Editor's Note: On February 6, we asked BlueOregon readers to suggest progressive ideas that the next Oregon Legislature should enact. Over the next several weeks, we'll post some of these ideas here - and ask you to discuss them. Good idea? Bad idea? Any suggestions?
From Dick in Coos Bay:
Years ago the [initiative and] referendum process was a positive thing in Oregon with good ideas being advanced by regular people. It helped keep Oregon at the forefront as a state constantly trying and using new ideas to create better government. Somewhere along the line it got derailed by the professional "cut taxes at any cost" group. They formed companies for profit to extract signatures from us all at any cost. They hire people from outside the state to gather the signatures and wink at the law that stops them from paying by the signature.
I think we should either do away with this corrupted process or better yet, stop them in their tracks by making it illegal to pay for gathering signatures period. This would do away with the "big business" nature of what the process has become and put it back in the arena of regular citizens advancing good ideas in a strictly voluntary manner. I say if you don't think the idea is worth enough to go gather the signatures yourself (for free) then the idea is undoubtedly not good for the state.
[If you have your own original progressive idea to propose, do it here: "There oughta be a law."]