Election Day Open Thread

It's Election Day, folks. Have you delivered your ballot?

Use this space to make predictions, talk about any race you like, and look ahead to the fall.

Some questions:

* What campaign made you proud? What campaign turned you off?

* Prognosticate for us: Will Measure 49 pass? Will Measure 50 pass?

* Will Clackamas County voters shift from a 3-person council to a 5-person council?

* Where will turnout wind up? (Good info at Beaver Boundary and Land Use Watch.)

* Around the rest of the state, what issues were in play? What's happening where you live?

Discuss.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    My best guesses: M49 will pass, M50 won't (more reason to go vote!). I predict a double nickel for turnout. I also predict that the passage of 49 will satisfy both sides sufficiently that we won't see another sweeping land-use measure in the near future.

    As always, to prevent future embarrasment, I will admit now that I stink at prognostication (just ask President Dean).

  • (Show?)

    I have to admit that our ballots are sitting here. I finally got my husband to fill his out last night (so that's two sets of yes's here for M49 and M50). I'll be running them over to Gresham library later today.

    I certainly hope both measures will pass, but I am worried.

    I do hope Clackamas goes to a 5-person commission. It's silly that they can't even talk to each other because it's a quorum.

  • (Show?)

    From the Yes on 50 campaign:

    Election Night Party for Healthy Kids, YES on 50!

    The Benson 309 SW Broadway Portland, Oregon 97205 Tuesday, November 6th at 8 p.m. 503-239-8200

    And the No campaign:

    R J Reynolds Tobacco Co 401 N Main St. Winston Salem, NC 336-741-5000

    Yes on 49, feel free to post election night info here!

  • Red Cloud (unverified)
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    Measure 49: the work that we have done I think will produce some interesting demographics - I think the measure will turn on the rural vote in the Willamette Valley. If it passes, I think we ought to appropriately remember every Republican, which includes all of the R's in the Legislature. Passage of 49 should have real consequences in November of '08. If it passes, there will be a huge number of politicians scrambling to get on the "right" side of the fence.

    My guess - it will pass because I cannot think of anyone who voted AGAINST 37 who will vote against 49. I've talked to more people that I can count who feel they were screwed when the voted for 37. Our dogs are under the porch; it has been fun watching Dave try to keep his under control.

    50: I was contacted by a "survey" that wanted to know about how I planned to vote. This was back in July and they had a couple of questions about 49, but the real focus was on 50. Every conceivable permutation was thrown at me (I wasn't born yesterday; they were not following an survey script) to raise issues about 50. I kept saying that if Tobacco opposed it; I favored it.

    If 49 passes or if 49 fails, I'm gonna have a hangover tomorrow.

  • (Show?)

    As of 10 AM today the statewide turnout for this election is 50%.

  • Mike (unverified)
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    49 passes and things get ugly in the courtroom. People who have lost the right to use their land as they were entitled to when they bought it go to court and cost the state millions.

    50 fails because the "places a tax in the constitution" has hit home with voters. Most support the healthcare for kids, just not the way they are going about it.

  • David (unverified)
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    I project 49 pass with around 60% of the vote and 50 fail 55-45 in favor of the No folks. When I was in Central OR this weekend, I saw a lot of Yes on 49 Signs and zero No on 49 signs, making me think it'll get substantial rural support.

  • Jeanne (unverified)
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    I wanted not to be, but I was turned off by the pro-50 campaign. What bothered me was that the "message" was disingenuous from the beginning. Anyone who can read the text of Measure 50 could see that it was, in fact, about many things beyond providing health coverage for kids. Had the campaign been a bit better able to engage with questions about all the other uses of the money, and less stuck in the trendy "I will only say what is on my script because voters are too stupid to follow a complex idea" rut, I might have voted for it.

    It feels kind of bad that I voted "no," even though I was not saying "no" to kids' healthcare with my vote. I was saying no to the cheap superficiality that seems to define our political rhetoric these days, and no to a really strange solution. I wish it had been done better, and done in a way that Oregonians would support by a landslide.

  • (Show?)

    Jeanne,

    Unfortunately it is the kids, not the campaign that will pay the price if it loses. I have heard a lot of reasons to vote no that didn't wash in my opinion, but yours is at the top of my list for least justified, most 'superficial'. Kids will suffer, maybe die, because they don't get proper medical care and you complain about the 'campaign'? Remember, perfection is the enemy of the possible.

  • Joanne (unverified)
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    Paulie, where did you get the 50% turnout figure? Secretary of State's website says unofficial ballot returns are at 38% for the cumulative as of 11-06-2007. I'm assuming that those are the returned ballots as of last night or this morning. Unofficial returns as of 11-06

  • Jason Wax (unverified)
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    For what it's worth, I saw more than 80 ballots* deposited as I sat near the drop boxes in Pioneer Square for about 20 minutes just after lunch today. Should be lots of Yes votes, esp. on 49!

    *Lots of people had a ballot in each hand, some folks had a stack, and others were more difficult to discern. This is just my best conservative estimate.

  • (Show?)

    Source: Update info from DPO

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    I was turned off by the extreme amount of severely uptight people over M49 and M50. We need to be more civil and calm down a bit. No one really likes others screaming at them or shaking a finger in thier face.

  • (Show?)

    Joanne

    The data you refer to has not been updated since 11/4. Since then, many new ballots came in over the weekend.

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)
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    I turned in my ballot the very same day that I got it in the mail. While I applaud anyone that finally votes in this election, turning it in early is the best way to do it. Why torture yourself?

    I believe that M49 will pass. I found it perplexing how stupid people against this measure have no clue what it will do to the state if we allow building wherever they want. Growing up in LA, I can tell you that what we have here in Oregon is a paradise compared to the concrete jungle of LA. Imagine driving for hours and hours and never seeing a single natural piece of land. No farms, just one city running into another, one strip mall after another.

    I am not so certain about M50. I voted for it, not so much for the kids, though health care for kids is important, but because I like to deter smokers from smoking. Having been raised around my father who still smokes 3 packs a day, I have little sympathy for smokers unless they are actually trying to quit.

    I feel sorry for those that did not vote during this election. For those that claim that this election "was not about them.", they are sorely mistaken... especially concerning M49.

    Although, not scientific, Oregonlive is running a "exit" poll.

  • Joanne (unverified)
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    Who is DPO? I figured it was the Democratic Party of Oregon, when I checked their website it says under breaking 37% but also says that those were the figures as of the end of day 11-04.

    I tried calling the Portland office, but the phones are, understandably, busy.

    Do you have a link to your figures?

    Thanks

  • DanS (unverified)
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    Joanne,

    Don't feel bad about voting No. I felt great doing it.

    This has never been "about the kids". If it were, it would have been financed by a permanent tax structure, not one that is destined to become underfunded.

    Better, get involved in finding a permanent way to find healthcare for the impoverished.

    My wife and I voted NO on both measures, thus cancelling two BO votes. Yeah!!!!

  • (Show?)

    There's a "Yes on 50" phone bank and canvass all day until 8 pm at 1125 SE Madison, Ste. 102 in Portland. That's one block north of Hawthorne in the Madison's Grill building. I'm going to stop by and make some calls. Stop in and tell them BlueO sent you. It'll be like Alice's Restaurant. We'll start a movement...

  • (Show?)

    Joanne

    Sorry no link available. The Democratic Party of Oregon (DPO) provided the stats from the ballots processed through last night. There will be no more updates from them. Looks like we'll have to wait it out now until after 8 PM when voting ends. The Dem turnout statewide is 50%, at the moment the Repub turnout is trailing by 3%.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Anonymous because the political consultant might kill me.

    Measure 50 failed to engage voters in a grassroots way. I saw no lawn signs, limited use of new media, and very little field until the end. Thinking that we were going to beat Big Tobacco by running a standard media and mail campaign while being outspent 4 to 1 was questionable planning. We should have run it as a statutory initiative for 2008 and run a field campaign added to the standard stuff. I hope we won't give up on the issue. It's an important issue, and it sometimes takes more than running once to win.

    Measure 49 will manage to hold onto their lead. The best thing I saw from the campaign was the black-and-white sign campaign. That cut through the clutter.

  • genop (unverified)
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    Bojack's blog has an exit poll. Would sure be interesting to have one here as well.

  • john (unverified)
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    Multnomah County returns still not high enough at 12:30 PM

  • (Show?)

    Yes on 49

    No on 50

    Yes on the Forest Grove levy to fund city police and fire services.

    Very comfortable with all three votes.

  • Katy Daily (unverified)
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    Party Central here:

    The M49 election night party will be at the Kennedy School 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211 Starts at 7:30pm

  • (Show?)

    Just dropped our ballots off at the Fairview Library. Now that's officially two votes yes for M49 & M50.

  • E'an Todd (unverified)
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    Dropped my ballot off at Fairview Library as well. Another yes for both.

    Somewhat concerned about 50 now, hadn't paid attention to the polling til today....

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Pass or fail, hooray for an end to overblown rhetoric on Measures 31H & 32H!

    I oppose M50 (cringe) as an unacceptable alternative to the real attempts to address health care that were supported by Kitzhaber & Westlund et alii, yet gained no traction in the Legislature.

    How we as Democrats engineer passage of bills enacting our partisan agenda is as important as the successful enactment. For example, the Bush Administration's subversion of the process of legisation will be a much longer-lasting legacy than the particular reverses of democracy they have accomplished.

  • (Show?)

    My wife and I voted NO on both measures, thus cancelling two BO votes. Yeah!!!!

    I hate it when people put it that way, that's exactly why so few people vote. After all, why bother voting when some idiot somewhere else is just going to cancel out your vote? Does the fact that so far today I've turned in ~30 ballots (from other people of course) mean that I've cancelled out 30 votes? It's a positive when you vote, you're contributing to your cause, not subtracting from the other.

  • Dave Lister (unverified)
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    Measure 49 will pass. 50 will fail narrowly.

  • (Show?)

    Nick,

    It's a comparable argument to when people tell me that because I'm vegan, they are tripling their meat intake. Like those people, this guy DanS just wants to sit in his imagined high ground and poke around in other peoples' affairs.

  • SallyC (unverified)
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    My Predictions:

    M49 will pass M50 will pass

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Amazing that anyone would vote to support commercial drug pushing that is out there killing several million of us every year, costing the rest of us billions to pay for the those who do smoke and end up in hospitals and nursing homes with strokes, cancer, and various forms of respiratory and vascular disease. Amazing that anyone would vote against 100 thousand children getting essential health care so that they can be recruited to become nicotine addicts! What a wonderful ethical people we are!

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
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    As of 2:30, 48% for Multnomah County.

    As for 2:42, 49.3% for Clackamas County.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
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    What do you mean when you say that GOP votes are trailing by 3%? Trailing by 3 as compared to Dem turnout, or proportionally as to their registrations?

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
    (Show?)
    Let's take a look at how previous elections have worked... in 2004, GOP turnout was 0.89% greater than Dem turnout. In 2002, GOP turnout was 3.27% higher than Dem turnout. So a 3% turnout advantage to Dems is very, very, very favorable.
  • Brent (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Yes on 50! Yes on 49!

    It's not too late to call friends, neighbors, or strangers...I'm posting this while calling.

    Ballots can be dropped off at all Multnomah County Libraries until 8 PM, and you can check out drops for other counties here: http://maps.google.com/maps/user?uid=107567332026066402591&hl=en&gl=us

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    As Bill R. demonstrated, my enthusiasm for the end of overblown rhetoric is somewhat premature.

  • (Show?)

    Amazing that anyone would resort to a strawman fallacy to advocate for a position. But it happens all the time.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Kids will suffer, maybe die, because they don't get proper medical care and you complain about the 'campaign'?

    Nice work, Jeanne. Obviously, you are not a parent. Hope not too many Oregon kids suffer and die from an easily-treatable tooth abcess.

    Christ.

  • anon (unverified)
    (Show?)

    4 more "no" votes here (2 on M49 and 2 on M50). Motivated a few others to turn in their ballots as well. Not sure how they'll vote, but likely 6 more "no"s.

    Should be interesting.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
    (Show?)

    51% for clackamas county.

  • martin (unverified)
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    I also told everyone in the apartment building I manage to vote yes on 49 or I would raise their rent. Two yes votes for 49 from my wife and I. One yes on 50, one no on 50, and yeah, that pretty much cancels out. Just kidding about the rent thing, by the way.

  • Peter Bray (unverified)
    (Show?)

    49% for Multnomah at 4:30

    any one have any clue as to how it usually shakes out... is there a post-5 oclock surge?

  • backbeat12 (unverified)
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    Nick,

    It's a comparable argument to when people tell me that because I'm vegan, they are tripling their meat intake.

    Or like when Hillary Clinton gins up her triangulating war on video games, I tell the teens to invite their friends over for an-all weekend for a Mortal Combat marathon. :)

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "...I was turned off by the pro-50 campaign. What bothered me was that the 'message' was disingenuous from the beginning."

    Nice work, Jeanne! Obviously, you are not an idiot.

    The ads are now claiming that the measure would amend the State Constitution to protect the bill from the predation of unscrupulous legislators, when in fact they put it out as a Constitutional amendment because it required a simple majority to pass the bill out; i. e. because it was easiest to amend the Constitution!

  • Anonymous (unverified)
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    There is nothing magical about the Oregon Constitution. Just like the Texas Constituion, it has been amended many many times for all sorts of everyday purposes. It is by and large just a statute.

  • Election Fatigue (unverified)
    (Show?)

    4 more "no" votes here (2 on M49 and 2 on M50). Motivated a few others to turn in their ballots as well. Not sure how they'll vote, but likely 6 more "no"s.

    Should be interesting.

    Good for you anon. Since we're trading yeses and nos, I just dropped off ballots for nine of my friends/co-workers. In short, they don't support your 'no' cause.

    I'll be sure to come and gloat on the conservative sites after both measures are passed. As my mother used to say, "when receiving a favor, it's always best to return it."

  • (Show?)

    According to Wikipedia:

    "The average length of a state constitution is 26,000 words (compared to about 8,700 words for the U.S. constitution)."

    On average, a state constitution has been amended 115 times. Texas, mentioned above, is at 440. Alabama has the most at nearly 800.

    But what the tobacco companies have tried to do is compare the U.S. Constitution to the state constitution. People see the U.S. Constitution as sacred, which is why they're hesitant to amend it. State constitutions are a whole 'nother story. They're regularly amended and changed and are expected to be much more of a living document.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Festering, untreated tooth abcess. Resulting in death. It has happened. Just this year a child died this way.

    Children's health care is not an American value. Children's health care is not an Oregon value.

  • Last minute voter (unverified)
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    Here's a YouTube video I whipped up

    "A last-minute plea to Oregon voters to get down to your local ballot drop-off point (myself I prefer the library), and vote yes on Measure 49. Help keep Oregon livable and sustainable!"

    Why not forward it to someone you know who needs to be browbeat (in a nice way) into voting yes on 49?

  • (Show?)

    I just dropped off 100,000 ballots for my dearest, closest friends--who are all naturally voting yes on everything just because I make them feel so positive.

    (I guess "you get what you pay for" doesn't hold in the world of trollage. Who would have thought I'd be pining for the good old days when trolls came around for nothing more than the sheer love of making themselves look like idiots.)

  • trollbot9000 (unverified)
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    Dropped my ballot off at the library on Saturday. Chalk up two thumbs down for me. However, if I were a betting troll I'd have to go with both measures passing handily. Let's face it, the vast majority of voters (urban types) don't know much about Oregon land use law and your average smoker probably doesn't vote. Even with low turnout, this one should make for a happy election night for the progressive crowd.

  • Election Fatigue (unverified)
    (Show?)

    the vast majority of voters (urban types) don't know much about Oregon land use law and your average smoker probably doesn't vote.

    Ah Ha! Conservative excuses are already forming. Blame it on the electorate being either (1) uninformed, or (2) not interested enough in voting for their own self interest.

    Does this mean I can blame the passage of Measure 37 on those same reasons, or were those 2004 voters more informed??

  • James X. (unverified)
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    For those watching the ballot returns tonight, remember that early returns tend to lean conservative, while results trend more progressive later in the evening. That's because progressive Multnomah County's larger number of ballots take longer to tally, so by evening's end, ballots outstanding tend to be largely MultCo's.

  • creston (unverified)
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    How does one watch election returns tonight? Is there a website that offers real-time results? Or should I bring out my television?

  • Spine (unverified)
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    TV is probably the way to go, but if you want to see the returns from the individual counties, try this page.

  • 18yearoldwithanopinion (unverified)
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    you can check live results or close to live results at katu.com

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Also, the reeeely early results are completely meaningless. Just a few random and unrepresentative precincts.

  • creston (unverified)
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    Thanks, spine and 18yearoldwithanopinion. Looks like M49 is 65% for so far according to katu.

  • 18yearoldwithanopinion (unverified)
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    so according to kgw reports that with all vote counted both 49 and 50 won in Multnomah county.

  • anon (unverified)
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    100% counted in multiple counties. Measure 49 will pass; Measure 50 won't:

    Multnomah

    Clackamas

    Washington

    Marion

  • UberDem (unverified)
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    Unless i am missing something Multnomah County has reported that at by 7PM 195,000 people have voted and their results only count 112,000 votes.

  • (Show?)

    When you see that 100% number at the top of many county elections sites it means that they have some results from all their precincts not that the results are complete from all those precincts.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Maybe those who voted no on 50 or didn't vote at all can find a way to feel righteous because they protected the nicotine addicts and their pushers from having to pay for any health care for those brown kids and underclass riff-raff children. Truth is you will pay, not Philip Morris, in increased premiums for your health insurance when the kids of the riff raff end up in the emergency room with the health crisis that should have been resolved in a routine doctor's visit. But of course, it's really about the Constitution... These are your Oregon voters for you... scammed by corporate money every time.

  • Jesse B. (unverified)
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    Measure 50's demise is hardly surprising. After all, the tobacco industry invented modern day advertising.

  • anon (unverified)
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    Bill R: why don't you round up all of your fellow M50 supporters and establish--and, more importantly, FUND OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKETS--a nonprofit organization that will provide aid to those "brown kids and underclass riff-raff children" as you so eloquently label them.

    Quit your bellyaching and put YOUR money where your mouth is.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    Ok, now that 50 is dead, can we get down to brass tacks, and just outlaw tobacco in Oregon?

    Yes, it can be done, and yes, it should be done. The Pro-50 folks have made it clear that smoking is horrible for kids (as well as everyone) therefore it should be banned.

    Of course, there is about a snowball's chance in hell of actually occurring.

    Oh, well...guess I'll have to quit on my own.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)
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    I'll second JJ's opinion. My argument for Measure 50 was that it is a tax you pay to allow the sale of a substance that really should be a Schedule II controlled substance, subject to all that means (essentially, being illegal to grow, manufacture, sell or use).

    The anti-M50 argument, other than the constitution, was that it was an unreliable source of income for funding an ongoing state program. They were saying that it was wrong to support a health initiative on the backs of people who are killing themselves through smoking.

    Okay, I can go along with that. So let's support children's health insurance by making tobacco illegal and levying hefty fines on anyone caught smoking it (or selling it) in Oregon. So instead of 84 cents a pack, it could be $500 for possession of a pack.

  • (Show?)

    Bill R.,

    What is the matter with you? Addicts are victims.

    We all have a responsibility to provide for decent conditions of life in our state. If we're all paying for a crummy, too late, ineffective and expensive version of kids health care already, in unevenly distributed ways through insurance premiums, why not all of us pay less for a better version?

    I voted yes on M50, but it would have been an f'd up way to pay for children's health care.

    We need to turn our attention to how to do it a better way now.

  • Kyle (unverified)
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    "We need to turn our attention to how to do it a better way now."

    Here's a wild idea. How about expecting people to be responsible for maintaining their good health and providing coverage for themselves and the children they choose to create? It can't always work that way of course, but shouldn't that be a primary goal? I find this fixation on some magical government solution to our many health woes quite bizarre. Somehow handing over the reins to the state and collectively shoveling more cash into the fire box solves the problem.

    Surely we can see to it that health care is readily available for the poor and the sick without mandating a one size fits all government run program for everybody. Come on. If one's employer doesn't offer a health plan as part of their compensation package, then purchasing at least a basic health insurance plan should rank right up there with food & shelter on the priority list, well before new cars, toys and other frivolous expenditures. Sad truth is, many people don't see it that way. Going without basic, catastrophic coverage is insane. I managed to pay for a most adequate health & dental plan a few years back on a whopping $10 an hour. Also knew some folks who earned more, had "nicer" possessions and no health plan. Must not have been too important to them, but at least the pro socialized medicine crowd can use them as a tragic statistic of the uninsured in America.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Kyle, your "wild idea" is just short of state-sanctioned euthanasia for the working poor.

    It is not a "fixation on magical solutions" to expect that our government (not some occupation force's administration, but the government constituted by us to promote our own general welfare) can administer the health care industry so as to provide basic healthcare services to us without regard to our ability to provide huge profit margins for monstrous corporations.

    The megacorporations that now have a stranglehold on the healthcare industry have taken a profession that fulfills the basic human need for mercy and succor when we have been wounded in our common struggle for life, and turned it into a heartless pursuit of cash flow from the well-off and healthy at the expense of common citizens with real problems. To hell with your insinuations that going without basic, catastrophic coverage is evidence of insanity or disregard for one's family welfare! It has purposefully been put out of people's financial reach in order to cater to those rich enough to overpay for healthcare.

  • (Show?)

    No Kyle it shouldn't be a primary goal, or even a tertiary one.

    Here are some other wild ideas: one of the central purposes of the United States is "to promote the general welfare," and social solidarity and mutual support actually are grand old American values, and government is a legitimate and effective tool to that end in many instances, though not the only one.

    Health care and health insurance are an area in which market mechanisms have failed rather spectacularly, inefficiently delivering partial care at exhorbitant expense due to the excesses of private bureaucracy and the fact that it is in the nature of markets to work by excluding some people entirely and distributing their benefits to others unequally. In some instances that is fine, even good. In others it is not. Health care is one of those.

    I assume you have insurance through an employer and that the premiums are not exhorbitant in your view relative to your income. If that is the case, you are in a minority.

    Premiums for policies in the individual market (i.e. not as part of a risk pool organized to negotiate with insurers) are even more expensive, on the same order of magnitude annually as the annual income from a full-time minimum wage job.

  • Kyle (unverified)
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    "I assume you have insurance through an employer and that the premiums are not exhorbitant in your view relative to your income. If that is the case, you are in a minority."

    Yep, just like every full time job I have ever had with the exception of the leaner times I mentioned. In that particular case I shopped around and purchased health insurance while forgoing some luxuries that a portion of our uninsured citizens appear to hold so dear. My current benefit package is the best Ive had, which is great, but nobody is giving me anything. It's part of my compensation and just as easy to put a dollar amount on as wages. Nobody is being charitable.

    In my experience I do not represent a small minority. Most people I know in the middle class & up range carry some level of health insurance. A couple I can think of who are not covered (who shall remain nameless) seem to be far more concerned living under a nicer roof, driving nicer cars and owning toys.

    As I said before, we should look out for the poor & the sick and I'm certainly not advocating turning anybody away. My central point was a simple one that nobody seems to want to address. Should we not take much better care of ourselves, thereby preventing a large percentage of disease in the first place? Shouldn't having at least basic health care coverage be viewed as a top priority?

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    My hope is that since the people have spoken and have voted NO on M50, we don't see anything like it again for a few years. If we do see it (or any other tax like it) in the next election, it only shows how we tend to abuse the referendum/initiative system. When we say NO, we mean it.

    We have said NO on M50. We should not have to vote on anything like it again. Please listen to the people for once and give us something else to consider.

  • (Show?)

    Kyle,

    I wonder if you know what the actual median income levels are? "Middle class & up" could mean a lot of things, but a lot of what we might call "the comfortably middle class" are a lot closer to the top and a lot further from the middle than they might think.

    M50 was primarily about insurance for poor people, including working poor people, as well as the lower ranges of the middle classes. One of the features of the present mainly employer-based insurance system is that lower-wage jobs tend not to carry insurance benefits or ones that are not subsidized by the employer except for the employee (not family).

    These are families not living lives of luxury and your fantasy that some large portion of the beneficiaries of M50 are is just that, a fantasy.

    You are disingenuously failing to distinguish two senses of personal responsibility and shifting topics. You began with personal responsibility for providing health insurance for self and family. That is a radically different question from responsibility for own & children's health. One key failing of our current system that contributes strongly to excessive health cost inflation is that lack of medical insurance mean that for many people conditions which, if caught early, could be treated by less expensive means, including relatively simple changes in personal habits of diet, exercise, smoking etc.

    Please also note that persons who gain access to insurance as a condition of employment are under no obligation to be "personally responsible" about their own health; some plans are beginning to offer incentives and some organizations (companies & non-profits) are creating mutual support preventive wellness programs. Most proposals to expand the public role these days stress the importance of prevention and support for behavior change. All though it doesn't fit unrealistic conservative ideologies about individualism, focus on individual behavior change has been a central focus of public health health promotion programs for decades. The experience shows that change is much more likely and likely to stick if individuals have social support in making it. No man, woman or child is an island. Conversely, unhealthy patterns are encouraged and enabled, and healthy choices actively discouraged and obstructed, by structural features of our society including advertising, market-ideologue insistence on underfunding schools and encouraging market-based revenue streams like junk-food & soda machines in schools, sedentary jobs, separation of homes and workplaces leading to high levels of driving, excessive time demands by employers, requirements of 2 full-time incomes for many families with bad consequences for dietary choices for families.

    Individual choices are socially embedded and socially constrained. Changing the constraints and incentives requires social policy and social internventions. Individual choice is not just a matter of character, such that persons who make "wrong" choices, however defined, should be punished for being deficient.

    Kids in particular should not be punished for their parents' choices.

    Government funding of insurance, whether partial (like M50, or Medicaid, or Medicare) is not "socialized medicine," and the fact that you say it is means you're just an ideological anti-government flack rather than anyone serious about efficient and effective healthcare. A socialized medicine system is one like that in the U.K., or the Scandinavian countries, in which most providers of services (doctors, nurses, etc.) and most facilities (hospitals, clinics, etc.) are employed and owned by the state. The V.A. system, which enjoys a much higher level of patient/consumer satisfaction than the U.S. system as a whole than the private system, if extended nationwide, would be socialized medicine

    The most relatively radical proposal with minimal political life in the U.S., actually quite logical and moderate in substance, rather than by comparison to our current market extremist backward system, the single payer H.R. 676 bill introduced in Congress by John Conyers, could reasonably called "socialized health insurance" I suppose. The proposals with greater traction for reaching universal coverage are designed partly to fit people with your mindset, by requiring enrollment in private plans, with varying degrees of subsidy for low-wage families and of quality floors on plans. Mitt Romney signed off on one of these as governor of Massachusetts; Arnold Schwarznegger supports one in California; Ron Wyden has responded a relatively good one in terms of quality floors in Congress; the concept is what shapes HB 329, the framework passed by the Oregon legislature last year. None of these are remotely socialized, just more regulated and subsidized for some individuals.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    The "No" on Measure 50 had little to do with Measure 50. It was really a "yes" to the propaganda and lies spewed by out-of-state tobacco industry propaganda. Come on, now.

    The Oregon constution has been already amended 400 HUNDRED TIMES. MANY TIMES for tax purposes. "Don't mess with the Constitution". What utter bullshit.

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    Reluctantly I voted yes on M50 after thinking about which of my principles I'd hate myself more for violating. A measure which presented me and a lot of other progressive folks who were by no means either dupes or shills for the tobacco company with a choice like that, whichever way they voted in the end, made it a bad bill.

    On the Oregon constition: Within not so distant memory I eagerly supported a civil rights No campaign to OCA anti-gay hate legislation whose slogan was "Don't put Hate in the Constitution."

    I want a considerable portion of the tax-related stuff in the constitution out, personally. Telling me it's there, which I know, is not really an argument for putting more in.

    The No on 50 campaign stitched together a majority out of a number of concerns. The Yes campaign did a bad job of framing issues there way. Treating peoples' concerns and those who voice them contemptuously, whatever the source of the concerns, is stupid politics. Saying "it's tobacco company propaganda" is lame if someone needs to know why it's wrong even if it does come from them.

    A vigorous campaign that focused sharply on the tobacco companies might have had some influence, you know, one that stressed their out-of-stateness, their history of lies etc. might have had more effect. But those points were muted at best.

    Rather than blaming voters, those of us who want healthcare insurance for all Oregon kids need to look at what this campaign did and didn't do and think about how to be more effective next time around.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    What's wrong with not putting hate in the Constitution? That's not what it's for.

    <h2>That false parity BS is just that - BS. Employ critical thinking skills for a change.</h2>
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