Referendum Signature-Gathering Campaign Circumvents Spirit of Disclosure Laws
Publication Date: December 2003
Publisher(s): Democracy Reform Oregon
Type: News release
Loopholes in Oregon's disclosure laws allowed the campaign to repeal the legislature's budget plan to shield much of its funding by reporting totals of in-kind contributions from key allies. A thorough examination of the Taxpayer Defense Fund's recent report on fundraising for its signature-gathering efforts indicates that though some contributions meet disclosure goals of transparency, the source of dollars behind other donations are difficult to trace and will not be disclosed in a timely fashion. Indeed, disclosure of some contributions will only occur in April of 2004, months after the February 3rd special election on Measure 30, the referendum by the Taxpayer Defense Fund.
While it is not unusual for signature-gathering campaigns to look to established political action committees to help fund what are often very quick ventures, last week's filing with the Secretary of State's office underlines the need for tighter disclosure of campaign financing.