The influence of corporate campaign contributions and lobbying in Oregon is undermining our democracy — and overwhelming the will of voters. For example, a recent measure to stop the Jordan Cove Liquified Natural Gas proposal in southern Oregon brought in $1 million to successfully block the measure.

The good news is there's hope for all of us voters to restore decision-making in Salem that's good for all of us, not just for special-interest campaign donors. Several measures are proposed to unrig Oregon’s elections. One is the Small Donor Elections bill that would make small donors a stronger force in elections and reduce the need for candidates to rely on donations from special interests.

Another is House Bill 2709, which would help limit the secrecy of "dark money" enabled by Citizens United. Third is a proposed amendment to Oregon’s Constitution in 2020 that would allow the state and other government entities to set limits on individual and corporate campaign contributions. I’m grateful to Clatsop Community College's Ales & Ideas program at the Lovell Showroom for hosting David Delk and Patrick Starnes on March 7 to talk about these critical issues. This monthly series continues to present excellent thought-provoking speakers about democracy and our communities.

I’m encouraged that area residents are also working to raise up the voices of everyday Oregonians in our elections and state government. Learn more about these proposals at



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