Oregon Ballot Measures Voter Guide

We realize most Oregonians turn to the Oregonian for instructions on how to vote in each election. As many of you know, the Oregonian is currently plagued with declining circulation, declining ad revenues, and an associated decline in credibility. Thus, here is your voter guide, earlier and better than the Oregonian’s, if they even have one this year. We have done all the thinking for you, so no need to worry or fret. Just keep this handy guide nearby when you complete your ballot.

Input for these recommendations was gathered from independent sources, and, whenever possible, from the Freedom Foundation.

Measure 54
Elections – Standardizes voting eligibility for school board elections with other state and local elections

VOTE YES — How could standardizing be bad?

Measure 55
Legislature – Change operative date of redistricting plans to allow affected legislators to finish term in original district

VOTE YES — We can’t have legislators unable to complete their terms in their original districts. Mayhem would result.

Measure 56
Elections – May and November property tax elections are to be decided by majority of voters voting in the relevant election

VOTE YES — The old, out-of-date, antiquated “double majority” rule makes it much more difficult to raise taxes. Everyone knows that state and local governments need more money to continue the valuable services we depend on so very much. A YES vote on this finely-crafted measure will send a loud, clear, and strong message to those who don’t vote, and that is, “We can do it without you!”

Measure 57
Law enforcement – Increases sentences for drug trafficking, theft against elderly, and specific repeat property and identity-theft crimes

VOTE NO — Criminals have enough problems with the current laws on the books. Crime is going down in Oregon. We sure don’t need to lock more people up in America, where more people are in prison than in any other nation. Rehabilitation, halfway houses, and counseling are the answers — not incarceration.

Measure 58
Education – Requires English immersion for non-English-speaking students

VOTE NO — It is simply wrong to deny someone their heritage, language and customs. To force a change to a “foreign” language is archaic, selfish, and simplistic. Customs should not be changed, either, including human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, and genital mutilation. Who are we to decide what is right and what is wrong?

Measure 59
Tax reform – makes federal income taxes fully deductible on state return

VOTE NO — This measure would actually REDUCE the money going into state coffers. As noted earlier, the state needs this money for the numerous valuable programs it offers to all of us. This is an example of a ballot measure that, if passed, will cause dying in the streets.

Measure 60
Education – Teacher compensation must be based on classroom performance

VOTE NO — How can anyone possibly measure the quality of teaching? We would need countless in-service days, planning sessions, work with consultants, and workshops all over the state just to figure this out. Oregon already ranks 49th in the nation in the Education Week annual survey, so we quite obviously know what we are doing and don’t require any bureaucratic nonsense that would cause hardship for our dedicated teaching force.

Measure 61
Judicial reform – Mandatory sentences for drug dealers, identity thieves, burglars and car thieves

VOTE NO — As noted above, criminals have enough problems with the current laws on the books. Crime is going down in Oregon. We sure don’t need to lock more people up in American, where more people are in prison than in any other nation. Rehabilitation, halfway houses, and counseling are the answers — not incarceration.

Measure 62
State budget – 15% of lottery profits for crime prevention, investigation and prosecution

VOTE NO — We need Oregon Lottery profits to continue to fund economic development. Look how well it has worked so far — we continue to lose businesses and our unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation.

Measure 63
Property Rights – Allows minor improvements to property without building permit

VOTE NO — This silly measure would open the door to all kinds of malfeasance in the building industry. Contractors without permits would run rampant, making “minor” improvements that were not to code. Homeowners do not know enough to make “minor” improvements. Thus, building permits are essential to orderly and lawful changes made to home and property.

Measure 64
Campaign Finance Reform – Prohibits using taxpayer-funded resources to collect political funds

VOTE NO — How can anyone possibly find fault with taxpayer funding for unions to collect political funds? Unions simply do not have the resources, the capital, or the necessary skills to collect their own political funds. There is nothing wrong with the state doing it for them. In fact, most of the money collected ends up going back to the state politicians in the form of campaign donations, so our current method helps insure that this will continue forever.

Measure 65
Conduct of elections – The “top-two” measure; creates open primaries

VOTE YES — The two-party system in American is DEAD. Who cares if all the people running for one particular office are all Democrats, for example? This is a democracy and no one person or entity should ever force one party or another on anyone. It is a miracle our state has been governed so well for so long using the antiquated closed primary system.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 16 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Crawdude

    Lol, unfortunately the many sheepizens in Portland use the Oregonian as their thought process and will vote over-whelmingly from its pages.

    That being said, with the economic downturn and plunging readership, this may be the last time anyone sees the little O’s ( used to be big) recommendations in print.

  • Mike

    For a minute there I thought your were serious…of course this is exactly how the election will go…VERY VERY unfortunately!!!

  • devietro

    Great now we can expect to see articles such as “Even Oregon Catalyst blogger rejects Kevin Mannix measure” Of course they miss the sarcasm. Thanks for you effort on this one.

  • dean

    Jerry…your snarkiness aside, voting FOR measures that reduce state taxes and FOR a multi-hundred million dollar lockup plan is exactly the sort of irrational thinking that has your party circling the drain in this state and soon (I hope) nationally. We managed to double the national debt under 8 years of Bush by cutting taxes and increasing spending, and now you seem to be advocating that for the state.

    In addition, for CD, Oregonian print reading is down, but on line reading is up. Net is probably up, as it is for most news organizations.

    • Steve Plunk

      Since history supports the idea that tax cuts stimulate the economy and increase revenue your hypothesis seems flawed. The largest drain on our budget came as a result of being attacked by Islamic terrorists and our measured response against that threat. The cost of the war has been great but necessary.

      We should also keep in mind Congress holds the purse strings. All tax cuts and expenditures are approved by Congress and most are initiated within the Congress. Before going on a ‘blame Bush’ rant think about how our government works.

      What you call irrational thinking is no different than government mandates enacted without funding for them. The citizens are sick and tired of legislative inaction on certain issues and take them into their own hands through the initiative process. If our elected representatives would get back to what matters we wouldn’t have to legislate ourselves.

      If the State of Oregon raises my taxes but I’m left to figure out how to pay all my bills is that any different than mandating new prisons and letting the legislature figure out how to pay for them? In this case turnabout is fair play.

    • Jerry

      Dean – that Oregonian web site really brings in the cash. You are right – they are not in any trouble whatsoever. They are strong, full of cash, hiring left and right, solid and steady.

      Thanks for clarifying. I was so stupid I completely forgot about all the revenue they scoop up from the web site, which more than makes up for the lost ad revenue and lost circulation. Much more.

  • Wayne Brady

    I cannot decide if this is a joke or not. He got 54, 55, and 57 right. The rest of the measures he got wrong. But for his 3 correct positions, I would be certain this is a joke.

    I hope nobody takes this voter guide seriously.

    For a good voter guide, go to http://www.marioncountygop.org and click on the vote button on the left side of the page.

  • Davis

    Even the Oregonian would get 54 and 55 right since they are more or less freebies. To expect the o to get 57 right is up for question since, as a referral from the legislature, the editorial staff might give it a pass. Otherwise, the suggestions are exactly in line, right down to the reasoning.

    Dean, there is nothing inconsistent with favoring reducing taxes and increasing particular spending as through M61. Increasing spending on security is long overdue in this state; the legislature will simply need to set better priorities for spending – something it has rarely done. BTW, with the requirement in the state’s constitution for maintaining a balanced budget (contrasted against going into debt), we will never incur a budget deficit as allowed the federal government.

    • dean

      Davis…okay. What are you and the supporters of the Mannix prison measure proposing that we cut from the state budget to pay for new prison facilities and staff? And if your cut proposals are not part of the ballot measure, or have not been submitted as a companion measure, then what are you asking voters to choose? Simply telling the state legislators to build more prisons and then letting them figure out what to cut is irresponsible, and illustrates my point.

      • cc

        “Oregonian print reading is down, but on line reading is up. Net is probably up, as it is for most news organizations.”

        BS from dean is “probably up” too – like this:

        “Simply telling the state legislators to build more prisons and then letting them figure out what to cut is irresponsible, and illustrates my point.”

        WTF IS their job then, dean? Maybe they should try to raise taxes again – THAT would be a new approach.

        Since they (the legislature) are obviously so freakin’ deaf that they need to be told what people want via the initiative process, you’d think once that obstacle was removed, they’d earn their keep by figuring out how to fund it. Otherwise, they’re worse than useless.

        Sort of like someone else.

        • dean

          I think their job on the budget is to try to figure out how much is needed to deliver the services that Oregonians seem to want, set priorities if revenue is not enough to get the job done, pass a budget, stash some in a rainy day fund. I also think they need to look a head a few years so we are not simply funding the squeakiest wheel.

          “How to fund it” (more prisons) is easy cc. They either raise taxes or shift the available funds away from another program, likely schools since that is the largest single item. Lousier education will eventually result in more crime, resulting in the need for yet more prisons and we can all circle the drain together. That is where your angry, snarky, mean spirited world view ultimately leads.

  • Wayne Brady

    Dean, we have a representative republic. We are supposed to elect people to make these decisions for us. I have no doubt there are plenty of programs that could be terminated to pay for building more prisons.

    Every legislative session, the legislators and the governor dream up new programs. I would start by rolling back the new programs created in the last 6 years. That would more than cover the cost of the new prisons.

    By the way, it is cheaper to keep these people locked up than it is to release them. The Rand Corporation conducted a study that showed this. It is no surprise when you consider the cost of re-arresting and prosecuting the criminals and the damage they do while they are not in custody. Beyond that there is the degraded quality of life as a result of leaving these people on the street.

    One more point. The cost estimates for Measure 61 are probably much higher than the actual cost. You can look at the predicted cost as compared with actual cost for Measure 11.

    • David from Eugene

      Wayne

      The problem is that all those new programs, like every other state program, were pushed by constituencies with enough political clout to get at least a majority in both houses to approve them and the Governor’s signature. So instead of cutting programs we are more likely to get a across the board budget cut. So while we would have a mandatory sentencing, we may have fewer judges to pass sentences, as well as fewer State Police on the Highways and doing investigations, less money for schools. As well as longer waits for many state services.

      There are only to ways to avoid this, to raise taxes to pay for the increased costs or for groups who believe that a program should be eliminated to organize and actively lobby the legislature to cut it.

  • Bob Clark

    Jerry-

    I read your article without catching you were the author, and thought the Catalyst had lost its bearings. I think you should have played the ballots straight up without the sarcasm. At least, just this time around.

    But otherwise, you’re great.

    • Jerry

      I believe, as this article shows, Oregonians are the ones who have lost their bearings.

  • Jess

    The Oregon Catalyst is on the extremist end of left. The majority of Oregonians want truth, fairness, and realistic answers for real problems in our society. The problem with “extremism”, from left AND RIGHT, is that real truth and logic are slowly but constantly pushed to the side. After reading the above ballot commentary, can you honestly tell yourself that The Oregon Catalyst is being objective? fair? For getting my fill of leftist journalism, I’ll take my chances with the Oregonian until i can find a more objective source. I love open-forum democracy; I hate media-dictated thought. Let’s see how long it takes for this comment to be taken down.

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