I have gone through the rest of the pending ballot once again, and it's time to fill the thing out. Besides Frederick for Multnomah County Commission, Yes on 39, and None of the Above for Governor, here's the rest of where I'm headed:
For State Supreme Court, I'm getting ready to flip a coin, but leaning toward Jack Roberts. I know Jack a bit, and I think he'd be a refreshing change on the court. He's a former tax lawyer, and he had real clients once. But I fear he's not really interested in the high court job so much as he is in keeping his name in voters' minds for the day when he runs again for statewide office. Sort of like "Supreme Court Justice Kulongoski" -- a politician who hardly stayed on the bench long enough for a cup of coffee. Judge Ginny Linder, on the other hand, has spent way, way too much time in Salem for my comfort level; she's a government attorney at heart. They're both smart enough, but neither is all that attractive.
No on all the statewide ballot measures other than 39 and 44:
Measure 44 makes sense -- poor people should be able to get medicine, for Pete's sake.
Measure 40 (state appeals judges elected by district) is the wrong move. We shouldn't politicize the courts any more than they already are. This one will need a strong turnout against it -- it almost passed last time.
Measure 41 (tax deduction vs. credit) is preposterous -- let's start micromanaging the tax code at the ballot box. Measure 48 (state spending limit) is also bad policy, brought to you by the folks who brought you the kicker. No on both.
No on 42. I think insurance companies should use credit ratings in deciding whom to insure and how much to charge.
No on 43. Of course I'd want to know if my daughter was having an abortion, but if I can't get her to trust me enough to tell me about it, too bad. Kids aren't going to do what this law would require, anyway. They'll run away or wind up in an alley.
Term limits for legislators? It's tempting, but I'm going to say no on 45. There are some good people in there who aren't worth losing, and opening up an incumbent's seat doesn't guarantee an improvement. I would like to see a term limit for the state attorney general, though, who ought to be locking some of our more crooked legislators up.
Campaign finance reform? No on 46 and 47. The best remedy for influence peddling is publicity, and lots of it -- not mechanical limits that are going to be struck down as unconstitutional under federal law anyway. If a ballot measure comes up requiring candidates to file campaign finance reports daily in easily searchable databases, I'm all for it.
On the local measures:
Metro parks bonds: Close call, but I'm voting no. Until we stop handing public resources over to sleazy developers, I don't trust this kind of activity -- particularly in a body like Metro, which is full of Goldschmidt-style West Hills sympathizers. Use the money you're going to blow on the Convention Center Hotel on some parkland instead, folks. Or maybe Dan Saltzman and Jeff Cogen will trade you some of Mount Tabor Park.
Portland police and fire fighters pension and disability: It's a Band-Aid on a severed carotid artery, but at least it's something. Voting yes.
Schools and libraries: Yes. The politicians who decide budget priorities in this city, county, and state are doing a terrible job of it, but let's not take it out on education.
So much for the issues; on to the people:
Three of the four Multnomah County judgeship races are interesting. I'm going with Cheryl Albrecht in Position 31; she's the candidate I know the better of the two. And her opponent looks like a machine candidate, with Neilies like Hardy Myers and Mike Schrunk at the top of her endorsement list. You go, Cheryl.
In the nine-way dogpile for Position 28, none of the names is familiar, and I'm not sure I have the energy to weigh all nine. Somebody help me out here.
Position 37 is the real circus race, with Leslie Roberts running unopposed, or rather, running against herself. All the mainstream media are asking voters to write in Charles Henderson. Sounds good to me. Roberts gamed the system for her own advantage, and is that what we want in our judges? On the other hand, she's the only name on the ballot and will probably win. Good for bloggers -- there'll be lots of drama once she shows up for work at the courthouse.
My congressman and state representative are locks for re-election, and so they're not worth the bandwidth to write about.
I think that's everything, but I know that readers will point out what I've missed.