DMA Politically Direct (Winter 2008): Hill Profile: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
March 5, 2008 — Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon was elected to the US Senate through a special election in January 1996 to fill an unexpired term. He was re-elected in 1998, and again in 2004. Prior to his Senate service, he served in the US House from 1980, having defeated the incumbent, Robert Duncan, in a primary challenge.
Senator Wyden's interest in public policy issues was manifest long before his election to Congress, having been founder and co-director of the Oregon Gray Panthers (an advocacy group for the elderly), and through appointed positions in the state of Oregon, where he became an important voice on healthcare issues.
Throughout his Congressional career, Wyden has been a leader on a variety of high tech-related issues — many of which are critically important to multichannel direct marketers.
Senator Wyden was the author of the original Internet Tax Freedom Act that closed the door on the initial attempts to tax Internet commerce, and continues to prevent federal, state, and local governments from levying multiple and discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. Since then, he has sponsored subsequent versions of this legislation, including the most recent seven-year extension, passed with broad bipartisan support last October.
The Senator is also a tireless advocate in favor of maintaining Quill protection, so that interstate sellers, who do not have a physical presence or "tax nexus" in a state, are not required to collect sales tax in that state, and he has worked hard to ensure that states cannot expand the concept of "nexus" to include technological or online availability to consumers in a state.
He recognizes the many ways in which Congressional action can affect legitimate business practices, and has worked with consumers and industry to promote reasonable restrictions on spam and fraudulent/unwanted online messages. In 2003 Wyden worked with his former colleague Conrad Burns to pass S.877, the Burns/Wyden Bill, which was an important step in offering this protection
Recognizing Senator Wyden’s mastery of complicated issues that affect multichannel direct marketing, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) applauds his advocacy and very much looks forward to continuing its work with the Senator and his staff.
To learn more about Senator Wyden, visit http://wyden.senate.gov.
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