Brad Avakian, a Democrat running for Oregon’s Secretary of State, insists that one of his highest priorities is campaign finance reform.
“Everyone’s voice should be heard in our democracy – but that’s not happening right now,” Avakian says. “The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision was a terrible mistake. It’s allowing big corporate donors to drown out the voice of everyday voters…But what can we do about it? Here’s what: Oregon can lead the way. As Secretary of State, I’ll fight to reform Oregon’s campaign finance system.”
Mr. Avakian conveniently leaves out that the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizen United Ruling not only removed virtually any restriction on corporate money in politics. It also removed virtually any restriction on union money.
So how does Mr. Avakian feel about jumbo contributions to candidates from unions? He seems to be OK with those, based on the union contributions he’s received to date, including:
Oregon Education Association –People for Improvement of Education (142) $95,000
Oregon School Employees Association –Voice of Involved Classified Employees (2307) $65,000
Citizen Action for Political Education (33) $60,000
United Food & Commercial Workers $50,000
Oregon AFSCME Council 75 $30,000
Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters, SSF $30,000
Laborers’ Political League $25,000
Oregon, South Idaho District Council of Laborers $15,000
Local 48 Electricians PAC (4572) $11,000
Oregon AFL-CIO $10,364
Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 598 $10,000
DRIVE Committee (Teamsters’ political action committee) $10,000
American Federation of Teachers-OR Candidate PAC (113) $ 7,500
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees PAC $ 6,000
Working America (Political organizing arm of the AFL-CIO) $ 6,668
Portland Association of Teachers PAC $ 5,000
IUPAT Political Action Together Political Committee $ 5,000
Talk is cheap Brad.
What’s particularly striking is that union members accounted for just 14.8 percent of wage and salary workers in Oregon in 2015, but union contributions represent almost 40 percent of the total Avakian has raised in 2016.
So who do you think Avakian is going to represent if he’s elected?