House Considers Rep. Gomberg’s Campaign Finance Reform Bill: “Shareholders United”
SALEM– Monday, the House Committee on Rules held a public hearing on their “Shareholders United” bill. Rep. David Gomberg and Rep. Ann Lininger’s HB 3332 would require corporations to obtain a majority vote by their shareholders prior to contributing funds to political campaigns in Oregon.
This bill gives every corporate shareholder a vote on a proposed budget for campaign donations and to which campaigns money might be given. If the campaign budget receives an affirmative vote, shareholders will be entitled to be notified when the donations are made. This bill in no way limits the amount of donations that corporations can make, it only requires that the individuals invested in the company are aware of, and involved in, the decisions concerning political donations.
At the hearing, some opponents of HB 3332 brought up the decision of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission as an argument that campaign donations are protected as free speech. Rep. Gomberg said “This bill does not restrict the corporation’s ability to make campaign donations – it just requires that the groups that attempt to represent their shareholders reflect their shareholders’ political interests.”
Rep. Gomberg spoke in favor of Shareholders United: “This is a bill aimed at promoting equality, accountability, and overall fairness. This is a bill that states, without equivocation, that our democracy is one where individuals matter – where Oregonians have a voice in elections and that we need to restore public faith in our elected officials.”
For more information about the status of HB 3332, https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Overview/HB3332.