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Oregon: House passes campaign bills

MedfordNews.com reports: The House today passed important political campaign finance reform laws, bringing greater accountability and transparency to Oregon elections. House Bills 2167 and 3458 follow through on the Speaker's commitment earlier this session to strengthen Oregon's campaign finance reporting laws. House Bill 2167 now goes to the Governor for his approval and HB 3458 goes to the Senate for a concurrence vote. ...

Together House Bills 2167 and 3458 enact the following reforms:

* The fine for converting excess campaign funds to personal use is increased to $1,000 plus the amount converted to personal use.
* Political committees will be required to establish an exclusive campaign account, in the committee's name, in a financial institution, for campaign expenditures and deposit of contributions. The co-mingling of campaign and personal funds that account is prohibited and the Secretary of State is authorized to review contribution and expenditure statements filed with the Secretary's office.
* Requires candidates and political committees, when submitting reports to Secretary of State, to accompany political campaign contribution and expenditure statements with copies of financial institution account statements.
* Prohibits candidates from paying themselves for professional services provided to their campaigns. Prohibits member of the Legislative Assembly from using campaign contributions to pay expenses for which they are already reimbursed by the legislature.
* The reporting threshold for campaign contributions and expenditures is increased to $100 from $50.
* A web-based reporting system for campaign contributions and expenditures will be established by January 1, 2007. Within 42 days before an election, candidates and political committees will have seven calendar days in which to file electronic statements after a contribution is received or expenditure is made. At all other times, they will have 30 days to file contributions and expenditures.
* Expands the statutory definition of "indirect expenditure" to include expenditures made in connection with ballot measures (in addition to candidates); requires individuals to report indirect expenditures in excess of $50.
* Requires person holding office of Attorney General, Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, or state senator to file statement of contributions received by or on behalf of the person during the first half of January following the first general election held during the person's term of office. -- Oregon House Passes Campaign Finance Reforms - (Medford Article)