Party Resolutions

Resolution 2014-061: Supporting Reasonable Campaign Finance Regulation of State Party Committees

Sponsored by: Frank Dixon, State Party Chair Approved: 03/30/2014


WHEREAS, the Democratic Party of Oregon believes that Democratic state parties are essential partners to Democratic elected officials and Democratic national party committees;

WHEREAS, state parties play a vital role in the American political system and are particularly suited to grassroots political activity in support of the party’s political and electoral goals;

WHEREAS, regulatory hurdles put in place over the past several years have served to hinder state parties from effectively participating in the political process

WHEREAS, these hurdles include old and cumbersome rules governing the ability of parties to engage in grassroots political activity, amendments to Federal campaign laws that have federalized most of the parties’ electoral activities and recent court decisions that have increased the power of outside organizations to spend unlimited, unregulated and, in many cases, undisclosed funds in connection with state and federal elections;

WHEREAS, based upon the complexity of federal law, parties are increasingly subject to a higher level of regulation than other political organizations and are more likely to be audited or fined by the Federal Election Commission for reporting errors as well as the inadvertent use of non-federal funds for activities that have been federalized under recent changes to federal campaign finance law;

WHEREAS, these developments have put an inordinate burden on state parties without proper justification and have served to lower the effectiveness of party committees in the political process;

WHEREAS, candidates at all levels of office have little incentive to work with parties due to structural barriers to association created by unnecessary and burdensome regulations;

WHEREAS, the current campaign finance laws have created serious financial problems for state parties as campaigns and donors seek out organizations that have fewer obstacles to participation in the political process;

WHEREAS, the decrease in regulation of outside groups is a primary cause of the current state of extreme politics in America;

WHEREAS, state parties play an essential and moderating role in American politics by espousing mainstream political ideas that appeal to a majority of Americans;

WHEREAS, unless the law is changed, state parties could eventually become irrelevant and unable to compete with the unlimited availability of resources of outside groups; and

WHEREAS, the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC) has established a Committee on Campaign Finance Reform tasked with making recommendations to enhance the role of party committees in federal and state elections without affecting  either contribution limits to parties or creating unlimited expenditures by party committees;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Democratic Party of Oregon endorses the recommendations put forth in the ASDC Committee on Campaign Finance Reform report entitled “Legislative Recommendations for Campaign Finance Reform.”

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Democratic Party of Oregon, will work with members of Congress, other State Democratic Parties, the national party committees, and the Obama administration to amend federal campaign finance laws to ensure the vitality of state parties by lifting some of the unnecessary and burdensome regulations that continue to hinder their development.

Resolution submitted by Frank Dixon, DPO Chair

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