After losing in the Legislature, the Oregon Senate’s resident smoker, Senator Jeff Kruse of Roseburg, and his preferred smoking buddies and outlets are taking to the courts to beat Measure 50, the Healthy Kids Plan.
Janie Har of the Oregonian, who seems very well-connected with the minority party, reports:
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Marion County Circuit Court against Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, claims the measure violates the constitution on several fronts. Plaintiffs argue the measure would make three “unrelated” changes to the constitution with separate taxes on cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.
Well, it doesn’t sound like the most competent legal claim, but then again it’s got to be better than what land-use crazies Oregonians in Action have submitted to the federal courts against Measure 49. One has to wonder if there’s even time for this suit to be adequately processed, especially with only 70 days left until the November 6 special election.
Somewhere, behind the cloud of smoke that Kruse and Company have generated through heavy nicotine toking, Mark Nelson and J.L. Wilson are plotting and spending, wheeling and dealing with their tobacco company masters to muster the millions it will take to put one over on Oregon voters.
Meanwhile, there’s no doubt that many children in Marion County today did not receive needed medical care for want of health insurance. Where’s their lawsuit?
The Oregonian today also reported that fully 660,000 Oregon residents lack any form of health insurance. That’s one in 6 Oregonians, including 114,000 kids. And the rate of the uninsured is growing.
Senator Kruse: Can you and your smoking buddies not afford a mere $0.84 more in taxes on a pack? Especially considering that every 20 cigarettes incurs about $5 in costs to the state health system?