Campaign Finance Reform enjoys broad support in Oregon, in both Rural and Urban communities
Now that the dust has settled on the 2022 election, the Pacific Green Party urges Governor Tina Kotek and elected representatives to deliver on the promise to advance campaign finance reform. Over 78% of Oregonians voted in favor of campaign finance reform in 2020, establishing a mandate for reform. “The undue influence of money in elections is an issue with broad support, both in rural and urban communities,” points out Nathalie Paravicini, former candidate for Oregon governor.
Paravicini withdrew from the race for personal reasons, but not before getting a commitment from Kotek to support campaign finance legislation in the 2023 legislative session. While it is unknowable what effect a Green Party candidate for Governor would have had on final results, Kotek did make campaign finance reform one of her top priorities.Continue reading
Democracy Now! reports that anti-free speech legislation that Ron Wyden spearheaded in support of Israel and against the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement, is heading to the US Supreme Court for judicial review.
The American Civil Liberties Union has taken the case of an Arkansas newspaper publisher that is suing the State of Arkansas over the paper’s free speech right. A state law that compels one to be silent about the Israel boycott may be overturned.
“One of the casualties of the anti-BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction [Israel]) movement that Ron Wyden has fervently supported, is free speech. Wyden is stuck between his support for Israel and the moral and political problem of the Palestinian people being subject to a form of apartheid rule under the Israeli occupation,” said Dan Pulju, Pacific Green Party Candidate for US Senate. “Wyden supports legislation that helps Israel sustain the occupation but this violates the US Constitution.”Continue reading
I do not discourage anyone from voting for me, but voters should keep in mind the source of information that may appear to support my candidacy and know that I denounce this deliberate attempt to use dark money to mislead voters in an effort to make me a spoiler and hand a seat in Congress to a Republican.
This abuse of the electoral system is only possible because Oregon uses a plurality victory system which allows election of candidates with less than majority support, and thus encourages spoiler tactics. Regardless of the outcome of the November election, this current abuse of the system should convince Oregonians to support rapid adoption of statewide ranked choice voting.
Mike Beilstein, Pacific Green and Progressive candidate for US Congress, District 4
The Pacific Green Party (PGP) stand in solidarity with the Haitian people, rejects the Calls for Foreign Intervention in Haiti, and Demands that the International Community Respect Haitian Sovereignty and the Wishes of the Haitian People for National Self-Determination.
The current crisis in Haiti is not new; it started with the US government-supported coup that removed democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Since then Haiti’s rule of law has faltered, repressing opposition movements, amplified by the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of 2010 and followed by Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016. The UN also left a track record of abuses and a cholera outbreak that killed thousands of people and continues to sicken people across the country.
Another foreign military intervention will not solve the problem in Haiti. Haiti's problems will only be solved when the US cuts support to corrupt leaders, provide meaningful support to grassroots organizations and respect free and fair election results.Continue reading
"Growing economic inequality results from policies that enrich US oligarchs at the expense of the environment, the people and peace"
Click on the photo above to watch the candidate forum hosted by The Springfield City Club, the League of Women Voters of Lane County and the Eugene City Club on October 6 moderated by Chris Lehman of KLCC radio.
Click here to read the Transcript
Candidate statement submitted by Mike Beilstein for the forum
Mike Beilstein is a retired research chemist who worked at Oregon State University for 30 years. He has been an active member of the Pacific Green Party for more than 20 years. He served on the Corvallis City Council for 12 years. Beilstein has run for US Congress 5 times previously, starting in 2008. His campaigns always focused on environmental restoration and ending US militarism.
Growing economic inequality results from policies that enrich US oligarchs at the expense of the environment, the people and peace. Acting through the Democrat and Republican Parties, the triad of the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex and finance control US domestic and foreign policy. These three sectors are enriched by the forever wars conducted in the name of fighting communism, terrorism, the drug trade, “insane” dictators or any myth the American public can be led to believe.
Environmental degradation demands that the nation, and the world, move to a post-carbon economy. This can only happen by replacing the present power centers that push us toward irreversible climate chaos and endless war, with decentralized power structures that promote sustainable energy and financial practices.
For our nation to recover we need universal single-payer health care, public banking, campaign finance reform, ranked choice voting, expanded public housing, tuition-free education from pre-school to graduate school and a green new deal. Beilstein is committed to the Green ideals of non-violence, local democracy, social justice and ecological wisdom.
Pacific Green Party candidate Dan Pulju is running for the U.S. Senate. He was interviewed by KATU.
WHO ARE YOU? I'm a working-class Oregonian, University of Oregon graduate, poll interviewer, and seasoned anti-war activist and party organizer.
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING? I'm fed up with Federal government corruption, and I'm determined to do something about it.
WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUELY QUALIFIED TO BE A UNITED STATES SENATOR? I'm an anti-war activist with a deep and thorough understanding of our hegemony-based foreign policy and how it has eroded our rights and prosperity here at home. I'm an outsider, not part of the two-party system and I can't be bought.
AS A U.S. SENATOR, HOW WILL YOU HELP OREGONIANS WITH THE IMPACTS OF INFLATION? Our economic troubles began more than two years ago with the misguided responses to Covid, and they continue because of Joe Biden's reckless trade war. We need to stop intervening in the Ukraine war and let global trade return to normal. Inflation is our most pressing issue, and the main focus of my campaign is helping people understand we can end it quickly by ending this trade war. The Fed keeps raising rates but that keeps failing to work, and won't unless we sink into a recession.
WHAT WILL YOU DO TO HELP OREGONIANS WITH THE IMPACT OF HIGH GAS PRICES? Ending the trade war will quickly lower gas prices. Attempting stimulus payments or other subsidies is the last thing that would lower prices. We are already in the backwash of the massive stimulus outlays during the coronavirus lockdowns. This question appears to be about gasoline, but if Washington implements its plan to start exporting LNG to Europe to replace Russian gas from the damaged Nord Stream pipelines, natural gas prices will likely increase here. There may even be shortages. There is an enormous disparity between corporate interests and the genuine public interest.Continue reading
The gap between the wealthy and the rest of us continues to grow wider. The US is engaged in wars and other military actions around the world. The climate crisis continues to worsen. The too-big-to-fail banks grow larger.
With these and many more problems, we can find solutions, but it takes acting together for the common good. This is something we can do but we must confront corporate power to make it happen. Remember that the issue is not the individual issues but the whole system. Solutions come from that realization.
Healthcare is a human right
The Affordable Care Act has improved access to health insurance. But we don't need health insurance. We need universal, affordable access to health care. I suppose the current Congressional proposals for an improved single payer program to replace the current health "system". Such a system has been proposed in prior Congresses as HR 676. .
I support this statement by Physicians For A National Health Program:
"We propose to replace the ACA with a publicly financed National Health Program that would fully cover medical care for all Americans, while lowering costs by eliminating the profit driven private insurance industry with its massive overhead".
Oregon’s Wealthiest Man Has Caused Tina Kotek to Take Contribution Limits Seriously—or at Least Claim She Does
Tina Kotek, the Democratic nominee locked in a dead heat in the Oregon governor’s race, took time out from campaigning Oct. 10 to hold a “roundtable on campaign finance reform.” The event was occasioned by Nike co-founder Phil Knight writing Kotek’s Republican opponent, Christine Drazan, a check for $1 million on Oct. 6.
“Oregon is in danger of flipping red due to the influx of large donations from billionaires and corporate special interests looking to influence the election,” Kotek’s campaign wrote in an email publicizing the roundtable.
There’s some irony in Kotek’s newfound interest in limiting campaign contributions.Continue reading
Kotek pledges support for campaign finance limits, will accept big checks to get elected – Oregon Capital Chronicle
Kotek, Republican Christine Drazan and nonaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson last week surpassed the $40 million fundraising record set by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown and Republican nominee Knute Buehler in 2018. The three have raised more than $42 million combined since January 2021, buoyed by large checks from national Democratic and Republican groups, labor unions, businesses and Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who has personally spent $6.75 million this year to boost Johnson, Drazan and Republicans running for the Oregon Legislature.
During a Portland town hall with campaign finance reform advocates Monday morning, Kotek criticized the state’s lack of campaign finance limits, and particularly how they allow Oregon’s wealthiest man to single-handedly spend millions on campaigns.
She’s calling to limit individual contributors to $2,000 for statewide races and $1,000 for legislative races in future elections, but she said she wouldn’t refuse a $1 million check from an individual.