Oregonian Connects Lax Campaign Laws To Lax Pollution Enforcement
Oregon's state constitution provides broad protections for free speech, somewhat broader than the federal constitution. One of the results is the great difficulty in passing meaningful campaign finance reforms, since money is speech in the eyes of the courts.
Oregon is one of a very few states that allows corporation contributions to political campaigns, and candidates get more corporate cash per capita than any state. A recent investigation by the Oregonian, "Polluted by Money," shows how lax the state's environmental regulation has become as corporate contributions have climbed.
Rob Davis is the reporter on the series. He visits to talk about the project and its findings, along with J.T. Stepleton of the National Institute on Money in Politics, former Oregon Secretary of State Phil Keisling, and Ashland Senator Jeff Golden. Golden chairs a state senate committee considering campaign funding reform.