SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

 

February 15, 2005                                                                                               Hearing Room 343

8:30 A.M.                                                                                                                      Tapes  9 - 11

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Kate Brown, Chair

Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Frank Shields

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Tiffany Harris, Committee Administrator

Patricia Nielsen, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:          

SJR 5 – Public Hearing

SB 391 – Public Hearing

SB 393 – Public Hearing

Introduction of committee measures – Work Session

SJR 3 – Public Hearing

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 9, A

005

Chair Brown

Calls the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.  Opens public hearing on SJR 5.

SJR 5 – PUBLIC HEARING

010

Sen. Kurt Schrader

Senate District 20.  Presents overview and testifies in support of SJR 5.  Expresses concern that there are no limits on campaign contributions.

040

Chair Brown

Asks why expenditures are also limited.

045

Sen. Schrader

Discusses limits on contributions and expenditures recommended by the measure.  Concedes there are some issues to be resolved.

055

Sen. Ringo

Points out he had SJR 3 drafted, but SJR 5 is more expansive.  Asks why the Oregon Constitution should allow unlimited contributions and expenditures.  Discusses limitations in other states.

080

Chair Brown

Asks about examples where the influence of money has changed votes.

085

Sen. Schrader

Responds it is a general concern, especially over the appearance of corruption with the acceptance of large contributions.  Discusses instance where he was approached.

110

Chair Brown

Comments on the appearance of corruption because legislators accept large campaign contributions.

115

Sen. Schrader

Agrees.

120

Sen. Shields

Asks about campaign finance reform in other states.

 

130

Sen. Schrader

Offers to return information to the committee.  Reiterates there are no limits on contributions or expenditures in Oregon.

145

Sen. Ringo

Suggests it is not the vote count, but the influence on every legislator, which is the concern.  Explains the contributors think they are buying influence with their contributions.

155

Sen. Ferrioli

Expresses concern about making a qualitative connection between contributions and corruption.  Discusses expenditures during a senate race in a hotly contested district.  Points out the Constitution allows citizens to make contributions as part of the right to free speech, which is why earlier limitations failed.  Suggests the alternative is full disclosure during the campaign process.

210

Sen. Schrader

Responds while we would not like to think corruption is a problem, there is a specific case in the House of Representatives under investigation right now.  Recommends taking the opportunity to make reforms.  Argues that the citizens do want reform, because Oregonians passed the limits 10 years ago and it was the courts which overturned the change.  Explains that is why he suggests the constitutional amendment.

260

Chair Brown

Asks about violation of current Oregon law if allegations in the House case are true.  Asks how it would be different.

270

Sen. Schrader

Argues if campaign contributions are limited, there is less opportunity for candidates to use funds for unlawful purposes.

285

Chair Brown

Asks if public financing would be more appropriate.

290

Sen. Schrader

Suggests these bills are needed before that discussion can take place.

300

Rep. Peter Buckley

House District 5.  Testifies in support of SJR 5 and submits written testimony (EXHIBIT A).  Discusses how the amendment will level the playing field in campaigns.  Comments how influence on policy is factored into the picture.

390

Sen. Atkinson

Comments on his campaigns where he was outspent by the lobby but was elected anyway.  Believes the system does not work partly due to soft money contributions.  Urges complete transparency in campaign financing.  Suggests the problem with limits is that the body makes it harder to serve in office and low pay encourages bad behavior.  Recommends his bill, SJM 6, will change the budget process and restore trust among the voters.

TAPE 10, A

010

Sen. Schrader

Agrees transparency is important but comments the reforms are not mutually exclusive.

020

Rep. Buckley

Comments and agrees with transparency and explains his idea for a measure which addresses soft money issues.

030

Chair Brown

Asks why other states with limits have more credibility and why we can have a national model (Oregon Health Plan) with so much influence.

040

Rep. Buckley

Discusses systems in other states.  Describes a sledgehammer aspect of large money contributions to opponents of candidates.  Comments Oregon has low credibility due to inadequate school funding.

060

Sen. Schrader

Agrees systems in other states should be reviewed.  Expresses pride in Oregon’s voter turnout, which shows the system is working and voters are participating.

080

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks why contributors still abuse the process if limits are effective.  Discusses limits in effect now.  Offers to work on full disclosure issues.  Suggests contributors will find a way around limits.

125

Sen. Ringo

Comments the measures are not intended to solve the problem, only to allow a discussion of the problem.

135

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SJR 5.  Opens public hearing on SB 391 and SB 393.

SB 391 and SB 393 – PUBLIC HEARING

140

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator.  Presents overview of SB 391 and SB 393.

145

Sen. Ben Westlund

Senate District 27.  Asks that SB 391 be set over because of a constitutional issue.

160

Chair Brown

Asks for testimony from witnesses from far distances.

165

Sen. Westlund

Focuses on provision for appointing the county assessor.  Discusses specific qualifications required for assessor position.  Explains the commissioners should be allowed to appoint the appropriate person, not the candidate who runs the most successful campaign.

190

Sen. Westlund

Testifies in support of SB 393.  Discusses intent to extend voting and leadership rights to citizens who reside outside a special district but own property in that district.

210

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks about example of irrigation district. 

225

Sen. Westlund

Explains if the landowner receives water from the district he is already a member.  Distinguishes between an irrigation district and a water district.

235

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks about distinction between special districts and municipalities.

240

Sen. Westlund

Explains.

243

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks if districts are defined well enough to inform citizens about the boundaries.

245

Harris

Explains ORS 198 enumerates the special districts.

260

Annette Newingham

Association of County Clerks; Lane County elections official.  Expresses concern over how to create ballots for elections which cross district boundaries, and how the voters could be notified of their qualifications.  Offers to work on the solution with the sponsor.

295

Hasina Squires

Special Districts Association of Oregon.  Expresses concern that not all special districts are covered by the measure.  Explains property owners can have renters, and it is unclear who would have the voting right.  Discusses differences in operations between different districts.

345

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 393.  Continues public hearing on SB 391.

SB 391 – PUBLIC HEARING

360

Doug Ebner

Oregon Association of Assessors; Marion County Assessor.  Testifies in opposition to SB 393.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT B).  Discusses county home rule process.  Suggests the measure would weaken county government.

TAPE 9, B

018

Ray Erland

Clackamas County Assessor.  Testifies in opposition to SB 393.  Discusses qualifications of assessors.

025

Ron Northraff

Douglas County Assessor.  Testifies in opposition to SB 393.  Explains qualifications now required for assessor positions.  Suggests the citizens should be allowed to elect their assessor.  Expresses concern over consolidation of county government power in the commissioners.

050

Sen. Shields

Asks if all counties who elect assessors require qualifications.

055

Northraff

Responds it is a statewide requirement.

058

Ebner

Discusses requirements for continuing education.

060

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator.  Discusses current statutory requirements.  Offers to return additional information to the committee.

065

Sen. Shields

Asks about control over job performance review under the measure.

070

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 391.  Opens work session on introduction of committee measures.

INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE MEASURES – WORK SESSION

075

Sen. Brown

MOTION:  Moves the following LC drafts BE INTRODUCED as committee bills:

 

 

LC 34 (EXHIBIT C) (Printed as SB 965)

LC 100 (EXHIBIT D) (Printed as SB 966)

LC 853 (EXHIBIT E) (Printed as SB 973)

LC 1269 (EXHIBIT F) (Printed as SCR 8)

LC 1270 (EXHIBIT G) (Printed as SCR 9)

LC 1285 (EXHIBIT H) (Printed as SB 967)

LC 1296 (EXHIBIT I) (Printed as SB 968)

LC 1596 (EXHIBIT J) (Printed as SB 974)

LC 1597 (EXHIBIT K) (Printed as SJR 29)

LC 1611 (EXHIBIT L) (Printed as SB 969)

LC 1778 (EXHIBIT M) (Printed as SB 970)

LC 1989 (EXHIBIT N) (Printed as SB 971)

LC 1996 (EXHIBIT O) (Printed as SJR 28)

LC 2000 (EXHIBIT P) (Printed as SB 972)

LC 2017 (EXHIBIT Q) (Printed as SB 975)

LC 2018 (EXHIBIT R) (Printed as SB 976)

LC 2021 (EXHIBIT S) (Printed as SB 977)

LC 2022 (EXHIBIT T) (Printed as SB 978)

LC 2065 (EXHIBIT U) (Printed as SB 979)

LC 2066 (EXHIBIT V) (Printed as SB 980)

LC 2070 (EXHIBIT W) (Printed as SB 981)

LC 2071 (EXHIBIT X) (Printed as SB 982)

LC 2111 (EXHIBIT Y) (Printed as SB 983)

LC 2167 (EXHIBIT Z) (Printed as SB 984)

LC 2168 (EXHIBIT AA) (Printed as SB 985)

LC 2230 (EXHIBIT BB) (Printed as SB 986)

LC 2247 (EXHIBIT CC) (Printed as SB 987)

LC 2514 (EXHIBIT DD) (Printed as SB 988)

LC 2524 (EXHIBIT EE) (Printed as SB 989)

LC 2624 (EXHIBIT FF) (Printed as SB 990)

LC 2693 (EXHIBIT GG) (Printed as SB 991)

LC 2723 (EXHIBIT HH) (Printed as SB 992)

LC 2755 (EXHIBIT II) (Printed as SB 993)

LC 2776-1 (EXHIBIT JJ) (Printed as SB 995)

LC 2777 (EXHIBIT KK) (Printed as SB 994)

100

Sen. Ferrioli

Expresses appreciation for the chair making available the universal opportunity to introduce bills.  Explains that is why there is such a variety.

110

Chair Brown

Explains the Rules Committee can draft and hear bills at any time.  Discusses requirements for future drafting and introduction.

125

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments on the broad relating clause for LC 2514, “relating to food.”

130

 

VOTE:  4-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Sen. Atkinson

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

135

Chair Brown

Closes work session on introduction of committee measures.  Reopens public hearing on SB 391.

SB 391 – PUBLIC HEARING

140

Shari Anderson

Clackamas County Treasurer.  Testifies in opposition to SB 391.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT LL).  Explains statutory provisions for a county to have a home rule charter.  Expresses concern that if the right to change the elected officials rests in the Board of Commissioners.  Discusses constitutional issues.

180

Michelle Hawkins

Linn County Treasurer.  Testifies in opposition to SB 391.  Explains voter participation in Linn County.

195

Sam Huff

Douglas County Treasurer.  Testifies in opposition to SB 391.

200

Laurie Steele

Marion County Treasurer.  Testifies in opposition to SB 391.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT MM).

210

Michael Long

Klamath County Treasurer.  Testifies in opposition to SB 391.

225

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments on the dynamic tension and balance between the elected officials in counties.  Points out treasurers and assessors have a watchdog role on behalf of the public.

255

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 391.  Opens public hearing on SJR 3 and reopens public hearing on SJR 5.

SJR 3 and SJR 5 – PUBLIC HEARING

280

Norman Turrill

League of Women Voters of Oregon.  Testifies in support of SJR 3 and SJR 5.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT NN).  Discusses motivation behind support of campaign finance reform.

345

Dave Buchanan

Oregon Common Cause.  Testifies in support of SJR 3 and SJR 5.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT OO).  Discusses development of campaign finance reform in Oregon.

TAPE 10, B

005

Buchanan

Continues and discusses background and development of limitations on campaign expenditures.

035

Kappy Eaton

League of Women Voters of Oregon.  Testifies in support of SJR 3 and SJR 5.  Discusses history of increases in campaign costs for Oregon legislative races.  Explains how voters passed reforms through initiatives.

090

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks about changes in contribution limits.

095

Eaton

Clarifies the independent expenditure side increased but the cost of the elections decreased from 1994 to 1996.

115

Turrill

Explains there is a witness coming to explain.

120

Tina Calos

Oregon Common Cause.  Testifies in support of SJR 3 and SJR 5 but favors SJR 5.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT PP).  Discusses experience in Arizona working on campaign finance reform.  Suggests a first step is to limit contributions and expenditures.  Mentions SB 160 which will clean up disclosure laws.  Agrees reforms should pass court scrutiny.  Supports constitutional amendment only as needed to allow reform, but argues the actual reforms should be in statute.

180

Calos

Compares SJR 3 to SJR 5.  Discusses recommendation for campaign expenditure limitations.  Summarizes and concludes.

220

Chair Brown

Suggests expenditures should be defined.

225

Calos

Agrees the courts might strike limits.

230

Turrill

Clarifies.

245

Andrea Meyer

ACLU Oregon.  Testifies in opposition to SJR 3 and SJR 5.  Describes constitutional protections of free speech and expression.  Discusses examples.  Suggests each candidate should decide whether to limit campaign financing and contributions.

350

Sarah Wetherson

Money in Politics Research Action Project.  Testifies as neutral but provides background on how campaign finance reform might be evaluated.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT QQ).  Offers to answer questions.

395

Dan Meek

Portland.  Testifies as neutral on SJR 3 and in support of SJR 5 if slightly amended.  Discusses SJR 3 partial coverage of reform.  Recommends legislative history for SJR 5 should clarify the intent of the legislature to authorize limits on independent expenditures and the spending of candidate personal wealth. 

TAPE 11, A

010

Meek

Continues and discusses independent expenditures in political campaigns.  Describes limits in place on the federal level.

040

Chair Brown

Asks if his concern is to level the playing field and allow more diverse group to run for office.

045

Meek

Acknowledges that is partly true.  Explains the existing system selects those with more resources and eliminates candidates who have fewer.

060

Chair Brown

Asks who does the selecting.

065

Meek

Suggests campaign contributors select candidates who can win elections, and then provide candidates with overwhelming financial resources.

068

Chair Brown

Comments on the role of the caucus campaign.

070

Meek

Suggests the federal system limits now in place encourage use of personal wealth in financing campaigns.

080

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SJR 3 and SJR 5.  Adjourns the committee at 10:33 a.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.                 SJR 3 and SJR 5, written testimony, Rep. Peter Buckley, 2 pp

B.                 SB 391, written testimony, Doug Ebner, 2 pp

C.                 Introductions, LC 34, staff, 3 pp

D.                Introductions, LC 100, staff, 2 pp

E.                 Introductions, LC 853, staff, 8 pp

F.                  Introductions, LC 1269, staff, 2 pp

G.                Introductions, LC 1270, staff, 3 pp

H.                Introductions, LC 1285, staff, 1 p

I.                   Introductions, LC 1296, staff, 13 pp

J.                  Introductions, LC 1596, staff, 9 pp

K.                Introductions, LC 1597, staff, 5 pp

L.                 Introductions, LC 1611, staff, 2 pp

M.              Introductions, LC 1778, staff, 1 p

N.                Introductions, LC 1989, staff 2 pp

O.                Introductions, LC 1996, staff, 2 pp

P.                  Introductions, LC 2000, staff, 2 pp

Q.                Introductions, LC 2017, staff, 5 pp

R.                Introductions, LC 2018, staff, 9 pp

S.                  Introductions, LC 2021, staff, 5 pp

T.                 Introductions, LC 2022, staff, 5 pp

U.                 Introductions, LC 2065, staff, 4 pp

V.                 Introductions, LC 2066, staff, 9 pp

W.               Introductions, LC 2070, staff, 2 pp

X.                 Introductions, LC 2071, staff 1 p

Y.                 Introductions, LC 2111, staff, 3 pp

Z.                  Introductions, LC 2167, staff, 8 pp

AA.           Introductions, LC 2168, staff, 2 pp

BB.           Introductions, LC 2230, staff, 3 pp

CC.           Introductions, LC 2247, staff, 2 pp

DD.          Introductions, LC 2514, staff, 3 pp

EE.            Introductions, LC 2524, staff, 3 pp

FF.             Introductions, LC 2624, staff, 8 pp

GG.          Introductions, LC 2693, staff, 5 pp

HH.          Introductions, LC 2723, staff, 19 pp

II.                Introductions, LC 2755, staff, 5 pp

JJ.              Introductions, LC 2776-1, staff, 2 pp

KK.          Introductions, LC 2777, staff, 2 pp

LL.            SB 391, written testimony, Shari Anderson, 1 p

MM.      SB 391, written testimony, Laurie Steele, 1 p

NN.          SJR 3 and SJR 5, written testimony, Norman Turrill, 1 p

OO.          SJR 3 and SJR 5, written testimony, Dave Buchanan, 1 p

PP.             SJR 3 and SJR 5, written testimony, Tina Calos, 2 pp

QQ.          SJR 3 and SJR 5, written testimony, Sarah Wetherson, 4 pp