beaver boundary

place, politics and power in oregon

Measure 50 Opponents: Certainly Smoking Something… September 9, 2007

Filed under: 2007 Special Election — taoiseach @ 8:55 pm

The Secretary of State has posted the arguments in favor of and in opposition to Ballot Measure 50 (and for that matter, Measure 49) online. They are of the rougher variety, not yet screened and edited for format in the Voter’s Pamphlet, but nonetheless they are there available for the earlier birds of voting.

Lining up in favor, with statements of endorsement, are the following individuals and organizations:

  • Oregon Pediatric Society
  • Children First for Oregon
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
  • American Lung Association of Oregon
  • Oregon Nurses Association
  • Nurse Practitioners of Oregon (a split from ONA?)
  • Oregon PTA
  • Gray Panthers of Oregon
  • Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens
  • Save Oregon Seniors
  • United Seniors of Oregon
  • Oregon Alliance of Retired Americans
  • Governor Ted Kulongoski
  • Urban League of Portland
  • Stand for Children
  • Oregon Psychiatric Association
  • Oregon Academy of Family Physicians
  • Tobacco Free Coalition of Oregon
  • Oregon Business Association
  • Our Oregon
  • Oregon Medical Association
  • Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
  • SEIU 503 and SEIU 49
  • Oregon Education Association
  • Oregon State Fire Fighters Council
  • Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
  • Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham)
  • Senator Bill Morrisette (D-Springfield)
  • Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-Washington County
  • Representative Ben Cannon (D-Northeast/Southeast Portland)
  • Representative Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis and Philomath)
  • Representative Mitch Greenlick (D-Northwest Portland and Washington County)
  • Representative Tina Kotek (D-North/Northeast Portland)
  • Oregon AFL-CIO
  • Oregon Dental Association
  • National Association of Social Workers – Oregon Chapter
  • Human Service Coalition of Oregon
  • Oregon Alliance of Children’s Programs
  • Providence Health Systems
  • Community Health Advocates of Oregon
  • Oregon primary Care Association
  • Community Action Partnership of Oregon
  • Oregon Health Action Campaign
  • Tuality Healthcare
  • Oregon Food Bank
  • Oregon Center for Christian Values
  • Oregon Working Families Party

And against:

  • Oregonians Against the Blank Check (Anti-50 campaign)
  • James Huffman, Law Professor at Lewis + Clark College
  • Stop the Measure 50 Tax Hike
  • Diane Fritz, Accountant
  • J.L. Wilson (R.J. Reynolds Lobbyist)
  • Marilee Teller, former OHP Financing Manager
  • Cascade Policy Institute
  • Northwest Grocery Association
  • Suki Eum, Glisan Market
  • Freedomworks
  • Tom Larimer
  • Andrea Reimer
  • Rep. Bill Garrard (R-Klamath Falls)
  • Steve Choi, Get and Go Grocery (Oregon City)
  • Wayne Brady (Assistant to state Sen. Gary George)
  • Richard Burke, Libertarian Party of Oregon
  • Lila Leathers, Leathers Enterprises, Inc.
  • Taxpayer Association of Oregon
  • Korean American Grocers Association
  • Former State Rep. Jeff Kropf
  • Oregon Small Business Coalition
  • Rich’s Cigar Store
  • Oregon Neighborhood Store Association
  • Dari-Mart Stores

Tobacco Lobbyist J.L Wilson submitted the bulk of the statements under the guise of ‘Oregonians Against the Blank Check’, which tells anyone that Big Tobacco is definitely behind the ‘Reject 50’ campaign. And this despite names like “Neighborhood Store Assoc.” and “Small Business Coalition”.

Check out the SoS website yourself for some deceptive forays into political argumentation–especially when they indicate that it’s the Big Insurance companies that are behind Measure 50.

Of course, the authors of Measure 50 are Governor Ted Kulongoski, Senators Laurie Monnes Anderson, Bill Morrisette, Speaker Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Tina Kotek Mitch Greenlick and Sara Gelser. These esteemed public servants are hardly in the pockets of the Hospital Association and the Insurance companies–quite often the opposite is true.

Fifty-seven days before election day.


13 Responses to “Measure 50 Opponents: Certainly Smoking Something…”

  1. James X. Says:

    Strangely, the anti-50 side includes no advocates for the poor. After reading some comments at Blue Oregon, I would have thought a raft of social justice activists would be filling up the voter’s pamphlet with dire warnings about how poor people won’t be able to afford to inhale carcinogens anymore. Instead, the anti-50 folks seem to be a bunch of people who sell cigarettes. Weird.

  2. taoiseach Says:

    Also interesting, James X, is the absence of Plaid Pantry. The local mini-mart chain made a big stink down at the legislature flanked by Mark Nelson, but they decided not to file a statement.

    The question is now: do we pro-50 people temporarily boycott Glisan Market and the other anti-50 shops?

  3. James X. Says:

    But I always do my grocery shopping at Glisan Market!

  4. taoiseach Says:

    Wow. That picture warrants its own post.

  5. Lengo Says:

    Well, I have not read the measure, and have diligently searched for this online, but it seems to me that if you want to offer kids health insurance, then everybody should pay an additional tax, not just smokers. How about taxing fast foods? How about taxing gasoline? Don’t single out smokers! If you’re for obtaining health insurance for children, cough up some dough yourself!

  6. Dr. Avery Says:

    Seemingly motivated by spite against smokers, these taxes serve only to oppress a subset of people too small to defend themselves against any legislation proposed. The amount by which they seek to raise the cost of smoking is insane. You might as well ask for a billion dollars a pack; The law would still pass because their aren’t enough smokers to vote it down.

    The majority of smokers are from sub-median income backgrounds, but none of this effects you – so who cares, right? Besides, it’s a chance to force your personal morality on others, and that feels good, doesn’t it.

    If smoking is such a burden on health care and society, how come smokers don’t have access to the health care plan they are paying for. How come those tax dollars don’t pay to help Oregon smokers quit? Because it’s pork barrel politics. Enjoy your bacon. No one really gives a damn about smokers, or the health risk presented to them by smoking.

    As a non-driver, here’s to hoping they raise the cost of gasoline by $10 a gallon.

    Dr. A. Avery,

  7. Debra Hinman Says:

    I want children to have access to health care. I do not mind paying a fair share to help in that cause. I do however find the “marketing” of Measure 50 (basically the USING of kids) disingenious and deceitful. While the measure applies to children it also applies to much more. How about being honest and truthful regarding just where all the collected money will be going. Are the proponents of Measure 50 afraid that if the voters know the whole truth of the measure they will vote nay? Maybe they should give voters some credit, they just may be surprised. We do have brains and hearts, you know.

  8. exsmoker Says:

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  9. Ted Fish Says:

    After all the thunder and lightning disapates in November, I hope those behind Measure 50, and those against it, will come out with “the rest of the story.” Is it enough to be Pro Measure 50 because the tobacco industry is Con? Do Governor Ted Kulongoski, Senators Laurie Monnes Anderson, Bill Morrisette, Speaker Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Tina Kotek Mitch Greenlick and Sara Gelser KNOW they are right to be Pro; or do they only THINK so, based on all the warm fuzzies attached to a bill for children, taxing tobacco, etc.?

    Anyway, I hope the truth finally emerges; that the clouding effect of “politics as usual” and the never-ending hate for tobacco and other such industries can be swept away, along with the old-faithfuls such as that cute puppies and kids and such can be used to sell almost ANYTHING. It will be too late, but won’t it be nice to finally know the truth behind Measure 50?

    And is it shear coincidence that the same arguments are being used at the federal level for and against SCHIP, with many of the same politically correct arguments. I want to believe my President; after all, who in their right mind would argue against kids and seemingly on the behalf of Big Tobacco? And I have tremendous respect for many of the people supporting SCHIP. Wouldn’t it be nice to really know the truth, and all the unintended effects should these measures pass.

    Our country is in trouble if we the people are denied the basic truths about the issues we and our representatives must understand and vote upon. After being told so many half-truths and outright lies, who can be trust anymore?

  10. Eddie Francisco Says:

    As a former smoker, I have a comment on the proposed tax: This is nothing more than a SALES TAX. Why don’t Oregonians recognize this? As one of the previous comments noted: It is because the number of smokers forms such a small percentage of the larger population that most people don’t care.

    But take a moment to consider your favorite passtime. Perhaps fishing, bowling (I chose that because the governor likes it), or knitting or watching movies. Now imagine that your favorite activity fell out of popularity with the general public. The legislature decides to tax your activity: For a fishing license we add a 20% tax; for each lane of bowling we add a 20% tax; for eack skein of yarn–a 20% tax; for each movie ticket–a 20% tax.

    Would anyone stand for this? Not a chance. Whether you are a smoker or not, you should be outraged that the Oregon legislature and governor are trying to sneak in this 20% sales tax. Even though it is a product I no longer want, the 20% sales tax is cruel and unusual punishment.

  11. Herb Dunsel Says:

    Remember the last cigarette tax hike? Did you know that the State of Oregon Department of Revenue has admitted to a $150,000,000 revenue shortfall in collection of this tax? Want to know why?

    In New York state, you’ll find the 10 tribes of the Seneca Nation … the only Native American group of tobacco sellers who are exempt by treaty from reporting customer sales info to state taxing agencies. Every time the cigarette taxes go up, a growing number of Oregon smokers simply start buying cigarettes out of state.

    This blog’s author suggests that measure 50 opponents must be “certainly smoking something.” I suggest that persons who honestly believe that a new hike will generate new revenue are “certainly smoking something BETTER” than what I have.

    One thing is certain. The day after Oregonians go to their ballot boxes in November, I, and a growing number of other smokers in Oregon, will be paying the same storefront price for cigarettes that we are now.

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