Willamette Week showcases Measure 49 tampering

This is a MUST read article by the Nigel Jacquiss of the Willamette Week. Here is just a sample.

“While voters sort through competing claims over Measure 49, they might also consider the extraordinary lengths to which proponents went to secure a favorable ballot title for the land-use question in the upcoming ballot…Emails show Nesbitt and Stacey began lining up a team to poll and run focus groups on ballot language in January. Their crew included local pollster Lisa Grove; political consultant Steve Novick, now a candidate in May’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate; and lawyer Margaret Olney.”

The group tested ballot language in March and April to determine which words would have the greatest chance of overturning Measure 37. Nesbitt says the focus groups and polling provided information about exactly how voters felt about Measure 37 and how they would like to see it fixed. Proponents also discussed other strategies such as deliberately making the ballot summary so long that county elections officers would leave it out of the Voters’ Pamphlet, leaving voters with only the carefully chosen ballot title to consider.

“I don’t see huge advantages to the words added to the summary to expand it,” Measure 49 campaign strategist Liz Kaufman wrote in a June 6 email to Nesbitt and Stacey. “I realize that was done in order to try to make it so long that counties won’t print it, but it doesn’t seem to add much value through it’s [sic] actual meaning.” (Proponents ultimately shaved the summary down to 125 words). They also debated how neutral the measure’s explanatory statement should be…”

Read the entire article here.


    What? are you saying that the liberals developed a title name in an attempt to purposely fool the public? Say it ain’t so….

  • Captain_Anon

    Polling on the title is no different than how tom sizemore or any other ballot writer come sup with a title. its one reason why the initiative reform that was proposed wanted to raise the number of signatures to get the AG to work on titles from 25 to a few thousand.

    • Steve Plunk

      I assume you mean Bill Sizemore the Oregon activist not Tom Sizemore the actor and no it’s not the same.

      Citizens do not wield the power of the state in formulating ballot titles and the submissions are reviewed. Knowing that the ballot title will be reviewed submissions are generally crafted to be fair and reasonable.

      In this case knowing your political allies will be doing the review 49 proponents went beyond reasonable and into misleading. They should all be ashamed but with liberals the ends justify the means.

      • Captain_Anon

        I agree it was deceitful, i’m not arguing against that. Back room deals are inappropriate. I think we all agree on that. However, i think it is hypocritical for people to admonish the D’s for polling and trying to come up with a ballot name that resonates with the public. this is EXACLTY what Bill (oops on tom!) Sizemore does routinely as do other conservative ballot measure writers. I think its completely inappropriate use of tax payer funds.


      I don’t go in for the ” they do it so we can” theory. The liberals in government tried to make it harder for Oregon citizens who might try to put an initiative on a ballot by limiting their ability to “fish” for ballot title names.

      I don’t neccessarily disagree with the idea to get rid of “fishing” . What I find amusing is the the very people who were so against this practice were the very first to embrace it when THEY had an initiative they wanted on a ballot.

      Their apologists arguments aside, that is a very hypocritical action, basically ” Do as I say not as I do”. Liberals seem to be able to rationalize that any psuedo-decietful action they take isn’t as bad as when an opposing group does it.

      Fishing for a ballot name is a dishonest and deceitful practice in my opinion no matter who practices it. I think the difference here is that the people who did it are on record as stating that they know it is and they did it anyhow.

  • Charlie

    I just got this in an e-mail. It’s good demonstration of what anti-M37, Yes on M49 people and their planners want to continue forcing upon our cities while prohibiting all other choices such as M37 development.

    ‘No Parking’ signs disappearing

    In Washington County’s new chock-a-block neighborhoods, where townhouses and apartments crowd skinny streets, parking is at a premium.
    In some subdivisions, especially near the MAX light-rail line, the signs are being stolen as fast as workers can put them up
    “At night, it’s awful,” Shields said. “After 7 or 8 p.m., people are parking anywhere and everywhere.”

  • John Fairplay

    Well, the market will out. Government can go around setting up these artificial situations and trying to force people to live in ways they don’t want to, but eventually the rebellion will begin. Sometimes it’s a few stolen “No Parking” signs, and sometimes it’s pitchforks and torches.

    • Anonymous

      ‘eventually the rebellion will begin. Sometimes it’s a few stolen “No Parking” signs, and sometimes it’s pitchforks and torches.’

      and now you see why we have the Second Amendment!

  • Charlie

    Here’ some truth for the unethical anti-37/Yes onM49 liars regime.


    Critic: M49 laced
    with poison pills

    News staff writer
    October 8, 2007

    Attorney Andrew Stamp told Hood River County residents on Monday that Measure 49 was imbedded with “poison pills” to stop development.

    The land use specialist from Lake Oswego said the referendum was not intended to restore property rights. He said Democrats in the legislature had written Measure 49 with the intention of restoring Oregon’s “broken land use system.”

    “The language in Measure 49 appears to be very innocuous. But it is actually a subtle way to destroy people’s (Measure 37) claims,” said Stamp.

    For example, he said the referendum states that landowners who have had property devalued by regulations can regain up to 10 home sites. However, Stamp said virtually all of Oregon’s land mass has been defined in the proposal as “high value farmland” that is limited to three home sites.

    “Basically if you look out your window and you don’t see big boulders or a steep slope, you are sitting on high value farmland,” said Stamp.

    He was one of three presenters at a Stop 49 forum sponsored by Gorge Land Use Equity at the Hood River Inn on Oct. 1. Stamp was joined on the panel by Pine Grove farmer Jon Laraway and Steven Andersen, owner of Cascade Planning Associates.

    The three speakers agreed that Measure 49 is being billed as a “fix” for Measure 37 but is actually intended to “kill” the law.

    They said Measure 37 was approved by 61 percent of voters statewide in 2004 on a simple premise. It required governments to compensate landowners for enacting regulations that devalued property. In lieu of making that payment, the agency could restore the development right in place when the land was acquired.

    Andersen said Democrats in the Oregon Legislature and conservation groups immediately set up political and legal roadblocks to thwart implementation of Measure 37. He said citizens were then told the law was too cumbersome to enact and needed an overhaul.

    “I felt that Measure 37 was finally something that could force the legislature’s hand and make them fix the land use system. But they spent their entire time trying to fix Measure 37 instead,” said Laraway.

    Andersen said the most potent “poison pill” in Measure 49 boiled down to the insertion of one word. He said the use of “prohibit” in a key piece of text would stop most landowners from even gaining one home lot.

    He said even if a home site was granted by a successful claim, a residence could not be built unless existing regulations “prohibit” it outright. He said Oregon’s land use rules “restrict” dwellings on farm land unless certain tests were met. For example, he said a home site is “restricted” unless the property owner can generate $80,000 of income each year from an agricultural practice.

    “Virtually all of the progress Measure 37 made will be wiped out if Measure 49 passes just from this provision alone,” said Andersen.

    He recently challenged an Oregonian reporter for downplaying the difference between the two words. He said many media outlets are advocating for Measure 49 without informing readers or listeners how it will play out on the ground.

    In a reply e-mail to Andersen’s complaint, the Oregonian reporter expressed interest in researching the topic further if he could find a “neutral” land use attorney.

    Upon hearing that comment, Stamp said, “the only thing more difficult than finding a neutral land use attorney is finding a neutral reporter.”

    He said it was highly possible that Measure 49 would be approved by voters on Nov. 6. He said they were being “hoodwinked” by a “scare tactic” campaign that was outspending the opposition by a 10 to 1 ratio.

    For example, Stamp said pictures of urban subdivisions were being superimposed over pastoral settings. He said high-density development was not even possible in outlying areas because there was no sewer service and septic systems required room for a drain field.

    Laraway said Measure 49 did not recognize separate deeds if the properties owned by the same landowner were connected. Therefore, he said a “patchwork” of 100 acres under 10 deeds would still qualify for only one to three homes, including any existing dwellings.

  • Jerry

    The pro-49 people are dirty and will stop at nothing to destroy what the people voted for twice already. They are duplicitous and evil. They are bad, bad people who care nothing about Oregon at all, just the power they want to control other’s lives.
    It is sick.

  • Jared

    What exactly is legally inaccurate about the ballot title?

    The Hood River News reporter has so many facts wrong it’s hilarious (10 to 1 outspending? feh.

    • Anonymous

      What are the spending numbers, Jared? I’m curious.

  • Charlie

    It’s far worse than 10 to 1 when one includes the free biased daily press and editorials.

  • Jack

    NOOOOOOOOOOO ON Measure 49
    Tell your Friends