SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

 

February 22, 2005                                                                                               Hearing Room 343

8:30 A.M.                                                                                                                   Tapes  16 – 17

 

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:          

SB 602 – Public Hearing

SB 603 – Public Hearing

SB 604 – Public Hearing

SB 160 – Public Hearing

Introduction of Committee Measures – Work Session

 

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 16, A

005

Chair Brown

Calls the meeting to order at 8:33 a.m.  Opens public hearing on
SB 602, SB 603 and SB 604. 

SB 602, SB 603, and SB 604 – PUBLIC HEARING

010

Sen. Frank Morse

District 8.  Testifies in support of SB 602, SB 603 and SB 604.  Discusses increase in numbers of voters who consider themselves independent.

060

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 602, SB 603 and SB 604.  Opens public hearing on SB 160.

SB 160 – PUBLIC HEARING

065

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator.  Presents overview of SB 160. 

070

Chair Brown

Submits her written testimony (EXHIBIT A), along with written testimony of Gov. Barbara Roberts (EXHIBIT B) and Janice Thompson, Money in Politics Research Action Project (EXHIBIT C).

075

Bill Bradbury

Secretary of State.  Testifies in support of SB 160.  Submits written report of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Panel (EXHIBIT D).  Discusses importance of public access to complete information about campaign finances.

155

Phil Keisling

Vice President, ProDX; former Secretary of State; member of Campaign Finance Reform Disclosure Panel.  Testifies in support of SB 160.  Discusses need for transparency in the reporting system.

175

John Lindback

Director of Elections Division, Secretary of State’s Office.  Testifies in support of SB 160.  Describes how information would be collected electronically and made available to the public.

200

Chair Brown

Asks about implications for candidates who use a reporting company.

210

Lindback

Explains many candidates who are now paying a service would no longer need to do that because the process is simpler.  Adds that for larger campaigns who are already doing electronic submissions this would be more direct.

230

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks about coding for expenditures and contributions under the new system.

250

Lindback

Responds it would not necessarily eliminate all coding but would make the process more open and simple.

260

Sen. Ferrioli

Suggests having the Secretary of State do it instead.  Asks whether this would eliminate the requirement for filing periodic contribution and expenditure statements.

270

Bradbury

Confirms.

272

Sen. Ferrioli

Inquires whether the electronic filing would be a sworn document.

275

Lindback

Answers that is being developed.

278

Chair Brown

Advises the federal courts use electronic sworn documents.

280

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks how the information would be password-protected and secured.

290

Lindback

Explains the Secretary of State will look to online banking as a model for the electronic filing system.

300

Sen. Ferrioli

Inquires whether candidates will be required to maintain paper records.

305

Lindback

Explains a candidate would be able to print anything on the system.  Adds that candidates would still use paper checks and keep those records.  Points out a small campaign could use the system as the bookkeeping system for the campaign.

325

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments on current requirement for paper records and public access.  Suggests this will not relieve candidates of keeping paper records but the benefit is disclosure and access.

350

Sen. Shields

Asks about training for candidates to use the new system.

375

Lindback

Advises the Secretary of State now conducts training, and will continue to provide training upgraded to include the new system.

380

Sen. Shields

Asks about details of training.

390

Lindback

Responds the goal is to make the system simple so candidate input takes a minimal amount of training.

400

Bradbury

Adds this is a web-based system, which requires the ability to navigate on the web.

415

Sen. Ringo

Asks about when contributions are received.

420

Lindback

Explains the contribution is considered received when the envelope is opened.

TAPE 17, A

010

Fred Neal

Campaign Finance Manager, Elections Division, Secretary of State’s Office.  Explains a contribution is defined by rule as received when it is in the candidate’s control. 

020

Sen. Ringo

Clarifies meaning of proximate.

025

Neal

Explains the seven-day window should accommodate the situation where a candidate does not visit his post office box every day.  Describes the option to file an amended report to account for a contribution which was reported but was lost or misplaced.

045

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks about a contribution which the campaign decides to return.

050

Neal

Explains if returned within seven days there is no requirement for reporting; if deposited, it must be recorded and a disbursement made for the return.

060

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 160.  Reopens public hearing on SB 603.

SB 603 – PUBLIC HEARING

075

Jim Torrey

Eugene, Oregon.  Testifies in support of SB 603.  Discusses advantages of having nonpartisan legislative members.  Describes positive reputation of Oregon’s two U.S. Senators to work together on many issues.

115

Sen. Ben Westlund

District 27.  Testifies in support of SB 603.  Advises he also supports SB 602 and SB 604.  Suggests the measures would enfranchise more citizens who do not currently vote in primary elections. 

135

Elaine Franklin

Political consultant, Portland.  Testifies in support of SB 603.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT E).  Discusses two concerns:

·         Excessively partisan races damage the election process

·         Parties drive candidates into corners from which they cannot escape

185

Franklin

Continues and discusses stereotypes of party platforms which have driven moderate candidates to the sidelines.  Describes specific examples from recent elections.

250

Chair Brown

Asks about other states with nonpartisan legislatures.

255

Sen. Westlund

Responds Nebraska is the only one.

260

Chair Brown

Asks how the legislature would organize.

265

Sen. Westlund

Discusses possible ways to elect leadership.

270

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments on the two-party system and the increase in independent voters.

285

Torrey

Advises he supports only SB 603 now, because he wants to make an incremental change to the process.  Compares the legislative process to city or county politics, which tend to be much less partisan.

315

Sen. Westlund

Disagrees with the assessment of independents as one identifiable group.  Discusses different positions held by a broad spectrum of independent voters, who are not allowed to vote in primaries.

335

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks if this would open the primaries for everyone.  Asks if voters would still vote in districts.

345

Sen. Westlund

Confirms.

350

Sen. Ferrioli

Refers to history of two-party systems.  Suggests this would not necessarily remove zealots from the political system.

385

Sen. Ringo

Comments the measures are three different ideas.  Responds the two-party system is not working well and the tax system is dysfunctional.  Suggests the political issues would still be present but there would be fewer barriers to finding solutions.  Compares to city councils with non-partisan members.  Describes the system in place in Nebraska.

TAPE 16, B

005

Sen. Ringo

Continues discussing failure of two-party system.

030

Chair Brown

Suggests this is not a panacea.

045

Sen. Shields

Asks how the system would function.

060

Franklin

Discusses how things are not working now and this would be an incremental change.  Describes her experiences in the U.S. Senate.  Suggests electing more moderates from each party would bring cohesiveness to the process.

095

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 603.  Opens work session for introduction of committee measures.

INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE MEASURES – WORK SESSION

100

Chair Brown

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

 

 

LC 1932 (EXHIBIT F) (Printed as SJR 30)

LC 2133 (EXHIBIT G) (Printed as SB 996)

LC 2637 (EXHIBIT H) (Printed as SB 1002)

LC 2687 (EXHIBIT I) (Printed as SB 997)

LC 2688 (EXHIBIT J) (Printed as SB 998)

LC 2689 (EXHIBIT K) (Printed as SB 999)

LC 2736 (EXHIBIT L) (Printed as SB 1003)

LC 2782 (EXHIBIT M) (Printed as SB 1001)

LC 2797 (EXHIBIT N) (Printed as SJM 7)

110

 

VOTE:  4-0-1

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

EXCUSED:  1 - Atkinson

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

125

Chair Brown

Closes work session.  Reopens public hearing on SB 602, SB 603 and SB 604.

SB 602, SB 603, and SB 604 – PUBLIC HEARING

135

Tom Beer

Physician, Portland resident.  Testifies in support of SB 602, 603 and 604.  Discusses trends in elections which disenfranchise voters, especially in the 18-35 age group.

170

Phil Keisling

Vice President, ProDX; former Secretary of State; member of Campaign Finance Reform Disclosure panel.  Returns to testify in support of SB 604.  Discusses activities of the Oregon Voter Choice Primary organization.  Suggests every voter should receive the same ballot in the primary.  Argues the current system is not transparent enough and primaries do not provide adequate access for voter participation.  Suggests Oregon is a multi-party state not a two-party state.

280

Chair Brown

Asks why there should be both a primary and a general election at all.

285

Keisling

Responds it gives the voters the best opportunity to choose a qualified candidate.  Discusses federal election requirements.  Describes reforms by Washington state.

305

Sen. Shields

Asks how candidate party affiliation would be made available.

310

Keisling

Suggests in could be included on the ballot or in the voters’ pamphlet.

315

Sen. Shields

Asks if that would influence how candidates registered.

320

Keisling

Responds candidates can now register as any party, and this would make the system more transparent.  Suggests partisanship around ideas, not parties, would be more productive.

380

Sen. Ringo

Comments if party labels are left off, a battle of ideas would remain.

390

Harvey Mathews

Director, Center for Citizen Leadership, Associated Oregon Industries (AOI).  Testifies in support of SB 604.

TAPE 17, B

005

Mathews

Continues and relates strong support of Oregon’s business community for SB 604: 

·         Competition of ideas on a level playing ground

·         Litmus test for getting elected is problematic

·         Promoting independents moderates the legislative dialog

·         Business community likes their representatives but the whole is not greater than the  sum of parts

Comments the majority of his board thought the legislature should be in the forefront of the initiative process.

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony:

 

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Submits written testimony in support of SB 602, SB 603 and SB 604 (EXHIBIT O).

050

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 602, SB 603 and SB 604.  Reopens public hearing on SB 160.

SB 160 – PUBLIC HEARING

060

Norman Turrill

League of Women Voters of Oregon.  Testifies in support of SB 160.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT P).

115

Andi Miller

Common Cause.  Testifies in support of SB 160.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT Q).  Discusses activities of the Secretary of State’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Panel.

140

Lynn Lundquist

Oregon Business Association.  Testifies in support of SB 160.  Proposes amendment to include audit requirements which would make the reporting credible and acceptable to voters.

170

Chair Brown

Expresses interest in audit component and hopes to see amendment. 

180

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 160.  Adjourns the meeting at 10:13 a.m.

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     SB 160, written testimony, Sen. Kate Brown, 2 pp

B.     SB 160, written testimony of Gov. Barbara Roberts, Sen. Kate Brown, 1 p

C.     SB 160, written testimony of Janice Thompson, Sen. Kate Brown, 1 p

D.    SB 160, report of Campaign Finance Disclosure Panel, Bill Bradbury, 7 pp

E.     SB 160, written testimony, Elaine Franklin, 6 pp

F.      Introductions, LC 1932, staff, 1 p

G.    Introductions, LC 2133, staff, 5 pp

H.    Introductions, LC 2637, staff, 5 pp

I.       Introductions, LC 2687, staff, 2 pp

J.      Introductions, LC 2688, staff, 11 pp

K.    Introductions, LC 2689, staff, 26 pp

L.     Introductions, LC 2736, staff, 1 p

M.  Introductions, LC 2782, staff, 107 pp

N.    Introductions, LC 2797, staff, 2 pp

O.    SB 602, SB 603, and SB 604, written testimony, Sen. Charlie Ringo, 2 pp

P.      SB 160, written testimony, Norman Turrill, 1 p

Q.    SB 160, written testimony, Andi Miller, 3 pp