A Play (Ploy) From the Right

Jesse Cornett

Oh how I would love the time to elaborate on all the news since my last post on initiatives. The level of activity in the waning days of signature season is mind numbing. One thing that appears to be going on right now is a watered-down version of something that happened during Measure 30 when the right-wingers staged a "red-shirted" thug yelling at a "volunteer" signature gatherer. They filmed it and released it to the media. What they failed to notice is that Patty Wentz (with Voter Education Project at the time) was in the video, too, introducing herself to the signature gatherers, pointing to the yelling guy, and telling him that the guy was not with the Voter Education Project - that they would never do that. It sounds like the press got a kick out of it and they got not traction out of their story.

I guess they didn’t learn: fast forward to today...

I was on my way to lunch today at one of my local Portland favorites, West Coast Bento, when I saw a pleasant looking young woman at the corner of NW 23rd and Burnside waving at passers-by and carrying a huge yellow sign with a pair of glasses on the top and a message on the top warning folks to read carefully before signing a petition. I curiously wondered who might have staged such an effort, and look what information I had in my inbox upon returning to my computer after lunch (from an Our Oregon press release):

Reports are coming in from downtown Portland that people carrying signs warning voters not to sign petitions were gathering in front of the downtown library. It's unclear which petitions the sign carriers were referencing. When asked by a passer by who the signature gatherers are with, one said that he was a temporary worker and the contact for who hired him is J. L. Wilson and gave a cell phone number. Wilson is the lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The cell phone number provided by the temporary worker matches J. L.'s telephone number in the "Capitol Club" lobby book. It's unclear why the NFIB is taking this action or which petitions they are targeting.
Let’s be clear folks: this is the Right trying to make the "union thugs" look bad by literally a fabricating a story when non exist. How dumb do they think Oregon voters’ and the media are?

Update: The Oregonian has more on it's blog. Sounds like it is a play, not a ploy.

Comments

  • Aaron V. (unverified)
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    What an odd strategy - hold up signs telling people to read the petitions, and blame it on Our Oregon (since they seem to be the ones who are against signature gathering).

    Maybe the NFIB is trying to keep people away from the signature gatherers so their lobbyists can have more influence with Karen "Gut 'n' Stuff" Minnis.

    They just prompted me to sign the open primary petition. Too bad there isn't a petition to raise the Paris Hilton (estate) tax...

  • Jessica (unverified)
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    Does anyone know if the National Federation of Independent Businesses has endorsed the TABOR spending cap that's circulating? I think they are under investigation for violating Measure 26. Maybe NFIB wants to deflect attention away from that.

  • Patty Wentz, Our Oregon (unverified)
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    Aaron,

    Whoa! Our Oregon is not "against signature gathering." We have filed several measures ourselves. We are against ILLEGAL signature gathering. We are against going against the will of the voters who passed Measure 26 - the ban on per-signature payments - by a margin of 3-1. And we are against lying and cheating and hurting kittens. But we are not against signature gathering.

    And attempting to deflect attention away from shenanigans is a tried and true GOP strategy. In 2004 the Oregon GOP was getting a lot of bad press for illegal voter registration practices. Ripping up Democratic cards, changing registration, etc. Tim Trickey, who is helping to run signature gathering for the right this year was at the time the Multnomah County GOP guy. In an AMAZING coincidence, right when the GOP was getting the worst press, a rock was thrown through the Multnoamh County GOP. Trickey was the "first person on the scene." In another AMAZING coincidence, the security camera for the campaign office wasn't working the night before...so Trickey could only speculate that it was Dems who had done the damage.

    Real classy stuff.

  • Aaron V. (unverified)
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    Patty:

    It seems to me that anything that makes signature gathering more difficult is anti-signature-gathering. Outlawing paying signature-gatherers by the signature makes it more difficult to gather signatures (remember, even Measure 58 used by-the-signature gatherers!), and forces machinations like the "we'll pay you, but you have a quota to meet".

    I am much more concerned about the increased influence of lobbyists as signature-gathering becomes more difficult. The AstroTurf in a veteran lobbyist's office is much thicker than that under any signature-gathering firm.

  • (Show?)

    Forging signatures outright makes it easy to fill out petitions, too. So Aaron, are you saying that seeking to prevent the forging of signatures makes gathering enough of them harder--and thus to want that prevented, you must be anti-signature gathering?

    I think that's a silly argument, frankly.

  • Patty Wentz, Our Oregon (unverified)
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    And now, for something completely different. This just in: One of Democracy Resources managers talked to one of the sign carriers. They have a flyer that says they are working for a group of citizens who are concerned about petitioners misrepresenting measures. But that the sign carriers aren't targeting any particular petitions, and if they get any media inquiries they should refer them to J. L. Wilson. So it's not big secret action. The sign carriers were hired by Employer Overload, who says that they were hired by the Portland Business Alliance.

    Huh. It will be really interesting to learn any more about this "campaign."

  • Aaron V. (unverified)
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    It's nice to see that the Portland Business Alliance has enough money to hire people to carry signs around downtown, especially after their flushing $10,000 down the toilet at the tail end of Ginny Burdick's campaign, and their waste of the First Things First money...

    Could they be pump-priming for a VOE referral campaign?

  • (Show?)

    Will somebody pleeeeze call the Portland Business Alliance and ask them what in the heck they are trying to do. I'm sick of dirty tricks, dirty corrupt strategies to influnce voters and today I'm sick of the wantabee terrorists arrested for plotting to bomb the Sears Tower.. totally off topic...but doesn't everybody just smell a big ol' rat on that one?

  • progvoice (unverified)
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    huh....

    unions pull plug on corporate accountability petition... PBA agrees to work with unions against TABOR... Unions funded VEP... Unknown who funds Patty and "Their Oregon"...

    Now, people on the street and ads on the radio (heard one on KINK today,) "educating" Oregon voters on the initiative process. You don't have to connect very many dots to see what is really going on.

  • Aaron B. Hockley (unverified)
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    Paulie... how is it a "dirty corrupt strategy" to tell folks to read what they sign?

  • Aaron V. (unverified)
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    The mystery grows deeper...

    I asked two separate sign-carriers who they're with - one said the organization's name is "Read Before You Sign," and the other said the organization's name was "Take A Closer Look. I asked them for URLs (none were on the signs) and they said to add .org or .com to the names.

    Guess what? I tried readbeforeyousign.org, .com, and .net. Nothing. takeacloserlook.com and .net were taken by placeholder pages, and takeacloserlook.org was a British religious society.

    There's nothing wrong with the message of "read before you sign," but as Bill Nye would say, "I'm skeptical!" There's an ulterior motive to this, and it isn't helped by the organization 1.) hiring clueless temps to pitch for them, and 2.) not giving any kind of contact information for their organization.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    How dumb do they think Oregon voters’ and the media are?

    They're that dumb.

  • Anonymous (unverified)
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    Aaron H makes a good point. Without actually targetting any particular petition or group of gatherers, this would seem to blanket everyone near-equally.

    And don't I recall a thread on BlueOregon a month or so ago that centered on People should read what they're signing... Well, I gotta say -- ulterior motives aside, that's not a bad idea.

  • (Show?)

    Several progressive organizations have pulled their initiatives this year. They realized that with the difficulty of getting enough signatures this year, they could either devote 110% of their efforts and money to their project, or be able to work on defeating bad initiatives like TABOR.

    It has nothing to do with anyone buying these organizations, it has to do with allocation of recources and making sure really bad measures don't pass. Many are also working to get a Democratic majority in the state house and keep the state senate and the governor's position. When we're successful, we may be able to make many of these changes through the legislature.

  • Ramon (unverified)
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    Progs ought to be distraught. Remember Victor Hugo on politics: "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

    A century ago, true Progressives labored to deliver an initiative and referendum system. Why? To combat the corruption of gov't insiderism and "might makes right".

    Since 1990 and Ballot Measure 5 heralded the revival of the initiative process, modern "Liberals" - the unabashed proponents of vast gov't power - have conducted a 16-year jihad to stigmatize circulators and petition-signing; taking their prosecution to the Legislature, the Courts, the Press ... and the street. The Wentz Gang methods are textbook union-organizer tactics of negative campaigning - "Ain't it a shame ..."

    Voter Elimination Project/Our Oregon ... whatever the label, it's the same force-fed hypocrisy, protecting gov't power under the false banner of Progressivism. These relentless down-talkers have indeed caused many Oregonians to become turned-off to petitioning.

    Dial forward. Now, Progs are abandoning their signature drives because the Wentz Gang have made it ... too difficult! Only the issues with sturdy public underpinning can run the gauntlet - and guess what? After a century, the proposals are still all about curbing abuse of gov't power and putting the voters in charge! It seems that there's a problem here that 100 years of false progressivism has not solved.

    True Progressivism lives on. While it does not survive in the Wentz Gang's regressive universe, the spirit is being kept alive by the Chief Petitioners and, especially, the intrepid voters who are breaking through the blockers and signing petitions to give the voters a say in November.

    Sooner or later, smart Progs will come to their senses and abandon the Wentz Gang. When that happens, the People of Oregon will be on the path to achieving our fullest potential.

  • EJ (unverified)
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    My view is very simple - until the initiative system gets fixed, don't sign any petition and vote no on everything. The abuse that has been going on with the petitions and the signatures has produced GARBAGE for us to vote on. Seems there are a lot of BORED people out there that have nothing better to do than to push their personal agendas on the general populus.

    DO NOT SIGN PETITIONS AND VOTE NO ON EVERYTHING!

  • Erik Sorensen (unverified)
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    Education is important regardless of what political persuasion you are. It is important to encourage people to read what they are endorsing. I can't tell you how many times I have come across signature gathers that fluff what the initiative will do, then say, "this is just to put "it" on the ballot, so voters have a chance to vote on it”. As if somehow it doesn’t matter what it is.

    The name of the game isn’t to stuff the Oregon ballot with garbage that has no business being there. All too often those that have used deception to get initiatives on the ballot have been successful. From my view, not every initiative campaign hatched in someone’s basement deserves to be taken seriously by putting it on the ballot. It is up to Oregon voters --signers of the petitions -- to determine if they are worthy. Each and every signer should know what they are signing and what it will do if it is voted into law.

    Understanding the initiative is as easy as getting a copy of the language, which every signature gatherer should have, reading over it and determining if the measure is necessary. Some may be and some may not be. It has been my experience that the majority of those that have made the ballot had no business being there. Still, that is the system we are saddled with and until it is changed we will have to suffer.

    I remember a comment a few years back from OSU Professor and OPB political analyst, Dr. William Lunch. During an episode of "Oregon Trail", Dr. Lunch made the point that Oregon's version of direct democracy, the initiative system, might not be in the spirit of what our founding fathers had in mind. I am inclined to agree with him and will go a little further. We are a representative democracy and the initiative process, as an aid of our system, has all too often been used like a weapon by the extremes against our elected legislators.

    When bad initiatives are put on the ballot and are passed into law, Oregon’s representative democracy is thrown by the wayside. This is not good for the legislature that has to sort out the mess that has been laid before them. A mess that is, more often times than not, been placed there by those that don’t even understand the ramifications of what they are signing on to.

    Even more problematic is the growing epidemic of Oregon’s legislators using initiative process to get their half baked ideas passed that they can’t get through the legislature. I guess they figure that if they can’t sneak it by those that understand what their idea would do, they might get it by the all-too-willing-to sign Oregonian who won’t take the time to study the measure.

    My advice is if you don't like the decision your legislator makes, then vote for someone else in the next election. Or, if you are a legislator, why don’t you work to convince your colleagues of the merits of your idea, if it has any. We elect our state representatives for a reason and though there may be times that the initiative should be used, it is used far too often.

    A few parting words. Although there aren't as many petitions on the street than in years past, with the many out-of-state astroturf campaigns trying to get their initiatives on the Oregon ballot, I think there needs to be a whole lot more folks on the street warning people to "Think before you ink" (one of my favorite phrases). And regardless of what organization is behind that effort, I hope they put a person on every street corner in every Oregon city.

  • EJ (unverified)
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    Erik - what do you say about signature gatherers who don't live in Oregon and just get the signatures for money on the way to move to another state? Shouldn't a signature gatherer care about the issue they are talikg about? Signature gatherers who don't live in Oregon are nothing more than pretentious mercenaries. They are the people who you talk about in your first paragraph - and it makes me ill.

    This is why we should not sign any petitions and vote no on everything.

  • LT (unverified)
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    I remember a comment a few years back from OSU Professor and OPB political analyst, Dr. William Lunch. During an episode of "Oregon Trail", Dr. Lunch made the point that Oregon's version of direct democracy, the initiative system, might not be in the spirit of what our founding fathers had in mind. I am inclined to agree with him and will go a little further. We are a representative democracy and the initiative process, as an aid of our system, has all too often been used like a weapon by the extremes against our elected legislators.

    Not only that, but I remember B. Lunch in a TV interview saying he didn't think Measure 30 folks could have collected enough signatures to refer the legislative-passed budget to the voters without the help of outside national group CSE and Dick Armey's visit here. (Yes, I know they have a local branch--now called Freedomworks--but could the likes of Russ Walker and Kim Thatcher have done it using only Oregonians?) So the whole "the voters have spoken on Measure 30" nonsense in 2005 (compare the turnout for that to the turnout for candidate elections) was phony. And I hope in the fall all the legislators who said their hands were tied because the voters had spoken on Measure 30 (nothing in the text of that says Oregonians were not allowed to discuss tax reform) find themselves in the political fights of their lives.

  • (Show?)

    Ramon, you crack me up. That whole white-is-black thing is so endearing! Yes, it's the heroic Chief Petitioners, who--undeterred by big government's horrible and vindictive references to the rule of law and our heros' repeated violations of it--are the true progressives. Why, just look at the things they back! I'm sure cutting basic services and remanding the proceeds disproportionately to the wealthiest among us is right there in the dictionary definition of 'progressive.' Distorting and hiding the true intent of initiatives behind cotton-candy phrases of false populism--what could be more progressive than that? Developing a persecution complex via staged events of attack and abuse? Check.

    Yes, Ramon. The right wing, anti-tax--ever conservatives have been nothing but thwarted in Oregon over the last decade. We haven't really given starving the beast enough of a chance yet in our state, but even so you can see how well it's working in the current shamefully limited form. Enjoy that tank of gas kicker return, folks! You're propping up the economy!

    Get a grip. Lies are being peddled on the street, and the public sqaure is open for debunking them. If you were confident the Sizemore et al measures weren't misleading on their face, you'd welcome the challenge to it. (And of course there wouldn't be a need for a challenge in the first place).

  • (Show?)

    You know so much could be solved if the legislature would reduce the number of signatures needed, reinstitute pay per signature and the Sec.State's office would stop their war on the initiative system.

    If there were fewer signatures needed then you would not see people coming in from out of state at the levels you see now.

    If the Sec. State did not hold a signature on a petition to a higher standard than an actual vote on the ballot you would not have only the high dollar campaigns involved in the process.

  • Anonymous 8:09 (unverified)
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    Coyote, I so rarely agree with you that this is a rare pleasure. I'd go even further -- let's put the certification process in the hands of the county clerks rather than the Secretary of State (who would still be a statewide rule-maker). The SoS's only duty would be to add up the 36 numbers.

    As much as I agree with Bradbury on many issues... one single person having so much power over what goes on the ballot and what doesn't is a little startling.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Coyote, I so rarely agree with you that this is a rare pleasure. I'd go even further -- let's put the certification process in the hands of the county clerks rather than the Secretary of State (who would still be a statewide rule-maker). The SoS's only duty would be to add up the 36 numbers. As much as I agree with Bradbury on many issues... one single person having so much power over what goes on the ballot and what doesn't is a little startling.

    3 questions: *Since there is not yet a statewide voter registration database, don't county clerks already have a role?

    *Would County Clerks use diff. statistical sampling? Or are you suggesting verifying all signatures? If the latter, should the timeline be lengthened so as not to generate overtime from night/weekend counting?

    *Your idea would only fly if some County Clerks got behind it. So are there any who agree with the above idea?

  • (Show?)

    Most county clerk offices aren't going to go along with that unless they can hire more staff. They already work their butts off as it is-- and I know that for a fact since I worked alongside them in 2004.

    Also, the state went to a statewide voter registration database some months ago. We talked about it here:

    http://www.blueoregon.com/2005/12/statewide_voter.html

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    To dump the state's responsibilities for petitions to the state government upon local government would only have value in a campaign of divide & conquer. It pits underpowered local governments against national organizations' campaigns. Seeing government itself as the enemy identifies you as a supporter of the alternative offering for managing societal concerns, corporate control. What was it called? Oh yeah, Fascism...

  • Are you kidding me? (unverified)
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    Coyote -

    Why don't we just eliminate the legislature and post on-line web polls and let people truly govern themselves? You have got to be kidding me.

    The initiative process is corrupt and has been captured by big money special interests, organized labor and right wing nuts. Most of the paid signature gathers are hired guns who don't give a shit about the issues or policies they are furthering.

    I believe all paid petition gathers should be required to disclose to voters how much they are being paid and by whom before they be allowed to ask for a voters signature. With candidates you can access this information before voting for them. It should be the same before you give some BS special interest-driven issue access to the ballot.

    Read before you sign seems like good advice to me. I go a step further and say don't sign and just vote no on most of the crap being circulated.

  • EJ (unverified)
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    Lets go a step even further - VOTE NO ON EVERYTHING!

  • Mark@PSU (unverified)
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    Wait, wait, and wait once more? There is a TABOR amendment being proposed? What's all this talk about TABOR? I've read many petitions, but I've never seen a TABOR amendment. Although, I have seen a spending limit petition. It seems disingenuous to say on one hand to make sure to read the petitions thoroughly but on the other hand refer to them as if they are something they are not. I believe that is called slander?

  • (Show?)

    If the picketers at the library, etc., are being funded by the Portland Business Alliance, then I would suspect they are trying to stop people from signing Petitions 8 and 37, the campaign finance reform measures. After all, PBA spent something over $300,000, as I recall, trying to get an initiative on the ballot to repeal Portland's new system of public funding of campaigns. Since PBA is anti-campaign finance reform, it would seem reasonable to assume they are against Petitions 8 and 37.

    I cannot think of another petition out there that PBA would oppose. Maybe PBA would oppose the health care Petition 40.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Mark, the TABOR effort in Oregon is officially Initiative Petition 6: "Amends Constitution: Limits Biennial Percentage Increase In State Spending To Percentage Increase In State Population Plus Inflation"

    Refer to the recent post here, Talkin' 'bout the TABOR Trap.

    Slander is utterance of misrepresentations which damage another's reputation. Misrepresenting the intent of an intiative would simply be lying, a tried and true fascist tactic.

  • PanchoPdx (unverified)
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    Ed,

    "TABOR" is an acronym for Taxpayer Bill of Rights. In 1992, Coloradans passed a measure by that name. With about a dozen tax related provisions in it, "bill of rights" wasn't far off the mark. One provision in TABOR was a spending limit.

    Go ahead and read IP#6, you'll see that it is only a spending limit. It is no Bill of Rights, taxpayer or otherwise.

    The sponsors of the measure have pointed out that it will generate a rainy day fund and have thus begun calling it the "Rainy Day Amendment". You can call that misleading if you like, but the the fact that this spending limit will generate surpluses and the fact that the rainy day funds in other states are usually based on such surpluses, is a straightforward connection most voters can make.

  • (Show?)

    Pancho, call it by any name you like--it's the same arbitrary spending limit structure. It's the same disaster for OR that it was for CO.

  • (Show?)

    Are you,

    Did I say go to online polling? Or are you just being ridiculous?

    Don't you understand that the more hurdles you put in the way of the initiative system the more you are going to drive up the cost of succesfully placing an initiative on the ballot?

    Then the only folks that will be able to participate are those with a huge bankroll.

    The initiative system in Oregon is actually much cleaner than folks may think. Contrary to what you may read in The Oregonian. Initiative campaigns have been turning in bad actors and firing them for years. You just don't hear about that in the press.

    Consider that literally millions of signatures have been gathered in the last 10 to 15 years and only a handfull of people have been found to have committed illegal acts.

    Contrast that with the 50 some thousand illegal votes cast in the last Washington gubernatorial election and youd see that it really is not as bad as some say it is.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Consider that literally millions of signatures have been gathered in the last 10 to 15 years and only a handfull of people have been found to have committed illegal acts.

    Consider the number of potential measures collecting vs. the number which make it on the ballot vs the number that pass.

    EJ may be closer to reality than some would like to believe. Lets go a step even further - VOTE NO ON EVERYTHING!

    Coyote wants to re-institute pay per signature--from a legislature which says "the voters have spoken" when they like the result, silent or worse when they don't. It wasn't legislative action which required pay by the hour and an end to bounties, it was a ballot measure!

    Are you may have been speaking for lots of people who are tired of hearing about the sanctity of the initiative process when he said: The initiative process is corrupt and has been captured by big money special interests, organized labor and right wing nuts. Most of the paid signature gathers are hired guns.

    Don't forget that in 2000 we got the tsunami of ballot measures and something like twice as many went down to defeat as passed. How is that not the voice of the people--saying they are tired of the fat voters pamphlet. Is that not a valid point of view?

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Who cares what the liars called their Colorado effort to shrink democratic government to the point they could "drown it in the bathtub"? (Gawd, that ugly metaphor should reveal the thuggish mentalities behind it!)

    No surprise they would avoid trying to recreate a failed program out of whole cloth in our state. They just imported its worst features.

    Some rainy day fund! An arbitrary cap declaring any increased revenues as surplus irrespective of the needs of the people of Oregon at the time, and locks it behind requirements of supermajorities from both houses of the legislature and passage of a referendum. With the current state of gridlock in the legislature, even a reasonable and necessary program could never pry a dime loose from that miserly program.

  • Tim Trickey (unverified)
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    Ladies & Gentlemen,

    There are a lot of personal attacks and smears going back and forth on this site. I have to say I am often tempted to engage in these very same exchanges, but instead, I am going to offer something productive to the discussion.

    The "READ BEFORE YOU SIGN" folks are not interested in one measure or another. They are interested in stopping what they see as a threat to the status quo. They prefer the current system of government in Oregon where the Republicans are beholden to lobbyists who play both sides against the middle; and the Democrats who are beholden to the unions who play off the sympathies of the voters and well-intentioned politicians to continualy advocate for more "funding" for government (i.e. the growth of the public sector).

    Both sides of the spectrum are wrong. The GOP should not allow the biggest corporations (who give the largest amount of money) to buy their votes and enact policies that selectively promote economic policies that only support certain business interests. Conversely, the Democrats are constantly trying to grow the size and scope of the State and Federal government, thus trampling on the individual liberties of our citizenry and corrupting the free-market by intruding where government has no right or business being involved in.

    Groups like the Portland Business Alliance are just one more group dedicated to preventing the "wild-card" of direct democracy. They fear the power of the average voter, and are convinced that they know more than the average voter about how he/she should live their life. They are fundamentally afraid of the initiative process, because they have watched the people pass measures that no legislative assembly has the courage or the conviction to tackle. They understand that the real threat to the "establishment" is the initiative process, where good ideas (and some bad ones) all get to be decided by a vote of the people...cutting them out of the equation entirely.

    I have been much-maligned and personally targetted for ridicule and harassment for one thing, and one thing only. I have been working to put issues in front of the voters using "ill-favored" paid petitioners. The focus of our press has all been on the process of payment and allegations of violations of M26 (Article IV, section 1b of the Oregon Constitution). What has been overlooked and intentionally ignored is the success that we have been having with the average voter. We are encountering hundreds of voters a day who sign petitions, most of whom are more than happy to sign petitions.

    When considering this fact, a recurring theme comes through: People don't trust politicians. They see our current system as "broken", and the real problems plaguing education, public safety, and tax policy being simply used as campaign ad fodder without any real solutions emerging from any legislative session.

    The initiative process is providing a "valve" for frustration and disgust amongst the average voter out there. Without the ability of the general public to "check" their elected officials, these politicians become too powerful and detached from the average working person, Republican or Democrat. Furthermore, the two-party system makes it even easier to play both sides against the middle (or fringes), and ensure that only policies that are mainstream in the two major parties are discussed or implemented.

    Now while I freely admit to being a registered Republican, and having worked for both the GOP and several Republican elected officials in the past, I can also freely admit that I am not happy with the current state of the GOP. That is why I am committed to preserving the initiative process. It gives individuals like myself who are tainted with the "business as usual" garbage that comes out of Salem and Washington D.C. a vehicle to change our society for the better.

    I understand that I, and the people who I work with, have placed ourselves in the crosshairs for those who oppose the initiative process and fear change, but this is all the price of protecting liberty and the ability of the voter to control their government. And in rare cases, we may have to protect ourselves from the government.

    So my advice to all of you is to follow the advice of the sign holders; READ BEFORE YOU SIGN; but don't forget that your signature is the quickest and most powerful way you can shape the political climate this year. Embrace your rights, and don't fear the people. The health of our peaceful, democratic society depends on it.

  • PanchoPdx (unverified)
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    "Arbitrary" Torrid?

    I suppose it would seem arbitrary to anyone who believes that the state government does not have enough money to spend AND that the voters cannot be trusted with evaluating proposed spending increases.

    For those that think the state's budget problems stem more from a lack of legislative priorities rather than a shortage of funds it is not arbitrary at all. Under the Rainy Day Amendment, state budgets will keep pace with inflation and population growth, but cannot exceed it without a vote of the people.

    The state government would continue to grow (the spending limit can only increase, it can't move backward) but by putting a cap on total spending, incentives to prioritize budgets and to identify waste will increase.

    The surpluses generated will serve as rainy day funds for future recessions.

    I'm not surprised by the efforts of public employee union officials to label it as something else, in order to demonize it.

    <h2>They must be scared to death that voters will recognize the common sense mechanics of the Rainy Day Amendment.</h2>

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