Democracy: you buy it, you break it.


What I believe:


  • Big Money from special-interest organizations is polluting politics.  Campaign contributions fro well-funded special interests give them undue influence on our politicians and laws.

  • Politicians should serve the people who elected them - not the special interests that write big checks.

  • Accepting money from the "good" PACs but not the "bad" isn't leading to the change we need (see below)

  • Leadership is supposed to be chosen by elections, not auctions.


Kathy Conway


"In Oregon Senate District 3, one candidate refuses to be bought. If you want a government of, by and for the people, your candidate is Jeff Golden."


More to the story:

Why are we lagging behind Washington and California on progressive issues we want? 

Because the special-interest lobbyists who fill the Capitol building command more attention than the needs of people back home. Studies show the voices of special interest groups and the economic elites are 18-25 times louder than middle class Americans in policy outcomes (Gilens and Page).

Oregon isn't the only place where this is a problem. Across the nation, there is a chasm between American values and legislative priorities. For example:

  • Two thirds of Americans believe that laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter. (Gallup)
  • Americans support staying in the Paris Climate Accord two-to-one (Quinnipiac University)
  • 70 percent of the public would like to expand Medicare to those below the age of 65 (Kaiser Family Foundation)


What are Special Interests? 


Special interests represent corporations, trade associations and other groups that want legislators to pass certain bills and kill others, and hire lobbyists to push them. Some are traditionally Republican, some Democratic.  What they have in common--and what citizens don't have--are carrots and sticks (campaign dollars, endorsements, lists of people whose votes they can influence) that very often distract  legislators from the most important question: what's the best thing to do on this issue for the benefit of people in my district? 

Some interest groups are doing very good work to protect the environment and the rights of women, working people and minorities. I hope to work with them in Salem. So why not take their money? Because doing that accepts something we can't accept: that lobbyists are going to finance our elections. It lets the other side off the hook for taking millions and millions from the Koch Brothers and their pals and locks in the stalemate we're in today.

WE KNOW THIS IS TRUE. We've recognized the scourge of special interest money for decades now, and yet it's worse today than it's ever been.  We have to break the pattern.

Returning to a government of, by, and for the people – not the billionaires and giant corporations – will not be easy. It’s not enough to say Citizens United and Big Money is bad. We need candidates who understand how these dollars destroy democracy to STOP TAKING THEM.

Special interest money corrupts government and blocks critically needed action. If we want that to change, it starts with campaigns.

in 2018 let's say "enough" to special interests


Jeff Golden on Special Interest Money in elections

My promise to you: I will work for you, not special interests.