Today, local and national campaign finance reform advocates held an online forum with Tina Kotek (Democrat) to address the gigantic contributions now dominating Oregon politics.
Referring specifically to campaign contribution limits, Tina Kotek pledged, "When I'm elected, we are going to put this at the top of the list, and the Legislature will pass limits."
Full Video Here
Phil Knight (retired from Nike, Inc.) alone has contributed $4.75 milltion to candidates for Governor, including $3.75 million to Betsy Johnson (unaffiliated) and $1 million to Christine Drazen (Republican). The $3.75 million is the largest contribution to any candidate's campaign in Oregon history and is among the very top in United States history.
Tina Kotek's campaign has also received huge contributions. Oregon's "system" of no contribution limits ignites arms races that heavily penalize candidates who refuse large contributions.
Jason Kafoury for Honest Elections Oregon made available slides showing the massive increase in money in Oregon elections. See HEO Slide Show. Other participants were:
- Tiffany Muller of End Citizens United (national campaign finance reform group)
- Nathalie Paravicini, Pacific Green Party
- Jay Costa, Voters Right to Know (national campaign disclosure advocates)
Jason Kafoury noted:
- Oregon Measure 107 got 76% of the vote in 2020 to authorize limits on contributions and requirements that political ads name their funders
- Multnomah County Measure 26-184 got 89% of the vote in 2016 to establish contribution limits and tagline requirements in races for Multnomah County public offices
- City of Portland Measure 26-200 got 87% of the vote in 2018 to establish contribution limits and tagline requirements for Portland public offices
- Phil Knight provided 27% of all funding for the campaign of Betsy Johnson.
Nathalie Parvicini noted that Christine Drazen and Betsy Johnson have not even stated their positions on campaign finance reform and need to do that.
Jay Costa of Voters Right to Know gave many examples of weak or nonexistent disclosure and tagline requirements in Oregon.