In 1859, Oregon became America’s 33rd state. The authors of Oregon’s Constitution wisely term limited Oregon’s Governor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer. These founding citizens realized that politicians consolidate power when elected to political office. With increasing time in office, political power only increases. Special interests, including the very wealthy, big business, and powerful labor, ask for favors in exchange for political support. These favors generally enhance the control and the ease of living for these special interests and their members, to the detriment of ordinary everyday Oregonians. The political class controls the machinery of government, and incumbent office holders are shielded from accountability by the bureaucracy. Many political office holders seek to control the press, to control information available to the public.
While there are term limits for Oregon’s Governor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer, there are no term limits for members of Oregon’s State Senate or State House of Representatives. At the founding of our state, our state government was weak and only had minor impact on the daily lives of Oregon’s citizens. Over the past 158 years, the size and influence of federal, state, and local government has increased dramatically. Citizens labor from January into May to pay their increasing burden of taxes. The laws and rules of federal, state, and local governments number in the millions. Because of the power of Oregon’s state government, the 90 elected members of Oregon’s Senate and House have enormous impact on the daily lives of Oregon’s citizens through their rule-making and taxation policies. Continue reading