for Oregon Secretary of State
I published the following argument in opposition to Measure 107 in the Oregon Voters' Pamphlet for the 2020 General Election.
This dangerous Constitutional amendment will put peaceful political activists at risk of political persecution.
Does that sound far-fetched? It happened in a 2013 Wisconsin investigation:
The officers sat [the 16-year-old] down, read him the entire search warrant, and ordered him not to tell anyone about the raid — not even school officials. He asked if he could call his parents. They said no. He asked if he could call a lawyer. They said no.
The pretense for the October raids was suspected "coordination" between various conservative organizations and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's campaign — activity that a trial court has held constituted nothing more than entirely legal "issue advocacy," if it even occurred.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court eventually shut down the politically-motivated investigation, but it had already achieved its intended effect of hobbling political advocacy organizations and chilling the political speech of people associated with them.
Lawmakers also want a piece of the action. Last year, Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson called for prosecution of people who didn't respect members of Congress:
"Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace," she said while speaking in Homestead. "We're gonna shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted. You cannot intimidate members of Congress, frighten members of Congress. It is against the law, and it's a shame in this United States of America."
If making fun of elected officials is "made in connection with political campaigns or to influence the outcome of any election" then this ballot measure would enable prohibitions on any contributions or expenditures related to such disrespectful behavior, with potentially criminal sanctions. You will respect the government, or else!
Peaceful political activists should never fear persecution.
Even without charges ever being brought, the investigative process itself can and will be abused by politically-motivated officials to harass political activists that they disagree with.
Prevent persecution. Vote NO.
All of my other arguments against Measure 107 are available online.