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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Semper ad hominem

We got some more election porn yesterday -- if you like getting this stuff, it always pays to wait until the last minute to vote. This time it was from some organization fronting for the unions that represent public school teachers and other government employees, instructing us on the correct way to vote. Which is no on Measures 58, 60, and 64:

The main reason given for these recommended "no" votes is the fact that the three measures are sponsored by Bill Sizemore, the villain who takes money from out-of-state righty fat cats and puts it out on the street to collect signatures for their vapid ideas. So often has Sizemore outraged the left that now his authorship is being seen as reason enough to vote against any measure.

Maybe there's something wrong with Oregon's initiative system -- something that ought to be reformed. And maybe Sizemore's breaking the rules of the game -- in which case he ought to be punished for his misdeeds. But I just don't buy the suggestion to ignore the merits and demerits of ballot measures based on whom they come from. Even idiots get it right once in a while.

I'm voting no on most of Sizemore's initiatives, but for the right reason: I have read them, considered their substance, and concluded that they stink (except for 59, the unlimited Oregon income tax deduction for federal taxes).

Comments (21)

I hate our initiative system. It allows the legislature to abdicate its responsibiliy and let important decisions be made on impulse and emotion by low-information voters. It's a terrible way to run a state.

Our elected representatives should decide if 15% of lottery money needs to go to public safety. If we don't like their choices, toss 'em out.

Having giant lobbies and whack-jobs who live in Nevada running the state by ballot measure is a disgrace.

The anti-sizemore angle is getting kind of ridiculous. It is blanketed in ads all over every channel right now.

The anti-64 arguments have morphed into something so misleading that they are arguable fraudulent.

They are now claiming in a tv ad that the M64's restrictions on on the use of public resources leaves a loophole for Wall Street/Corporate interests.

Balderdash. I just reviewed the text of the measure.

It is about limiting the use of public resources to further political activities. Corporations are specifically included as a type of "entity" subject to this regulation (along with individuals, associations, LLC's, partnerships, etc.)

Since every major newspaper is opposing M64, the unions will get a pass on being truthful once again.

One of the reasons I'm voting for M64 is that I'm tired of the unions lying to me with the benefit of public resources.

Let them collect their own political dues to spread lies, don't make the rest of the state complicit.

"I hate our initiative system. It allows the legislature to abdicate its responsibiliy"

I think the reverse is true. Most intiative pass because they address issues the legislature won't

I vote "no" on all Sizemore measures because I think he should go out and get a real job instead of sponging off of Loren Parks. I'm do it for Bill's own good. Really.


Good for you, Jack. Seems most people in this state see the "R" or "D" next to a name and vote accordingly.

I think the reverse is true. Most intiative pass because they address issues the legislature won't

Then the legislature overturns our votes anyway...

"... idiots get it right once in a while." No they don't. Hence the designation: idiot.

Sizemore never could have arrived, and wouldn't have, without the unrecorded massive campaign contributions of hate-talk broadcasting donated on his behalf, illegally breaking donation limits.

The other ones I always vote down only based on the name of disrepute, is McIntire's and Mannix's ... who, btw, received another $10,000 illegal donation from LIARS, today, who (secondly) admitted the 20 minutes (for Mannix to state the declarative sentences: "vote Yes on Measure My1," and "vote No on Measure Against Mine," and, "vote Yes on Measure My2"), was an illegal campaign contribution -- admitted when LIARS stated, to his producer, regarding the break from scripted format, "we do that for Mannix."

In order to explain it is NOT done for any others. At the same time perjuring the question of who "we" is, when it all and only is one person, demonstrably: LIARS, making the determination and campaign expenditure. Or declining to. But it is not his purview; the public airwaves are OURS. And it is not his money; it is his commercial sponsors' money, which are tagged as supporting and endorsing extreme rightwing, supremacist hate-talk by LIARS name on their enterprises. Ron Tonkin 'family' of car dealers. Alex Laws's Timberline Dodge. Bill Gander's Standard TV & Appliance. And a few more ... though the many ones from earlier years got smart, one by one withdrawing their sponsorship of the rightwing extremist fascist hate-talk as it shrinks and shrinks in a tinier minority, and labels its members with the black letter 'L' for LOOOZERRR, as Mannix and Sizemore are about to have hanged on them again. Same as LIARS, they belong in jail, or antisocial anger-management rehab treatment at least, and out of public affairs, the public air, and the public's ear.

Jack, I don't see why you would waste your eyes even reading anything Sizemore (or Mannix or McIntire) writes, nevermind considering it. It is certain it would not even have been written unless it harms you, and community, and aggrandizes them.

"I think the reverse is true. Most intiative pass because they address issues the legislature won't"

The legislature doesn't have to address anything because they can drag their feet until some union, or corporation, or Loren Parks can come in and bankroll a ballot initiative to legislate for them.

Governance by citizen ballot initiative is a terrible idea. I don't have any fricking clue how English-as-a-second-language should be taught. There are people better than Joe Shmoe to be making decisions like these.

The reason the legislature overturns ballot initiatives is because most of them are idiotic.

I automatically vote the opposite of what the union money tells me to do. I learned a long time ago that the unions are controlled by scum and that therefore a no vote on anything they recommend is good policy.

You're missing one other important aspect -- along with read goes analysis and understanding. Even the best intended bill can have horrendous consequences.

The problem is not with our initiative system nor our elected officials. We elected those blokes and need demand representation from them.

As to the initiative system, the problem is with Oregonians falling prey to distortions, innuendo, and misguided "self-interest." When we stop rewarding those that use our initiative system for their own nefarious (IMO) purposes, the issue will be resolved.

If Sizemore was using the courts, instead of the initiative process, to go after the unions (disclosure: not a union member and never have been) and repeatedly coming up empty-handed, Sizemore would already have been branded a vexatious litigant by the courts and be required to get advanced permission to file suit.

Whether you support unions or not, the dues collected would be better spent on relief for workers who have lost their jobs or had their hours or pay cut because of the economic crisis than on fending off frivolous initiative measures. And how much state administrative time and cost have been devoted to these measures?

A cozy hide-away in Mexico for Sizemore, and an empty wallet for Oregon workers. Something is wrong.

Demonizing the messenger isn't a fail- safe method for addressing any kind of problem. The lack of intellectual prowess that has resulted in Ds suggesting a no vote on anything with Sizemore's name on it is, imo, an example of why problem solving seems to be so difficult in this state. Attack the issues, not the messengers. I wonder how many times this has to be said before it begins to catch on?

Thanks for rising to Sizemore's defense.

While I've never met him, but I do believe he has been persecuted by the unions and the Secretary of State's office. I met his old sidekick (Don Macintyre?), and really thought he was a regular guy trying to make a difference.

Folks who don't like the initiative process are people who don't believe in government of the people, by the people, and for the people. They are folks who want all their problems solved for them. They are people who don't want to to have to think about anything but what next car they're going to buy or the next movie they're going to see. They want all the privileges of a democracy without the responsibilities. They want elected officials to make all their decisions for them, and bail them out if they fail. They're losers.

"Attack the issues, not the messengers."

No. Overall it's supposed to be debate and discuss the issues, reaching consensus or, at least, settlement. So enacted.

Yet the point of contention is The Issues themselves. "Abortion" is NOT an issue. "Raising taxes" is NOT an issue. "Gay marriage" is NOT an issue. "Illegal immigration" is NOT an issue.

The Republican perversion of politics, (and perversion of the GOP), has been the raising of ruckus and hate, which are phony issues, to debate.

Issues arise from the people, the constituents, (NOT are raised by 'campaign advisors'). Representative politicos are to listen to the people's issues, first of all, then debate, etc. Instead, and in sedition, the extremist evangelistic rightwing has been making up and sensationalizing Shock-and-Awful phony issues, and beating the country to death with the bloody stupid stumpings.

Emphasis, above, on: Has been. That ends. It's over.

The True ISSUES are: Unity, in our recognition of plurality and diversity as highest priority, (you know, e pluribus unum -- "united in our devotion to plural in us," maybe you've seen it, it's on all the money); Justice, no one above the law, equal rights under the law, one person = one vote, corporations = no votes; domestic Tranquility, abide one another, sedition its own condemnation; common defense of inhabitants thwarting incursions, i.e., National Guard -- NOT Pentagon, NOT violence-voiced nationalistic militarism, NOT invasive offense as has been the only appropriations enacted starting with 1898 foreign interventions, in Cuba, in The Philippines, and in the world ever since by the aggressor criminal USA; general Welfare -- comfort the aged, the orphan, the widow, the downcast, downtrodden, dispirited, and afflicted, teach the newbies, house the homeless, heal the sick, hear the grief-stricken, celebrate humankind amenity, honor heritage, and every once in a while raise the dead; act and enact for our Posterity, as before was acted and enacted for us -- leave it better than we found it. Those are The ISSUES, and the Republican LIARS make-believe-monarchs' divined-righteousness sermons are NOT.

And there's this on-the-ground report of a Republican in the reforming: TomGram: Republican Nosedive in Pennsylvania, by Robert Eshelman, October 28, 2008.

For this alone:
If this is the bellwether political battleground that so many pundits and journalists make it out to be, then a mass defection from the Republican Party is underway. It's no longer a matter of a single candidate's inability to connect with voters, but perhaps a wholesale rejection of what the party has to offer.

"The economy is definitely the number one ISSUE for everyone here," Shane says. "I don't hear people talking about gay marriage."

NOR is it a matter of income taxation contra spending taxation contra held-estate taxation being debated, while the issue IS none of the taxation has bought us representation.

Only it has bought us, instead, self-serving defilers of debate who conspire insurrection using messengers (such as Sizemore) to inflict vexation of taxation. Taxes is a good thing as long as it buys good works and things. And military madness is NOT a good work or thing.

Hell yes attack those messengers. They are off-issue and undemocratic. Also, unlawfully unconstitutional.

Face it folks; the OEA and the public employee unions set and control the agenda in the State of Oregon. And anything that weakens these people financially or otherwise is just fine with me.
By the way, since the country is now officially in a recession, don't count on seeing many public employees losing their jobs - even though the State has a projected $500 million dollar revenue shortfall according to the State Economist. Ted and the rest of the union shills in Salem will see to that.

You're damn straight that I'll vote against anything with Sizemore's name upon it. Are we supposed to expect some sort of conversion experience on his part? Is he suddenly going to decide that the Grover Norquist "starve the beast" approach to (mis)governance is not not great after all? Is he going to close up whatever racketeering scam he's running and engage in meaningful discourse about public affairs? I think not. But WTF, all the folks who are still hanging on to the politics of envy and resentment, onto union-bashing, onto every other silly distraction that the GOP spinning for the last 40 years, go for it, Sizemore's you man.

I don't like the ballot initiative system because initiatives don't have to go through the same rigorous process before they get on the ballot as a law in the legislature goes through before it gets passed. (Not because I don't believe in a government of the people, for the people, and by the people...)

When a law is sponsored and voted on by our DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED legislature, it has been vetted with lawyers, with agencies, with experts, and usually debated quite a while. Sure, it takes a long time and is not perfect - it is a lot better at working out the kinks BEFORE it is made into law. (Stinkers can make it through, but it is harder...)

With a ballot initiative, it can be made into law simply because the concept sounds nice. But "Joe the Plumber" and "Roy the Tow Truck Driver" don't have the technical or legal expertise - as nor do I - to properly vet the language of the law. And sponsors know this, so they write ballot measures with titles that are misleading. The measures pass but create more problems then they solve.

If you just go by the ballot titles this year, most of the measures sound pretty good. But what happens when we actually enact those laws? How will it work? How well has this been thought out?

This is how things like Measure 37 get through. There are concepts that are great ideologically but they are extremely hard to write into a law which impacts 3 million people - each one different!

Ballot initiative processes like what we have now provide a smoke-screen which make people think that they are having more of a say in governing. But who writes and sponsors these measures? Is it *really* the people? Or is it a select few and their special interests?

Will Bill Sizemore meet me face to face and listen to my opinions and concerns about his ballot measures? No, probably not. But my state senator and representative will (and have).

So I urge everyone to think carefully about what writing and enacting laws actually means. Because at some point in time you, your family, and your friends will be at the wrong end of one of these laws and you will want to make sure it was well thought out and fair.

"Hell yes attack those messengers."

So much for freedom of thought. If you do not like a political issue, how about addressing it on the merits?

There must be some room amidst your ramblings and borrowed screed to string together a logical thought or two. Right now, you sound like a left-wing Karlock - just less concise.

"Governance by citizen ballot initiative is a terrible idea. I don't have any fricking clue how English-as-a-second-language should be taught."

And you think the Legislature does? WHy do we even bother having school boards then since they have to decide on things they may not be experts in?

But who writes and sponsors these measures? Is it *really* the people? Or is it a select few and their special interests?

Which different from Salem and Washington, DC how?

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