SALEM, Ore. — A new ad campaign is targeting Senate President Peter Courtney for repeatedly blocking a bill that would permit Oregon to give all seven of its electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote during presidential elections.

National Popular Vote Inc., a California-based nonprofit, launched the ad campaign against Courtney on Thursday, the Statesman Journal reported (http://stjr.nl/2xQu8X7).

The National Popular Vote bill had passed in the House in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017 but was killed in the Senate by Courtney, said John Koza, the nonprofit’s chairman. The nonprofit is running a 16-second advertisement, a Facebook page and website which promises to spread ads against Courtney on Google and Facebook as part of the campaign.

The campaign’s goal is to inform voters of Courtney’s record with the bill, Koza said.

A statement by the Democratic senator suggests he has changed his stance on the bill since the most recent election cycle. Courtney has said he would vote in favor of the putting the issue on the ballot if the bill comes out of committee in 2018.

“If you believe in the popular vote, then let the popular vote decide the issue,” Courtney said in the statement.

Koza thinks the statement is nothing more than “an excuse.”

Other states have introduced similar legislation over the years.

Supporters of the popular vote model claim it would be a more fair process than the current Electoral College system, which they said tends to underrepresent people living in more populous states.

Opponents of the model argue that such a system would cause candidates to overlook rural areas and lead them to focus campaign efforts on areas with higher populations.


Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com