Oregon Public Funding for Candidates Limiting Spending and Private Contributions, Measure 6 (2000)

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The Oregon Public Funding for Candidates Limiting Spending and Private Contributions Act, also known as Measure 6, was on the November 7, 2000 ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated. The measure would have given limited public funding to candidates accepting limits on spending and private contributions.[1]

Election results

Oregon Measure 6 (2000)
Defeatedd No838,01158.81%
Yes 586,910 41.19%

Election results via: Oregon Blue Book

Ballot title

Provides Public Funding To Candidates Who Limit Spending, Private Contributions[2]


Katherine G. Eaton, John R. Dellenback, and Norma Paulus


[3] Supporters of the measure argued that under the current law, those with money had special influence over government because politicians' chances of winning improve by catering to those people. They also argued that the contribution limits already in place for federal candidates are not necessarily working to provide an honest government because the limits are routinely evaded but can not usually be proved or stopped due to freedom of speech laws.

The supporters maintained that measure 6 would not mean higher taxes and argued that the measure would actually save Oregonians money due to eliminating special favors between special interest groups and politicians.

Many who supported the measure felt that it would simply "level the playing field" and take money out the equasion, allowing ideas and qualifications to stay in the forefront of political campaigns.

Some of those who supported the measure were:

  • League of Women Voters of Oregon
  • American Federation of Teachers­Oregon
  • Jo Ann Bowman, Representative, District #19
  • Oregon Political Accountability Campaign
  • Oregon Working Group for Campaign Finance Reform
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oregon


[4] Oregon Taxpayers United opposed the initiative, pointing out what they considered to be "fatal flaws" within the measure. They argued that the measure could actually increase donations from special interest groups because individuals are allowed to spend as much of their own money as they want to express their political views and support a candidate. In their letter of opposition to the Secretary of State, spokesperson Becky Miller said,

"The fatal flaw with Measure Six is that it requires the taxpayers to give matching funds to a candidate... Such flawed language will cause an unbelievable mess. Consider the following example:
Candidates Bob and Sue are both running for governor and both receive the $1.2 million of taxpayer money that Measure Six stipulates they receive. Both are evenly matched. Then millionaire Joe spends $250,000 of his own money running television ads allegedly supporting Sue. Under Measure Six, Bob would then get $250,000 more tax dollars to bring his spending up to Sue's level. Sound Good?
But wait. Let's look at Joe's independent expenditure television ad supposedly "supporting" Sue. The pictures of Sue in the ad are not so flattering. The voice on the ads says that Sue wants a sales tax; wants to get rid of Oregon's public beach law and wants to increase gas taxes. Bottom line, the ad doesn't help Sue. It hurts her. Nonetheless, her opponent could get $250,000 in taxpayer matching funds to spend attacking Sue even more."

Others in opposition argued that it isn't right to force taxpayers to fund political campaigns, including parts of the campaigns that they may oppose, such a negative ads, as well as simply funding a candidate in which they do not support.

Some others opposed to the measure were:

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