Cap'n Arbyte's


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I'm Siding With the AFSCME

… and against the Libertarians!

Ballot Measure 46 would amend the Oregon Constitution as follows:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, the people through the initiative process, or the Legislative Assembly by a three-fourths vote of both Houses, may enact and amend laws to prohibit or limit contributions and expenditures, of any type or description, to influence the outcome of any election.

Why is a Constitutional amendment necessary to allow campaign finance restrictions? Because the Oregon Constitution provides a stunningly strong protection of free speech (Article I, Section 8):

No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall be responsible for the abuse of this right.

Oregon courts have (correctly) interpreted this to protect political speech, including political contributions and expenditures. I'm proud to be a free speech absolutist and to decry government attempts to stifle it, such as the wicked McCain-Feingold legislation. Political speech is the type of speech most important to protect against government interference.

Imagine my surprise to learn that the Oregon AFSCME posted an argument against Measure 46 while the Libertarian Party Statement (p. 38 of my region's voters' pamphlet) urged a vote in favor. ("Party of Principle", my ass!)

My universe has gone topsy-turvy. See, elections are fun. :)

Measure 46 is on the ballot to make Measure 47 Constitutional. Measure 47 is a long, complex, and morally repugnant campaign finance restriction that I'll cheerfully also vote against.

Tiny Island