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Sunlight Foundation Too Generous in Giving Oregon a D on Lobbyist Disclosure

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The Sunlight Foundation issued a report on August 12 , 2015, rating each state’s lobbying disclosure requirements. They assigned Oregon a grade of D, but that grade was based on their error in failing to account for the new bill passed by the 2015 Oregon Legislature (and not vetoed by Gov. Kate Brown), HB 2058.

That law allows lobbyists to avoid reporting for the next 2 years what amounts to over 99% of their expenditures.  So Oregon now clearly deserves a -1 on the Expenditure Transparency criterion, which would give Oregon a correct overall score of -3 and place it firmly in the “F” category in the Sunlight Foundation analysis, along with only 3 other states (Florida, Nevada, West Virginia).

I testified to the Oregon Legislature (on behalf of Oregon Progressive Party) that I was “in the rare position of agreeing with an editorial in the Bend Bulletin, which pointed out that this bill would relieve lobbyists of the obligation to report all but $92,000 of the over $26 million actually spent on lobbying in Oregon in 2014.”

“This 99.6% reduction in reporting of such spending seems particularly inappropriate in light of the recent events that caused the resignation of Governor Kitzhaber. Oregon needs more disclosure of money in politics, not less, and lobbying spending is definitely part of money in politics.”

It was the only written testimony against HB 2058, which passed the Oregon House by a vote of 42-16, with Democrats providing 24 of the yes votes. It passed the Oregon Senate by a vote of 18-11, with Democrats providing all of the yes votes.

Here is the Oregonian article on the Sunlight Foundation report.

http://www.progparty.org/


Source: http://www.progparty.org/node/490


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