Press Release - Press Release - Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 18, 2000

Contact: Lloyd Marbet, (503) 637-3549,


As you know, this year's campaign for Secretary of State is projected to cost over a million dollars, becoming the most expensive state office election campaign in Oregon's history. According to The Oregonian, the amount Lynn Snodgrass is spending on TV alone is "more than any secretary of state candidate this decade has raised for an entire campaign." I am deeply troubled by this. When big money controls election campaigns, voters are pushed to the sidelines, reduced to mere consumers of political advertising, with votes becoming a commodity to be bought and sold. I do not believe that is how democracy works . That is how it fails!

When Ralph Nader spoke at the Memorial Coliseum, he warned us not to expect much from the Democrats or Republicans:

They are not going to do anything about getting corrupt money out of politics - neither one wants to unilaterally disarm. ...They are not going to do anything about the concentration of the media and the shutout of the people from their own airwaves and the need for them to have their own media. ...They are not going to do anything about the concentration of corporate power over almost everything that matters in this country. They are not going to do anything about a civic curriculum where children grow up with critical independent minds who understand what power is and understand that democracy must be strengthened against a concentration of power and wealth that funds their reelections. They are not going to do that.(Emphasis added.)
I am the only candidate for Secretary of State running a grassroots campaign financed by self imposed campaign finance restrictions. I am not accepting contributions totaling more than a $1,000 per individual. I am not accepting any corporate contributions. I have no paid political consultants and I am not accepting any Political Action Committee (PAC) money except from the Pacific Green Party (GP), which nominated me, and I am limiting that to a sum total of no greater than $5000.

I don't know if my example will help change the way politics is now being done in Oregon, but as a candidate for the chief elections officer of this state, I believe campaign finance reform starts with me and I challenge all other candidates in this race to do the same. We must stop the vicious cycle so eloquently described by Whitney Smith, Pacific Green Party candidate for Senate District 8:

Corporations pay lower tax rates than most human beings do. They fund our elections with some of the money they save, and then get the politicians to give out millions of dollars in corporate welfare, and set unfair tax rates after taking corporate campaign contributions. This cycle corrupts the democratic process and has to change if social justice is to take place on a host of other issues.