Measure 47

Argument in Opposition


Measures 46 and 47, together, would put in place a system of strict limits on political campaign contributions and spending for or against candidates for state or local public office in Oregon.

Oregon is one of the few states without a limit on political contributions. Yes, corporations and unions spend way too much money on candidates with the expectation that government favors will be returned. But, while campaign finance reform may seem appealing on the surface, it would serve to prolong the domination of Oregon's government by career politicians.

When legislators remain in office for decades, they gain such an advantage in "name recognition" that require opponents, invariably, to spend more to beat them. When the ability to raise and spend money is limited, challengers suffer. It takes a lot of money to overcome incumbency advantages regardless of the issues in the race.

Measure 47 even limits how much personal money a candidate can spend on his own campaign. In limiting challengers to spending $75,000 of their own money, Measure 47 could prevent challengers from overcoming the name recognition of long-time incumbents.

If we adopt Measure 45 in this election, which places Term Limits on state legislators, then we would not need to let challengers raise and spend large amounts to defeat the career politician incumbents – because there would not be any. Under Term Limits, no one could serve more than 6 years in the Oregon House and 8 years in the Oregon Senate or 14 years in total.

By reducing the power of incumbency and preventing lobbyists from building protected relationships, Term Limits would also alleviate many of the ills targeted by Measures 46 & 47 without limiting political speech.

(This information furnished by Eric Winters.)

Argument in Opposition

This measure was no doubt meant to control the spread of special interests and make elections only about the people and ideas. Well it doesn't do that. Measure 47 actually will decrease the amount of ideas that can be heard during an election. It will make it easier for the very rich to spread their message and it will tie the hands of membership-driven grassroots organizations.

This measure will restrict the way organizations can communicate information about elections and their support or opposition of candidates and ballot measures. Single extremely wealthy individuals can still spend as much money as they want to shove their ideas down the throat of the public with no restrictions. As a result, groups with tens of thousands of members will have their hands tied but one rich person has free reign under this measure.

This measure does much more that make it harder for candidates to raise money — it also goes after political non-profits. This measure will cripple groups from all parts of the political spectrum. This measure will also restrict how much people will be able to give to political non-profits. No one will be able to donate over $500 to any political non-profit. It doesn't matter if you agree with an issue or not — do we really want to tie the hands of people from supporting the causes that they care deeply about?

Vote NO. This measure isn't the way to limit "special interest" influence in state government. We at AFSCME support lobby reform, more stringent reporting requirements and voter-owned-elections. However, we can't support a measure that will tie the hands of grassroots membership groups and let the very rich do as they please.

(This information furnished by Joe Baessler, Oregon AFSCME Council 75.)

Argument in Opposition

Measure 47: Misguided and Harmful

Measure 47 unfairly restricts our ability to participate in politics.We are 20,000 educational professionals working in our schools and colleges all over Oregon. When political proposals have an impact on education, we want to be able to tell you about it. Measure 47 would restrict our ability to speak out about the effect political proposals will have on our schools.

Measure 47 gives an unfair advantage to rich donors and wealthy individual candidates. Although the measure limits candidates' ability to contribute to their own campaigns and individuals' right to make contributions, those provisions will likely be struck down immediately by the courts if this measure passes. Measure 47 actually anticipates court action by including a provision that will maintain the limits on unions and other political nonprofits when the courts strike down the limits on the wealthy. Rich individuals, like the measure's sponsor, will have even greater ability to dominate Oregon politics because they will be unaffected, while organizations like OSEA will be extremely limited in our ability to participate.

Measures 47 has little support beyond its sponsor. Twothirds of the money spent to get this measure on the ballot came from one wealthy individual. Real campaign finance reform should come from a broad base of organizations and individuals—not from one wealthy contributor seeking to write the laws to his liking.

Measure 47 requires citizens to obtain an Individual Tracking Code from the government before making political contributions more than $500. Political contributions are already recorded and tracked by the government. We don't need more government tracking of our personal free speech choices. And the penalties for mistakes can be as much as $50,000!

Measure 47—the same failed approach that didn't clean up congressional elections. We've seen how ineffective this type of campaign finance "reform" has been in cleaning up congressional elections. We need real solutions—not this!

Vote NO on Measure 47

Oregon School Employees Association

(This information furnished by Merlene Martin, Oregon School Employees Association.)

Argument in Opposition

The Oregon Association of REALTORS®
Opposes Measure 47!

Please join us in voting NO!

Measure 47 is designed to impose campaign contribution limits. While this may sound attractive to you – especially during a busy campaign cycle – limiting your knowledge of a candidate's position on the issues that are important to you is dangerous at best.

Oregon has a proud history of a citizen legislature that dates back to its founding in 1859. Any citizen has had the opportunity to run for office and get elected. If Measure 47 passes, this opportunity will be lost for most of Oregon's interested citizens.

That is why it is so important to vote NO on Measure 47!

Measure 47 would allow wealthy candidates an unfair advantage because they would be allowed to spend as much of their own money to get elected as they like. Many qualified candidates would be locked out of political office simply because they did not have vast personal wealth. Oregon's citizen Legislature would become a Legislature of wealthy aristocrats.

And, even worse, Measure 47 would require anyone making a campaign contribution to register with the Secretary of State and get a tracking code before they could contribute to a cause or person they believe in! The penalty for failing to get this tracking code? It could be as high as $50,000!!

Lastly, Measure 47 would restrict the ability of any organization to conduct voter education campaigns. Successful democracies depend on informed and involved voters. Restricting access to information in the name of campaign finance reform will only serve to limit your ability to make an informed decision. Please join us in rejecting Measure 47!

Vote NO on Measure 47!

(This information furnished by Jeremy Starr, President, Oregon Association of REALTORS.)

Argument in Opposition

Protect our Voice
Protect Your Freedom of Speech

Real campaign finance reform should come from all of us working together to reduce the influence of big money in Oregon politics. Measures 46 and 47 are the wrong solution. Unfortunately, they will hurt the voice of non-profits and membership organizations, and make the problem of wealthy individuals who seek to influence our politics even worse.

Join us in VOTING NO on Measure 47

American Federation of Teachers-Oregon

Basic Rights Oregon

Democratic Party of Oregon

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network

NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon

Oregon Action

Oregon AFL-CIO

Oregon Education Association

Oregon School Employees Association

Our Oregon

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon

SEIU Local 49

SEIU Local 503, OPEU

Stand for Children


Representative Peter Buckley, Chief Petitioner Measure 47


(This information furnished by Christy B. Mason, Our Oregon.)

Argument in Opposition


As a former chief petitioner for Measure 47, I am deeply committed to achieving real campaign finance reform for Oregon. In fact, I helped bring forth these proposed reforms, but I'm now asking you to join me in voting against them.

They won't work.

That's the bottom line. They will make a bad system worse, and give rich individuals a greater advantage than they already have in Oregon politics.

In crafting Measures 46 and 47, we tried to come up with a way to level the playing field to end the overwhelming and destructive influence of big money in Oregon politics.

Unfortunately, I have learned in the months since the proposed reforms were first set out that several provisions will undoubtedly be overturned by the courts. This includes the proposed limit on personal contributions to a candidate's own campaign, and the proposed limit on individual independent expenditures.

Think for just a minute on what kind of system this would leave in place. It would give wealthy candidates and wealthy individuals even more of a leg up than they currently have in our woefully unfair campaign finance system. It would strengthen the voice of the richest Oregonians, taking the vast majority of Oregon citizens almost entirely out of the picture.

The intentions behind this measure are the best, but the results will not be. The wealthiest 1% of Oregonians don't need any more help getting their views heard politically. That is what Measure 47 is likely to result in, once the courts rule and the dust settles.

Please vote NO on Measure 47, and let's keep working to find a system to fund campaigns that is straightforward, fair, and will work for Oregon.

Representative Peter Buckley
Oregon House District Five

(This information furnished by Representative Peter Buckley.)

Argument in Opposition

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon
Asks you to vote NO on Measure 47


Measure 47 is too extreme.

Campaign finance reform should focus on reducing the influence of big money in politics, not on placing severe limits on how non-profit organizations can conduct voter education campaigns. This act would even require Oregonians to obtain a tracking code from the Secretary of State. Measure 47 goes too far, and will create an unfair and unnecessary limitation on the voice of non-profit organizations.

Measure 47 is unconstitutional.

The sponsors of Measure 47 admit that many of its provisions violate our freedom of speech protection under the Oregon Constitution. That's why they have written Measure 46, which eliminates those constitutional rights. Both measures go too far in violating our freedom of speech under the Bill of Rights in both the Oregon and United States Constitution.

Measure 47 will have unintended consequences.

Because sponsors of Measure 46 and 47 can do nothing to change federal law, their attempts to limit what wealthy candidates and individuals can spend on politics will likely be declared unconstitutional by federal courts, as have similar attempts in other states. This will leave Oregon with unfair limitations on what non-profit organizations can do and say, but no limits on what wealthy candidates can spend or what rich individuals can do politically.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon
ask you to say NO to Measure 47

(This information furnished by Bill Sheppard, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.)

Argument in Opposition

Stand for Children Urges You
To Vote NO on Measure 47

Measure 47 is the wrong answer to a real problem. Every day, Stand for Children fights for a better future for our children. We support sensible, meaningful campaign finance reform. But this measure is the wrong answer:

  • It imposes unnecessary burdens and dangerous restrictions on non-profit organizations like Stand for Children.
  • It makes the problem of wealthy individuals exerting undue influence on politics even worse.

This measure is primarily sponsored by one wealthy individual. According to The Oregonian, two-thirds of the money for this measure has come from one wealthy person. Real campaign finance reform should come from public interest groups working together, not one person seeking to change state law with his own checkbook.

Measure 47 will have unintended consequences. Measure 47's attempt to limit individual independent expenditures and to restrict the ability of candidates to contribute to their own campaigns will likely be struck down under federal law. This will result in wealthy, self-funded candidates having even more power than they do now.

Measure 47 will hurt our ability to effectively advocate for children. This measure muzzles the voice of grassroots organizations like Stand for Children while allowing wealthy individuals with special interests to have an unfair advantage in Oregon politics. It will make a real problem worse.

Stand for Children asks you
to please vote NO on Measure 47

Our children's future depends on what we do now.
Protect our voice.

(This information furnished by Holly Pruett, Stand for Children.)

Argument in Opposition


Measure 47 is unconstitutional.
Even its sponsors admit that Measure 47 violates your existing free speech rights. That's why they also are asking for you to surrender those rights by constitutional amendment (Measure 46).

Measure 47 goes too far.
Measure 47 goes far beyond limiting campaign contributions. The act contains nearly 20 pages of requirements which regulate which issues can be discussed in politics, when, how, and by whom. It affects all individual donors, political parties, political action committees, candidates, unions, corporations, and non-profits.

Some of the more extreme requirements of this measure include:

  • Political contributors in Oregon will be required to obtain a "handle" or individual code from the Secretary of State;
  • No political non-profit can accept more than $500 per year from any person;
  • Individual donors are responsible for knowing which nonprofits, candidates, political action committees and organizations they can give to and how much is legally acceptable;
  • Fines for violating the measure are up to 20 times the amount of violation; and,
  • Any person can allege violation of the act, which automatically triggers a court hearing on the accusation within 15 days.

"In short, the measure would impose a Kafka-esque or even Soviet-style web of restrictions, requirements and penalties on what Oregon citizens could spend, write, say or do in connection with elections."
   ("Measure would squelch speech," Albany Democrat-Herald, Dec. 3, 2005)

Measure 47 is brought to you by one wealthy man.
Two-thirds of the money to qualify this measure (and Measure 46) came from just one wealthy individual seeking to change Oregon's constitutional political free speech protections. Real campaign finance reform should come from all of us working together to reduce the influence of big money in Oregon politics.

Vote NO on Measure 47

(This information furnished by Larry Wolf, President, Oregon Education Association.)

Argument in Opposition

American Federation of Teachers-Oregon Urges
You to VOTE NO on Measure 47
Protect Our Voice

Measure 47 restricts the ability of educators to speak out for education.

Measure 47 imposes unreasonable limits on the expression of non-profits and membership organizations. Campaign finance reform should focus on reducing the influence of big money in politics, not putting a muzzle on the real voices we need to hear the most.

Measure 47 is brought to you by one wealthy man
seeking to change Oregon's Constitution.

According to The Oregonian, two-thirds of the money behind Measure 47 comes from one wealthy individual. He went forward despite concerns expressed by many other campaign finance advocates and progressive organizations. Real campaign finance reform should come from all of us working together in the public interest, not one person with a big checkbook.

Measure 47 will give wealthy individuals a huge advantage.

This measure's attempt to limit individual independent expenditures and the ability of candidates to contribute to their own campaigns will likely be struck down under federal law. This will create a campaign finance system that lets rich individuals do what they want, but sets strict limits on non-profit organizations.

American Federation of Teachers-Oregon Urges
You to VOTE NO on Measure 47

(This information furnished by Mark Schwebke, American Federation of Teachers - Oregon.)

Argument in Opposition


Our 90,000 members -- including firefighters, teachers, steelworkers, nurses, construction workers, longshoremen, and more -- work together to make sure that Oregon families have good jobs and strong communities. For us, that means campaign finance laws must provide a level playing field and empower ordinary citizens to be heard in the political debate.

Our member representatives have studied the ballot measures and voted to say "NO on Measure 47."

Oregon needs campaign finance reform.
Measure 47 isn't it.

Measure 47 has good intentions, but it won't get big money out of politics. If it did, we'd support it: Corporations spent 24 times more than unions nationally in 2004. But Measure 47 will only create more problems.

Measure 47 is overly complex
and poorly written.

Because it's based on a convoluted and tricky process, key elements of this measure are likely unconstitutional. The way it's written, when some parts are thrown out, others may remain in force.

Measure 47 will favor
big corporate interests.

When Measure 47 is challenged in court, the special interests with the most expensive lawyers will come out on top. Then, they alone will operate outside this law – without limits. We don't need the pharmaceutical, tobacco and health insurance companies having even more power in our elections. Oregon deserves better reform.

Measure 47 is a mess.
See for yourself.

This measure is so long, dense and confusing that people have a hard time figuring out what goes where. See for yourself what the sponsors have created to help you "understand:"


Volunteering should be
encouraged, not punished

Like Measure 48, the flawed spending formula, Measure 47 is based on a bad Colorado experiment. A judge recently found that union members who volunteered only their time to help a candidate, were breaking the law!

Please vote "No" on Measure 47.

Tom Chamberlain, President
Oregon AFL-CIO

(This information furnished by Tom Chamberlain, President, Oregon AFL-CIO.)

Argument in Opposition

Urge you to VOTE NO on Measure 47

Don't give up your constitutional rights.

Measure 47 is an unconstitutional attempt to limit our freedom of speech. In fact, you have to surrender your existing constitutional rights through Measure 46 for Measure 47 to even be able to take effect.

Measure 47 goes too far

Working people understand the corrupting influence of big money and the power of corporate lobbyists to influence politics. What we don't understand is why non-profits and membership organizations are being lumped in with the big corporations under this act. We need campaign finance reform to limit the influence of big money in Oregon politics. Measure 47 simply goes too far. Oregonians would have to obtain their own individual code with the Secretary of State before making political contributions under this measure. No one could give more than $500 a year to a political non-profit in Oregon if it passes.

Working people deserve a voice

In the last year, the working people of SEIU local 503 have used our political voice to fight out-of-control health care costs, preserve the minimum wage and help stop predatory lenders. Measure 47 would limit how, when, and to whom we could speak about politics. Under existing Oregon law, that's unconstitutional. Let's keep it that way.

Don't let wealthy people dominate Oregon politics.

Measure 47 is brought to you primarily by one wealthy individual seeking to change Oregon's constitutional free speech protections. The problem of wealthy individuals and candidates will get even worse when key parts of Measure 47 are struck down under federal law, and the rest of us still have our voices limited.

Vote NO on Measure 47
Protect our Voice

(This information furnished by Megan Sweeney, SEIU Local 49 and SEIU Local 503, OPEU.)

Argument in Opposition

Basic Rights Oregon Urges You to
VOTE NO On Measure 47

Measure 47 will help extremists rule Oregon politics.
Basic Rights Oregon has been fighting against discrimination for over a decade. Measure 47 will limit what we can say, and when and to whom we can talk politics. Our basic right to fully participate in the political process is at stake, and so is yours.

Measure 47 will do nothing to stop rich people from buying elections.
In actuality, this measure is designed to muzzle the free expression of non-profit groups, while allowing a handful of wealthy individuals to continue to dominate political speech.

This measure made the ballot with help from the extreme right wing.
This so-called reform measure was approved by and circulated on the street with the signature gatherers for Bill Sizemore, Don McIntire, and Howard Rich– extremists whose agenda Oregonians have rejected time and time again, and has nothing to do with campaign finance reform. Ask yourself why they might want this measure, and decide where you stand.


(This information furnished by Frank Dixon, Basic Rights Oregon.)

Argument in Opposition

NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon
Urges You to VOTE NO on Measure 47

Measure 47 violates the Oregon Constitution.
By its supporters' own admission, many of the provisions of Measure 47 violate our freedom of speech protections under Oregon's Bill of Rights. Unless Oregonians willingly part with those freedoms under Measure 46, most of Measure 47 will remain what it is today – an unconstitutional attempt to limit the free speech rights of Oregon non-profits, membership organizations, and individuals.

Measure 47 violates the United States Constitution.
This act contains several provisions that Constitutional experts expect will be struck down immediately under federal law, especially how much money candidates and wealthy individuals can spend from their own personal funds. This will leave Oregon with an even greater imbalance than we have now – wealthy individuals and candidates will get to say and spend whatever they want, but non-profits like NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon will be forced to operate under severe limitations on what we can say and do politically to defend our rights.

Measure 47 will hurt freedom of choice.
This measure will restrict how the choice community can educate voters, what issues we can talk about when, and how much we can accept from donors. In fact, Measure 47 would restrict any organizations ability to conduct voter education campaigns on political issues.

Vote NO on Measure 47

(This information furnished by Treasure Mackley, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon.)

Argument in Opposition

The Oregon Family Council Urges Voters to Reject Measures 46 & 47
They May Be the Worst Idea Ever For Oregon Voters

Admittedly, most Oregonians have grown weary of negative campaign tactics. So measures promising "campaign finance reform" come as a welcome relief. But the remedies proposed in Ballot Measures 46 and 47 are far worse than the ailment.

Voters are the Big Losers
If passed, all public policy organizations—pro-family, conservative and liberal alike—would lose much of their ability to educate voters or support candidates. More importantly, voters would be far less educated about candidate philosophies and positions on issues at election time.

Measures 46 & 47 Impose Severe Limitations on All Public Policy Organizations

  • All public policy organizations would face dramatic limitations in publishing Voter's Guides and candidate position information.

  • All public policy organizations would face dramatic limitations in their ability to help candidates.

  • All public policy organizations would have severe limitations placed on their ability to receive contributions.

  • All public policy organizations would be severely limited in their ability to partner with other organizations.

(These limitations would be imposed on all public policy organizations, political parties, business groups and unions.)

Measures 46 & 47 Impose Severe Limitations on All Voters

  • Voters would be severely limited in supporting candidates, organizations or political parties.

  • Voters making even modest contributions to political causes would be assigned a tracking number and have their personal information broadcast online.

  • Candidates would be severely limited in their ability to contribute to their own campaign.

  • Candidates would be limited in paying off campaign debts and any campaign balance would go to the government.

Measures 46 and 47 are dangerous assaults on our citizenship rights to influence public policy, elect men and women of integrity and be informed on Election Day.

Please Vote NO on Measure 46 & Measure 47

(This information furnished by Michael P. White, Executive Director, Oregon Family Council.)

Argument in Opposition

Oregon Right to Life Urges a No Vote on Measure 47

Measure 47 ensnares Oregonians in a web of limitations that will severely restrict – and possibly erode – the free speech right to join together around an idea and support office holders that share their values.

For example, pro-life Oregonians trust Oregon Right to Life PAC to bring them timely and accurate information about candidates and ballot measures. Ballot Measure 47's contribution and spending limits are so restrictive that we will be unable to continue to provide the level of information our membership expects and deserves.

Not a pro-life voter? Guess what -- these limits will apply across the board and affect all Oregonians who want to join with others to forward ideas in the political arena.

Measure 47 squelches the voices of Oregonians and the organizations they support.

Please VOTE NO on 47

(This information furnished by Gayle Atteberry, Oregon Right to Life.)

Argument in Opposition


Wealthy People Shouldn't Dominate Our Politics

Too often, rich individuals open their checkbooks to push their opinions on the rest of us. Loren Parks has been doing this to Oregonians for years. New York Developer Howard Rich is doing it by funding the flawed Colorado TABOR formula in Oregon. And now Harry Lonsdale is drawing from his wealth to impose Measure 47 on our political system – despite overwhelming concerns from Oregon Democrats and other campaign finance advocates.

Measure 47 Will Make Problems Worse

Measure 47 will make things worse because it puts severe restrictions on progressive organizations including the Democratic Party while leaving wealthy individuals to circumvent limits and dominate our political process.

Our free speech will be limited, but no limits will exist for rich people – an unfair and dangerous situation for democracy.

The Democratic Party of Oregon Supports Real Campaign Finance Reform

Real reform to fix a broken campaign finance system should come from all of us working together – not a single wealthy individual.

Measure 47 puts unfair limits on the Democratic Party, but fails to address the costs of campaigning. Without making public airwaves more accessible and affordable to candidates voters lose out because they'll hear less from candidates and more from wealthy interests.

Many organizations including the DPO who advocate for clean money, increased disclosure and campaign finance reforms see Measure 47 as the wrong solution.

Measure 47 is unconstitutional. Rather than fixing constitutional problems, sponsors instead inserted a dangerous severability clause. This means some limits will remain in effect when the courts inevitably throw out the others.

The effect will be a "Swiss Cheese" finance system that will impair progressive organizations' ability to raise and spend money to defend Oregon, but leaves wealthy individuals and big special interests to dominate.

We urge all Democrats to vote NO on Measure 47.


(This information furnished by Jim Edmunson, Democratic Party of Oregon.)


Elections Division, Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722