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.
Political campaign contribution limits are supposed to reduce political corruption and yield better government. Given that all but a handful of states have these limits, where is the hard data demonstrating that limits lead to better government?
Don't give up your constitutional rights without checking the data! The experiment has been done, and the other states are the laboratory. What are the results?
As measured by the criteria of the Pew Center on the States, contribution limits actually have a negative impact on the quality of government!
… the distribution of the quality of governance among all 50 states is random when compared to a state's contribution limits, and, at worst, those states with no or high contribution limits perform much better in the Pew rankings than those states with moderate or low limits on what individuals may contribute to the legislative candidates of their choice.
In the opinion for Deras v. Myers, 272 Or. 47, 59 (1975), the Oregon Supreme Court explained (emphasis added):
The various scholarly studies on campaign financing, although recognizing that money is a significant factor, point to other factors having an equal or greater effect on the outcome of elections, including "the predisposition of voters, the issues, group support, incumbency, chances for electoral victory, sympathy on the part of the mass media, and a collection of other factors (religion, divorce, color). Because these latter factors are generally overlooked by the proponents of controlled campaign expenditures, "the importance of money is almost universally exaggerated."
The same is true with respect to defendant's assertion that "the foremost danger of excessive money … is the `buying' of candidates." Here, again, there is a strong conviction by those who have made a study of campaign financing that the buying of candidates through large contributions has not constituted a major evil in elections.
Money doesn't determine elections.
Money doesn't buy officials.
Contribution limits don't yield better government.
Vote NO on Measure 107.
All of my other arguments against Measure 107 are available online.