Go back to Washington

By Bob Richardson in Portland, Oregon, "husband and unindicted co-conspirator to regular BlueBlogger Jason Evans."

WashingtonplateWe've all seen them. We know they exist. We may even be related to some, and some may even be our close friends. Vancouverites of course.

In this case, those Washingtonians who choose to live in Vancouver but shop/work in Portland - they get to avoid Oregon income and property taxes, but reap the benefits of shopping with no sales tax.

And I have no real problem with this. Such an arrangement is quite common, legal, and practical -- if you can stand the commute. If if floats your boat, go for it.

But if you do, please, for goodness sake, DON'T TELL ME HOW TO VOTE.

Today, on Airport Way, which sports many a Washington plate headed to Costco, I saw a pickup truck (I'd say redneck truck, but that would be stereotyping) from Washington driving along with a "Yes on 36" bumper sticker.

The occupants of this truck had obviously seen my "No on 36" as they passed, because they matched speed with me and glared (maybe it was just a strong sneer and not a glare) and then zipped away.

They don't pay taxes here; they don't live here; why should they be weighing in on a hot-button local issue? (If they were stopped, I would have asked, "Why do you want to wreck my marriage?") Of course it is their right to encourage whatever vote they want, but *WHY?*.

Are they afraid us queers will start moving to Vancouver in droves, just for the tax shelter, of course, and wreck the place?

PS... Anyone notice, driving around, that there are MORE "Yes on 36" yard signs out than there are "Bush/Cheney" signs?


  • lc (unverified)

    I live in WA and work in OR. I'd be delighted if you would tell me how I could avoid Oregon income tax, because your state doesn't seem to see it the same way you do. NOW can I tell you how to vote, since you'll get to spend some of my money?

  • Jesse (unverified)

    Yeah, Washingtonians definitely pay income tax if they work here. And they certainly should. And we should certainly spend their money as we see fit. They can live here if they want to fully participate.

    I don't know I see a problem with supporting our causes, though. Sometimes issues cross state lines. I mean, I don't like 'YES on 36' for thousands of reasons, but I have solicited--and gotten--help from Vancouverites interested in volunteering for the No on 36 cause. And it's a good thing when folks get passionate enough about something to transcend state identities.

    And with the clear intermingling of WA & OR residents during all hours of the day, I don't think we should harden the state lines anymore than they have to be.

    I'd be interested to know how many border-crossers identify as Oregonians. They certainly seem to participate as such.

  • miles (unverified)

    "PS... Anyone notice, driving around, that there are MORE "Yes on 36" yard signs out than there are "Bush/Cheney" signs? "

    Yes, but that's very bad news for Kerry, because it's driving turnout for Bush.

  • Chris Andersen (unverified)

    I've noticed the preponderance of "Yes on 36" signs vs. "Bush/Cheney" signs as well (bumper stickers to). I'm not sure what it means beyond "defeating the homosexual agenda" being a bigger priority for some people than "re-electing George Bush".

  • brett (unverified)

    Yep, that's what it means. But while they're voting, they might as well tick the Presidential box too.

    Of course, a Bush vote in Washington means a whole lot less than one in Oregon.

  • (Show?)

    PS... Anyone notice, driving around, that there are MORE "Yes on 36" yard signs out than there are "Bush/Cheney" signs?

    The thing is that gay marriage is not a partisan issue. Unfortunately I know quite a few otherwise left-leaning moderates that are against gay marriage. It's a personal issue that some people just can't get past regardless of which side of the aisle they're on. What they don't realize is that, while it is definitely a personal issue, it's a personal issue that has no impact on them whatsoever. Try telling them that. Most of them are all for "civil unions" but put the word "marriage" on it and they won't budge.

    But anyway, that's why there's no direct correlation between Bush/Cheney signs and "Yes on 36" signs. They measure would have a hell of a better chance of being defeated if they did go hand-in-hand, but unfortunately, they just don't.

  • Bob R. (unverified)

    I stand corrected on the income-tax front. It's beside the original point, anyway.

    • Bob R.
  • Randy (unverified)

    I've lived in Vancouver for a little over 2 years after 30+ years of Oregon residency.

    Yes, I pay Oregon income tax.

    And yes -- I'm far more interested and concerned about how Oregon is doing in all areas. I've lived there too long to just not give it another thought.

    Many of the proposed laws will affect me -- I'm a self-employed professional with many different clients.

    Gay marriage (the apparent topic at hand) will affect me. I personally support the rights of gays to marry, but cannot cast my vote on that issue. I have gay friends and gay clients, some of whom are absolute gems of parents compared to some of my hetero clients.

    The medical malpractice cap will affect me (not directly -- but I've know friends and clients who have been severely damaged and, with a cap, would not have the kind of life they do today).

    If I wanted to express an opinion on my car about Oregon ballot measures, I would. The fact I live in Washington doesn't mean I don't care about what happens in Oregon.

    Seems to me perhaps you simply got in a mood because you received a sneer from someone driving a Washington vehicle who expressed a different opinion on the issue. If the driver had been in an Oregon vehicle would you have been similarly put out?

    It is time Portland and Vancouver started working together on issues that affect the liveability of the Portland-Vancouver metro region rather than focussing on the boundary between the states. Things like transportation. Housing. Jobs.

  • Jason Evans (unverified)

    I saw a van this morning with a Kerry/Edwards sticker as well as a "Yes on 36" sticker. I really do feel that measure 36 will pass in Oregon for the simple fact that it does not limit the state from granting "civil unions" to same sex couples. I was fully aware that many Oregon Democrats do not support same-sex marriage but do support unions and benefits for us. This isn't an issue of "a vote for measure 36 is a vote for Bush" at all.

    However, a vote for Francesconi... :)

  • Isaac Laquedem (unverified)

    Comparisons are invidious, as Dr. Johnson once said, but a lot of people who have never lived in that state still have strong opinions about the Florida election of 2000.

  • GA - Keith (unverified)

    "PS... Anyone notice, driving around, that there are MORE "Yes on 36" yard signs out than there are "Bush/Cheney" signs?"

    It just goes to show that people are more comfortable showing off their bigotry on civil rights issues than letting their neighbor know they support Bush.

  • The Prof (unverified)

    Bob, would you have been as exercised if the bumper sticker read "no on 36"?

    Washingtonians have every right to hold and express an opinion on an Oregon ballot measure, just like you have a right to have an opinion on how Missourians or Louisianans should vote on their own gay marriage amendments; or on who Californians should elect governor; or on who the Illini should elect as Senator.

    And you have the right to ignore that opinion because it comes from a Washingtonian.

  • GA - Keith (unverified)

    "Most of them are all for "civil unions" but put the word "marriage" on it and they won't budge."

    That's a pretty sad commentary on the state of progressives in 2004. That so many feel so good about themselves cherry picking civil rights issues because they "just can't get past" some of them.

    Rather than holding your ground, how about considering that people whose relationships you feel 'uncomfortable' about should be treated as equal as you?

    Nonetheless, it is unclear that passing Measure 36 will only affect who gets to be married. As The Oregonian stated last Thursday, "Although its effects are not entirely clear, it could erode or diminish protections for gays and lesbians."

    Such Constitutional Amendments as Measure 36 have done just that, in Alaska for example it has gone on to be used against Domestic Partnership benefits offered employees. In California, it is being used to fight that state's attempt to provide same-sex couples the same rights as married couples; the argument being that any benefits that are 'marriage-like' dilute marriage, as voters defined in that state's Constitutional Amendment.

    If anything, progressives who are not comfortable with same-sex relationships, should vote against Measure 36 until a solution can be formulated by Oregonians. Else, we may find that we have been a part of discriminating against aspects of same-sex protections that we never intended.

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