The Skanner endorses the following candidates in the Nov. 7 general election. Please note that this is not a complete endorsement; we have included only those candidates we believe are most germane to our readership.
While we believe Gov. Kulongoski needs to reach out more to underserved sections of the population, we think he deserves to be returned to Salem for a second term.
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
District 1 — David Wu
District 3 — Earl Blumenauer
District 5 — Darlene Hooley
District 17 — Brad Avakian
District 19 — Richard Devlin
District 24 — Rod Monroe
OREGON HOUSE OF
District 33 — Mitch Greenlick
District 36 — Mary Nolan
District 41 — Carolyn Tomei
District 42 — Diane Rosenbaum
District 43 — Chip Shields
District 44 — Tina Kotek
District 45 — Jackie Dingfelder
District 46 — Ben Cannon
District 47 — Jeff Merkley
District 50 — John Lim
MULTNOMAH COUNTY COMMISSION
District 2 — Lew Frederick
Judge of the Oregon Supreme Court
Position 6 — Virginia L. Linder
Judge of the Court of Appeals
Position 4 — Adrienne Nelson
Position 28 — Ulanda L. Watkins
Position 31 — Cheryl Albrecht
Position 37 — Leslie Roberts.
If you are at least 18 years old, a United States citizen and an Oregon resident, you have an opportunity to make changes the old-fashioned way: You can vote in the Nov. 7 general election.
It's not too late to register for the election; the deadline is Oct. 17, and a registration form can be downloaded from the Web site www.sos.state.or.us/elections/votreg/vreg.htm
Ballots will be mailed in Multnomah County on Oct. 20; they must be returned to the county elections office no later than 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. Postmarks do not count.
This year, voters will select a governor and choose among candidates for state and local offices. They also will have eight statewide ballot measures to decide on, with issues ranging from parental permission for abortion to tax deductions.
This week, The Skanner gives a brief overview of four of the eight statewide issues; the other four issues will be discussed in The Skanner's edition on Oct. 11.
For more information on the election, how to register or a link to the ballot measures, check the Multnomah County Elections Division Web site at www.co.multnomah. or.us/dbcs/elections/.
Voters will be asked to decide on the following Statewideballot measures:
Ballot Measure 39: Prohibits a public body from condemning real property if it intends to convey that property to a private party.
If you vote "yes": A "yes" vote prohibits a public body from condemning certain private real property if it intends to transfer all or part of that property to a private party.
If you vote "no": "No" retains the current law, allowing the government to acquire private real property for an authorized public purpose that involves transferring property to a private party.
The Oregon Constitution allows government and other public agencies to condemn real property for a public purpose, and it requires that the owner be paid for the property. The property owner can challenge the amount of payment in court. This measure would prohibit public bodies from condemning private residences, businesses, farms or forest operations if the government intends to transfer an interest in part or all of the property to another private buyer. It does allow government to lease condemned property for retail uses.
Those who support Ballot Measure 39 say: The measure would prevent government from taking property in Oregon and selling it to a private developer. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that, unless a jurisdiction's constitution specifically prohibited it, a city or government could transfer someone's home to a developer for a new shopping center. Supporters note that 27 states have passed new laws restricting governments from using the condemnation power in that way.
Supporters: The measure is supported by the Oregon Family Farm Association, Oregonians in Action, the Oregon State Grange, Oregon Business Network, Oregon Homebuilders Association, Oregon Sheep Growers Association, the Oregon chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business and the Oregon Association of Realtors.
Those who oppose Ballot Measure 39 say: If a city wanted to develop its waterfront with stores and pedestrian walkways or create a business park to create jobs, Ballot Measure 39 would make it more expensive because most disputes would be required to be resolved in court instead of through negotiation. Condemnations for public uses — schools, roads, parks, courthouses, etc. — also would cost more because those issues also would have to be resolved in court. Some economic development projects also would be disallowed, according to opponents.
Opponents: The measure's opponents include the League of Women Voters of Oregon and the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Ballot Measure 40: Constitutional amendment requiring Oregon Supreme Court judges and court of appeals judges to be elected by district.
If you vote "yes": Judges in the Oregon Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals would be elected from and would be required to live in established districts that are based on population.
If you vote "no": Judges would continue to be elected statewide, with no requirement to live in or be elected from a specific district.
Currently, the law requires only that judges live in the state; they are elected by a statewide vote. The measure would divide the state into seven population-based districts for Supreme Court judges and five districts for appellate court judges. The judges would have to live in their districts for at least a year prior to election and remain in the district until they leave office. Under current law, Supreme Court judges must have been an Oregon resident for at least three years before appointment or election.
Those who support Ballot Measure 40 say: While judges are guided by Oregon state law and the Constitution, their core set of principles may be based on where they are from. Portland judges, for instance, may have a different perspective than a judge from Pendleton. Supporters point out that 16 of the 17 judges on Oregon's appellate courts are from Portland, Salem or Eugene; none come from any coastal community and only one lives in Eastern Oregon. They also note that trial court judges are already elected by district.
Supporters: Supporters of Ballot Measure 40 include several district attorneys in counties outside of the Portland area, including Columbia, Clatsop, Tillamook, Sherman, Hood River and Baker; several state representatives and senators; and some county commissioners from Linn, Lane and Yamhill counties. Ron Saxton, Republican candidate for governor, also supports the measure.
Those opposing Ballot Measure 40 say: The measure would result in less-qualified judges sitting on the bench. More qualified judges would not be eligible for consideration to replace outgoing judges because they don't live in that district. The judges' "constituency" should be all of Oregon, not just a part of it, opponents add. Measure 40 would make it easier for special interest groups to defeat judges whose decisions they don't like.
Opponents: Among the opponents of Ballot Measure 40 are: the Portland Gray Panthers, Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens, Gray Panthers of Oregon, Oregon Consumer League, Oregon League of Women Voters.
Ballot Measure 41: Allows an income tax deduction equal to the federal exemptions deduction to substitute for state exemption credit.
If you vote "yes": The measure allows a personal income tax deduction equal to the total federal deduction for all exemptions to substitute for state exemption credit. It could reduce revenue to the state.
If you vote "no": The current law would be retained, and a personal income tax deduction equal to the total federal deduction for all exemptions would continue to be rejected.
To determine a taxable income for federal personal income tax, taxpayers generally may claim a $3,200 deduction for each exemption, which can be taken for the taxpayer, spouse and each dependent. However, Oregon law doesn't allow this deduction but, instead, gives a tax credit of $162 per exemption. This measure authorizes a deduction on the state income tax return for each dependent, taxpayer and spouse claimed as an exemption on the federal return. Under the measure, taxpayers can choose either the $162 tax credit or the $3,200 deduction. According to the measure's supporters, by choosing the deduction, a family of four would see their state income tax reduced by $560 a year.
Those supporting Ballot Measure 41 say: The measure is a tax cut directly targeted at working middle-class families. The measure comes at a time, supporters add, when the state's revenues are projected to be higher than expected and that it only limits future increases in state spending and slows the rate of growth.
Supporters: Included among the measure's supporters are: Taxpayer Association of Oregon, Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy PAC and Taxpayer Defense Fund. Both Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy PAC and the Taxpayer Defense Fund were represented by R. Russell Walker, of Salem, who is a chief petitioner of the measure. Kevin Mannix, former Republican candidate for governor, also is a chief petitioner on the measure.
Those who oppose Ballot Measure 41 say: The real problem with Oregon's budget is the influence of special interests and lobbyists, and Measure 41 does nothing to change that. They predict "deep and immediate cuts" to education, health care and public safety because the measure would affect the state's general fund. Opponents: Among those opposing the measure are: Oregon Consumer League, AARP, Defend Oregon Coalition and presidents from the seven Oregon universities.
Ballot Measure 42: Prohibits insurance companies from using a person's credit score or "credit worthiness" in calculating rates or premiums.
If you vote "yes": Approval of the measure would prohibit insurance companies and their agents from using a credit score or "credit worthiness" of a client or applicant when insurance rates or premiums are calculated.
If you vote "no": The present law, which restricts but does not prohibit the use of credit scores in calculating insurance rates, would be retained.
Current law prohibits insurance companies from canceling, changing the rates or failing to renew insurance policies based on credit history. When a person applies for new coverage, insurance companies can use a consumer's credit history only as part of several factors in determining if the policy will be issued and how much it will cost. Ballot Measure 42 prohibits insurance companies from calculating insurance rates or premiums based on a person's credit history.
Those who support Ballot Measure 42 say: The measure ensures that customers, who are, in some cases, required to buy insurance, aren't gouged by big insurance companies. Companies should be forced to use "meaningful grounds" for establishing premiums, such as driving records and loss histories, supporters add. A person's credit score isn't a direct action that relates to the risk the companies assume when insuring a customer. Supporters note that people may temporarily have bad credit due to no fault of their own, and that shouldn't be used against them when they buy insurance.
Supporters: Supporters include perennial tax measure writer Bill Sizemore, who wrote Ballot Measure 42 and most of the supporting statements.
Those opposing Ballot Measure 42 say: The measure is poorly worded and will end up in Oregon's courts to determine its effect. In addition, insurance companies could be legally required to increase rates of customers — including businesses — whose rates were based on good credit scores because they would be subsidizing those with bad credit. Oregon law already prohibits insurance companies from using credit history solely to raise rates, opponents argue.
Opponents: Opponents include the Oregon Small Business Coalition, Associated General Contractors, Oregon Restaurant Association and Associated Oregon Industries.
As the Nov. 7 general election nears, The Skanner continues to bring readers an overview of ballot measures.
This week's issues include parental notification for abortions, inclusion of all Oregonians in a statewide prescription drug pool to lower costs and term limits for state legislators. See last week for measures 39, 40, 41 and 42.
Next week, The Skanner will wrap up its look at statewide ballot issues, which will deal with campaign contributions and state spending.
Voters can register for the election until Oct. 17. A registration form can be downloaded from the state Elections Division Web site, www.sos.state.or.us/elections/votreg/vreg.htm.
Multnomah County residents will receive their mail ballots during the week of Oct. 23. They must be turned in to the county elections division or a drop box no later than 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. Postmarks do not count. Check the Multnomah County Elections Division Web site, www.co.multnomah.or.us/dbcs/elections/, for drop box locations.
Voters will be asked to consider the following measures:
Ballot Measure 43: Requires an abortion provider to give 48-hour notice to an unemancipated minor's parent before an abortion is performed. The measure also authorizes a lawsuit and discipline of the physician if notice is not given.
If you vote "yes": A yes vote would require physicians to give 48-hour written notice to the parents of a minor 15 years or older before performing an abortion and would authorize parents to sue the physician if they aren't notified. Exceptions are allowed if the parents are notified in person, if a medical emergency occurs or if the minor obtains authorization from the Department of Human Services or a court.
If you vote "no": A no vote retains the current law allowing a medical provider to perform an abortion on minors 15 years old and older without first notifying the parents or guardians. Younger minors require parental consent.
Current law allows minors 15 years old and older to obtain medical treatment, including abortion without first notifying their parents. Physicians can, however, notify parents without the minor's consent. Minors 14 years old and younger must obtain parental consent. Under the proposed measure, physicians who fail to notify the parents by certified mail at the parents' residence could face a lawsuit and/or administrative sanctions, including license suspension or revocation. If a minor doesn't want to notify her parents, she can apply for an administrative hearing requesting an abortion. The hearing is confidential, open only to the minor, her counsel, witnesses and the judge.
What supporters of Ballot Measure 43 say: Parents are required to give their permission for other medical treatments for their underage children, why shouldn't the law also apply to abortions? Supporters say parental notification would keep their pregnant daughters from feeling alone or pressured to have an abortion and could prevent dangerous psychological effects and other physical complications. It also would open up communication for girls who are too afraid to talk. Oregon is only one of six states without parental notification laws, they note.
Children who are in abusive families can seek an administrative hearing before an administrative law judge from the Oregon Department of Human Services, supporters add; from there, the minor can appeal to a trial court. The measure also would shed light on criminal acts, such as incest or statutory rape, that otherwise might be covered up if a girl seeks an abortion or is forced by the rapist to get an abortion.
Supporters: Supporters of Ballot Measure 43 include Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton, Oregon Right to Life, Oregon Women's League, several physicians from the American Academy of Medical Ethics, Stronger Families for Oregon.
What opponents to Ballot Measure 43 say: Opponents worry that parental notification might cause a girl to run away or hurt herself or that abusive parents could harm her when they learn she is pregnant. They say that notifying a parent should take more consideration than an impersonal letter, and they note that notification must be given even in the case of incest or rape. If the pregnant minor seeks a hearing, she may have to pay attorneys' fees and court costs. In addition, the judge conducting the hearing is not required to be an actual judge, nor even to be a lawyer. The measure also threatens to shut down doctors' offices, which could impact the health of all women, opponents add.
Opponents: Oregon Medical Association, Oregon Nurses Association, Oregon chapter of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, Oregon Education Association, National Association of Social Workers, former Gov. Barbara Roberts, Portland Mayor Tom Potter, Democratic Party of Oregon.
Ballot Measure 44: Allows any Oregon resident without prescription drug coverage to participate in the Oregon Prescription Drug Program.
If you vote yes: A "yes" vote expands the eligibility of those in the Oregon Prescription Drug Program to Oregon residents without prescription drug coverage (except Medicare), regardless of income.
If you vote no: A "no" vote retains the current law that limits participation in the Oregon Prescription Drug Program to Oregon residents over age 54 who meet certain income limits.
The current law allows Oregon residents over age 54 whose income doesn't exceed 185 percent of federal poverty guidelines ($18,130 per person) and who haven't had private prescription drug coverage for the past six months to participate in the Oregon Prescription Drug Program. The program's administrator is authorized to negotiate price discounts, purchase drugs on behalf of participants and to reimburse pharmacies. The proposed measure would allow all Oregon residents to participate if they have no prescription drug coverage except Medicare Part D.
What supporters say: More than 1 million Oregonians would be eligible to join the state's drug purchasing pool, according to supporters. The measure would help contain health care costs for all residents because more expensive emergency room visits or treatments can be avoided. It won't cost anything extra, supporters add, because the program already exists. In addition, it will help minority communities that already are medically underserved.
Supporters: Supporters include Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton, the Asian Health and Service Center, Oregon Latino Health Coalition, Urban League of Portland, Oregon Health Action Campaign, AARP, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Oregon Education Association, Oregon Pediatric Society, American Federation of Teachers-Oregon.
Opponents: No opponents have filed any statements with the state Elections Division.
Ballot Measure 45: Limits the terms of state legislators: six years as representative, eight years as senator and 14 years total in the Legislature.
If you vote yes: A "yes" vote would limit the number of years that a state representative and a senator can serve.
If you vote no: A "no" vote retains the current state law, which doesn't limit the length of service or the number of years in the Legislature.
This constitutional amendment places term limits on legislators and also takes into account previous legislative service before the measure's effective date. However, legislators elected before next Jan. 1 are allowed to complete their terms of office. Those in office now cannot run for re-election if their term exceeded the limits. A former term limits law, approved in 1992, was overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court on a technicality.
What supporters say about Ballot Measure 45: Supporters say Ballot Measure 45 will give greater voter control over the Legislature; put an end to the "seniority system"; allow more equal power-sharing among legislators that rewards merit; provide more candidates in an election and more interesting campaigns; put an end to the "good-old-boy club and allow more opportunity for women and minorities to hold office; and reduce the power of lobbyists and bureaucrats.
Supporters: Supporters include Women Voters in Oregon, Committee to Restore Oregon's Term Limits.
What opponents say about Ballot Measure 45: The measure would shift power away from the Legislature because lobbyists and bureaucrats could exert more influence on inexperienced legislators who have no historical perspective and don't understand the nuances of complex issues. Inexperienced legislators don't know how to develop relationships to move legislation forward, according to supporters, or how to manage legislative sessions so they are shorter and cost less. Term limits also throws out good legislators with those who aren't as effective, supporters note. The best term limits, they say, are already here: They're called "elections."
Opponents: Opponents include the Oregon School Employees Association, Oregon Small Business Coalition, Oregon Medical Association, BikePAC and the League of Women Voters of Oregon.
It's time to sharpen the pencil: Ballots from Multnomah County soon will be appearing in a mailbox near you.
Multnomah County will send out general election ballots beginning Oct. 20; they must be returned to the elections office no later than 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. Check the division's Web site, www.co.multnomah .or.us/dbcs/ elections/, for locations of drop-off boxes. See part 1 on October 5 for measures 39-42, and part 2 on October 12 for measures 43-45.
This week, The Skanner completes its overview of the statewide ballot measures. Two of them — Ballot Measures 46 and 47 — are similar, and supporters and opponents tend to discuss them at the same time. As a result, we are looking at them together, as well.
Ballot Measure 48 places an additional spending limit on the state, based on the amount Oregon's population increases, plus the inflation rate.
The following ballot measures will be considered by voters:
Ballot Measure 46: Amends the constitution; allows laws regulating election contributions, expenditures adopted by initiative or ¾ of both legislative houses.
If you vote yes: A yes vote would amend the constitution to allow laws to be enacted that limit or prohibit political campaign contributions or expenditures if those laws are approved by three-fourths of both houses of the Legislature.
If you vote no: A no vote would retain the current ban in the Oregon Constitution on laws that limit or prohibit political campaign contributions or expenditures by any person or entity.
The Oregon Constitution currently doesn't allow laws that limit or prohibit campaign contributions or expenditures for state and local elections. Under Ballot Measure 46, the Oregon Legislature or voters by initiative would have the authority to limit or restrict such contributions. While only a simple majority of the Legislature is required to pass all other laws, this measure would require three-fourths of the state House and the Senate to adopt campaign finance laws. The restrictions would not apply to campaigns for federal offices, such as U.S. president, senator or representative.
Ballot Measure 47: Revises campaign finance laws; limits or prohibits contributions and expenditures; adds disclosure, new reporting requirements.
If you vote yes: A "yes" vote would limit or prohibit certain contributions and expenditures to candidates, political committees and political parties. It also would limit a candidate's spending to his or her own campaign and it adds new reporting requirements.
If you vote no: A "no" vote retains the current law, which doesn't limit contributors, contributions to or expenditures for state or local public office candidates.
The current law requires the reporting of certain contributions and expenditures but doesn't limit who can contribute or how much they can contribute. Ballot Measure 47 would limit the individual contributions to candidates, political committees, "small donor committees" and political parties by placing an annual cap for all contributions and restricts candidates and political parties from contributing to each other. Corporations, unions and other organizations also would be prohibited from making contributions to candidates or political parties, and candidates could not loan money to campaigns; candidates would be allowed to contribute to their own campaigns, however.
Those who support Ballot Measures 46 and 47 say: The ballot measures would reduce the power of corporations and special interests that can influence candidates through their corporations, according to supporters. Elections will be more fair and competitive, they say, and individuals will maintain the freedom to contribute to any candidate. Oregon is only one of a few states without contribution limitations.
Supporters: Supporters of Ballot Measures 46 and 47 include: FairElections Oregon, Jackson County Citizens for the Public Good, Injured Workers' Alliance, and the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group.
Those who oppose Ballot Measures 46 and 47 say: The ballot measures threaten the freedom of speech and would limit the ability of candidates and nonprofit organizations to educate voters about their issues. Contributors also would be limited in how much money they can give to support candidates and issues, thereby restricting their participation in the electoral process. In addition, opponents say, the limits would enable only the wealthy to run for office; working people who wish to be candidates would have to spend much of their time raising money from individuals who are limited to $500 while wealthy people can spend their own money on themselves.
Opponents: Those who oppose Ballot Measures 46 and 47 include: the American Civil Liberties Union, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Oregon Right to Life, Oregon Family Council, NARAL, Basic Rights Oregon, American Federation of Teachers-Oregon, SEIU Locals 49 and 503, Oregon AFSCME and Oregon AFL-CIO. Ballot Measure 48: Amends the constitution by limiting the biennial percentage in state spending to the percentage increase in Oregon's population plus inflation.
If you vote yes: A yes vote would amend the state constitution to require a limit the amount the Legislature can budget for state expenditures to the percentage increase in Oregon's population, plus inflation.
If you vote no: A no vote would retain the present Oregon statute that caps appropriations based on personal income.
Oregon law currently limits state appropriations to 8 percent of projected personal income in Oregon. If the governor declares an emergency, the Legislature can exceed the current statutory limit by a 60 percent vote in each house.
Measure 48, would limit state funding from one biennium to the next to a percentage increase in the state's population, plus inflation over the previous two years, with certain exceptions to the limit. That spending could be exceeded by an amount approved by two-thirds of each house of the Legislature and by the majority of voters voting in a general election.
The measure would not apply to money spent for tax and "kicker" refunds or money placed in an emergency fund or "rainy day" reserve fund. Money placed into an emergency or "rainy day" fund would not be available for state spending in excess of the spending limit without a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate and approval by the voters.
The Legislative Fiscal Office estimates that the measure in the upcoming biennium would restrict the spending of approximately $2.2 billion out of about $35.6 billion in revenues estimated to be subject to the limit. The Legislature could refund those restricted funds to taxpayers, place them in a "rainy day" fund, leave them in the treasury or, with a two-thirds vote of each legislative house, refer a spending plan to the voters.
What supporters say about Ballot Measure 48: The ballot measure would limit irresponsible spending but not strangle the growth of state spending, supporters say. It would supply a "voters' veto" when the Legislature wants to exceed the spending limit and still create a "rainy day" fund for future expenditures, such as when a recession hits the state.
Supporters: Supporters include chief petitioner Don McIntyre, author of other tax limitation measures including "Ballot Measure 5"; Oregon Business Roundtable.
Those who oppose Ballot Measure 48 say: A "rainy day" fund should not be set aside until the state invests enough to improve education, health care, public transportation and other services, supporters say. The measure makes it too difficult to spend the "rainy day" surplus, they argue, because two-thirds of both houses of the Legislature and a statewide majority vote would be required. They cite a similar measure adopted in Colorado, which they call a "complete failure." The measure would cause cuts in education, public safety and other services. They also point out that the measure is retroactive: It could reduce the previous budget adopted by the Legislature by $2.5 billion and the 2007-2009 budget by $4.9 billion
Opponents: Opponents include Gov. Ted Kulongoski; Oregon's seven public university presidents; Oregon State Police Officers Association; sheriffs from Douglas, Umatilla, Lincoln and Wasco counties; Oregon State Fire Fighters Council; Oregon Education Association; and AFSCME.
The Skanner recommends the following votes on the measures appearing on the Nov. 7 general election ballot:
• Measure 39: Prohibits Public Body From Condemning Private Real Property if it Intends to Convey to Private Party.
The government shouldn't be able to favor one private party over another, especially when property ownership is concerned. VOTE YES
• Measure 40: Amends Constitution: Requires Oregon Supreme Court Judges and Court of Appeal Judges to be Elected By District.
Judges represent all of Oregon, not voters from a specific district. VOTE NO
• Measure 41: Allows Income Tax Deduction Equal to Federal Exemptions Deduction to Substitute for State Exemption Credit.
The real problem with Oregon's budget is the influence of special interests and lobbyists, and Measure 41 does nothing to change that. The measure would have an immediate negative impact on vital spending programs. VOTE NO
• Measure 42: Prohibits Insurance Companies From Using Credit Score or "Credit Worthiness" in Calculating Rates or Premiums.
The measure is poorly worded and will end up before Oregon's courts to determine its effect. Besides, Oregon law already prohibits insurance companies from using credit history solely to raise rates. VOTE NO
• Measure 43: Requires 48-Hour Notice to Unemancipated Minor's Parent Before Providing Abortion; Authorizes Lawsuits, Physician Discipline.
Parents are required to give permission for other medical treatments for their underage children, why not abortions? Parental notification would keep pregnant girls from feeling alone or pressured to have an abortion and could prevent dangerous psychological effects and other physical complications. VOTE YES
• Measure 44: Allows Any Oregon Resident Without Prescription Drug Coverage to Participate in Oregon Prescription Drug Program.
More than 1 million Oregonians would be eligible to join the state's drug purchasing pool. The measure would help contain health care costs because more expensive emergency room visits or treatments can be avoided. In addition, it will help minority communities that already are medically underserved. VOTE YES
• Measure 45: Amends Constitution: Limits State Legislators: Six Years as Representative, Eight Years as Senator, 14 Years in Legislature.
The best term limits are already here: They're called "elections." The measure would shift power away from the Legislature because lobbyists and bureaucrats could exert more influence on inexperienced legislators who have no historical perspective. VOTE NO
• Measure 46: Amends Constitution: Allows Laws Regulating Election Contributions, Expenditures Adopted By Initiative or ¾ of Both Legislative Houses.
The state Supreme Court has already decided that involuntary limits on campaign contributions violate Oregonian's freedom of speech. This measure would infringe on that cherished freedom by limiting people who choose to contribute their own money to political campaigns. VOTE NO
• Measure 47: Revises Campaign Finance Laws: Limits or Prohibits Contributions and Expenditures; Adds Disclosure, New Reporting Requirements.
This measure would limit the ability of ordinary people to have a voice in politics and would magnify the voice of wealthy candidates who can contribute to their own campaigns. It also would muzzle the influence of grassroots organizations that work on behalf of poor and minority Oregonians. VOTE NO
• Measure 48: Amends Constitution: Limits Biennial Percentage Increase in State Spending to Percentage Increase in Population, Plus Inflation.
The state budget must be flexible to meet needs that can change from one biennial cycle to the next. Measure 48 creates an arbitrary link between population growth, inflation and spending needs that doesn't reflect reality and would have an immediate negative impact on everything from public education to health care.
• Measure 26-81: Renew Five Year Local Option Levy to Continue Library Services.
Public libraries are among the community's most vital assets and deserve to maintain their services at current levels. VOTE YES
CITY OF PORTLAND
• Measure 26-86: Amends City Charter -- Changes Fire and Police Disability and Retirement System.
"Measure 26-86 will be both fair to the taxpayers and to our police and firefighters," said Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. "It's also a very fiscally responsible reform that will save taxpayers' money over the years and help protect their financial future." VOTE YES
• Measure 26-80: Bonds to Preserve Natural Areas, Clean Water, Protect Fish, Wildlife.
Stewardship of the natural environment is in everyone's interest. VOTE YES
MT. HOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE
• Measure 26-83: Mt. Hood Community College District General Obligation Bond Authorization.
Mt. Hood Community College is a vital resource to East County residents. This bond measure is a prudent investment in the college's future. VOTE YES
PORTLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT
• Measure 26-84: Portland Schools Levy for Teachers, Classrooms, Educational Programs, Learning Materials.
The Portland Public Schools District continues to ask the citizens of Portland for more money, yet its schools continue to underperform. This measure would impose yet another tax on homeowners that doesn't produce any results. VOTE NO