Why Oregon is a political test tube


Steve Chiotakis: With all the news of big bonuses and bailouts, how much anger is there against corporate America? Today in the West, we're going to at the ballot box. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, April Baer reports.

April Baer: From day one, the campaign to pass Measures 66 and 67 has been a study in class warfare.

Campaign ad: Wall Street took billions in bailouts. A lot of these same corporations only pay the $10 corporate minimum tax.

A nasty fight over the state budget ended with Democratic leaders proposing two changes: a tax increase for Oregon households earning more than $250,000 per year, and changes to the way Oregon taxes businesses, which have only had to pay a $10 maximum since 1931.

Today's results are a possible barometer of what to expect in November. Some also see it as a test tube for campaign finance. This election cycle, the rest of the country will get in step with a long-time Oregon reality: no limits for corporate and union spending on political causes, thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision.

Steve Novick is a spokesman for the Yes on 66 and 67 campaign:

Steve Novick: You'd think if these measures were going to destroy business in Oregon, that business folks would have raised billions of dollars to oppose these measures.

In fact, the union-backed Yes campaign has outspent business-funded opponents by almost a million dollars.

In Portland, Ore., I'm April Baer for Marketplace.


I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...