New! Improved! Election endorsements
As posted prior to previous elections, here's whom and what I'm voting for this time around. But this year, not only am I going to tell how I'm voting, but I'm also going to list an enthusiasm (E) factor, signifying on a scale of 1 to 10 how strongly I feel about the race or issue; and a confidence (C) factor, indicating how likely I believe that my vote will come out on the winning side.
Therefore, if I give a high E score to my vote, it means that I really, really believe in the vote, and I urge all readers to vote likewise. A low E score means that I won't hold it against you if you vote the other way. A hgh C score means that I think I'm voting for a winner; a low C score means I realize that I'm spitting into the wind.
POTUS: Kerry/Edwards, E10, C6. If America re-elects the Evil Chimp, we deserve everything bad that happens to us over the next four years and beyond. God help us, folks, we don't need three or four more Scalias and Clarence Thomases.
U.S. Senate: Ron Wyden, E5, C10. Ho hum.
U.S. House, 3d District: Earl Blumenauer, E5, C10. Yawn.
Secretary of State: Bill Bradbury, E8, C9. The sooner Betsy Close gets out of public life, the better, as far as I am concerned.
Portland Mayor: Tom Potter, E6, C8. Tom's emerged as a major bag of hot air, but he's got the Scone beat by a mile. And Potter might actually be able to do something with the Police Bureau, which has been without an intelligent leader for many years. The big downside: with Potter holding the nominal title of mayor, Erik Sten will be running most things.
Portland City Council: Nick Fish, E7, C3. Fish has feet of clay, but he deserves the office more than his opponent does. I'm starting to think Adams is going to pull an upset, though. Whatever Fish has done with his campaign money, I haven't seen a word of it in months; meanwhile, the new, blue-collar-looking Adams signs are everywhere. This is going to be darned close.
Multnomah County Commissioner: Lisa Naito, E4, C8. Lisa's not a portrait of competence, but her opponent is a bozo of the lowest order.
State Treasurer: No endorsement. Too much hanky-panky going on with public money.
Attorney General: Hardy Myers, E3, C9. The corruption in Oregon's state and local government has finally become so blatant that this guy can no longer completely ignore it. But he's not exactly a ball of fire when it comes to the cleanup (or anything else).
State Representative, 45th District: No endorsement. I've been gerrymandered into a district that I have nothing in common with. And our representative, Jackie Dingfelder, is ding-y indeed.
Metro Councillor: No endorsement. We need strong land use planning, but we don't need this layer of government to do it. And Rod Monroe, although a stellar shooting guard when he played for the New York Knicks years ago, has a slight Goldschmidt odor about him.
Multnomah County measures:
26-57, requiring runoffs: Yes, E5, C8.
26-58, salary commission to set salaries: No, E2, C2. This lets the politicians off the hook. If they think they deserve a raise, let them vote for it.
26-59, county lobbyist: Yes, E6, C8. It's a shame that county governments should have to hire lobbysists. You would think that elected representatives at higher levels of government would routinely consult the county on matters of interest to it -- for free. But there's no sense in having Multnomah County at a disadvantage compared to all the other counties, which have these. So let's pay Len Bergstein or whatever the heck his name is a few more tens of thousands a year out of the public trough. Or maybe Bev Stein needs another gig.
26-60, repeals term limits: No, E7, C5. It's time for Lisa and Diane to start thinking about their next jobs.
26-61, county officials can keep one office while running for another: No endorsement.
26-62, shorten term of civil service commissioners: Yes, E4, C8. Er, sure.
26-63, dead candidates replaced: Yes, E6, C9. Sounds good to me.
26-64, repeal county income tax: No, E8, C8. If asked, I won't vote to renew this tax unless and until there's mandatory withholding and better enforcement. But we voted on this a while back, and the tax won, fair and square. So let's live with it for another year and a half.
Statewide ballot measures:
31, election postponed if candidate dies: No, E7, C2. This measure makes sense on its face, but it leaves too much open for the Salem "political process." You want authority to call off an election? How about telling me for how long?
32, mobile homes taxed as houses, not motor vehicles: Yes, E2, C8. Whatever.
33, medical marijuana changes: No, E7, C8. I don't care how screwed up the current law is or how sick you are, nobody should be allowed to have six pounds of pot in their house.
34, state forest logging restrictions: Yes, E4, C2. I've got misgivings about this one, but on reflection I've decided that forest conservation in this state is actually a war at this point, and the bad guys are winning. So here's a vote for the good guys.
35, limits on pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice cases: No, E10, C4. I've already outlined my feelings here. Right now in Oregon, you can find out more about the past screwups of the guy who's painting your deck than those of the doctor who's about to operate on your newborn baby's brain. When that's fixed, and the proposed limit is something like $5 million for a lifetime of excruciating pain, maybe I'll consider this kind of measure.
36, ban homosexual marriage: No, E7, C1. What kind of people are we who would constitutionalize discrimination? We're about to find out.
37, government must pay to regulate property uses: No, E10, C2. Some people just can't handle the modern world. They believe we're all still in some state of nature, and every time they have to stop for a red light, they expect a check to compensate them for the inconvenience. Turn off the Rush Limbaugh Show and get a grip, people.
38, abolish SAIF: No, E7, C9. SAIF has always been borderline crooked, if not outright crooked, but this isn't the answer. The boys at Liberty are every bit as cut-throat and venal, and their weak advertising campaign shows how little their complaints matter to the average Oregonian.