimited money in political campaigns.
  • Initiative Petition 9 aims to place limits on campaign contributions and spending, building on previous efforts to reform campaign finance laws in the state.

In Oregon’s current legislative session, leaders of both parties and major business and labor groups are uniting to enact long-overdue limits on big money donations to candidate campaigns. The initiative process has been instrumental in keeping this issue in front of voters and the courts for 30 years. With the recent approval of a constitutional amendment authorizing campaign funding and spending limits, sponsors of Initiative Petition 9 have the political momentum to qualify their measure for the upcoming general election ballot.

Over the past three decades, Oregon voters have supported ballot initiatives to limit the influence of big money in candidate elections. Despite setbacks and court challenges, reformers have persisted. The drafters of IP 9 are now working to deliver a viable campaign finance proposal that includes limits on contributions, spending, and advertising disclosure.

Lawmakers are also engaging with the sponsors of the initiative, attempting to enact legislation that gives them an advantage on the issue they have resisted for years. Backers of IP 9 are confident in their support from voters and are not interested in negotiating changes. As Oregon approaches what may be the final battle over campaign finance reform, the good government reformers are once again taking on institutional insiders to create meaningful change in the state’s electoral system.


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