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Oregon is one of five states with no limits on campaign contributions, and a proposal announced earlier this week would establish regulations that have eluded reformers. During a committee hearing Tuesday, legislators from both major parties expressed reservations about the proposal while campaign finance reform advocates called on lawmakers to go further.

A tip of the hat to the proposed plan to place more stringent restraints on political campaign financing that was unveiled this week. The plan has merit but still needs more work and more input from voters.

The interim committee on campaign finance is busy creating a series of reforms to be pondered by the 2020 Legislature. Oregon is one of five states with no limits on campaign contributions. A committee hearing on the issue last week gathered input from lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle and from campaign finance reform advocates.

Not surprisingly, lawmakers expressed reservations about a plan to reform the state’s campaign finance blueprint. Under a new proposal, individuals would be limited to $750 in donations to any legislative candidate and $2,000 for those seeking a state office.

If there is one truism of democracy, it is that large sums of money tend to taint the political process. Lawmakers shouldn’t be so quick to discard the idea of some kind of campaign finance reform.

A tip of the hat to the many service clubs and organizations across Eastern Oregon that hold annual holiday bazaars. These are wonderful community events that bring people together in the spirit of holiday gift-giving. Bazaars give local artists and craftspeople a place to sell their creations, so money spent at bazaars stays local — something we all feel good about in the era of Amazon. It’s no small task to organize a bazaar, and for that, we’re thankful to all involved.

A kick in the pants to the “porch pirates” determined to ruin the holidays for members of our community by swiping packages that aren’t theirs. Local law enforcement will be doing their best to catch these petty thieves, and we can all help by taking safety precautions. UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service all offer apps that give customers options, such as scheduling deliveries for a time someone will be home, changing the destination address or leaving instructions to place the package somewhere other than the front porch. Hopefully, this year everyone can also help their neighbors by keeping an eye out for thieves or offering to grab deliveries for a neighbor while they are on vacation. And, as always, buying from local retailers instead of online prevents the need to worry about package thieves in the first place.

A tip of the hat to Rep. Greg Walden, who announced recently he will not seek re-election to represent Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District. We’ve already pointed out, on this page and in this space, many of Walden’s contributions, but his longtime performance as a federal legislator deserves more than a quick nod of acknowledgement. Walden put in a virtuoso performance as a legislator for the vast district and his presence in Congress is going to be missed. Whomever wins the May primary — the first step to filling Walden’s slot — will have very big shoes to fill.

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