Kevin Mannix: Election recap, Kitzhaber mandate. Measure 73.

The November 2 Reformation Has Begun
By Kevin Mannix
Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance,

This is my evaluation of the elections. On the national scene, the essence of the message from the voters is: back-off on big government; remember the constitutional role of government; focus on practical solutions as to encouraging economic growth; and get out of the way of the private sector so more jobs can be created. An essential element of all this is that the politicians who took the worst beating got out of touch with their constituents and paid the price. The media has focused on a couple of “Tea Party” Republicans who were unsuccessful. Understand that the Tea Party movement is a new phenomenon. Early on, some candidates with personal foibles may rise to the top only to be undone by elements of their backgrounds. People now have a sense that the Tea Party can, indeed, make a big difference. So, more and more candidates will come forward, who reflect Tea Party principles, but who can also handle the political scene and do not have damaging personal baggage.

On the Oregon side, in the governor’s race voters barely chose experience over a fresh approach. The only mandate for Governor-elect Kitzhaber is to reach across the aisle and to govern for the greater good.This is clearly reflected in the legislative results. Having 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats in the Oregon House of Representatives guarantees that neither party can run rough-shod over the other. It is time for leading members of both parties to form an Oregon coalition to identify consensus solutions to the challenges which confront us.

This includes a need to respect the essential differences between the challenges confronting high-population urban Oregon, as opposed to the challenges confronting lower-population rural Oregon. How about giving each sector some “space” and getting away from one-size-fits-all public policy?

From the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance perspective, we intend to remind all legislators that the voters may have split their votes as to the governor’s race and the legislative races – but they have again strongly endorsed public safety as a priority for state government. Measure 73 passed with a 57% “yes” vote. It was only barely defeated in 2 of the 36 counties: Multnomah and Benton.

I do not suggest that voters are giving public safety a blank check. However, they clearly are willing to see resources intelligently devoted to protecting our people.

Kevin L. Mannix, President