Voters around Oregon tonight said yes to the question of whether to amend the state's constitution to allow for limits on campaign contributions and expenditures.
Measure 107 should end legal wrangling that has gone on for decades about whether the state's constitution, famously liberal on matters of free speech, allows for the limitation of campaign dollars. Reformers have long argued that Oregon's lack of limits on contributions and expenditures—which is different from about 45 states—provides undue influence to deep-pocketed special interests.
Those special interests have said that spending limits abridge political speech and therefore violate the constitution. Those in the middle—the courts and various attorneys general—have struggled to establish a bright line policy, as legal wrangling for the past two years over limits approved by Multnomah County and Portland voters has shown.
Tonight's vote, however, merely establishes a framework permission for the imposition of limits. It will now be up to the Legislature and local jurisdictions to decide whether they want limits and what those limits should be.
As of early Wednesday morning, voters were passing the measure by a margin of 78% to 21%.