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Friday, June 26, 2009

You say stop, and I say go, go, go

You've got to keep an eye on the Oregon Legislature toward the end of any session. Especially if they start monkeying around with the elections rules. Remember when they prohibited party members from signing petitions to put independent candidates on the ballot? Sleaze, pure and simple. (I think they recently undid that one -- I hope so.)

Now there's a flap about their latest maneuver -- a bill that will change what a "yes" or a "no" vote means when legislative measures such as tax increases are referred to the voters by petitions. Under current law, if you want the Legislature's act to stand, you vote "yes," but under this new bill, if that's what you want you have to vote "no."

The business community and the tighty righties, who are about to drag the latest tax increases onto the ballot, are crying foul. Meanwhile, Steve Novick and the Blue Oregon chorus say everything's fine.

You can debate all you want which setup is more or less confusing in and of itself. But one thing's for sure: changing how these things work virtually guarantees confusion.

On the other hand, you can be sure that the advertising campaign over this year's tax ballot measure(s) will be shrill and ubiquitous. By the time people get to vote, we bet that not too many will make a mistake. But there will be some, and that's a drag.

Salem is a weird place.

Comments (14)

"Meanwhile, Steve Novick and the Blue Oregon chorus say everything's fine."
Maybe Merkley is the better man to be our Senator.
I voted for him.....never again.
As for Blue Oregon, loonies of a different persuasion.

I voted for him.....never again.
Meaning Novick

Sadly, I think they got it from Austin. Dallas just had a similar election, where the weasel words ran full-tilt on a vote to prevent city funds to be used for building a new convention center hotel. If you were against the plan for A.H. Belo and other city greedheads to soak Dallas for the cost of a new hotel, you had to vote "Yes", but if you were in favor of socialism that only benefits the rich and powerful, you had to vote "No."

Interestingly, the "No"s won it, but only barely, and now there's the question as to whether Dallas has enough money to subsidize this mess to completion. After all, we're still paying off the American Airlines Stadium, among other fiascoes. That said, I'm just waiting for Sam Adams to try this trick. "If you want me to leave and never darken Portland's restrooms again, vote 'Yes'. If you want me to stay and cause even more damage, vote 'No'. Either way will be a mandate from the masses that I shall not be ignored."

The idots in the capital know this will be voted down during the election. That's why they are playing these stupid games, hoping enough people are not paying attention and vote no for a yes vote.

What the legislature is proposing is actually very clear. When a referendum is placed o the ballot it asks voters: Do you want to rpeal the law that......? It's similar to the referral the egislature placed on the ballto in 1997 that says "Do you want to repeal the Death with Dingity law yoou passed four years ago? And if the effort to succeed in placing a Sam Adams recall question on the ballot succeeds, the question will be: Do you want to recall Sam Adams? It's pretty simple. Really. Yes or no. Do you wat to repeal this law. Call it the People's Veto.

And people say Portland is weird.

OK, so what is more confusing:

Vote NO for NO new taxes, or

Vote YES for NO new taxes

These guys won't be happy until they kill the entire referendum process.

This is what happens when you have one party control. If you don't like it, vote them out.

Maxgramm pulled that completely out of his @ss.

The caselaw in Oregon is clear, when an act of the legislature is referred it loses its status as law and cannot regain it unless approved by the voters.

The referendum process is not a "veto". It transfers the authority to enact a proposed law to the people.

There is a hundred years worth of case law supporting this.

Sounds like a peek inside the sausage factory. yuck!

There is a hundred years worth of case law supporting this.

Unfortunately, we seem to no longer be a nation (state) of laws, but a state of raw political power. “What do you mean that my side can’t vote to make No mean Yes? Isn’t this 1984?”

I guess I don't see the problem here. The rules of the game are always subject to manipulation. All this is doing is saying that you vote affirmatively to keep things the way they are and vote negatively to change things.

How is this any less phony than requiring a double majority, so that not voting=voting no?

The double majority is not phony; it is similar to requiring a quorum before a political body can conduct business.

Changing the meaning of a Yes or No vote on a referendum would abrogate 100 years of case law on how referendums work. More than changing the rules of the game, HB 2414 as amended would stand the rules on their heads and tell us that up is down, war is peace, and politics is next to godliness.

Why do we put up with this? Why?

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