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place, politics and power in oregon

Just 5% to Go… November 6, 2007

Filed under: 2007 Special Election — taoiseach @ 2:17 pm

In order for Multnomah County to get up to 50% turnout, which may be critical to the efforts to pass Measures 49 and 50, we need 5% of registered voters to turn in ballots before 8:00 PM.

As of 11:00 AM, Multnomah County is reporting that 45% of ballots have been returned.  We’re so close!

Get in touch with the Healthy Kids or Yes on 49 campaigns, make some calls, walk some blocks, and then head to the victory parties!

Healthy Kids will be at the Benson Hotel (SW Broadway and SW Oak, downtown Portland) and Yes on 49 is at the McMenamins Kennedy School (NE 33rd between Killingsworth and Ainsworth).

See you there!


Turnout in Special Elections: Then and Now November 5, 2007

Filed under: 2007 Special Election — taoiseach @ 10:48 pm

With all the talk of anemic turnout by state Elections Director John Lindback, it has come to the attention of the Boundary that many sources claim low turnout in this election without citing similar elections in the past.  Luckily, that same elections division keeps a detailed record of past elections, including cross-sections of voter turnout, all available on their website.

According to the elections division, here’s the overall turnout for the special elections of this decade:

September 2002:  44%

January 2003:  66.9%

September 2003:  35.4%

February 2004:  63.1%

Now, that’s the final count of voters measured against the voter rolls when the election’s all over and the lights have dimmed in county offices across the state.  Here’s a closer look at turnout with a snapshot the day before each election, with the overall turnout and last-day composition of that vote in parentheses:

T-Minus One

September 2002:  33% (44%/10%)

January 2003:  57% (66.9%/9.9%)

September 2003:  29% (35.4%/6.4%)

February 2004:  53% (63%/10%)

So, with the exception of September 2003, one can expect the turnout in a special election to jump 10% on the day of the deadline for ballots.  But because the elections division has not released the number of ballots received today, Monday November 5, it’s necessary to look at the turnout two days previous:

T-Minus Two

September 2002:  29% (44%/15%)

January 2003:  53% (66%/13%)

September 2003:  26% (35.4%/9.4%)

February 2004:  48% (63%/15%)

As of Nov. 2, the last count available, the Secretary of State is reporting that 38% of ballots have been accounted for by an elections office.   With an intervening weekend, it could mean that the data for ballots received on Nov. 5 will be a healthy 5% of total turnout, just like the February 2004 trajectory.  That would put it well on its way to a 50% turnout, which would be right in the middle of the turnouts for past special elections.

If the number is 3% or under like in Sept. 2003, then turnout probably won’t make it to 50%, as the last-day turnout may not get to that normal 10% last-day burst.

Make a difference and help us get 10% more tomorrow!  Volunteer with the Healthy Kids campaign or the Yes on 49 campaign today–it’s the last day.


Big Tobacco’s Nuclear Option October 7, 2007

Filed under: 2007 Special Election,Big Tobacco,Measure 50 — taoiseach @ 7:45 pm

Apparently, Philip Morris thinks Measure 50 is like a smoker’s own personal Hiroshima.  That’s the take-away feeling one gets after a glance at a direct mail piece that made its way to Boundary HQ this past week.  It’s a picture of a huge bomb–probably hydrogen or nuclear in form (the Boundary knows little about warfare)–labeled “$8.45 per carton tax” falling on a small man with a tiny head.

Mark Nelson and his ilk really want to hit smokers over the head with this argument.  Oh, sure, the reverse side of the flier has the usual greatest hits of tobacco lobby talking points such as ‘targeting smokers’–who, by the way, take up a huge share of the public health system, with estimated costs of $11 per pack in treatments for adverse tobacco-caused conditions.   But comparing a cigarette task to nuclear holocaust, or really a bomb of any sort, is a gross exaggeration of the extreme variety of which only Big Tobacco is capable.

Take a look for yourself:

Bomb M50

Voting Yes on Measure 50 affirms life, not death, by providing health care insurance to Oregon’s 115,000 uninsured children.  If you’re tired of Big Tobacco’s sickening symbolism, contribute to the Healthy Kids campaign here.


TV Stations Reject Anti-M50 Ad Due to Misleading Content September 11, 2007

Filed under: 2007 Special Election — taoiseach @ 12:24 pm

The Eugene Register-Guard has two items on Measure 50 in today’s paper, which is just golden by Boundary standards.

First, the RG reports that four television stations in Oregon refused to air an anti-Measure 50 advertisement from Oregonians Against the Blank Check because of a misleading statement about who paid for the ad (ironically, registration is required):Smoking Beaver

The TV ad initially identified Oregonians Against the Blank Check and Reynolds American as the ad’s sponsor. Reynolds American is the parent company of the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co.

But some Measure 50 supporters and TV viewers contend that Reynolds American should be listed as the sole sponsor since the tobacco company is, to date, the sole contributor to Oregonians Against the Blank Check. Reynolds American has contributed about $1.8 million.

It’s true: the only ‘Oregonians’ against the blank check paying for that ad are Mark Nelson and J.L. Wilson, and with none of their own money. It’s all R.J. Reynolds cash. And wouldn’t you believe it, local Fox affiliates (as well as one CW station) sided with accuracy and fair citation:

Measure opponents said Monday that they plan to flip the tagline so that the ad now declares that it is paid for by Reynolds American and authorized by Oregonians Against the Blank Check.

That apparently suits Mark Metzger, general manager at KLSR-TV, the Fox network affiliate in Eugene. KLSR-TV and its sister station, KEVU-TV, are among the four stations in Oregon that said they would not continue running the ad until the tagline was changed. KRCW, a WB affiliate in Portland, and KMVU, a Fox affiliate in Medford, also pulled the ads.

David Steves of the RG also has a lengthy summary of the Measure 50 campaign thus far, with a fairly good chase on the money on both sides:

[. . . the] campaign to pass Measure 50 has raised $1.1 million. About one-third has come specifically from HMOs, along with businesses closely affiliated with such entities.

In all, three-quarters of the campaign’s money so far has come from donors with ties to the health care field: doctors, nurses, hospitals, HMOs, insurance companies and nonprofit advocacy groups such as the American Heart and American Lung associations.

And the anti-Measure 50 side has just one very reliable, very rich source:

All the money Wilson’s group has collected for the campaign – $1.8 million so far – is from the tobacco giant Reynolds American.

Let’s hope the media keep up the good leg work on letting the voters know the true source of Measure 50 opposition. It shouldn’t be too hard, as it’s only coming from one place: Big Tobacco pockets.


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.


Jeff Kruse and Cig Buddies Sue Bradbury August 29, 2007

Filed under: 2007 Special Election — taoiseach @ 5:09 pm

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:Jeff Kruse

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?

The rest of us can and should contribute to the Yes on Measure 50 Campaign.  They’ll certainly need it for more things than legal defense.


Oregon-As-Logo Gets Visibly Political August 26, 2007

Filed under: 2007 Special Election,Geography,U.S. Senate — taoiseach @ 2:48 pm

The Boundary has long admired the geographical shape of his native Oregon. And so it is much to his pleasure that the 2007 and 2008 campaigns have started incorporating the shape as a logo for a campaign.

Take a look at the sidebar of this blog: ‘Yes on 49‘ and ‘Jeff Merkley: Democrat for U.S. Senate‘ both include an outline of the state, and, interestingly, they are both shaded green. Merkley’s Oregon is titled slightly leftward, perhaps in a nod to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party that will turn out in the May 2008 primary. And the ‘Yes on 49’ Oregon is green, but not the deep forest green that moderates might associate with uncompromising environmentalists. It’s just greenstop 49 enough.

The ‘Stop 49’ campaign also has an Oregon; it’s colored red. The Stop 49 logo also looks crudely drawn and incorrect in the northwest corner. Perhaps the Stop 49 team has bought into the territorial logic that the Yes on 49 campaign has arranged and simply turned it on its head by coloring the state red. Or they could be appealing to the state’s Republican base, whose quadrennial goal is a red state on the electoral map. Either explanation would signal a mistake by the anti-49 team.

How much can one read into the makeup and use of these logos in statewide campaigns? And is the use of the geographic logo limited to statewide campaigns? What about city maps, legislative districts, or counties? It would certainly be interesting if competing candidates and single-issue campaigns begin fighting over the a claim to very territory that will choose one side or the other.