As of this writing, the voting on Oregon’s Measure 114 is still too close to call. Whether the state will pass the most restrictive gun control measures in the nation or not remains to be seen.
However, at least one pro-gun group is facing fines for their spending trying to defeat the measure.
The state Elections Division on Monday said it will fine a National Rifle Association political committee more than $8,000for the tardy reporting of a $25,700 donation to the campaign opposing Oregon’s Measure 114 gun control ballot proposal.
The NRA Oregonians for Freedom committee received the contribution from the NRA Political Victory Fund out of Fairfax, Virginia, on July 29, but didn’t report it until Nov. 1 — far beyond the 30-day deadline.
It is the only contribution the Oregon political committee, which was founded in July, has reported receiving.
Though the Elections Division hasn’t received a complaint about the delay, it learned of the late reporting and will “automatically issue a penalty” to the Oregon committee, said Ben Morris, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. The Elections Division is part of the Secretary of State’s Office.
The fine is 0.5% of the contribution amount for each day the contribution went unreported after the deadline – a total of more than $8,200 for 64 days.
Maybe it’s me being grumpy or something, but I can’t help but wonder how this same division would react to “learning” of a similar delay for a group giving money to a pro-Measure 114 group.
Again, there wasn’t a complaint filed, so they could have just as easily said, “Hey, get your crap together,” but they didn’t. Nope, they jumped right on issuing a fine.
But with an anti-gun group trying to support Measure 114, they might not have said anything. They could have just pretended they never saw a thing.
Of course, to be fair, that’s just idle speculation based on what I’ve seen from people in power in Oregon over the years. I could be completely wrong and the authorities here are conducting this as neutrally as possible.
And, also to be fair, it’s not like the delay didn’t happen. It should have been reported as the law requires and it wasn’t.
Meanwhile, Measure 114 is potentially an unconstitutional law–only “potentially” because it’s not the law as of yet–that should never have been considered to be put on the ballot in the first place.
Yet it was, and I suppose rules must be followed, even if they’re kind of stupid.
So, while the votes on the measure are still being counted, an NRA committee has to fork over more than $8,000 to the state of Oregon. That’s not good because that will likely be used to enforce any draconian anti-gun laws passed or will be used to defend those laws from legal challenge.
Not really the smartest move one could make, now is it?
Yet in the grand scheme of things, this is a blip. It’ll likely be made out to be much more when it’s likely just a clerical or communication mistake and little else.