The skinny kid at the end of the bench:getting it together for YES on M66/67

Paulie Brading

We are like the skinny kid sitting on the end of the bench on a basketball team when it comes to playing the game against millions of dollars flowing into Oregon to defeat Oregon's tax measures on the January ballot. We are not like the other team all lined up in neat rows of brass buttons and red coats fat with money for media buys, disinformation campaigns or linked the Chamber of Commerce and Freedom Works. We are not the establishment. We are like the Biblical story of David and Goliath. But if we play on Goliath's terms, Goliath wins. The more the Republicans scream and hold us in contempt the better because our position is not to raise our voices because we can make Goliath lose.

Our weapons are timing and speed. We can close the gap of understanding about the Measures 66 and 67 and we can do it by breaking Goliath's rhythm. We can't afford to go toe-to-toe against the conventional way the right wing groups conduct their NO on 66/67 campaign. We can't fight straight up because we know we will lose. We've got November, December and part of January to convince voters to vote YES on M66/67. We're going to be like the small ships at sea against a traditional naval fleet. We have the mobility to move like a P.T. boat while big ships slowly turn to avoid being shot. The ballots come out on January 8th and must be returned by January 26th.

If we fail to pass M66/67 Oregon will lose $1 billion dollars in funding. The economic damage to Oregon will devastate us. Businesses that rely upon sklilled and educated workers will leave the state because the already underfunded schools and colleges will be stripped down even further. I don't like 39 kids in a 6th grade class at Jackson Elementary this year. If the measures don't pass it will only get worse for our children. I don't like contemplating huge cuts in Head Start, police and fire services and reductions in senior services. I don't like 42 kids in a biology lab class at Ashland high school with not enough chairs or lab stations.

Even with the passage of measures 66 and 67 Oregon will still have the fifth-lowest corporate taxes in the country---lower than 45 other states. More than 97% of Oregon tax payers won't see any increase in their personal income taxes. The YES vote doesn't add any new money to our state programs it simply holds the line on the services provided right now.

Every time I buy a cup of coffee or get a hair cut I ask, "Have you heard about M66/67?" I tell the story and hand them a voter registration form if they are not registered to vote. Usually people don't even know about the measures but by the time I explain that most corporations and partnerships have been paying the $10 minimum that was set in 1931 I have a YES vote.

Down here in Jackson County our rag tag army of five invited several movers and shakers from many organizations to a meeting to share our game plan to defeat Goliath. Thirty-one people attended Wednesday night and signed on to pass the measures. We formed canvassing teams, phone bank teams, found 7 or 8 people willing to speak to others in an hour and 15 minute meeting. All of the people in the room are going back to their organizations to sign folks up to volunteer. We have three set canvassing dates for these organizations to join together and knock on doors. It certainly helped to have Representative Peter Buckley with us and a 10 minute conference call from the state field director from Defend Oregon among us. Today I spoke to a group of 50 folks at Rogue Community College and asked for their help.

All I'm saying is we can't wait for Defend Oregon or any other organization. We are the ones who can make the difference. Get 5 friends together and start working. Call Defend Oregon for handouts, charts and stuff if you think you'll need them. Use the strategies we all learned during the Obama campaign and don't wait around. We only have a few weeks to protect Oregon.  Are you in?

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)

    Pau;ie I hear you but respectfully disagree. I'll hold my nose and vote for 66, hoping the legislature gets a brain and establishes a more stable fubnding option.

    I'll vote NO on 67 because the legislature over reached with the Gross receipts tax. During the yeqrs 2001-2007 private sector entities added a net of about 25,000 jobs/yr. at that rate it would take 4.5 years to get back to even for jobs lost since 2007. That just ain't gonna happen with 67 passing. as ir is I suspect several aerospace suppliers will be moving ro SC w/Boeing anyway.

    Even if these measures do pass, the PERS hits of 2011 will require 549C to pony up an additional 6% for PERS (an increase of 50%) to make up for the 2008 debacle that state officials paid out bonus dollars for.

  • mp97303 (unverified)

    The economic damage to Oregon will devastate us

    If the threat is so bad, why doesn't everyone kick in to protect us? I mean, don't you care about the kids enough to kick in a few extra dollars to avert this crisis.

    And for the record, I am voting YES on 66/ NO on 67. I do not support a minimum tax on those without taxable income. Had there just been an increase in the corporate tax rate, I would have voted yes.

  • rural resident (unverified)

    More than 97% of Oregon tax payers won't see any increase in their personal income taxes

    A nice fiction, but WRONG. (And I don't care how much Chuck Sheketoff wants to bury his head in the sand and deny the fact.)

    Section 1(a) of HB 2649, the bill that Measure 66 refers to, increases taxes for almost all Oregonians. The two lowest tax brackets on the Oregon return have been narrowed. The 5% bracket used to go from $0 to $2,999 of taxable income. Now it ends at $1,999. The 7% bracket currently goes from $3,000 to $7,599. Under HB 2649, it stops at $4,999. Only taxpayers with less than $2,000 of Oregon taxable income will escape the effects of this change.

    Section 3(1)(C)(b)(ii) and (iv) reduces the standard deduction for taxpayers using any filing status except “Married Filing Jointly.” This tax increase imposes additional burdens upon those who can often least afford it--those who are single or a head of household (This includes young people struggling in the current job market and single mothers, whose household income is often relatively low). The income tax deduction for the federal income tax paid is also reduced under HB 2649, which will cost many people whose federal taxable income exceeds approximately $43,000 (MFJ) or $37,000 (Single or H of H filers).

    The bill also eliminates or changes some of the additions and subtractions so as to increase tax liability for many people making less than a six-figure taxable income. The effect of all of these changes is to increase the amount of Oregon income tax liability for most taxpayers who are part of your "97+%". Read the bill that underlies the measure carefully.

    Once the opposition committee figures this out—and they will soon—it’s going to be all over for the “personal” part of the legislature’s tax increase.

  • matthew vantress (unverified)

    that 10.00 corporate minimum is not even a tax its a registration fee thats what the liberals wont report.businesses pay thousands and millions more in hidden taxes like fees,system development charges and etc that none of these blue oregon columnists ever bother to mention in their articles.baloney even with passage oregon will still have the 5th lowest corporate taxes in the about all the hidden taxes you dont mention paulie?oregon is in the top 5 in the nation in total corporate taxation when you include every corporate tax and fee they pay and paulies arguments does not take that into account.enough of this it will get worse for the kids paulie because schools will still be getting 10,000 bucks a kid and thats very generous funding in this tough economy.the schools sorry to burst your bubble paulie are not one bit underfunded.10,000 is more than adequate and very stable funding.sorry paulie i am voting no on both measures beacuse the greedy selfish state govt and schools fail to live within their means and have done absolutely nothing to rein in costs and get their spending under about the fact paulie pers will suck up most of this money?i dont see you pro tax liberals talking about that in your meetings.tell us the real truth liberals about where the money will go and enough of the same old tired whiny scare tactics about public education too.and stop painting the other side as ogeres for not wanting to pay more education and other taxes.

  • LT (unverified)

    Don't forget those whose unemployment benefits will continue to be taxed if NO wins.

    And about this, "We've got November, December and part of January to convince voters to vote YES on M66/67. " what are individuals doing to make clear to their local newspaper that they should interview local legislators and publish answers to questions like "Are you voting yes or no on the January measures and WHY?".

    My state rep. looked me straight in the eye and said THESE ARE BAD TAXES as if that is the answer to everything. Only concrete examples of how to fill the budget hole: public employees should pay more than they do now for their own health care (wish I had asked exactly how much legislators pay for their health care ---did remember to ask a local reporter to check that out) lower ending fund balances.

    When I asked what was wrong with the idea of having a public debate between those who believe in smaller ending fund balances and those who think those should be the last things cut--from being a cushion against revenue shortfall or emergency to effect on credit rating--she gave me a look which said "that does not compute".

    But then, this is a Republican who has acted like a creature of the caucus over 90% of the time.

    Ever heard of the theory of concentric circles? Best example last year was probably that small town beauty parlor in the rural Deep South where a couple who owned it set aside a room in the back to organize for Obama. That would be the inside circle in the concentric circles--the activists meeting in that room. People they spoke to about the Obama campaign would be the next circle. What is important, though, is the wider circles. For instance, someone saying "Sally told me those beauty parlor owners have set aside their back room to help the Obama campaign" is a word of mouth message which costs no money and maybe a minute or less of time but can reach people who will never be political activists.

    A friend of mine is a swing voter who I know abstained on Measure 30 because it was all too confusing. He thought it was a legislative referral, not a referendum (but that is putting it in political language, he didn't understand those terms). He was so busy with his small business, his family, his church, his hobbies, etc. that he didn't watch the news and so had missed all that publicity about Dick Armey coming into Oregon to collect signatures.

    So the minute these measures qualified, I sent him an email telling him basic facts about them, and in an exchange of emails eventually sent him the LRO link which amazed him---government actually made such information public!

    In exchanges about these measures he said something I think shows that there is more truth to Nixon's "silent majority" concept than some people give credit for: voters don't necessarily look at issues the way pollsters and pundits assume they do.

    In regard to some of the rhetoric from AOI, Freedomworks, etc., he said rhetoric such as some had used was misleading. "many businesses would close their doors and not be able to afford the taxes" or "give them an inch and they will take a mile and heap more taxes on small businesses without any recourse" are sensational, designed to get an exaggerated emotional response against the proposal.

    Suppose he only mentions those sentiments to 2 other friends/relatives. That does not make him an activist. But it could snowball just like that old shampoo commercial, "tell 2 friends, and they tell 2 friends, and they tell 2 friends, and so on and so on".

    I remember a campaign finance reform measure (1994's Measure 9) which collected signatures in all counties and I believe also passed in all counties but totally blindsided the consultants and other political professionals. Not a lot of money in that campaign (or for that matter in the adult adoptee measure years later) but living proof that word of mouth is the best advertising.

    I recall after that election a local county chair asking me why it passed---he couldn't understand. I said that he and I knew people who had been told if they couldn't raise a ton of money for a legislative race they weren't valid candidates (famous case back then of some consultant telling a colorful former legislator that name familiarity expired at the end of every year and had to be rebuilt from scratch---which sounded clueless to many who loved telling stories about that legislature which almost amounted to folklore) and that all it took was each candidate letting off steam to friends about absurd amounts of money, and those friends talking to other friends, etc.

    I believe there is a much different political climate now than when Measure 30 was on the ballot. If all the young legislators mobilize their supporters, if everyone who cares about this issue has conversations with friends and relatives, I don't think the ads will have any more effect than the Jan. 1996 "we're all real tired of career politicians" ads had for Gordon Smith.

    And the ads might backfire in this sense, "you have money to pay for TV ads, but not enough money to pay taxes to support government services you use?".

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    Rural resident: Are you an accountant? Cuz we've had at least one do a post here that says you're wrong.

  • craigclower (unverified)

    there are thousands of jobs in medical coding needs to be filled find a local school to get your degree at

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    oregon is in the top 5 in the nation in total corporate taxation when you include every corporate tax and fee they pay

    Matthew, can you post a link to a resource that supports that claim? I've been googling for an hour, and can't seem to find anything to support it.

    According to the conservative "Tax Foundation", Oregon ranks 14th out of 50 in its "state business tax climate index".

    The tax foundation goes on to report that Oregon also has one of the lowest overall personal tax burdens in the United States.

    I'm all for an honest debate about taxes and revenue restructuring. Let's just make sure that it is rooted in actual data.

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    Rural Resident's concerns above would be devastating if true. Fortunately they are not. A very quick read might suggest the concerns that rural resident raises, but each of the sections RR refers to has a consumer price index escalator. The numbers in plain text in the tables are indeed the original numbers at the time the original statute was adopted years ago, but the actual numbers now are those numbers adjusted for inflation. The bold text contains the changes in the statute made by HB 2649. The bill makes none of the changes rural resident fears. RR, please read the language after the table and note the escalator language, for example Section 1(b)(A) after the table you refer to. All the other concerns you have are adjusted similarly. Nothing in the bill makes any of the changes RR is concerned about.

    HB 2649 raises taxes from the highest income Oregonians only, approximately 2.5% of households (those who make over $250,000) and about 2.5% of people who file Single returns(those who make over $125,000).

    If the "opposition committee" decides to use this argument, it will be no worse than the "fact free" arguments they are making now. I hope, RR, this helps.

    Paulie, your advice is right on. Let's get going.

  • Lord Beaverbrook (unverified)

    "Memo to everyone that's warned that the overkill is hurting our position: Screw yourself. We follow the instructions of the national party".

    Responding to this makes as much sense and would have as much effect as commenting on one of the sidebar ads. Basically what it is, anyway.

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    we had a discussion on tactics the other night, and a couple of things came up. one, there's only going to be 2 items on the ballot. the numbers don't matter. "Yes" is all that matters. they don't need to worry about ballot numbers, which is so unusual i had to be smacked over the head with that fact before going "duh".

    second, our usual response to ballot measures is NO NO NO NO. now we're saying Yes? well, we are, and we need people to understand what yes is for. we're not opposing Sizemore this time; we are for</strong jobs, schools, health care, safety, jobs, jobs, jobs. the message is really simple: Vote Yes for schools/jobs/safety/Oregon. if you need to prove the point, prepare yourself for that. but the political message is "vote Yes in January". period. that's all we care about: Vote Yes in January.

    the more we explain why, the further we get from the real message: Vote Yes in January. keep it simple. after all, that's what they do every time: simple messages of evil gummit. "Job-killing taxes." that's about as simple & effective a message as they could ask for. we need to trump their simple with Vote Yes for Oregon. simple. Yes.

  • Jim (unverified)

    vote yes or. you'll type like matthew baloney and other weirdness that says matt better get to some aa meetings.

  • alcatross (unverified)

    Sal Peralta wrote: The tax foundation goes on to report that Oregon also has one of the lowest overall personal tax burdens in the United States.

    eh... not sure what you mean by 'lowest overall personal tax burden' but the Tax Foundation's Aug 2008 report on state-local tax burden ranks Oregon in the middle of the pack (26th @ ~9.4% of income) Adding the annual ~$1181 per capita Oregon residents pay to other states puts us at #27. Oregon's total state and local tax collections from residents (per capita) @ ~$2538 is 22nd. While I wasn't able to find a ranking for Oregon in this report, Oregon's 2008 per capita income in this report is ~$5000 below the US average with the gap steadily widening over the last 10 to 15 years.

    Sal Peralta also wrote: According to the conservative "Tax Foundation", Oregon ranks 14th out of 50 in its "state business tax climate index". Like a similar report Chuck Sheketoff and others reference here ad infinitum, Oregon's ranking in this report is primarily due to the lack of a state sales tax - which is less a business tax than a pass-through tax on consumers. Note that in compiling these rankings, Oregon was ranked #31 for Corporate Income Tax Index and #45 for Individual Income Tax Index. I found the discussion of the Individual Income Tax Index and the negative effects of a progressive tax system on a state's business tax climate beginning on Page 15 of this report particularly instructive.

  • matthew vantress (unverified)

    sal i dont have or need a link i include every tax,fee,system development charge,and all the hidden taxes and fees that businesses pay on their profits that all you liberals and columnists on this blue oregon site are too scared,lazy and afraid to include in your baloney and full of it argument that businesses only pay the 10.00 corporate minimum.that 10.00 thing is not a tax its a registration fee and look it up on oregon if you dont believe me.the tax foundation site sal is full of it and dont include all taxes and fees businesses pay,including the ones i mentioned in its figures.i am one of the few posters on this site who has enough brains and common sense not to fall for the same old tired liberal baloney about how undertaxed and underfunded everything is and the fact that pers will suck up most of the 733 liberals are doing absolutely nothing about and have no plan to reduce unemployment in oregon or make oregon more business friendly and less onerous for businesses.

  • SwamiSam (unverified)

    Paulie - Your premise is just laughable! "We are not the establishment." "We are like the skinny kid at the end of the bench."

    What are you smoking? The Yes side is going to outspend the No side, just like it has in every tax vote I can remember in the last 35 years.

    For you to try to pretend that the side wanting higher taxes and more government is somehow the under funded underdog is just ridiculous.

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    Matt - So can I gather from your latest rant that you just made up the claim that Oregon is among the top-5 in corporate tax burden?

    Alcatross - Thanks for digging into the numbers.

  • matthew vantress (unverified)

    no i did not make up that claim sal.let me suggest you do some non biased real research and stop listening to everything the liberals tell you because they bald faced lie all the time about how bad things really are and how much money they really get.sal i included every tax,fee,system development charge,taxes on profits and etc that businesses pay thattaxfoundation does not take into account and is too lazy too in their arguments in my argument sal.govt stats sal lie all the time and are very blatantly biased and dont ake everything into account in their claims.

  • alcatross (unverified)

    Paulie wrote: We are like the skinny kid sitting on the end of the bench on a basketball team when it comes to playing the game against millions of dollars flowing into Oregon to defeat Oregon's tax measures on the January ballot.

    Paulie, exactly where are these 'millions of dollars flowing into Oregon to defeat Oregon's tax measures' coming from?

    And what about the millions of NEA, public employee union, Democratic Party, and left-wing organization dollars (ever hear of George Soros?) that will be flowing into Oregon in SUPPORT of swaying voters to APPROVE the Oregon tax measures? Or do those get a pass because they support your particular point of view?

    I've heard this 'millions of conservative/right-wing out-of-state special interest dollars flowing into Oregon' boogeyman argument recently every time there is a ballot measure the progressive/liberal side doesn't like. It's one-sided BS. There are vested and well-heeled interests on both sides that will be spending money and working to support the causes of the people and organizations they represent.

    And please stop with the trying to paint your cause as 'anti-establishment' - summoning up echoes of some long-lost feel-good 1960s counter-culture hippie 'us against The Man' jargon. Both major political parties (and the public employee unions) are every bit a part of the corporate/'big gummit' establishment.

    It really doesn't make any difference whether we approve these particular tax measures or not because we all know we're going to hear the same cries of 'drastic state budget cuts' and 'our schools are inadequately funded' again a year or two from now when we'll be going through yet another version of this same song-and-dance all over again.

  • LT (unverified)

    Matthew, definition please.

    Read the material at this link and then tell us. Is

    "real research"

    or is it "liberal"?

    Ranting about " everything the liberals tell you " does mean anyone has to take you seriously.

    I know the difference between fact and opinion. Do you?

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)

    Are all of the pro 66/67 numbers coming from the same state government accountants that were instructed (and obliged) to misrepresent the impacts of BETC?

    I for one do not now trust ANY numbers coming out of the Governor's office or any Salem state office.

  • (Show?)

    Matt - If you have some actual data to support the assertion that Oregon is top 5 in the US in business taxes, please post it. If not, please admit that you don't have hard data to support your claim.

  • matthew vantress (unverified)

    my statement sal stands for itself and you need to really research on your own and stop believing everything the liberals brainwash you with because govt stats like taxfoundation are very biased and are never honest about how much our tax burden really is and never include every tax,fee and etc businesses pay in their arguments.i dont need data sal to support my view because i dont trust the govt on anything because they lie all the time.

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    I've done the research, Matt. I went to a conservative web site that tracks this stuff and found that your claim doesn't hold water, which is why I asked you to provide me with a reference so that I can verify that what you are claiming is true.

    To this point, you have been unwilling and unable to prouce such a reference.

    This leads me to believe that you made up your claim and are lying about having researched the issue.

    As to "liberal brainwashing"... Folks who know me will probably vouch for the fact that I am an equal opportunity skeptic.

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    clears throat and does his best imitation of troll Matthew

    Hey look I've got this proof right here see, you believe me right. I'm just some some psycho behind a keyboard who likes to make things up. But I don't need to show you my proof because I'm right, I'm a certified right wing nut job. If you do anything to hurt me I'll run to Fox News and tell on you.

  • matthew vantress (unverified)

    the liberals lie all the time and so do govt stats.hey folks the state bald faced lies to you all the time about how much money they really get so why should i believe any of their baloney and full of it stats that say oregon is such a low tax state?the state has a 54 billion all funds budget budget with a 2 billion surplus yet the public is only told the 15 to 17 billion general funds budget and that they are 3 to 4 billion short on everything.tell me please mr sal why should i trust and believe the govt on anything especially when they bald faced lie all the time about how much money they actually get and receive?keep on falling for the same old tired nonsense folks all you left wing nuts who lack the brains,common sense and and iq to see through the same old tired liberal full of it scare tactics.

  • John Davis (unverified)

    You know, a lot are looking more at his bombastic, two-ton Tessie of a mother than the skinny kid. I can't publish Oregon data (confidentiality, I work here), but here's an itemization of what California spent on PERS consultants this year. Message is loud an clear. Get real with middle management/consultants, or we WILL let the entire system go under. Schools are no different. It is the same, wasteful, insider glad handling that we've all become disgusted with. I recognized one of the names of the actual consultants. His picture should be next to the words "Unindicted Felon" in your political lexicon. Yeah, after cutting and scraping to cut costs so that my brother doesn't have to lay off employees, I really want to tell him he needs to send another handout to crooks, incompetents, career wannabees and sycophants because they're taking too much of the schools budget! Get real, or get used to unemployment.

    CONSULTANT FEES Brock Capital Group LLC $ 468,000.00 Capital Innovations $ 190,000.00 Cliffwater LLC $ 350,000.00 Courtland Partners, Ltd. $ 180,250.00 Investors Diversified Realty, LLC $ 225,000.00 Meketa Investment Group $ 125,000.00 Pension Consulting Alliance, Inc. $ 120,000.00 R.V. Kuhns & Associates, Inc. $ 250,000.00 Wilshire Consulting $ *100,000.00

  • Paul Cox (unverified)

    Take that skinny kid to the Doc! Man, with what you've been feedin' him, the dude must be wormy like an old hound. At least you admit the system underperforms. You know, you could cut him from the team...

    "More money, or your kids get it". That's not MUCH scare tactics!

  • Paul Cox (unverified)

    Every time I buy a cup of coffee or get a hair cut I ask, "Have you heard about M66/67?"

    And this is different from the Palin supporters that put "Ask Me" on their car windows, how?

    Time and a place, you know. That' what bars are for. And Paulie thought it was where you take a cut on the lottery money!

  • LT (unverified)

    Paulie, loved the end of the first paragraph.

    Check this out:

    Seems to me that if the side of the petitioners (aka no on 66 & 67) comes across as personal pique rather than substance or even a debate about political philosophy, the less likely they are to win.

    Have any of the school districts in Jackson County debated a resolution on the measures? A Yes on 66 & 67 resolution got "first reading" at Salem Keizer school board this week and will be voted on in December. The resolution is in favor because of cuts that would happen otherwise.

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    The Medford School Board has a draft of a resolution supporting M66 and M67. Best guess is it will pass. The Medford School District projects another cut of $3 million for the next school year if M66 and M67 fail and more in the following year.

    We are left with two choices: cut staff or cut days. As a state we will be cutting our workforce if NO on 66 and 67 prevail. What company or executive wants to live in a state that does not offer excellent public schools?

    What will businesses have to sell to fewer and fewer who can participate in the economy?

    The middle class will be most harmed by a NO vote.

    The Chambers of Commerce speak out both sides of their mouth stating they support public education while spending millions to get a NO on 66 and 67. Social responsibility is just slick lip service.

    I picture an ad campaign with a picture of a little kid locked out of her school and the other of the company executive reaching across the conference room table receiving yet another bonus.

    Oregon is rapidly becoming West Virginia with a beach.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)

    "We are left with two choices: cut staff or cut days."

    Uh, no, public employess could do a giveback on benefits, contribute more towards their medical/pension or do a 10% paycut like Intel employees do.

    You present a false dilemma.

  • LT (unverified)
    <h2>Steve---what about public employees having exactly the same benefit package as legislators? Would you be OK with that?</h2>

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