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Kate Brown on Government Reform

 

 


Disclose lobbyist info & pay, on public website

Q: How would you improve transparency in government?

BROWN: Bringing greater transparency to State government is one of my highest priorities. In the most recent legislative session, I am proud to have passed a bill requiring lobbyists to disclose on a publicly available website who they work for and what they are getting paid to do that work. One of the first things I did after being sworn in as Governor was to pass an ethics package designed to bring both more accountability and more transparency to our government. But I know that there is more work to do. I believe strongly that it shouldn't be easier to [track] a Fed Ex package than it is to find out what your government is doing. That is why I intend to create a Pubic Records Advocate--so that an independent entity can make public records available in a way that is faster, fairer and consistent.

Source: League of Women Voters Guide to 2016 Oregon Governor race , Sep 9, 2016

Automatic voter registration for all drivers

Seventeen years after Oregon decided to become the first state to hold all elections with mail-in ballots, it took another pioneering step on Monday to broaden participation by automatically registering people to vote. Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed a bill that puts the burden of registration on the state instead of voters. Under the legislation, every adult citizen in Oregon who has had business with the Department of Motor Vehicles since 2013 but has not registered to vote will receive a ballot in the mail at least 20 days before the next statewide election. The measure is expected to add about 300,000 voters to the rolls. Some other states have considered such legislation, but none have gone as far as Oregon. Minnesota nearly instituted automatic voter registration in 2009 before it was vetoed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who said that "registering to vote should be a voluntary, intentional act." Similar concerns were raised by Oregon's minority Republicans.
Source: Associated Press in N.Y. Times, "Voter Reg made Automatic" , Mar 17, 2015

Make voter registration easier; update campaign reporting

Brown's main focus in the secretary of state job, she says on the secretary of state's website, is to remove barriers to voter registration and voting, reduce red tape for businesses and entrepreneurs and use audits to improve education in the state and provide better services for the most vulnerable residents.

Prior to becoming secretary of state, Brown served in the state legislature for 18 years. She was first appointed to the Oregon State House in 1991, describing herself as a bridge-builder seeking consensus. She won the seat outright in 1992 in a tough battle against its former occupant. In 1997, she was elected to the Oregon State Senate representing a part of Portland, and worked on updating the state's public campaign finance reporting system and highlighting the role that lobbyists play, according to the Oregonian. She became the Democratic caucus leader in 1998, and in 2004, became the first woman in the state to serve as senate majority leader.

Source: Rebecca Kaplan, CBS News, "New Governor" , Feb 16, 2015

Oregon sees high turnout because of vote-by-mail

On average, 51.6% of eligible US voters cast ballots, but six states averaged more than 60%, including Oregon. Oregon is one of two states that employ a vote-by-mail only system. "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we see high turnout because of vote-by-mail," says Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown. "It's extremely convenient and accessible; it's secure and cost-effective."

Oregonians passed a referendum in 1998 to institute the vote-by-mail system--with almost 70% approval. Secretary Brown rejects the criticism that mail-in ballots diminish the sense of civic engagement people may feel standing in line with their fellow citizens on Election Day. She says Oregonians have block parties and talk to their neighbors; issues are discussed in churches and synagogues. "Civic engagement is much more meaningful and expansive when you have a ballot in hand for 2-1/2 weeks," Brown says. "Election Day is not just one day--it's several."

Source: Christian Science Monitor on 2016 Oregon Gubernatorial race , Nov 6, 2012

15 million ballots via vote-by-mail with only 9 fraud cases

Oregon is one of two states that employ a vote-by-mail only system. Voters receive an information pamphlet three weeks before the election, followed a few days later by their ballots.

A criticism of mail-in ballots is that there is more opportunity for voter fraud. Since 2000, 15 million ballots have been cast by mail in Oregon, but there have been only nine convictions of voter fraud, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown says. The state takes extensive measures to ensure that ballots are secure: each envelope has a unique barcode, election officials verify every signature, and there are cameras in every election office to monitor the counting. People can also check online to make sure their ballot was counted.

Source: Christian Science Monitor on 2016 Oregon Gubernatorial race , Nov 6, 2012

Other governors on Government Reform: Kate Brown on other issues:

OR Senatorial:
Jason Conger
Jeff Merkley
Monica Wehby

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Guadagno(R) vs.Phil Murphy(D, won 2017 primary) vs.Ray Lesniak(D, lost 2017 primary) vs.Mayor Steve Fulop(declined Dem. primary, Sept. 2016) vs.Lesniak(D) vs.Wisniewski(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R) vs.Rullo(R)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Perriello(D) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.(no opponent yet)
AL: Kay Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.David Carrington (R) vs.Tommy Battle (R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.David Garcia (D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Delaine Eastin (D) vs.David Hadley (R) vs.John Cox (R) vs.Zoltan Istvan (I)
CO: Ed Perlmutter (D) vs.Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Cary Kennedy (D) vs.George Brauchler (R) vs.Doug Robinson (R)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Drew(D) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Mike Huckabee (R) vs.Adam Putnam (R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Casey Cagle (R) vs.Hunter Hill (R) vs.Stacey Abrams (R)
HI: Ige(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Andy McGuire (D) vs.Nate Boulton (D)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.J.B. Pritzker (D)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Wink Hartman (R)
MA: Baker(R) vs.Gonzalez(D) vs.Setti Warren (D) vs.Bob Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Alec Ross (D) vs.Richard Madaleno (D)
ME: (no candidate yet)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Tim Walz (D)
MN: Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Tina Liebling (DFL) vs.Tim Walz (DFL) vs.Matt Dean (R)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Steve Marchand (D, Portsmouth Mayor)
NM: Grisham(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
NV: Jared Fisher (R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NY: Cuomo(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Sutton(D) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Jim Renacci (R) vs.Jon Husted (R) vs.Connie Pillich (D)
OK: Gary Richardson (R) vs.Connie Johnson (D)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Scott Inman (D)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Wagner(R)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
VT: Scott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D)
WY: (no candidate yet)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2017):
DE-D: Carney
IN-R: Holcomb
MO-R: Greitens
NH-R: Sununu
NC-D: Cooper
ND-R: Burgum
VT-R: Scott
WV-D: Justice

Retiring 2017-18:
AL-R: Robert Bentley(R)
(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
(term-limited 2018)
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
(term-limited 2018)
FL-R: Rick Scott
(term-limited 2018)
GA-R: Nathan Deal
(term-limited 2018)
IA-R: Terry Branstad
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
ID-R: Butch Otter
(retiring 2018)
KS-R: Sam Brownback
(term-limited 2018)
ME-R: Paul LePage
(term-limited 2018)
MI-R: Rick Snyder
(term-limited 2018)
MN-D: Mark Dayton
(retiring 2018)
NM-R: Susana Martinez
(term-limited 2018)
OH-R: John Kasich
(term-limited 2018)
OK-R: Mary Fallin
(term-limited 2018)
SC-R: Nikki Haley
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
(term-limited 2018)
TN-R: Bill Haslam
(term-limited 2018)
WY-R: Matt Mead
(term-limited 2018)
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Page last updated: Jul 19, 2017