Over at CFM Insider - a political newsletter written by lobbying firm Conkling Fiskum McCormick - they're arguing that the hefty truckload of conservative-leaning ballot measures could hurt, not help, GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton.
Conservative voters in Oregon who feel increasingly alienated from the Bush Administration may have a lot to root for on November's general election ballot. They likely will have a chance to vote for ballot measures to curb state spending, elect judges regionally, limit eminent domain and require parental notification of abortions for girls 17 years and younger. ...
The conservative ballot measures, however, could complicate efforts by GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton to broaden his base and improve his chances to unseat Democratic incumbent Ted Kulongoski. Saxton has a record as a centrist Republican, and his campaign success is tied to attracting a chunk of moderate voters in Multnomah County, where he is known for his work as chair of the Portland Public Schools board.
The proposed state spending limit represents a tricky obstacle to Saxton's ability to hold on to fiscally conservative voters, while appealing to moderates. Don McIntire, sponsor of the initiative, says a spending limit is needed to block the impulse of lawmakers, especially Democrats, to spend every dollar the state collects. That rhetoric matches the spirit of Saxton's successful GOP primary campaign, where he pledged to shake up things in Salem and reduce spending.
Opponents, including many public education advocates, will charge that McIntire's spending limitation will doom K-12 schools in Oregon to permanent funding mediocrity. Many of the moderates Saxton hopes to court will hold this view.
It won't do Saxton much good to woo voters in the middle at the expense of losing voters he already locked up on the right.