Voter frustration

I am always struck by the irony of the voter’s willingness to send Democrats to public office when the Democrats’ stated agenda is diametrically opposed to the voters’ most recent expressions of public policy. In the past five years the voters have twice turned back massive tax increases (Measures 28 and 30), overwhelmingly approved a constitutional provision restricting marriage as between one man and one woman (Measure 36), and, by an even greater margin, approved a substantial reform of land use regulation that requires the state to either pay for the taking of the use of one’s property or refrain from the taking (Measure 37).

Perhaps it is the low esteem in which voters hold Republicans after listening to their promises of fiscal responsibility, efficient government and less government intrusion on personal lives and then seeing them fail to deliver on any of them. Having said one thing and done the opposite, the Republicans must take the blame for the two largest tax increases in the history of the state, the unprecedented growth in government expenditures and the excessive health and retirement benefits for the public employee unions. Don’t get me wrong, these were all Democrat initiatives but the Republicans were in control. Even with virtually every Democrat voting for these “tax and spend” initiatives (and they did), they still required the complicity of the Republicans to give them a majority vote.

Now the Democrats are in control of both houses of the legislature and every statewide elected office. And what are their goals? Why to undo everything that you, the voters, have approved over the last five years. Frankly, there isn’t anything else of significance that they have tried to pass.

The Democrats have already passed a $300 million tax increase and are on their way to adopting several other smaller tax increases. This comes at a time in which existing sources are already producing more than $2 billion more than in the previous biennium. And, by the way, they are busily spending that money hiring more public employee union members.

The Democrats have introduced Senate Bill 2 to extend the benefits of marriage to same sex couples despite the passage of Measure 36. Look, I don’t oppose the idea of allowing same sex couples the ability to designate by contracts the relationship and rights of their partners. If they do so, I think the state ought to recognize those contractual elements. What I do oppose is the wholesale transfer of marital rights to same sex couples without the slightest bit of understanding as to the results of such a transfer.

It has taken over 3,000 years of biblical, statutory and common law to define the rights and obligations of marriage. That work continues even today. These rights and obligations involve the entire body of law that defines relationships between marital couples, including marriage, divorce, children (custody, control, adoptions and obligations), privilege, liabilities, inheritance, intestate succession, bankruptcy, creditor relations, pension rights, property rights, and on and on and on. Whether you support or oppose gay marriages, this is probably the most irresponsible means of legislating since the advent of statehood.

The Democrats have also introduced a slew of legislative bills to basically gut the popular Measure 37. And this is the one I really don’t get. What has happened in the intervening time between the adoption of Measure 37 in November of 2004 and now that requires the discarding of the rights under Measure 37? Only about 1.2 percent of Oregon is currently developed. Yes, that’s right. Only 1.2 percent or 730,000 acres of 61 million acres are developed. If every Measure 37 claim is approved (and they won’t be) and if every acre of every Measure 37 claim winds up being developed (and they won’t), the total acreage developed in Oregon will still be less than 1.2 percent. The only thing that has happened is that the Democrats and their radical environmental supporters have gained the upper hand and are about to teach you ignorant voters a lesson — you aren’t smart enough to deal with land use issues.

And finally, the Democrats have introduced legislation to hinder your use of the ballot initiative. Apparently voters have been irresponsible in passing Measures 28, 30, 36 and 37. You have demonstrated that you can’t be trusted with public policy, that you are not sophisticated enough to understand what is best for you, that you cannot be trusted to use the ballot initiative correctly. As a result, the Democrats intend to take its use away from you.

What a mess.

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Posted by at 05:57 | Posted in Measure 37 | 8 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bellstar

    It is amazing that the legislature has the power to gut Measure 37…after we the people of Oregon voted for it “twice”. We all bought property not knowing that the State would take it from us. We voted and won our rights to our property back…not knowing that the State would again take it from us. We invested our money in our property purchase, we have paid taxes for 33 years without the benefit of selling it…building on it (It is not farmland). We all invested money in developing our Measure 37. We personally investd 50,000. We have 38 acres. It was RR5 so we had a plat map to reflect what we had when we purchased. They had us pay the back taxes…for 10 years…It was only 6,000. So we didn’t benefit that much. We also had no problem paying it. It was fair, we did have a reduction…but give us the right to have our property back. What else can we do to fight this????

  • Britt Storkson

    You wonder why the public votes for Democrat candidates yet votes against Democrat policies by large margins? I have one very good example. Wasco Electric Co-operative, the local state-sanctioned monopoly power company here in The Dalles installed power lines on my property without an easement. When I told them to remove the lines they basically said “sue us” because Wasco Electric is, for all practical purposes, owned by a lawyer and the more trouble he makes the more money he makes. After the dust had settled and $1200 later the lines were removed when Senator Ferrioli intervened. I asked our local representative John Dallum to get the $1200.00 I spent to get my property back. He refused.
    That, my fellow Republicans, is what’s killing us. Rino Republicans like John Dallum are doing more to subvert the Republican party and their chances of getting elected than the Democrats ever could. Did you notice how quickly the Gay-Marriage legislation got through the House and Senate when it’s obviously very unpopular with the voters? It’s because they make do the will of those who got them elected. You may disagree with their objectives but you have to admit that they take care of those who get them elected. Why can’t we get that from our party?

  • Dave Lister

    I called in to Jayne Carroll’s show to chat about this very topic the other day. Her conclusion was that ballot measures say exactly what they mean. Politicians tell you what you want to hear. Then they do as they please.


    The voters her don’t vote in liberals because they want to; the conservatives here have not figured out how to get their message out in a way the voters understand.

    If they ever do the liberals will lose their strangle hold on this state forever…………..and have to move back to California or Mexico…

  • Suburban Housewife

    First, SB 2 is the anti-discrimination bill that has already passed. HB 2007 is the “call it anything you want but it’s still gay marriage” bill. It’s still in the Senate.

    Democrats truly believe that they have received a mandate from the voters to overturn the policies that they don’t like. They feel empowered to ignore 36, 37, 28, etc. because they have control over all government in this state. Yes, Republicans, they believe they have a mandate to do so because we got our butts kicked! And what happens when you give a bunch of arrogant, self-serving liberals power… they use it to push forward their wish list and they don’t blink an eye!
    The Ds won because of the national trend against the President and Iraq, and it had very little to do with the local issues. Moderate Rs, women and Independents, that Republicans depend on to win, are mad at the Republican Party across the country, and in Oregon this is magnified, so they voted for Democrats or didn’t vote at all. Yesterday the Ds sent good legislation to provide funding for state troopers to a convenient death in Ways and Means. They don’t care about putting troopers back on the road, unless it gives them permission to raise our taxes to pay for it. Go ahead and jump start the ballot initiatives for the next election, but until we win back Republican control, the Ds will continue on their rampage to overturn the will of the voters.

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