By Doug Brown  "They gave me a call," says TAO Executive Director Jason Williams. "And I'm glad they're around. I hate these laws that try to limit free speech." Owen Yeates, the lead CCP attorney representing TAO in opposing the reform measure, defends his organization's involvement in protecting a status quo that allows wealthy donors to greatly influence elections: "It's not a case of a big group coming from out East violating the will of the people," Yeates says, noting he personally lives in Portland. "The First Amendment and Bill of Rights have always been about protecting minorities from the majority. That's why we're doing this-we want to protect people who feel they're being violated and oppressed."... The provisions are at odds with a controversial 1997 Oregon Supreme Court ruling and the often-criticized 2010 Citizens United ruling... Since the campaign finance measure is potentially at odds with Supreme Court precedent, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in April to send the measure to what's known as a court validation proceeding, where a judge preemptively rules on whether a law is constitutional before it's implemented.

Portland Mercury: A National Right-Wing Group Wants to Keep Big Money in County Elections (In the News)

Portland Mercury: A National Right-Wing Group Wants to Keep Big Money in County Elections

By Doug Brown

“They gave me a call,” says TAO Executive Director Jason Williams. “And I’m glad they’re around. I hate these laws that try to limit free speech.”

Owen Yeates, the lead CCP attorney representing TAO in opposing the reform measure, defends his organization’s involvement in protecting a status quo that allows wealthy donors to greatly influence elections: “It’s not a case of a big group coming from out East violating the will of the people,” Yeates says, noting he personally lives in Portland. “The First Amendment and Bill of Rights have always been about protecting minorities from the majority. That’s why we’re doing this-we want to protect people who feel they’re being violated and oppressed.”…

The provisions are at odds with a controversial 1997 Oregon Supreme Court ruling and the often-criticized 2010 Citizens United ruling…

Since the campaign finance measure is potentially at odds with Supreme Court precedent, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in April to send the measure to what’s known as a court validation proceeding, where a judge preemptively rules on whether a law is constitutional before it’s implemented.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.