the . . .


A few places to get more information:

Project Vote-Smart

(This site is truly incredible, and needs to become much more well-known. It has more political info than you can shake a stick at.)

Online Voter's Guide

(This is just what it sounds like: the Voter's Pamphlet online.)

Voting Suggestions and Election Commentary

Abbreviation Key


U. S. Senator

I am planning to vote for Bill Bradbury (Democrat).

I actually find much to like or respect in the political record of his opponent Gordon Smith (Republican), at least compared to Republicans in general. And he has good teamwork with Senator Wyden (Democrat). However, he has taken a few positions I do not like, one of the latest being his Yes vote on Resident Bush's Iraq resolution.

Plus, a vote for Bradbury is another chance to vote against Lon Mabon (Lunatic), and I never pass up one of those! :-) :-) He is clothing himself in the Constitution Party this time, but he's still the same old Lon we know and loathe from the OCA.

Oregon Congressional District #3

I shall vote for Earl Blumenauer (D). He's very good, and he's practically Green.


Oregon Statewide Ballot Measures

For the actual texts of the measures, click on the measure number below, or see the Online Voter's Guide.
The Online Voter's Guide also has each measure's Explanatory Statement, etc.

14: (AC) Removes historical racial references in obsolete sections of Oregon Constitution, Article VII (Original), Article XVIII.

My vote: I'm not sure

This one would seem like an obvious Yes. However, Kathy has now raised the specter that passing it will somehow give more force to Article VII (Original) than to Article VII (Amended). So I am holding off on this one until I can investigate that angle.

15: (AC) Seismic rehab. of public education buildings.

My vote: Yes

A chance to vote for an ounce of prevention instead of a pound of cure? I'll take it! Normally, I tend to vote against constitutional amendments (see my remarks under Measure 18), but I'll make an exception for this one.

16: (AC) Seismic rehab. of emergency services buildings.

My vote: Yes

See my remarks on the last measure.

17: (AC) Allows 18-year-olds to serve in the state legislature.

My vote: Yes

I don't think that many are going to run, Jake Oken-Berg excepted. But given how many other statewide offices do not have an age limit (e.g. state treasurer), I do not see why state senator and state representative should.

18: (AC) Allows certain tax districts to establish permanent property tax rates and divide into tax zones.

My vote: Yes

I normally do not like amending the Oregon Constitution. It has more than enough amendments already, and they can cause problems (see for example my remarks under Measure 14). Also, certain things just shouldn't be in the Constitution in the first place (consider Measure 87 from the November 2000 election). Thus, when I am confronted with a proposed constitutional amendment, especially one whose impact is hard to predict, I often just vote No.

However, there are exceptions. Measure 18 is an amendment because it has to be: it aims to fix past changes to the Oregon Constitution that made it impossible for certain counties to do specific tax-related things, such as hire staffing for the sheriff's dept. without having to issue a levy every five years to keep the staff's payroll in the budget. This is worth fixing.

21: (AC) This is the "none of the above" option for judicial positions.

My vote: No

22: (AC) This is the one about electing certain judges by district, rather than by state-wide election.

I still need to think about this one, but I think I shall be voting No.

23: Creates new health care finance plan.

My vote: a reluctant No

Whoo-ee. This is the measure whose proponents use the slogan "Health Care for All." And it probably would be that, or close. I just am not sure that this measure is the way to do it.

I have vacillated over this measure several times. It's not that I think the current health care system is a good one. I don't. That's a reason to vote Yes. It's not that I am worried that if this passes, thousands of folks from out of state will move here to take advantage of it. I don't think that will happen; we have a high unemployment rate, and I don't believe that many folks will want to move here so that they can have health care but be unemployed.

No, what worries me is the power this measure gives to the Board it creates. These fifteen people will be making decisions about health care that affect everyone in the state, and the way the measure specifies for the members of the Board to be chosen almost guarantees they'll have vastly different agendas. What if they underpay the doctors --- will the doctors all leave? What if they overpay the doctors --- will taxes go up to the point that businesses can't pay the payroll tax without firing people? What if the board decides to try a plan that turns out to be unworkable after a year, and then argues about how to fix it for months while people's lives hang in limbo?

While I appreciate the controls that they have put in --- caps on how much one individual has to pay under the new income taxes, caps on how much the Board can spend on administrative costs, that sort of thing --- what if that revenue simply doesn't cover the costs incurred by all of us citizen-patients, and some of us are hung out to dry?

Ack. I'd love to see a better state-wide health care plan than we have now. And I am not opposed to socialized medicine. Given my medical status, I'm sure that I'd benefit. But I think I'll wait for a better-written measure to come along.

24: Allows licensed denturists to install partial dentures.

My vote: Yes

Why not? If folks feel that denturists (who receive less training than dentists) aren't competent to install their dentures, they can still go to the dentist. And for folks who trust a denturist sufficiently, this will probably save them money.

25: Increases Oregon's minimum wage from $6.50/hour to $6.90/hour.

My vote: I plan to abstain, because I just plain don't care

Look. If you put ten economists in a room and ask them a question, you get at least ten different opinions. Will raising the minimum wage make employers cut jobs to salvage the bottom line? Some say yes, some say no. I suppose that I could research the past several minimum-wage hikes to see if they corresponded to a spike in layoffs, but frankly I am not going to bother. If you assume a 40-hour work week and a 50-week work year, this raise only amounts to an extra $800 a year. That's not much in the great scheme of things. If you want to vote Yes on this measure because you believe that minimum-wage jobs aren't just for teenagers anymore, and folks making the minimum wage should be able to support their families, this measure is not going to cut it. It's not even going to bring them out of poverty: under the assumptions above, a job at the new minimum wage still only pays $13,800 per year.

If this passes, I don't see it making a big ripple, either positively or negatively.

26: (AC) This measure prohibits paying signature-gatherers by the signature.

My vote: Yes, yes!

Down with fraud! Down with forgery! Down with forces that repay political coercion! Down with signature-gatherers that see their work as just a job and feel no obligation to understand the measures they are advertising! Down with BS!

OK, I got a little carried away there. This measure won't fix all of the above problems. But it's still a step in the right direction.

27: This measure requires labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods.

My vote: Yes

Whoo-ee. This is the other measure (besides Measure 23) that gives me a big headache. Luckily this one has effects that are a bit easier to predict.

I have eaten plenty of GE foods. So, in all likelihood, have you. And we're still alive. I deny many of the more extreme claims made by this measure's supporters.

However, I even more forcefully deny many of the more extreme claims made by this measure's opponents. It will not wipe out the majority of restaurants. It won't do anything to food companies like Monsanto that Monsanto and its ilk don't deserve. It will not destroy all small farms. However, the cost to small farms of the bureaucratic process involved in the labeling does concern me somewhat.

The real key reasoning for me is this: there are many things going on right now in epidemiology and public health which we do not understand. Why have asthma cases among children in the past few decades been so much higher than in decades before? What is responsible for the rise in cases of Asperger's syndrome? Since nobody knows for sure, why not start tracking more of the variables to find out? One of the biggest things that we do, in terms of affecting our health, is choose what to eat. If this measure passes, some folks are going to be so revolted at what they have been eating that they'll swear off all the GE foods that they possibly can, and eat only at the local organic food co-op. Watch these people for the next 20 years. Do their rates of cancer, heart disease, etc. differ from the population at large? What about the rate of asthma, allergies, Tourette's syndrome and Asperger's syndrome in their children?

Let's track this information and find out. We should be able to make an informed choice. "Information wants to be free." And in the meantime, if this measure passes, many folks will read the new labels, shrug and go back to eating the way they have always eaten, restaurants included.


I shall vote for Ted Kulongoski (D).

This race is important! Kulongoski's Republican opponent, Kevin Mannix, is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, no matter what some of his recent PR has been saying. He's pro-life, pro-gun, and fiscally conservative in the wrong directions. Plus --- I need to double-check this to be sure --- I believe he at least used to support the OCA. Putting him in office would undo many of the things Kitzhaber did that I happen to like.

State Representative District #42

I shall probably vote for Libertarian candidate Theresa Reed.

I do not normally vote Libertarian. However, once again my state rep. district is so liberal that no Republican is even running. And just like two years ago, the Libertarian candidate is someone I have a personal connection to (although this time it's a different someone). Besides, as I said two years ago, I am not thrilled by incumbent Diane Rosenbaum (D).

What is my personal connection this time? Well, for those in the know it is enough to say that she writes a column under the name "Darklady." For those not in the know, the story is too long to give here, so write me and ask.

State Senatorial District #19

I do not vote in this district. In fact, I vote in District #21, and my state senator isn't even up for re-election yet (she is Kate Brown (D), and last I checked she was still the Senate Minority Leader --- go Ms. Brown!).

So why am I talking about a district I don't even vote in? Because I just had to take a moment to tell everyone for whom it's relevant to vote against Bob Tiernan (R), one of the candidates running in District #19. I've encountered him before, and he's dangerous. He's in favor of heavy-handed anti-crime measures. He's a mini-Kevin Mannix. Don't vote for him. Thank you.


Metro President

I shall vote for David Bragdon.

This is the David Bragdon vs. Kate Schiele race. I strongly oppose Ms. Schiele. She is way, way too pro-developer, pro-business and pro-let's-build-more-roads. She also does not have nearly the governmental experience of Mr. Bragdon.

Multnomah County Ballot Measure

26-36: Five-year levy for the library system

My vote: Yes, yes!

As a teacher, a tutor and a serious reader, I can confirm that Libraries are Good. Please vote yes on this measure.

City of Portland Ballot Measures

26-33: Five-year levy for the "Children's Investment Fund"

My vote: Yes

This measure would give money to proven programs that aim to help at-risk children and families. Opponents of this measure will tell you that it's the county's job to pay for these sorts of programs. They're right. However, the county is not doing its job in this department, and the children need all the help that they can get.

(And, if merely voting on this measure doesn't seem like enough to satisfy your desire to reach out to troubled children, there are other things that you can do. For those who feel that "politics has nothing to do with me," this is one more connection between the political arena and the rest of the world.)

26-34: Five-year levy for the parks

My vote: Yes

City of Portland: City Commissioners

City Commissioner, Position #2

I shall vote for Erik Sten.

Sure, he's the incumbent and the only candidate. But I rather like him, especially for founding X-PAC.

City Commissioner, Position #3

I shall vote for Dan Saltzman.

City Commissioner, Position #4

This is the Serena Cruz vs. Randy Leonard race. It's a tough, lesser-of-two-evils call. Right now, I am favoring Mr. Leonard, even though Steve Duin's column on him (see the 10/29/02 Oregonian, Metro section) did not help his case.

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (Director at Large, 4-year term)

Up until recently, I did not understand why we were voting for Director at Large again, since we just had an election for this same seat (I thought) in 2000. So I spoke with the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture about this (they are the controlling body for the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District). It appears that there are two positions in this district called "Director at Large." This would explain why we voted in Xander Patterson (G) back in 2000 for a 4-year term as Director at Large, and yet now, only two years later, it's time to vote for another Director at Large.

What does the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District do? They were involved in the Springwater Festival; they work on conversation plans for the area; they put on workshops; they distribute habitat boxes. A habitat box is apparently a home for birds or some other small wildlife; they come in various types (owls, et al.). I don't know much more than that.

Suggestions for changes/additions to this Webpage are welcome and may be sent to me from here. Flames will be dumped to /dev/null/ summarily.

To the Front Room of my Demesne

(Last updated 11/1/02002)