Measure 49 Ad Deception

KGW aired a segment examining the deceiving claims made in an advertisement aired by opponents of Measure 49:

The Yes on 49 Campaign further debunks some of the claims made in the advertisement:

False allegation: “The politicians refused to have public hearings.”

TRUTH: The Joint Special Committee on Land Use Fairness held nine public hearings during the 2007 legislative session on reform of Measure 37, at which 369 Oregonians from all around the state testified. Measure 49 is the result of that work. To say that the public didn’t have input not only is false but it is simply absurd.

False allegation: “They crafted a ballot title meant to deceive voters”

TRUTH: The people behind No on 49 filed a federal suit because they didn’t like the ballot title that clearly indicates, unlike in 2004 when Measure 37 went before Oregonians, what voters are voting on. A federal judge soundly rejected this challenge to the ballot title for Measure 49 (Grudzinski, et. al. v. Bradbury, et. al.).

In September, 2007 Judge Ann Aiken wrote “…plaintiffs’ argument is fatally flawed….” and “Plaintiffs raise an 11th-hour challenge to a ballot title and explanatory statement customarily included with ballot measure and request that Measure 49 be submitted to the voters without any title or explanatory statement, undoubtedly causing confusion or questions in the minds of the electorate.”

Read the rest. Discuss.

Comments

  • Geoff (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Sorry, I was one of the ones who testified and I also listened carefully to each of the other "Fairness" hearings, either in person, in the overflow room on a large TV screen, or at home over the web.

    First, the Democrats "suckered in" four Republicans to serve on the "Fairness Committe." Then they suckered in two of the four Republicans into joining a smaller "work group" which met in sessions closed to the public.

    When those sessions deadlocked--and with mutual, symmetrical accusations of bad faith--the five Democrats on the larger committee totally blew off any and all contributions from the four Republicans for the entire rest of the process. The Republicans made their feelings about this abundantly clear during the sessions. (Just take the trouble to read the record, if you don't believe me).

    The proposals which morphed finally into Measure 49 were never shown to the four Republicans during the entire process, start to finish--nor were they ever submitted for public comment at any time during this exclusively Democrat process. The Republicans were permitted to see everything in print at the same exact time as the general public.

    All public comments submitted, like mine, were merely about Measure 37 issues, and about fairness in land use planning in general--nothing more specific. For example: the amazing proposal in Measure 49 that in the future, all losses in property value amounting to less than 25% of total property value, caused by future "downzoning" or by other new restictions, not yet dreamed up, would not merit any compensation by the State, PERIOD, was never discussed. Nor was the principle discussed that the damaged property owner, in the future, had the entire burden of proof, appraisals, fees, etc. and the entire responsibility for all legal fees in an argued "taking" case, rather than vice-versa (as it is clearly spelled out in Measure 37). These "minor details" NEVER CAME UP during the public "Fairness" hearings.

    In the last open session, which I attended, Larry George hit the nail on the head by saying that the really sad thing about the whole process was the missed opportunity for a meaningful and lasting compromise. All the parties were there, much meeting time, a forest of trees made into paper, etc. was consumed--for NOTHING!

    If Measure 49 passes, Oregonians can expect years of litigation, acrimony, and public bickering, practically ad infinitum. I don't see how any sensible onlooker could believe that this little election will be the end of it. Even Mrs. English (one of the little old ladies who supposedly deceived everyone) will fail to get what she was after under Measure 49: nothing but the three lot option will be open to her, contra the claims of Measure 49 proponents, because she is on "high value timber land," which is closed to anything but the three lot option. 700 yards from Portland's Urban Growth Boundary!! Is there anyone left in Oregon who truly thinks it is fair to downzone private property in a location like that, with no public compensation, to ONE lot on 23 acres? Or even three 8 acre lots on 23 acres?

    Mrs. English wished to create 8 residential lots, for her children and for retirement income, of approximately two to three acres each. Is that too much to ask for a location 700 yards from the Urban Growth Boundary? After fifty or sixty years of ownership?

  • (Show?)

    You make a lot of allegations - and state some possible facts.

    You even say "Just take the trouble to read the record, if you don't believe me"...

    But you never provide any links to substantiate your claims. Can you post some sources, Geoff?

  • Geoff (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The Oregon Legislature, to my knowledge, has not put transcripts of their committee hearing on the web. But these hearings definitely were transcribed--I could see this taking place during the meetings.

    I cannot imagine that it would not be possible for a citizen to go to the Statehouse, make the proper inquiries, and thus be able to view the relevant documents, one way or another.

    But perhaps even more importantly, most of the Republicans involved in the hearings have made public statements complaining about unfairness of the process and describing it in the exactly the same terms as the ones I have used. ( Parenthetically, I have always considered myself a "Democrat" and have voted for all Democrats in the Presidential elections, starting with MCGovern. I certainly did not vote for either Bush, or for Gordon Smith) Many of these statements have been reported accurately in the press--even by the Oregonian, amazingly. To my knowledge no Democratic denials of these precise details of how Measure 49 was written, refined, passed and sent to the voters, have appeared. I would be grateful if you, Ms. Chisolm, could point me to any statement, by Rep. McPhearson or his bearded Senatorial colleague (Whose name escapes me), for example, denying that the Democrats ran the entire process, soup to nuts, exactly as I have stated. No Republican was involved in any part of the process, except through the foolish act of allowing themselves to be suckered in at the very beginning, thus possibly lending some false and misleading authority, unfortunately, to what turned out to be anything but a "Fairness" process, or a process which was bipartisan in any way.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Why should Republicans be involved? They're in the minority.

  • William Neuhauser (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I was at one of those interminable hearings too, waiting hours to give my two minutes (even though I was among the first on the list) and staying to listen for long after. The hearings weren't about Measure 37 per se, since that was existing law, the point of the hearings was to understand the impacts and possible solutions for the problems of Measure 37. The whole point was about the future and what legislation/Measure to write.

    The legislature gathered enormous input on the problems of Measure 37 and received an enormous number of recommendations for the future. The bipartisan group haggled a lot and talked over a lot of issues and presented a lot of positions and ideas. That figured into the resulting measure.

    Complaining about compromise and fairness is just being a sore loser. If you are in the minority, you compromise or you get what the majority wants. Compromise is how you get anything. The majority had no reason to prevent participation and a great deal to gain from it.

    But for some reason, the Republican leadership decided to make this a partisan issue and not compromise, although a great many Republican as well Democrats in their constituencies, in aggregate making up a substantial majority believed that Measure 37 need to be fixed or scraped. Polls have shown that fixing Measure 37 is non-partisan in the electorate; it is only partisan among the elected Republicans. The last poll I saw on it, only about 12% of Oregonians thought Measure 37 should stay as is. (So, unless the Republican Party is shrinking faster than I'd realized, this is a bipartisan position amongst the voters:-)

    Geoff, you many not like the results. The elected Republicans may not like the results. But you know, in the end, the legislature didn't pass a law changing Measure 37 at all. As Brian Clem (D-Salem) said, "We've got the ultimate public hearing. 'It's called an election.'"

    Clem's comment is much more insightful than Larry George's (R-Sherwood) disingenuous comment. George is a creator of and defender of and funder of and recipient of funds from Oregonians in Action who invented Measure 37. In fact, the Oregonians in Action PAC is a candidate controlled PAC, and Larry George is the candidate who controls it (as well as several other PACs and his campaign fund that slosh funds back and forth). He never had any interest in "compromise"; Measure 37 was his baby.

    The voters will decide if they think what the legislature developed in Measure 49 is better than Measure 37 left as is.

    (FYI, Geoff see Kari's photo, as Kari is too polite to say anything.)

  • Geoff (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Mr. Bray, I didn't say they "should" be involved. Some people, however, in fact many people, mistakenly believe that they WERE involved (in formulating M 49), and some of them even believe that the public was involved. Neither is true. The Dems did it all alone. And in private. Not in public. And that's all the "misleading" TV ad against 49 said.

  • Amanda Fritz (unverified)
    (Show?)

    We heard a No on 49 radio ad multiple times on KUGN driving down I-5 and back today. It asserts "7000 Oregonians will lose their property if this passes". Does anyone know what this could possibly reference? It doesn't say "will lose their property rights", it says "will lose their property".

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Of course the public was involved. Measure 49 was crafted by our political representatives. We elect them to draft and pass laws. Rather than pass this law directly, they referred it to us. Where's the grief? If you don't like the proposed law, either vote against it, or vote against the legislators? Otherwise, shut up. As I said, you, and your Republican allies, are in the minority, and your voice simply isn't relevant, despite how loud you bray.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    And not all Republicans oppose 49, esp. not the ones active in Farm Bureau. Don't forget, the Governor and St. Senator responsible for SB 100 and LCDC were Republicans.

    Also, I got an email from a friend saying lots of the stuff blamed on the state, LCDC, SB 100 was actually done by counties.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The correlation between party affiliation and Measure 49 vote is almost certainly strong. You can get a sense for this by visiting measure37.com and noting the pejoratives used against Democrats ("Democrat party").

  • (Show?)

    Geoff, I disagree with Peter Bray although I support Measure 49. But I do agree with William Neuhauser.

    In recent years it has been the Republicans (nationally as well as in Oregon) who have taken the complete exclusion of the minority opposition to new extremes. It doesn't make me happy when Democrats follow suit. But this is not a case of such a thing. The whole approach degrades our political culture.

    As Mr. Neuhauser perhaps implies, a tactical decision by Republicans not to participate in meaningful negotiations because they think it to their electoral advantage really is their own bad choice and no one's fault but theirs.

    The funny thing about the supposed polarization of the country is that the whole of the dominant political culture of both major parties in the U.S. could be located within one of European Christian Democratic parties. It is an incredibley narrow range excluding lots of potentially good ideas, and is a tyranny of the center-right. The "polarization" is merely the coarsening of political discourse with partisan name-calling and unfounded attributions of bad motives to opponents. It is an example of what Freud called the narcissism of small differences.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Is it, or is it not, true that the legislature did something to prevent the normal course of having the atty general write the ballot title and then have it subject to Oregon court review?

    Is it, or is it not, true that M49 allows the taking of 95% of value before compensation is required?

    Is it, or is it not, true that M49 forbids any challenges where the property is within an urban growth boundary.

    Thanks JK

  • Geoff (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Mr. Bray, What about Mrs. English? Do all good Democrats believe that it is OK to downzone private property 700 yards from an Urban Growth Boundary so that only one residence can be built, without public compensation, by calling it "High Value Forest Land?" Should all those who think this is unfair "shut up" simply because they are in the minority? Are you running for office?

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I believe that English has received more than enough personal attention from the legislature. The fact that she is still moaning bears evidence to her, or her benefactors, true motivations.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Is it, or is it not, true that the legislature did something to prevent the normal course of having the atty general write the ballot title and then have it subject to Oregon court review?

    They are within their rights to do so. Or would you have preferred they pass the law themselves directly? I imagine you would complain about that too.

    Is it, or is it not, true that M49 allows the taking of 95% of value before compensation is required?

    No, it is not true. Stop parroting OIA talking points.

  • Brian (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Geoff, have you actually read Measure 49? Sure doesn't sound like it. I couldn't find anything in the Measure (which is HB 3540) that speaks about a 25% reduction in value not being eligible for compensation or a waiver.

    This was in earlier versions of HB 3540, but not the final version. I'm virtually certain. Just did a search of HB 354o for "25,", "twenty-five," and "reduction." Try it yourself: http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/nov62007/military_vp/m49_text.pdf

    Found a lot of references to how a claimed reduction of value is calculated (if a claimant wants 4-10 home sites), but nothing about what you said is in Measure 49.

    So please, get your facts straight. You're just echoing the lying OIA No on 49 TV commercial. Think for yourself. Don't trust Oregonians in Action. Hunnicutt and company love to spread untruths, just like they love to spread asphalt over irreplaceable farmland.

  • Geoff (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Mr. Neuhauser, Thank you for your comments and your helpful correction of my unintended mistake re. Mr. Chisolm. (Sorry)

    I have several comments on what you wrote. First, I agree that our political culture is degraded and I don't know what can be done about it.

    Second, on your contention that the nine preliminary public hearings "figured into the resulting measure," I disagree. I heard all nine, and find the contents of Measure 49, by and large, were not discussed at all. I gave two concrete examples--the 25% rule and the reversal of the responsibility for costs and fees. I challenge you to find any mention of these issues in the transcripts of the public hearings.

    Third, I am one of the alleged 88% who think Measure 37 needs some changes and refinement. For example, I think that the transferability issue should have been resolved in the legislature promptly and in isolation, rather than used as a perverse legalism to preserve the logjam. The public intent was clear. I'll bet that 88% of the people agree with me on this. Someone should take a poll that might actually be useful.

    Fourth, I don't like how the Democrats proposed to change Measure 37. I think their proposed "fix" is devisive and unwise. It is sheer folly to have a land use program as ambitious as Oregon's without firmly putting in place a fair process for appeal and compensation. This failure belongs to the legislature circa 1973-4, up to the present, and not to property rights advocates, who are simply asking the legislature to do its job--a problem which has been festering for over three decades and which cannot be solved by amateurs. Measure 49 will put nothing to rest and will simply prolong the acrimony.

    I disagree about the insightfulness of Clem's comment--to me this is purely naked power politics at is absolute worst. Presenting a "choice" between two evils is not statesmanship, and ultimately will not be good for Oregon, for it merely preserves the highly unsatisfactory status quo. I won't attempt to read George's mind, as you claim to be able to do, but I do not believe either he or OIA knew in advance all of the possible effects of Measure 37. Rather, having been delayed for four more agonizing years while their constituency continued to die off, their heirs effectively disinherited, they crafted a very simple measure, not perfect, but one which might break the logjam and survive even more reactionary legal challenges. Unfortunately, Measure 49 puts the logjam right back in place. From Democratic leaders, Oregonians deserve better than this. Democrats like myself seem to have no place to go.

  • (Show?)

    Anyone who's tried to compromise with George on this issue for the past several sessions has been burned, burned, and burned. Deals are made and then retracted when George and OIA go to their timber pal funders, etc.

    Similar things happened early in this session, when two of the four Republicans were willing to work on certain deals and then were reined in by the no-compromise Republican leadership.

    Fingers can be pointed.

    But in the end, this issue had more public debate and hearings than almost any other issue for a decade. That the final details happened after that is standard for bills, especially bills of consequence.

    Compared to how Measure 37 was written in private by a special interest group, Measure 49 is golden.

    Finally, to say the public intent on transferability is "clear" hogwash. Sure, OIA wanted it. But the public wanted to help average people, not developers.

  • LT (unverified)
    (Show?)

    " For example, I think that the transferability issue should have been resolved in the legislature promptly and in isolation, "

    First of all, if OIA had wanted transferability in the language of Measure 37, why didn't OIA put transferability in the language of Measure 37? I am SO TIRED of measure authors complaining because their beloved measure language didn't end up to mean what they thought it meant. I say this as a supporter of a measure where the authors consulted every legal authority they could find, added parts to their measure which had been upheld by courts in other states. The Oregon Supreme Court overruled the measure after a few years. I didn't regard that as any sort of plot, but as the Supreme Court doing what they thought was their job. (Although I wouldn't mind the current court which I think has several diff. members rehearing it, but that isn't likely.)

    Please remember that the 2005 legislature struggled to handle issues like transferability. But by the time it had reached the ---D amendments, it was the end of the session, very few people understood what it said, and of the 2 old friends of mine in the capitol who did understand it, one thought it was great and the other thought the bill had changed so much he said "Sorry, I can't vote for the current version although I liked the original bill".

    A bill which said nothing more than "transferability should be added to the Measure 37 language" (would that meet the standard of "the transferability issue should have been resolved in the legislature promptly and in isolation"? ) would have needed a sponsor, the legislative process all other bills go through (committee hearings, voted out with a due pass recommendation, 16 votes in the Senate, 31 votes in the House). If that support does not exist among current legislators, then the bill would not pass no matter who wants it--that's the way our system of government works!

    Geoff, do you farm? Do you know any farm families? Or don't they matter because OIA rules Oregon and the legislature should just take orders from OIA?

    And as for the crack about Rep. Clem---are you saying a duly elected St. Rep. has no right to make a comment you disagree with? Have you ever met Rep. Clem? Do you know his connection to farming? Do you even know his victory margin or his views on any other issues? Or is it that you believe legislators are supposed to take orders from you or OIA?

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Peter Bray Is it, or is it not, true that the legislature did something to prevent the normal course of having the atty general write the ballot title and then have it subject to Oregon court review?

    They are within their rights to do so. Or would you have preferred they pass the law themselves directly? I imagine you would complain about that too. JK: Thanks for verifying this OIA claim.

    Peter Bray (quoting JK’s quesrion) Is it, or is it not, true that M49 allows the taking of 95% of value before compensation is required?

    No, it is not true. JK: Thanks

    Peter Bray Stop parroting OIA talking points. JK: Just looking for the truth. When both sides agree on a point, there is a fairly high probability that it is true.

    Care to answer the last of those OIA taking points that I asked about: Is it, or is it not, true that M49 forbids any challenges where the property is within an urban growth boundary.

    Thanks JK

  • Yamhill County (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I have 12 children and was intending to subdivide our 50 acre farm into 13 lots so our children could all live near us. If 49 passes can I sue the government alleging discrimination since they would only let us divide 10 ways?

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Yamhill County Resident

  • Geoff (unverified)
    (Show?)

    LT, F.Y.I. I made a rather lengthy response to your comments but the Blue Oregon censor deleted it.

  • (Show?)

    Some years ago (approximately 2000) I called Oregonians in Action with a few questions. They were not well-known at that point and I was curious about their position on property rights, especially on the development of farmland.

    Larry George answered the phone (he told me his name). I asked him whether he thought there should be limits on the rights of a farmer or rural property owner to develop their land. His answer was that as long as the landowner could get necessary services (water, power, road access, etc.) landowners should be able to develop their property as they saw fit. As others have noted, this is essentially a libertarian position on property rights that ignores the impact on the property rights of neighbors and society as a whole. This kind of absolutist position is at odds with the real world, as is so often the case.

    There are places in the US where a more-or-less libertarian set of rules has determined land development patterns. They are not exactly great places to live. And so the ultimate result of adopting a system where land development is guided (for the most part) by market forces is at odds with many things we say we value as a people. And it is not compatible with the farm economy - just ask anyone who lived in areas of California that used to be primarily agricultural and are now suburbanized. Or ask farmers who've been sued by neighbors who want to live in a rural area, just without the folks who actually use their land for farming.

    What seems to be ignored in the discussion over Measure 49 is the fact that land use planning was debated for an extended period in Salem and statewide before Senate Bill 100 passed. Then counties took time to develop comprehensive plans that changed local zoning - years, in some cases. Landowners had ample notice that the rules were going to change. How do I know this? Because in my area of Yamhill County a number of longtime landowners applied for small lot subdivisions (5 acres was common) before the rules changed. They did not exercise their right to develop until the 1990s, when prices rose sufficiently to make the process worthwhile. AND, to further tip the balance away from OIA's endless harping on the issue of compensation, rural farmland owners have benefitted from decades of extremely low taxes, subsidized in essence by urbanites. Taxes on my several hundred acres of Yamhill County farmland are a few dollars an acre per year (no, I am not exxagerating!) I'd be willing to bet that the two George Senators (Larry and Gary) would veto tax increases to pay compensation to landowners, because this is just a ruse to distract from the real goal of Measure 37, which was to shred restrictions on the use of land.

    As to the details of the process that led to the drafting of M. 49, I was in Salem on a regular basis and I can tell you that several of the Republicans involved in the Committee acted as if they were negotiating in good faith right up until the last several weeks of the session. Then OIA pulled strings and the leadership yanked the chains of the Republican committee members, who essentially disappeared from the process. Given the imminent threat of subdivision development, what were the Democrats supposed to do, walk away from drafting and voting on a bill because the Republicans decided to use this as a campaign issue in the 08 elections to win back their majorities? Time will tell if the Republicans were correct in assuming that they could use this issue to bludgeon Democrats (I think they made some very bad assumptions), but to say that the process was rigged from the beginning, or that there was no public input, or that this was all a partisan game, is ignoring what actually happened. It was partisan precisely because the R's decided it was in their best interest to make it so. The fact that every County Farm Bureau in the Willamette Valley (where most of the claims are, and where the best farmland is) as well as the Oregon Association of Nurserymen (see the Capitol Press last week) are supporting M. 49 AND contributing funds (in the case of the Farm Bureaus) says something pretty compelling about what's at stake here.

  • silentMajority (unverified)
    (Show?)
    <h2>Sounds to me like if the farmers can't get their way to use the property how they see fit they should all band together and raise the prices through the roof at Farmers' markets!</h2>
elsewhere

connect with blueoregon