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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Moment of silence for "Donny Reb"

Don McIntire died this past week. He was the guy who brought the property tax revolution to Oregon. He made a lot of enemies doing so, but not us. What he did saved a lot of poor and elderly people from being taxed out of their homes by the insatiable maw of bureaucracy. It was something that needed to be done, and he did it. He was one of those handful of Oregonians -- like Lloyd Marbet and Dan Meek -- who show us what one person can still do to make a difference.

We never met McIntire, but we did take his name in vain when we did a photo spoof about the suggestion once circulated that Gresham should secede from Multnomah County. (The posts were here, here, and here.) We caricatured McIntire, as well as some other public figures, and he was quite the good sport about it. Thought it was funny. That was the whole point.

From what we hear, he was a great guy. We'll be thinking about him as this year's election drama unfolds. Our condolences to his friends and loved ones.

Comments (14)

He was one of those handful of Oregonians -- like Lloyd Marbet and Dan Meek -- who show us what one person can still do to make a difference.

Hear! Hear!

By the way, Jack, have you seen any of the work that Marbet has been doing on nuclear power lately? If not, it's pretty impressive stuff that might be right up your alley vis a vis Fukushima, et al.

Heh...Yeah, it's just the old "smokestack chasing" paradigm updated. From smokestacks, to silicon wafer fabs, to convention centers. Once started, the 'buyers' start shopping around for the best offers, waiting to see who will empoverish their tax base the most to pull them in.

Conventions are reputed to be 'clean industry', but I think it all depends upon how one views the labor sector focused upon those of 'negotiable affections', which MUST be the biggest lobby in this whole convention shebang bidness. More hotel rooms must mean more bidness; at least in their perspective, eh?

So...It seems that Metro is in the bidness of 'pimping for Portland'.

Without proposition 5 the average home in Portland today would have had an annual property tax bill of over ten thousand dollars.

I met him once at a small gathering of Republicans listening to a White House staffer on 43's White House advance team.
talk about working in the West Wing.

Don struck me as a very regular guy with a big smile.

I've read many of the derogatory remarks about Don's passing on other sites. Sadly, most have no knowledge of how 5 helped so many. They don't even deserve answering because of their misinformed nature. And there are so many other giving contributions that Don gave our region. I'll just remember Don's warm, kind and giving nature.

Don was my friend, and I his, for several post-Measure 5 years. He was a lovely man - smart, fun, caring, interested, and a true patriot. Talking politics with Don was a great joy! He lived the saying "That government is best which governs least." I am saddened to learn of his death.

Oh Gosh! Not Don??!! What a great guy. Smart, clever, a little profane, always willing to share a cigar or a well told yarn.
When I carried petitions to get Measure 5 on the ballot we were paying about 3% of the value of our homes in taxes each year. Don McIntyre's work and good will was one of the reasons Oregon and Portland boomed in the 1990's.

Old people?? Hah! Portland's creatives and progressives are tens of thousands of dollars ahead because of him.

Well done, Don. You will truly missed.

Leigh Maynard


I agree with you. What Mr. McIntire did for Oregon has helped countless Oregonians and I will be forever grateful.

Portland was facing mileage rates that were approaching $35 per $1000 in some cases. IN 1990 $30 per $1000 was the average. Had it not been for Measure 5, many of the people that have bought homes over the last 20 years would not be home owners today.

Well done. Thanks for the memories.

Never a big fan of the public McIntire. Did not know the private one. But we need contrarians of both the right and left to keep the other side from running amok. Helping to put a lid on P taxes, as a stand alone, is a good legacy.

As a (marginally) politically aware college student in 1990, I am sure that I voted against Measure 5. I didn't own a home and I went to a state school, so for me it probably seemed like a no-brainer.

After Measure 5 went into effect there was a quick attempt to scale it back with a legislative referral. I remember watching a Town Hall program on the topic (back when TH was really a good show and Jack Faust was moderator). This was my first exposure to Don McIntire.

On the Town Hall panel there was a college student telling a well-rehearsed story about the (drastic) effect of tuition increases in his life. Don didn't shrink at all, instead he focused the question thoughtfully at the student and asked him if he was aware of the amount of public tuition subsidy he enjoyed. When the college kid stammerred , Don politely suggested that every time he lined up to pay his tuition he should thank the invisible taxpayer standing beside him -- "He's the one who pulls two dollars out of his wallet for every one you contribute to your own tuition."

That imagary was devastatingly simple and effective. Don helped to personify that invisible taxpayer for me. I didn't change my politics that day, but it sparked a lot of questions in my mind about things I had previously taken for granted.

Many years later I met Don and related that story to him. He mused about disowning some of his own political beliefs from an early beatnik phase (but never losing his love of jazz).

Don was a pal. We duked it out about politics and it was tough to win a debate with him but my god this guy was sharp. He loved Jazz, wine and very good cigars. He was interested in everything. I will miss my friend....Uncle Don.

Jack, I'm sorry that you never met Don. As you presume, he was a great guy. I was honored to know him for more than 30 years.

And, thank you for noting what is so often left out of the political commentary about what Don did; the fact that "he saved a lot of poor and elderly people from being taxes out of their homes by the insatiable maw of bureaucracy." He would have appreciated that.

Jack, great tributes here to a great Oregonian, Don McIntire. I was a long time member of his Executive Club before moving to California. I'll miss him because he was a wonderful man and a ton of fun to be around. Oregonians should miss him for his legacy of fighting on the side of the taxpayer. And winning.

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