Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Barbara Roberts on 46/47--Gee, Sounds Familiar!

Owing to the "temporary insanity" Steve Duin found us guilty of yesterday, and his challenge to ask "which side seems more diligent, more rational, and more committed to dealing with the corrosive effect of money on Oregon politics," let's take a moment and reject the effort of petitioners and supporters to claim victimhood and change the subject when called on their inconsistency and lack of transparency, and return to the potential impact of Measures 46 and 47. Let's let former governor Barbara Roberts take up the cudgel and explain why she recommends a No vote on both. If the arguments sound familiar to things you've heard us say over the past month or two, try not to notice. We all know that Roberts lady is just a wackjob hater, anyway:
I have never been one to keep quiet about issues I care about. So I am writing you today because the right for all of us to speak and be heard is being threatened.

There are two measures on the Oregon ballot this November that will stifle our voices and prevent us from speaking out for and against candidates.

Measures 46 and 47 are campaign finance measures that will limit political non-profits we support by restricting when and how much we can spend on candidate campaigns.

Constitutional Amendment 46 opens the door to even further restrictions by changing the Oregon Constitution and allowing the state legislature or a ballot measure to restrict campaign speech even more. Think about what that means. It gives Republican Speaker Karen Minnis or out of state right-wing funders like Loren Parks and Howard Rich control over how much free speech we are allowed.

Imagine if we were banned from talking about how candidates vote on our issues. Imagine if choice groups were banned from speaking out against Measure 43, the unsafe parental notification measure. Or if Basic Rights Oregon had been unable to speak out against Measure 36 in 2004. The fact is, Measure 46 is a Pandora's Box. We won't know how much of our rights will be taken away until they are gone. And we'll never get them back.

Measure 47 will keep average Oregonians from supporting causes they believe in. Measure 47 creates a draconian web of extreme restrictions on political speech. That means regular Oregonians who might want to contribute to a cause they believe in whether as an individual or through a political non-profit they trust, will be even less likely to get involved. Not only that, the measure requires donors to get a "handle" at the Secretary of State's office and keep track of how much money they have donated.

Measure 47 is unconstitutional and has unintended consequences. Legal experts agree. While the proponents of these measures claim everyone will be restricted equally, it doesn't pass muster. After the dust settles from the constitutional challenges, rich individuals will be given a bullhorn while our voices will be muzzled.

We must protect our voice. These measures are so extreme that even one of the measure's original sponsors, Rep. Peter Buckley, is now asking you to vote NO.

I am proud to join with two dozen groups as wide ranging as Stand for Children, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Planned Parenthood and the Oregon AFL-CIO in opposing Measures 46 and 47.

These measures are the wrong solution. They will stifle our voices.

I urge you to get more information. Visit Read the summaries of the measures. Get the facts.

Then please join me in voting NO on Measures 46 and 47.

Governor Barbara Roberts