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Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 10:00 am
Umatilla County Fair Aug. 10th-13th, 2022
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Evans Rails Against Corporations
It’s been over a decade, Paul. Let it go.

From time to time, legislators will introduce bills which, on their face are legally ridiculous, but serve to make a point about a more serious legal reality. One is reminded of Senator Brian Boquist's SB 740, introduced in 2013 requiring background checks for purchases of knives. The bill received no hearing -- let alone passing -- but the Senator's point was made regarding background checks for guns.

State Representative Paul Evans is playing such a game. He's upset with the 2010 US Supreme Court decisions Citizens United v. FEC, which determined that, for purposes of campaign spending, corporations and unions were persons, and as such had first amendment rights of free speech and spending in political campaigns. A non-profit organization called Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and when they went to advertise the film on television, they were found in violation of the McCain–Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. They sued, and ultimately prevailed in the US Supreme Court.

Evans has decided to emphasize his displeasure with that fact by making corporations eligible to serve on juries. His bill, HB 3018 is mostly just an amendment to the section of Oregon law on jury service. If enacted, it would include:

Any corporation organized under the laws of this state is eligible to act as a juror in a civil or criminal trial or as a grand juror. The corporation must act as a juror or grand juror through an individual agent of the corporation who would be eligible to act as a juror or grand juror under subsection (2) or (3) of this section.

The tables could be turned. If Evans were to insist that corporations are not people, they could be immune from, say, being sued, paying taxes or the legal process in general. At the end of the day, corporations are just collections of persons and -- for the most part -- their rights don't end just because they make such associations. The high court just affirmed that common-sense reality.

Evan, for his part, has no problem accepting political contributions from corporations, despite his anti-corporation stance. This chart represents just his take from corporations, just for the most current political cycle.

Major corporate donations to Paul Evans
DateDonorAmount
12/11/2020Hood River Distillers Inc.$1,000
11/09/2020Schnitzer Steel Industries$1,000
11/09/2020Eli Lilly and Company$1,000
10/24/2020Covanta Energy LLC$1,000
10/23/2020Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp$1,000
10/20/2020Amgen Inc. State Political Contributions PAC$1,000
10/16/2020Altria Client Services LLC$2,000
10/16/2020Ash Grove Cement Company $1,000
10/16/2020Charter Communications$1,000
10/10/2020Oregon Soft Drink PAC (197)$2,000
10/05/2020Allstate Insurance Company$1,000
09/08/2020PhRMA$1,000
09/01/2020Danton Wagner$2,500
08/31/20207-Eleven Inc.$1,000
08/31/2020Anheuser Busch$1,000
08/31/2020Bristol-Myers Squibb Company$1,000
07/13/2020Pfizer Inc.$1,000
07/03/2020BNSF Railway Company$1,500
04/07/2020Danton Wagner$2,500
01/23/2020Pfizer Inc.$1,000

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-11 07:06:19Last Update: 2021-02-10 22:54:46



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