Property Crime: Progressives Voting Yes on 57 and No on 61

Chip Shields

If you’re paying attention to the news on ballot measures lately, you may be wondering, what’s up with all the progressives supporting the tough-on-crime ballot Measure 57?

Measure 57 is tough AND smart; its focus on repeat offenders and drug treatment clearly makes it a better way to fight property crime than the Kevin Mannix-Loren Parks Measure 61. Measure 61 is wrong-headed because it doesn’t address drug treatment.

The City Club of Portland is endorsing a Yes on 57, No on 61 vote because they realize that in the end, a No vote on both measures is like a "yes" vote on Mannix's Measure 61. That's because in the 2008 supplemental session, we referred voters a choice and whichever property crime measure gets more votes will be enacted.

Yesterday, Portland’s Willamette Week gave a clear and measured argument here on why you’re not doing anyone any favors by voting “No” on Measures 57 and 61 and why Measure 57 really deserves your “Yes” vote.

“What’s the fuss? People are pissed that not enough thieves and drug dealers wind up in prison.

What’s the fix? Measure 61 would sentence first-time offenders to mandatory minimums. Measure 57 is a cheaper alternative that targets repeat offenders and mandates treatment for addicted felons…

…Since Measure 61 is seen as a sure-fire winner, a no on 57 would essentially be a yes on 61. We’re forced to put pragmatism before principle and urge a yes vote on 57.”

And today, the Portland Mercury wrote

The point is, you should vote for Measure 57 even if prison spending makes you queasy because at least it promotes rehab—and your grin-and-bear-it support is crucial to ensuring that Mannix's measure (more on that one later) dies. But don't take our word for it: John Kroger convinced us that this isn't simply a "lesser of two evils" measure, explaining that the drug treatment program it contains is exactly the kind he would have asked for once he takes up the attorney general post. He's a smart guy, and we trust his judgment: Vote for M57.

Progressives like me are supporting Measure 57 because its passage will result in an historic investment in drug treatment; it retains judicial discretion; and it avoids the catostrophic one-size-fits-all approach proposed by Kevin Mannix and Loren Parks.

I strongly urge you to vote Yes on 57 and No on 61.

Comments

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Excuse me...but a NO on both measures just makes a NO for both. Telling us that NO on both is a vote for Mannix's measure is just them trying to give you extremely sweetened kool aid to persuade you to do what they want.

    I reapeat - Many people will look at these measures as an either-or. While Chip is asking us to vote Y on 57 and N on 61, many will vote the opposite, while some will vote NO on both. Three scenarios, two out of three scenaios cast a NO on either one. So just vote NO on both because, logically, they will both fail anyway because of the above scenarios.

    And besides, voting Y on both is not a logical step to the average voter, 61 is a Mannix measure that gets a NO out of hand, and treatment in 57 is such a cop out. People commit most crimes simply out of boredom and sending them to treatment will just get them even more bored.

    NO on both. NO On everything (except the housecleaning stuff).

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    I'm pretty sure that, in fact, most crimes are not committed out of boredom, but otherwise, yeah, a No vote on both is nothing more than a No vote on both. I'm not responsible to second guess anyone else's votes.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Eric,

    I pointed out in another thread that your rules for voting on ballot measures are likely to ignore important information. Your argument here exemplifies that.

    You cannot "logically" predict how people will vote. The best indicators are polls and polls indicate that both measures are likely to pass. In that case, M57 is certainly the preferable choice.

    I don't like that. I resent needing to vote for something I do not support, but I will vote for M61 to prevent another Mannix train wreck on corrections. If we had no polling info, or if polls indicated that M61 did not have strong support, I would certainly vote against M57.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    end italics

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    There have been years before where there were competing measures on the same issue (one in Oregon in the 80's I believe - but the issue escapes me at the moment) where they were saying the same things on voting Y or N on them like they are here with these two, yet both failed. The reason they failed was noted as such in my above post by many political observers after the elections.

    Sometimes you can, logically, predict how people will vote because many normal, average people are creatures of habit. "One or the other, or none at all - you can't have both."

  • Tamerlane (unverified)
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    This is just pathetic. I am not going to vote for mandatory minimums (that is, neither 57 or 61) just because the "leadership" didn't have the good sense to take Mannix on head first. Look, if I am not mistaken, Mannix has lost every campaign he has been involved in for quite a few years now -- and an honest debate about a) the current economic crisis and its effect on the state budget and b) the general wrongheadedness of mandatory minimums (hated by DAs, take money away from schools, increase recidivism in minor offenders, etc.); and c) a campaign that effectively vilifies Mannix and everything he stands for -- would stand a very good shot at turning the tide in this well-meaning and progressive state with regards to mandatory minimums, once and for all. Instead, the "leadership" chickened-out of that fight in a way that is convoluted, and frankly both deceptive and a little weird. I say NO to the whole thing -- and, by the reasoning of the above posters, I think there stands a decent chance that that scenario might just win.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Eric,

    If the polls present choices anything like ballots do, then polling data would reflect this "habit" of voters that you claim exists.

    Tamerlane,

    You may feel differently when some government service you like is cut so we can support our swollen prison population.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Polls can be skewed and rigged to show off some point and glorify it with the numbers generated. I know this - I have a degree in mathematics and statistics and know that you can prove anything thorugh "Lies, more lies, and statistics".

    Based on the above, I don't go for polls that much. And besides, Tom, you sound as if one will pass anyway. Isn't that being presumptuous using logically questionable data?

    NO on both.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Eric: I'd like a little more explication as to the mechanics of skewing besides verbiage-choice.

    I like this stuff. Explain a little more.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    Does anyone have a citation of a poll showing direct support for Measure 61 or Measure 57? A few minutes of searching turned up nothing more than "polls show Oregonians really hate crime."

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    Well, there's this but somehow I doubt that's a random sample of Oregon voters.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    I have known, rw, some pollsters who will 'gleem off'(take away) some data that would be contrary to the result they are seeking, but keep just enough of the bad data in the total data to make it look legit.

    Others will use only, say, use a small amount of people, who they know will make their data legit and prove the result they are seeking, and tell us they used a large amount of data by doubling or tripling it.

    And then there are the polls (sometime announced 'not scientific') where one person will vote 500 times for one thing and the pollsters will count that as 500 people.

    Yes, some can prove what you are looking for though "lies, more lies, and statistics". Not that the polls Tom uses are bad, but I tend to suspect any data that is statictically oriented - especially in heated political times such as this.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Eric,

    Polls can be wrong, but usually, they are not far off. I'm not sure what is the point of the rest of your comment.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Eric,

    I would seriously suspect any data that is NOT statistically oriented in such heated political times as these.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Earwig [my favorite bug, and a moniker of affection in our house, if you happen to be an Eric person]: thanks. That is out and out fakery and intellectual dishonesty. It's cheating.

    I confess to be rather prim and old-fashioned about this. And naive in my expectations. I came from data, from research, from a passion for discovering What Is if that can be done. It's not even elegant, what you are describing.

    Most heinous of all: not even elegant.

    r [ps, did you mean to say "glean" off, or is it a lexicographical term - "gleem"?]

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Yes...it is gleen. I guess i get Gleem from the amount of old time redio I listen to (Gleem shampoo for instance, or was it Gleem toothpaste...)

    The 2nd of the 3 examples happened when I was at college for an election of a class president. Thier passion for using alcohol as an unexpected truth serum got them caught.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    You may feel differently when some government service you like is cut so we can support our swollen prison population.

    Has anyone ever done a PSA asking the criminals to leave Oregon so that we can spend our money are more deserving people? Might be worth a try.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Try again buddy! GleAm.

    Like in the eye and such.

    bex

  • rw (unverified)
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    Oops.. I mean the other way. Ack. GleAn. OOps. Sorry. S'why I'm the writer and you is the mathmagician.

    Never the twain and all.

    bekkie

  • Robert Harris (unverified)
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    I admit it. I've cast protest votes before.

    But we can ill afford a no vote on M-57. This has to be a strategic vote.

    M-61 will pass. Make no mistake about that. If there's one thing angry voters will support, its putting more criminals in jail.

    And,even though I may get into trouble from some of my fellow criminal defense attorneys, M-57 isn't all bad. It does in some situations give judges more discretion to sentence than the current law does. And as someone who has continually argued against mandatory minimums and for more sentencing discretion for judges, it would seem to be hypocritical of me to argue that M-57 is a bad thing just because it would allow judges the discretion to send some criminals to prison that would under the current law get probation. (News flash....some second third and fourth time offenders deserve prison)

    And while its not perfect, there are other things to like. Treatment must be funded. I think you'll see more drug courts and more mental health courts.

  • Damon (unverified)
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    Sadly, Oregon already uses the highest percentage of its state budget to lock up criminals and supervise parole of any state. If either Measure 57 or Measure 61 passes - and both will probably pass - this cost will be increased even further. This is at a time when we literally can't afford it: the current financial crisis will most probably cascade into a commercial crisis severely impacting the Oregon economy, resulting in, among other effects, reduced revenue for the state. So this is the worst time to increase the already bloated criminal justice budget.

    This is one more misguided and expensive battle in the failed War on Drugs. As long as we blindly follow the current prohibitionist strategy, we are guaranteed to have a steady stream of fresh candidates for our voracious criminal justice system. There will always be some percent of the population that uses drugs, whether they are legal or not. By making drugs illegal we have severely distorted the cost, thus making it more likely that some portion of this drug-using population will turn to property crime or identity theft to pay for their drugs. If we really wanted to minimize property crime and identity theft, we would eliminate the current prohibition on drugs.

  • (Show?)

    Can anyone point me to an actual poll on both measures?

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    So there aren't any public surveys showing support for M. 61, just a lot of assertions that's it's going to pass, because it's "tough on crime" and Oregonians eat that shit up? Well, that's sorta true -- 12 out of 16 "tough on crime" measures over the last 20 years have passed (depending on how you count, and I pretty much just guessed based on ballot titles on Wikipedia) but then again, the last one was in 1999 and there are principled conservative arguments against M. 61.

    M. 57 is almost as bad! It doesn't "retain judicial discretion", it merely infringes on it less than M. 61 does. It doesn't "avoid the one size fits all approach", it puts more people in prison, imposes a number of edicts and in no way increases the choices available to judges. It will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. This is what progressives are supporting, just because it contains funding for drug treatment that Kroger will be pushing for anyway in a few months? Count me out. Neither of these is anything but a giveaway to the prison industrial complex and an expansion of the immoral war on drugs.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    The Statesman Journal article cited above is the best info I could find on the net.

  • vote m57 (unverified)
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    Here's the poll everyone, it's been up on Mannix's site for weeks...not quite sure how you missed it.

    this is the poll you have been looking for.

    Their both going to pass--that's pretty obvious.

  • Law-n_Order D (unverified)
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    Legislators should not be surprised by the Mannix measure when there has been no leadership in reforming Oregon's weak sentencing guidelines in regards to property and drug crimes. Did you know that a person with two misdemeanor assault four convictions (such as a bar fight or domestic violence situation) has a higher criminal history score under the guidelines than a person with 1000+ drug and property crime felonies?

    Which is Worse? This is the current state of guidelines

    Scenario A The presumptive guidlines sentence for Perjury with those two misdemeanor bar fights is 13-14 months in prison.(6-D)

    Scenario B Person has a criminal history that includs one conviction for Rape, one for Manslaughter and one for Unlawful Use of a Weapon. That person then burglarizes a business. The presumptive sentence would be 10-30 days in jail and 18 months probation? (2-A)

    The judge's "discretion" under the guidlines in the second scenario would be to impose a whole 6 months as a departure sentence, but only if the DA could plead and prove why that particular burglary was substantially worse than normal.

    Measure 57 is the legislature's reaction to Measure 61. What we need in Salem are proactive legislators. Chip, good work on your support for 57, but Democrats should lead not follow.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    Thanks, vote m57. I don't have a habit of reading Mannix's propaganda sites, but I didn't find it in a search. It's hardly what I would call public!

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)
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    How many of you have been victims of crime?

    I have, three times in the past year.

    Sorry, I don't buy "substance abuse" as the sole reason why individuals are committing crimes on others.

    Would it hurt you to realize that most of these offenders are bad apples who would offend 50+ times until they are age 45+ to realize that they have done anything wrong?

    Personal responsibility. Probation and treatment that any substance abuser with an online connection to purchase "Quick Fix" to pass any piss test will only buy them more time to justify their fucked up behavior.

    I am sorry. I am voting for Obama but will be voting for 61 regardless of who was behind it.

  • Tamerlane (unverified)
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    I can't find any such poll either. vote m57 -- the link you provide doesn't seem to contain any data, but is rather some sort of blank form that didn't scan very well. The frustrating thing, even if there is widespread support for 61, is the paucity of a sustained media blitz to defeat the measure (perhaps along the lines I suggested above). Joel H. makes an excellent observation that the last time one of these "tough on crime" yahoo bills passed was back in 1999! Back then a lot of crazy right-wing measures either passed or were only narrowly defeated -- the same as Gore only carried the state over Bush by a few thousand votes in 2000. But things have changed: economic times are tougher (people understand that we can't waste hundreds of millions of dollars on wingnut experiments), conservatism is broadly discredited, crime rates overall are lower (at least since the pre-1990's), and the state has moved substantially out of the "swing state" column and into the "safe blue" column. Hell, back before 1999, even Kevin Mannix had a shot of winning some sort of election in this state! I just don't buy that we should concede the mandatory minimum debate. These are terrible, destructive laws, and "progressives" should have the courage, pragmatism, and straight-forwardness to stand against them.

  • (Show?)

    actually, the link goes to a scanned copy of a poll conducted at the beginning of the year (and faxed to OAA from Davis Wright Tremaine). it's a well-written survey, even-handed and not aimed at any viewpoint other than getting data. and it shows that both measures would pass but, encouragingly, M57 seems to have the upper-hard. perhaps because Oregonians believe in the "meth epidemic" so are willing to vote for the measure that addresses it.

    as a progressive, it sucks that so much of our limited resources in Oregon go to imprisoning people in the cruel ways brought about by Mannix's horrible M11. M61 will only make that worse. if anyone thinks 51% of Oregonians are actually going to vote No on 2 "anti-crime" measures, please contact me about a mortgage plan i have to make you rich by Christmas. Oregonians passed M5, M11 and M37: there are more than enough poorly informed, self-interested and downright stupid people out there to overwhelm those who make an effort to learn the facts and consider humane and effective alternatives.

    M61 is going to pass. the only way to defeat it would be to make its defeat the #1 issue of an election -- and that's not going to happen. the upside of this is that, in combination with John Kroger's election as AG, our state will finally begin to deal seriously with one of the three great roots of crime: addiction (the other two being lack of education and poverty) (i'd add "republicanism" but that would just be snarky). i'd love to vote no on M57, but i cannot take the risk that M61 will win the day. M61 is going to pass, and you don't need a poll to tell you that. you just need to pay attention to human nature and the track record of Oregon voters.

    wishful thinking never won nothing but a lot of pain.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "there are more than enough poorly informed, self-interested and downright stupid people out there to overwhelm those who make an effort to learn the facts"

    Which is why the Dorothy English measure passed and caused us fact people to panic. These people vote on 'buzz words' more than anything else.

  • Josh Marquis (unverified)
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    Chip and I actually agree on this one.

    Let's put some myths to rest.

    Unlike Measure 61, Measure 57 has ZERO mandatory minimums. All it does is give judges the authority to imprison (for a whole 2 years) REPEAT property felons and it mandates treatment.

    The only way you can go to prison for drugs under Measure 57 is if you haver POUNDS of hard drugs, yes POUNDS. No-one, let me say that again, NO-ONE is in Oregon state prison for posessing marijuana. There are a FEW for SELLING large amounts but 80 percent of all convicted felons do not go to prison and more than 60% of everyone in prison is there for a violent felony.

    Who do you think bears the brunt of prperty crime? Poor people who can least afford it. Working moms who can't spring for comprehensive insurance so they get zip when someone steals their car.

    I'll leave you with this real life example from Clatsop County:

    One recent vivid example was the theft and destruction of the statue of Sacagewea at Lewis and Clark National Park. The criminal who vandalized and cut the head off the bronze statute (donated and valued at over $25,000) had a criminal record that included misdemeanor and felony convictions. He was convicted of aggravated theft in the first degree, which on paper carries a possible 10 years in prison. What was the actual sentence?. Twenty days in jail. The judge said he wished he could give him more time, but sentencing guidelines forbade it.

    Under Measure 57 the judge could have given this repeat criminal up to two years in prison.

    Under Measure 61 this particular crime isn't even covered, so the judge would still be stuck with a maximum of 20 days.

    The last time one of these "crazy crime measures passed" was actually 2000 when an attempt to repeal Measure 11 was rejected by Oregon voters 75-25. Do you really think that 75% are all "right wingers?"

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "most of these offenders are bad apples who would offend 50+ times until they are age 45+"

    Translation: So bored they need something to do - even if it is a crime. This is why treatment won't work. Treatment just makes them even more bored because they just don't care. We need to get them to do something more constructive than just sit on their bottoms and listen to cop-out reasone they are 'that way'.

    A better solution is to automatically send them to the armed services as part of punishment. A sideways draft if you will. The services have always complained they don't have enough recruits and the bored criminals need something constructive to do with their lives. And if the criminals screw up like they do as a civilian, the armed services will not mess around - they WILL incarcerate and they WILL NOT coddle them with treatment crap.

    But I digress.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "The criminal who vandalized and cut the head off the bronze statute (donated and valued at over $25,000) had a criminal record that included misdemeanor and felony convictions."

    Sounds like he was just bored and wanted something to do. Treatment wouldn't help this guy for sure. No amount of discretion would help either.

    Either measure wouldn't stop this one.

    NO on both. Easy wasn't it?

  • DB (unverified)
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    Eric, your statement that criminals are "bored" shows how unsophisticated your understanding of crime is. Criminals have a sense of entitlement and think differently than the rest of us do. Most property crime is done by addicts to support their addiction. Treatment addresses these root causes of crime. Whether or not treatment works is not a matter for debate, there are literally hundreds (or possibly thousands) of studies showing that treatment reduces criminal behavior. M57 funds intensive treatment with supervision, and drug courts. Both of these interventions have been shown to be remarkably effective at reducing criminal activity.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "Most property crime is done by addicts to support their addiction"

    But, thier addiction started because they were bored and said "why not? I will try this drug. I have nothing else better to do".

    Boredom starts the addiction, and the addiction takes over. The root is boredom.

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    But, thier addiction started because they were bored and said "why not? I will try this drug. I have nothing else better to do".

    Boredom starts the addiction, and the addiction takes over. The root is boredom.

    Having grown up in a family of alcoholics and drug addicts..and having a few dear loved ones outside my family also afflicted by addiction--you're full of shit, Eric, and you're talking out of your ass.

    The root of addiction is not boredom. I don't know a single person who succumbed to their drug of choice because they were sitting around with nothing better to do. Your cavalier and ignorant attitude about addiction demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to really learn and understand this issue.

    You may disagree with one or both of these measures. But your argument here in an attempt to buffet yourself is completely bogus.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    The roots of addiction are varied. Some people become addicted to prescription drugs. Some people have high physical sensitivity to certain substances and get hooked easily. Some people have neuro-transmitter imbalances. This can sometimes be interpreted as boredom. Most people, I believe, become addicted because of pain that may be physical, mental or emotional.

  • DB (unverified)
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    Eric, what is with your odd obsession with boredom as the root of all evil? Maybe we should get kids xbox's and we'll get rid of all addiction? What a weird theory.

    Addiction is caused by a mixture of genetics, childhood experience, and drug use. Some people with a history of childhood abuse from addicted parents just have to use once or twice and become addicted. Others with a good childhood and genetics can use drugs and drink heavily through college or early adulthood without becoming addicted.

    People experiment initially with alcohol and drugs because their friends do it, they want to fit in, and they see little harm in it.

  • RW (unverified)
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    I submit that what we are doing on BO here IS addict behaviour! Just take a brief, honest look at yourself, each of us? We spend LOTS of time up here, and I know some of us spend time we should not!

    Of course, it is campaign time, yah - but face it, anytime is political time, innit?

    You too, Earwig! :).... I should post one of the standard "Is Your Behaviour Under Control?" tools used by psychologists to help clients connect with reality.

    How d'ya like THEM apples? [as my alcoholic father the Jester used to say]

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Hey, my kids told me that their schools don't really need computers, or repairs to the antiquated heating systems, and that they'd prefer bigger class sizes. So thanks, but send the money off to the Department of Corrections.

    These measures are one more demonstration for me that the entire initiative system is broken and corrupt. Bad enough that people like Sleazemore have turned the system into a cash cow, but we get horrible laws enacted to boot, and a legislature that refuses to do the job we elect them to do. I will continue to vote NO on all initiatives, and the only initiative petition I want to sign is one that abolishes the system completely.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    ...a legislature that refuses to do the job we elect them to do.

    Perhaps you would like to abolish the legislature as well.

  • Rep Chip Shields (unverified)
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    Maybe if we turn around Eric's point a bit, it might make more sense.

    Rather than saying boredom causes addiction, we could instead acknowledge that many people who are drawn to drugs have a tendency towards thrill seeking.

    Good treatment tries to help addicts adopt a recovery lifestyle that appreciates that much of a normal, clean and sober, ordinary life is, frankly, quite boring from their perspective (e.g.- paying bills, waking up at 7:00 a.m. to go to work, remembering birthdays, paying child support, writing thank you notes, going to meetings, church etc., doing nice things for others where you receive absolutely nothing in return..all boring), and good treatment helps them develop the thinking, attitudes, skills and associations necessary to develop a meaningful life within this new (heretofore boring) lifestyle they will be adopting.

    For more information on how substance abusers in in the criminal-justice system tend to operate and see the world, go to the website of the Public Safety Strategies Task Force at www.toughandsmart.net

    Dr. Ken Robinson's testimony is insightful.

  • Rep Chip Shields (unverified)
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    Oops. Proper link is:

    www.toughandsmart.net

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    DB, actually Eric Parker has a dual obsession: boredom and uptightness. Together they provide a unified theory of human behavior.

    Eric also is not a believer in evidence.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    Josh Marquis, you claim that M. 57 contains zero mandatory minimums, but the explanatory statement appears to contradict you. It says, "This measure requires that courts shall sentence persons convicted of the following crimes as follows:" and goes on to list mandatory sentences of, for example, "58 to 130 months" for "Manufacturing or dealing 500 or more grams of meth or cocaine, or 100 grams or more of heroin or ecstasy" where the current sentencing guidelines are "Probation to 45 months".

    Since I think it's unjust to imprison anyone for engaging in voluntary transactions, I'm voting against M.57. If that makes M. 61 more likely to pass, so be it. Other people's votes are not my responsibility.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    And my answer to "what’s up with all the progressives supporting the tough-on-crime ballot Measure 57?" is, they're playing with fire. In one of the other documents hosted with the previously linked poll, David Rogers worries that Partnership for Safety and Justice may be alienating their base by supporting M. 57. He's right. I donated to their campaign, and I never will again.

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    January is a long time ago. It is hard to believe there isn't more recent polling, and it doesn't speak well of those who are advocating the Yes on 57, No on 61 strategy if they aren't providing information to show that it is the only course to defeat 61.

  • Robert Harris (unverified)
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    Joel H. ...in some ways I admire your decision to vote against M-57, regardless of the fact that M-61 will certainly pass so your vote is helping M61 becoms law.

    On the other hand, I can't resist asking....How's President Nader doing?

  • Josh Marquis (unverified)
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    Joel is correct. There is ONE area where Measure 57 does have mandatory sentences. If someone is caught with 500 grams of meth or cocaine. That would be over one POUND of coke or meth. I have seen that much dop in a non-federal bust maybe 4 times in my career. So I stand corrected someone dealing POUNDS of meth would actually have to go to prison for 4 to 5 years. Of course as likely the Feds will have sent them off for 25 years for the same dope. But ALL the rest of the sentences are PRESUMPTIVE, meaning IF the judge wants to. I would hope, that part from whether 61 is bad policy and too expensive, that even people who identify themselves as "progressive Democrats" would agree that someone who continually breaks into other people's house and steals, flunks out of probation and treatment programs....repeatedly may actually need to be incarcerated. When we held a Meth Summit in Clatsop County two years ago the sober addicts ALL said that but for being jailed or imprisoned they would still be using or dead.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    Jeff: Where are you getting this? By my reading of the summary, M. 57 adds or increases 7 mandatory minimums for both drug offenses and property crimes.

    Robert: If progress consists of defeating bad measures by tricking voters into defeating themselves by passing different bad measures, maybe you're doing something wrong. Besides, you think you'd have been happier with President Gore's invasion of Iraq?

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Just vote NO on everything and we won't have to worry about the implications of anything.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    Ah, I'm mistaken, I had overlooked the fact that three of those large increases are presumptive sentences. Nevertheless they will presumably increase the jail terms of a substantial number of people.

  • Jess Barton (unverified)
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    Sadly, if both measures pass but Measure 57 gets the most votes, the state constitution won't allow Measure 57 to "trump" Measure 61. This is because the state constitution says that if the voters give majority support to an initiative like Measure 61, the measure takes effect 30 days later--period. Nothing in constitution allows the legislature, as it’s attempting to do in Measure 57, to impose some additional requirement on an initiative measure taking effect.

    Ironically, if both measures pass but Measure 61 gets the most votes, it could "trump" Measure 57 and only Measure 61 would take effect. This is because Measure 57 is a legislative referral, not an initiative.

    Sound weird? It is. But mark my words: If both measures pass but Measure 57 gets the most votes, there's going to be some serious litigation to force implementation of Measure 61.

    As I told staff from the state Criminal Justice Commission, when they called me about it a year and a half ago, the way to defeat the so-called Mannix initiative was, as Tamerlane says, to meet it head on. For example, by showing that it's not really Mannix's measure at all; that it's actually a measure of Mannix's political "sugar daddy," Loren Parks of Nevada. Or by showing Oregonians what they could get instead, with the money the Parks initiative would cost (e.g., X number of college scholarships, and Y number of defective bridges rebuilt).

    In my opinion, the decision to instead push an alternative measure with a purported "trumping" mechanism not only relies on something that's legally prohibited, but tactically was a political blunder.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "If both measures pass but Measure 57 gets the most votes, there's going to be some serious litigation to force implementation of Measure 61"

    Yet another reason to vote NO on both measures. That way we don't have to go through pain and sorrow over the stupidity of the legislature not able to think anything through, and the pain and disgust of having to incurr enormous court costs that the public will be footing.

    Vote NO on both, and we don' have to worry about litigation and legislative knee-jerk stupidity.

    NO NO NO.

  • (Show?)

    If I read the above poll correctly, Mannix's measure started out at only 58 percent. That's not a very good starting point for a ballot measure, particularly given that opponents had not spent a dime in opposition back in January when the poll was taken.

    I suspect that some key folks just didn't have the stomach to fight a campaign against measure 61 without offering an alternative because they were worried about electoral losses if they appeared "soft on crime".

    If you look at the issues cross-tabs, it would have been difficult for politicians worried about re-election to campaign against the Mannix bill because the things it is intended to address tend to poll fairly well.

    I think that the power analysis on this was something like: "We can probably kill this measure, but it will cost us some seats in the legislature to do it during the next few election cycles."

    I, for one, would have preferred an honest campaign on this issue. The real debate should have been about spending priorities.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "I, for one, would have preferred an honest campaign on this issue. The real debate should have been about spending priorities. "

    I agree, Sal, but this problem has been around for quite awhile.

    One would have hoped that when the "tough on crime no new taxes" Mannix Gov. campaign failed, someone would have had a clue that we need a debate about true budget priorities.

    But that would take intellectual rigor, which seems in short supply these days.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Josh M, you should know by now that the people you have to convince are the people like Posted by: Damon | Oct 16, 2008 6:00:12 PM

    There are 2 choices--advocates should say (either/both): 1) Crime initiatives are so important, we should raise revenue by___(revenue raising measures supported by the people supporting the measures) or 2) Paying for the anti-crime initiative will cost $____and this is what we will cut to pay for it. Specifically. In writing.

    Instead we have the example of Kevin not releasing his list of how to pay for Measure 30 until after the signatures were turned in, then some of the ideas were things that had been voted on and failed, running for Gov. with the platform "tough on crime, no new taxes" and then not accepting the result as if "we the people" has been removed from the beginning of the Oregon Constitution.

    If the "anti-crime" forces would spend as much time and energy on persuading the general public that the choices were either 1) or 2) and how those would pay for these measures as they are on "vote our way or we will call you soft on crime", then we might solve something.

    As I understand it, 61 says "LOCK 'EM UP with no substance abuse treatment". Exactly what does that solve?

    Can we please have a civil discussion on this without implying people who ask serious questions must be soft on crime because people who are serious about crime don't ask questions?

    My grandfather was a county prosecutor involved in breaking up the Purple Gang in Michigan (that gang is immortalized in one line of the song Jail House Rock). He also supported the constitutional amendment overturning Prohibition because of the problems it had caused for law enforcement. Mannix wasn't alive then (Kevin's roughly my age) so "to be tough on crime means to support anything Mannix supports" is not valid in that time period.

    Was my grandfather "tough on crime"?

    I ask that question because some people involved in this discussion act as if the minute Kevin Mannix comes out with an idea, we should all salute and sign the petition because to do otherwise is "soft on crime". How many statewide elections has Kevin lost? Who died and made him king of crime fighting?

  • Jess Barton (unverified)
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    One other aspect of Measure 57 that folks should know about involves the DAs' decision to support 57 over the Parks initiative, Measure 61. Measure 57's backers got that support for a price; specifically, House Bill 3638, which the legislative passed during its supplemental session earlier this year.

    Here's the "poop" about HB 3638. Oregon has two of what are called "alternative incarceration programs": (1) the prison "boot camp" at Shutter Creek, and (2) the drug and alcohol treatment program at Powder River. As a general rule, defendants sentenced to prison presumably are AIP eligible. A defendant who successfully complete an AIP can get his prison sentence reduced by as many as 30 months.

    But some DAs were extremely annoyed when they saw certain defendants avoid prison time by completing AIPs (boot camp, in particular). Some time back the DAs began asking the legislature to tighten up AIP eligibility requirements. During last February's supplemental session, with the Parks initiative, Measure 61, on the horizon and the legislature anguishing over what to do about it, the DAs saw their chance and made their move. They agreed to support Measure 57 if the legislature would rein in AIP eligibility.

    Hence HB 3638. It reverses the prior presumption, by creating a general rule that defendants sentenced to prison presumably are AIP ineligible. Moreover, a defendant must plead the court for an order declaring him eligible, and must prove certain things before a court may declare him eligible (including that he must prove that "[t]he harm or loss caused by [his] crime is not greater than usual for that type of crime," and I can tell you now that this is something all defendants could have a hard time proving). On top of that, in five categories of crimes DAs effectively will have veto authority over AIP eligibility, no matter what the defendant proves.

    HB 3638 takes effect this January 1, and will apply to crimes committed on or after that date. But get this: Even if the Parks initiative, Measure 61, passes, HB 3638 will still be the law. But that's the price the legislature paid for DA support for a measure that unconstitutionally says that if it gets more "yes" votes than another measure the voters pass, the other measure fails. You gotta love it--unless you're Bill U'ren. That poor man must be rolling over in his grave.

  • (Show?)

    Jess, I don't see tightening the restrictions on AIP as a problem. Our local newspaper broke that story and made a very strong case for HB3638.

    Can someone point me to the section in the Oregon Constitution that does not permit a ballot measure that does better than a competing measure to take effect? It has always been my understanding that this is required, or at least permitted, under Oregon law.

  • Jess Barton (unverified)
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    Sal, I don't know what paper you're referring to. But my guess would be that its editorial staff had only a superficial understanding of the issue. They knew only of the few "poster boy" cases that so incensed certain DAs, and they viscerally responded by adopting the DAs' position that (because of those few cases), the entire eligibility system must be changed. Conversely, I seriously doubt that the editorial staff had any idea just how cumbersome securing AIP eligibility could be for defendants under HB 3638 and, in particular, how much power HB 3638 will shift to DAs, in deciding who does and doesn't get AIP eligibility.

    On the other hand, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the editorial staff truly understood what HB 3638 would do, including its power shift to DAs, and the liked the bill, power-shift and all. Then yeah, I can see why they'd support it.

    But consider the irony of the Measure 57/HB 3638 tradeoff. Measure 57 would appropriate all this money for drug and alcohol treatment. But to get DA support for the measure, instead of Parks's measure, the legislature agreed to pass HB 3638, and thereby impaired defendants' ability to get into drug and alcohol treatment at the AIP at Powder River. On top of that, this impairment will be the law even if Parks's measure passes. So it's easy to see who came out on top in this political deal.

    As for your question, what "section in the Oregon Constitution that does not permit a ballot measure that does better than a competing measure to take effect?", it's important to recognize taht because of Article IV, section 33, which requires two-thirds supermajorities of both houses of the legislature to pass a bill that would reduce sentences the voters created by initiative, and because the sentences in Parks's initiative would be protected by section 33 but Measure 57 sentences would not be (because Measure 57 sentences would be products of a legislative referral, not an initiative), a solid argument can be made that Measures 57 and 61 truly aren't "competing" measures.

    But even if they are, Article I, section 21 says laws may be enacted only in the various manners the constitution prescribes. Article IV, section 1 prescribes one such manner--the initiative process. Section (1)(d) says that a law that reaches the ballot by initiative, and that a majority of the voters approve, "becomes effective 30 days after the day on which it is * * * approved[.]" Nothing in the constitution authorizes the legislature to impose additional conditions on an initiative taking effect--e.g., get more votes than some other measure on the ballot--particularly not when the voters who signed petitions to get the measure on the ballot weren't told that there'd be any requirement, other than section (1)(d)'s, for their measure to take effect.

    Based on these constitutional provisions, and on the Oregon Supreme Court's 1984 decision in a case called Hart v. Paulus, I wouldn't bet on Measure 57's "winner take all" provision being upheld by the courts. Unless, that is, someone gave me really good odds, e.g., 20 to 1.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "Based on these constitutional provisions, and on the Oregon Supreme Court's 1984 decision in a case called Hart v. Paulus, I wouldn't bet on Measure 57's "winner take all" provision being upheld by the courts. Unless, that is, someone gave me really good odds"

    Better yet, just vote NO on both measures and we don't have to worry about this problem at all. Their defeat makes it all wash away.

    So very simple to do...

  • Jess Barton (unverified)
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    Here's my last post on this, because then I'm going to stand down.

    Although Measure 57's winner take all provision cannot be used to defeat Measure 61, if both measures pass but 57 gets the most votes, remarkably, that provision could be used to defeat Measure 57 if both measures pass and 61 gets the most votes. [This is because, as a legislative referral rather than an initiative, Measure 57 is not subject to Article IV, section 1(d).]

    What this means is that there are only two ways Measure 57 can take effect: (1) it passes, but the voters reject Measure 61 outright; or (2) both measures pass and get exactly equal numbers of "yes" votes.

    What this also means is that how you vote on Measure 57 will have no effect on whether Measure 61 passes. Which in turn means that if you don't like both measures, you can vote no on both measures without concern that a no vote on 57 might somehow improve 61's chances of passing.

    Sorry, Chip, but this whole effort--Measure 57 + HB 3638--was a terrible idea. I sure do wish you'd spoken with me before you got behind it. You listened to the wrong people.

  • KC Hanson, Multnomah Co. Dems Chair (unverified)
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    Factoids:

    • Internal polling clearly indicates both measures 57 and 61 will pass. This is from polls conducted 2 months ago and more recently.

    -The measure with the most votes will go into effect.

    • Yes, this situation dictates voting strategically, which is appalling to many. But if progressives can't "hold their noses" and vote for 57, they are, indeed, opening the door for M61 to become the big winner.

    On the positive side for M57, it includes a major emphasis on treatment for offenders. This a compassionate and circumspective approach that cannot be overemphasized. We do live in communities where crime is a fact of life, and Oregon voters have a choice about how they want to see their criminal justice system take shape.

    We can either create a revolving door that doesn't address the root causes of criminal behavior, or we can take an awkward but necessary first step at addressing the primary individual issues that lead people to such behavior. Research clearly indicates that intervention works, ultimately helping both the person AND the commuity.

    Oregon voters most choose which road to travel in addressing issues of crime, punishment and treatment. A decision WILL be made this November.

    We encourage a Yes on 57 and a resounding NO on 61.

    KC Hanson, Chair Multnomah County Demcratic Party

  • Cedwyn (unverified)
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    Jess:

    Can you please cite the relevant text from the constitution that supports what you're saying? Because I went and read over Article IV, Section 1 (the relevant clause is 1.4.d, by the way)and I can't find any substantive difference in how it views/treats ballot initiatives vs. referenda:

    (d) Notwithstanding section 1, Article XVII of this Constitution, an initiative or referendum measure becomes effective 30 days after the day on which it is enacted or approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon.

    Article XVII deals solely with amending the constitution. and while it may be true that the constitution does not provide for one measure trumping the other, neither does it preclude it. measures routinely detail which prior statutes, if any, are modified/nullified, etc. by their enactment, given that bills are often updates to existing law.

    as for Article IV, Section 33:

    Reduction of criminal sentences approved by initiative or referendum process. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 25 of this Article, a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to each house shall be necessary to pass a bill that reduces a criminal sentence approved by the people under section 1 of this Article. [Created through initiative petition filed Nov. 16, 1993, and adopted by the people Nov. 8, 1994]

    yes; once passed by the voters of Oregon, any measure reducing crime sentences must then attain a supermajority vote in the state legislature. but if measure 57 and 61 both pass simultaneously, there is the 30-day window for them to be enacted. does 57 then constitute a reduction in sentencing if 61 is still 30 days out from being official? i kinda doubt it.

    and hart v paulus addressed amendments to the supreme court, not legislative questions.

  • Cedwyn (unverified)
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    gah! typos! that last part should read "hart v paulus addressed amendments to the constitution."

  • Jesse Barton (unverified)
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    "Cedwyn," first, you're right. The correct citation is to Article IV, section 1(4)(d). With that peccadillo out of the way, on to your question and response.

    Section 1(4)(d) states: “[A]n initiative * * measure becomes effective 30 days after the day on which it is enacted or approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon.” The section thereby imposes two and only two* conditions on an initiated measure becoming law: (1) get an electoral majority, and (2) let 30 days pass from the date of election. It does not authorize the legislature to impose other conditions, e.g., get an electoral majority greater than the electoral majority attained by some other measure that's on the ballot. Finally, it is important to understand that when the voters act on a ballot measure, they act as a "third house" of the legislature (but one whose acts are not subject to executive veto).

    This is where Hart v. Paulus comes in. The Supreme Court based its decision in that case on Article I, section 21, which in pertinent prohibits passing laws “the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution[.]”

    In other words, section 21 prohibits the enactment of laws through any process other than those that the constitution specifies. Consequently, the statement that although "the constitution does not provide for one measure trumping the other, neither does it preclude it" states the exact opposite of the section 21 requirement. Under section 21, what the constitution doesn't provide for is precluded. Other cases, e.g., Strunk v. PERB, explain that laws enacted through processes other than those that the constitution expressly provides for are void.

    Hart is an excellent example of this principle. There, the legislature referred a measure that would've amended the constitution by authorizing a sales tax. But the legislature conditioned the measure's appearance on the ballot on a (double) majority of local governments passing resolutions in support of the measure's appearance on the ballot. The problem is that the only condition the constitution specifies for the legislature putting a proposed amendment on the ballot is passage of a joint resolution by both houses of the legislature. The constitution gives local governments no role in the process, so the legislature's attempt to bring local governments into the process was an attempt to make law in a manner other than what the constitution specifies. The court invalidated the attempt on the ground that it violated section 21.

    Now turn to the legislatively referred Measure 57. Its section 13(2) attempts to condition the enactment of an entirely different measure, the initiated Measure 61, on the measure attaining an electoral majority greater than the majority attained by Measure 57. But nothing in the constitution authorizes the legislature--be it the legislative assembly or the "third house," the voters--to impose such a condition. Consequently, section 13(2)'s attempt to make law in a manner other than what the constitution specifies violates section 21 so is void.

    Next, this notion that Measures 57 and 61 are "competing" also bears examination. Suppose that all that the two measures did was create mandatory sentences for crime X. Measure 57 would create a four-sentence, whereas Measure 61 would create a three-year sentence. The visceral reaction would be that the measures compete and that if both pass, then under ORS 254.065(2) the measure that gets the most votes "takes all."

    But the argument is that the measures don't compete, because they would create fundamentally different types of sentences that must be reconciled. Their sentences are fundamentally different because of the supermajority requirements of Article IV, section 33 (which, BTW, I believe is invalid for separate reasons). Although Measure 61's specified sentence is the shorter of the two, it's protected by those supermajority requirements. Measure 57's longer sentence is not. If 57 gets the greater electoral majority, the legislative assembly later could reduce the four-year sentence. But it could not reduce it to less than 61's three-year term by mere simple majorities. Reducing it to less than 61's three-year term would require legislative supermajorities.

    As seen, this is very complicated stuff. As between Measures 57 and 61, sure, I'd take 57 (although I hate the fact that 57's proponents had to swallow HB 3638 in order to get some political support on Measure 57).

    But the fact is, I don't like either measure. If the only thing on the ballot were 57, I'd vote no. But more importantly, I'm confident in my mind that even with both measures on the ballot, how I vote on Measure 57 will have no effect whatsoever on whether or not Measure 61 passes.

    Regardless, the responsible thing is not telling voters that by voting no on 57, they would "open[] the door for M61 to become the big winner." The responsible thing is telling voters that there are profound constitutional questions about Measure 57's section 13(2)--that it may be void and fail in its effort to defeat a separate measure that a majority of the voters might approve--and then to let the voters make up their own minds based on that knowledge.

  • Charismatic Thieves (unverified)
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    I came home today to find my month old recycling and compost cans (courtesy of Waste Management) were stolen from the side of my house.

    I won't file a police report, and the theft will never appear on any statistics. The last time my car was broken into, I didn't report it either. The time before that I did file a police report, only because checks were stolen out of the glove box.

    My home was broken into about 4 years ago. All of these crimes were committed in a nice SW Portland neighborhood on a dead end street.

    Eventually, the stolen checkbook wound up in the hands of an experienced I.D. thief, with convictions going back over a decade. He was caught and prosecuted, thanks to the tireless efforts of a Portland detective and Washington County deputies/prosecutors. 18 months later Mutlnomah County sent me a form letter saying I "may have" been the victim of I.D. Theft (with the name of the same perp prosecuted by Washington County). As far as I can tell, he hasn't committed any new crime against me, it's just taken Multnomah County this long to notify me they intend to prosecute him for additional crimes. He did six months in jail and he's already reoffended (according to that same Portland detective), but he's out on bail.

    Under measure 61, the I.D. Thief would still be in jail on the Washington County prosecution and (quite possibly) wouldn't be writing bad checks again tonight, or breaking into somebody's car.

    The good guys don't have the tools they need to keep the bad guys off the street. Vote yes on 61.

  • Cedwyn (unverified)
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    thanks for your reply, "Jess."

    i hate them both too and would really prefer neither of them were enacted. but i don't think we have that luxury and i don't think section 13.2 poses the issue you think it does.

    ballot measures and normal bills frequently contain language explaining what laws they change, update or nullify. that's all section 13.2 of measure 57 is doing. look at the text of measure 65, starting with section 18. measure 65 is amending some statutes, totally repealing others. this happens all the time with legislation; i see no reason why measure 57 would be any different.

    Actually, ORS 254.065(2)(3) kinda underscores that point:

    A measure is not adopted unless it receives an affirmative majority of the total votes cast on the measure. If two or more conflicting laws are approved at the same election, the law receiving the greatest number of affirmative votes shall be paramount regarding each conflict, even though the law may not have received the greatest majority of affirmative votes.

    so there is no basis for challenging the validity of anything measure 57 says about attaining the most votes - that is provided for here in this statute. in light of this, i think it makes an even stronger case that measure 57 would not need any supermajority vote to override any provisions of measure 61. where they conflict, 57 wins, per this statute.

    so, where are we? LOL oh yah...do you have a link to hart v paulus? i could barely find anything about it, much less the decision itself.

  • Jess Barton (unverified)
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    In this instance at least, it'd be great if the legislature--the assembly or the voters--could change the characteristics of a measure that was put on the ballot by initiative, so that the measure would be subject to electoral requirements the constitution doesn't specify. But I just don't see that happening.

    Hart v. Paulus isn't on line, except on legal research engines. But its citation is 296 Or 352, 676 P2d 1384 (1984).

  • Eddie G (unverified)
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    But Cedwyn, what you seem to be saying is that M61 will only be nullified when it directly conflicts with M57, meaning that the non-conflicting portions of M61 ~will~ have the force of law if it passes, ~even if~ M57 gets more votes. Doesn't that at least partially validate Jess's argument? Or am I missing something?

    (I'm personally leaning toward a No vote on both and trusting in the good sense of Oregonians to do likewise. I'm hopeful that when voters look in their handbook and see the cost of these measures staring them in the face, they'll sink them both.)

  • Cedwyn (unverified)
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    I don't see how, Eddie. the relevant text of measure 57 describes what happens if each respective measure gets more votes. If Measure 57 gets the most votes (Initiative Petition 40 = measure 61):

    Measure 57, Section 13(2)

    The preamble and sections 1 to 8 of Initiative Petition 40 (2008) are repealed if this 2008 Act receives a number of affirmative votes greater than the number of affirmative votes received by Initiative Petition 40 (2008).

    So measure 57 is a full-on repeal of measure 61; nullification would certainly count as a "conflict," yes? and again, i really don't see how the 13.2 clause of measure 57 is anything out of the ordinary; measure 65 completely repeals some other statute.

    so we are back, once again, to what, really, are the odds of 61 passing? because i don't think anybody wants either of them, but i never thought we'd be foolish enough to enact measure 37, either.

    : /

    <h2>is there any recent polling data? i know a lot of people who have voted no on both already.</h2>

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