Ballot Thoughts, November 2014 Version

Guess it's time to give some of my thoughts on the November 2014 ballot.

Since I now live in House District 43, my obvious decision is to re-elect the fantastic State Representative Lew Frederick.

Jeff Merkley has definitely earned a strong vote for re-election and is quickly rising on the national scene as an effective progressive Senator. I am extremely glad to have him representing Oregon in the US Senate.

While I have occasional disagreements with Governor John Kitzhaber and US Representative Earl Blumenauer, both deserve to be re-elected. I want to push both of them to support establishing universal single payer health care, but that will happen from a groundswell of grassroots support (which Health Care for All-Oregon is working to build, see If you really want to vote for someone else, you could cast votes for Chris Henry or Jason Levin for Governor and/or for Michael Meo for Congress.

I see no reason not to vote for Judge Gregory Silver, and the two candidates for the two positions up for election on the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District look like great individuals to join that board.

Measure 86: Yes - help make college affordable.

Measure 87 - Yes - why not?

Measure 88 - Yes - Some people believe that the "driver card" could be used as legal ID for all kinds of other purposes like registering to vote, but that is not the case. This "driver card" would simply be verification of the fact that the person has knowledge of traffic laws and driving skills (they must pass the driving test) so that they can be allowed to drive on the streets of Oregon.

Measure 89 - While the ACLU raised concerns about the measure, I disagree with their reasoning, and I see this as a net gain in terms of protecting and securing equal rights.

Measure 90 - I actually had to struggle with this one, because creating the top two primary system would result in more paid work for me, working on political campaigns. Since there would likely be races where two Democrats face off in the General Election, or races where a conservative Republican and a progressive Republican face off in the General, I would personally benefit from being hired by the more progressive candidates to help them win. However, there are also some serious flaws to the measure, which could create serious problems. For one, the text of the measure states "(2) If three ore more candidates for a voter choice office are on the ballot for a primary election and a vacancy occurs in a nomination to the office after the primary election and before the 61st day before the general election, the qualified candidate who received the next highest number of votes at the primary election, if any, shall be the replacement nominee." This could lead to the bizarre scenario where in a district that strongly favors one party, you have a popular incumbent from that party who draws no other candidates from their own party, but two candidates from the opposition party in the Primary, the incumbent receives the strongest vote (say 75%), and one opposition candidate receives the second most votes (say 20%), but then the incumbent dies after the primary, and the second opposition candidate automatically becomes the second nominee (with 5% of the vote). You now have a General election ballot with two nominees from the minority party in the district, and none representing the views of the 75% of voters who favored the incumbent's party. This is a major flaw, and enough to decide to vote No.

Measure 91 - Yes. Prohibition is a proven failure.

Measure 92 - Yes. I believe consumers have the right to know details of what is in the food we eat. I believe the arguments that labeling requirements will drive up food costs are tremendously exaggerated. Other nations have managed to make this work, we can make it work here too.

Measure 26-159 - Yes. Just simply yes.

Measure 26-160 - It doesn't matter. Regardless of whether this measure passes, Metro will not put requirements on local governments, but would continue to establish goals, with the local governments making decisions regarding density changes.

Measure 26-161 - Yes. Support local schools.