Here is an update on state-level campaign finance legislation around the country by way of CleanSlateNow. The story from Oregon is particularly galling. There, the Democratic Senate leadership refused to let the Senate vote on putting a constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions on the ballot for the Oregon’s voters to decide. Reformers thought they had the votes to pass the Senate and the House until Democratic leaders in the Senate killed the whole thing.
I wonder if it really would have passed. It could be that an arrangement had been made whereby many of these legislators could say they supported the reform knowing that, in the end, leadership would kill it. That way, leadership “takes one for the team” and all the rest of the legislators stay in the good graces of reformers and the voters, too. Could be.
As discussed in Our Political Revolution, party leadership is often at the center of the money-for-power economy within legislatures.
This Oregon business reminds me of the Fair Elections Now Act of 2010.