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.
Is there too much money in politics? There's surely a lot, but how much is too much? How and at what level does it become a problem?
Political spending is overwhelmingly for the purpose of communicating a political message to the voters. We can legitimately question how effective it is (I know my eyes glaze over when candidates' ads come on!) but it's intended to be informative and persuasive.
A well-informed electorate is a good thing, not a bad thing. We would not be better off if voters were ignorant.
Does all this money make it too expensive to get a message out? Bidding up the price of a fixed communication channel may sound plausible regarding broadcast television and radio advertising, but it's manifestly untrue for direct mail, print advertising, online search, social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, and other kinds of growing digital advertising.
It's actually easier and cheaper than ever before to reach people with a political message. Smaller voices aren't being drowned out, they're being empowered. More spending on political speech gets us more political speech, rather than shifting who is doing the speaking.
Maybe it's a problem that candidates (especially incumbents) spend too much time raising money and not enough time doing their jobs? Contribution limits would make that worse, not better, because they would need to convince more donors.
Is the problem that some claim rich people are able to buy elections? That's a popular bogeyman, but isn't true. I wrote a separate argument statement debunking it. (Please read it!)
Is the problem the fear of big donors influencing elected officials? That also isn't true. The short version is that politicians take their ideologies seriously, but I wrote the long version as a separate argument statement. (Please read it!)
The proponents of Measure 107 are trying to scare you. Don't let their damaging "solutions" to their unproven "problems" scare you into giving away your freedom of speech. Vote NO.
All of my other arguments against Measure 107 are available online.