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government oregon elections 2006

Portland Greens take positions on upcoming Ballot Measures

The Portland Metro Chapter voted last night to support/oppose the following ballot measures that will appear on the ballot this November.
Measure 39, Would prohibit governments from condemning property to give to a private party - Vote NO

Measure 40, Would elect State Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges by district - Vote NO

Measure 41 - Would reduce state income taxes by allowing federal exemption - Vote NO

Measure 42 - Would ban insurance companies from using credit scores to calculate rates - Vote NO

Measure 43 - Requires teens to notify parents 48 hours before abortion - Vote NO

Measure 44 - Would allow those without prescription drug coverage to get discounts - Vote YES

Measure 45 - Would limit legislators to six years as representative, eight years as senator - Vote NO

Measure 46 - Would allow limits on political contributions - Vote YES

Measure 47 - Specifies limits on political contributions - Vote YES

Measure 48 - Would Limit increases in state spending to population increase plus inflation - Vote NO

Portland Property tax increase dedicated to schools - Vote YES

homepage: homepage: http://www.pacificgreens.org

why? 24.Aug.2006 15:57

Jerry

Just curious why on this one? "Would prohibit governments from condemning property to give to a private party - Vote NO" Sounds like most progressives would be for that. You want them to condemn some low income housing and give it to Wal-Mart? Confused?

rationale? 24.Aug.2006 16:07

tc

Perhaps you can share what you perceived to be the rationale behind some of these votes. I know some of these measures have been backed by powerful corporate interests who believe that the measures are in their best interest but I'm not sure I disagree with the measures (nor do I necessarily believe that those pro-corporate stooges are correct in their assessments). Measure 45, for example, is one that I think could serve the people. Of course there is a lot of debate about term limits and whether they would benefit the people or the aristocracy more. I tend to believe the former but I understand that arguments for the latter. Still, I'm also a proponent of making changes and evaluating the effectiveness of those changes. Since term limit laws are practically non-existent I'd prefer to pass some and then evaluate whether we see better or worse representation. Likewise I would like to see the rationale for opposing measure 39. I don't think many people trust the government with powers when it has been shown that the government abuses those powers to benefit the aristocracy. You could make an argument, I think, that if the government was run by people who were actually concerned about the public welfare their might arise situations in which this power can be used to serve the common good. But that seems like a few too many "ifs" for me and so I'd rather the government not have those privileges. I'm sure others would like to see an explanation of the rest of the votes, but those 2 stuck out to me, partly because I wonder if they're opposed just because of who's supporting the measures (odious individuals to be sure).

Measure 39 24.Aug.2006 19:51

Brian the Green

The issue here is whether the government should be able to use their right of imminent domain to take property from one owner and then transfer the seized property to another owner. We think not.

Philosophically, this isn't an issue that can be decided looking at our 10-key values. Pacific Greens do however believe in a limited government and the notion that the government would seize one party's property to transfer to another seems unfair.

These cases tend to occur when the government wants to "revitalize" an area. There was a controversial Supreme Court decision a few years back where the Supreme Court sided with local government over the individual rights of private property owners.

Imagine owning a little house on the Willamette that you enjoy. Along comes the City of Portland with plans to tear everything down along your little stretch of river, transfer ownership to ABC Developer who plans to put in three new 30 story condos. The city would get millions in tax revenue if this change went through. Should they have the right to take your property (with compensation) and transfer it to ABC Developer if you don't wish to sell?

We have no problem if the property is taken and then used for a public benefit (park, street, school, etc.).

Obviously, these are my own opinions and not the PGP's or any other individual in the party.

Measure 45 - Term Limits 24.Aug.2006 20:01

Brian the Green

There are some pros and cons with term limits. On the one hand, it does ensure change. On the other hand, it creates an inexperienced legislature, transfers power to lobbyist and staff, and limits people's right to be represented by their particular choice.

One Green value is the idea of shared leadership. We do not believe someone should be the leader forever when there are many qualified individuals. It would be our preference that elected leaders willingly step aside so that others may serve. While this may not happen much in our self-centered culture, voluntary change would be our preference.

While we recognized the frustration with the current system and the power of incumbency, our preferred way to improve representation would be the adoption of proportional representation. We also would like to see reforms like public financing of elections, instant runoff elections and None of the Above as an option. Free media time for ballot qualified candidates would help challengers improve their odds of winning.

While we definitely want to see more faces in the legislature, we don't believe term limits is the right way to make it happen.

please clarify 25.Aug.2006 02:26

.

>> The issue here is whether the government should be able to use their right of imminent domain to take property from one owner and then transfer the seized property to another owner. We think not.

Then wouldn't you be supporting mesaure 39 which you state "would prohibit governments from condemning property to give to a private party"?

Just a thought 25.Aug.2006 10:26

Mike Novack stepbystpefarm <a> mtdata.com

Such a brief summary can be most misleading.

I agree that some of the positions look odd based upon the summaries BUT might make a great deal of sense if we saw the entire question spelled out. Also perhaps explanations rather than simply "yes" or "no".

Before jumping to conclusions, remember ..........

A referrendum queston purporting to be on one side may actually be supporting the opposite side of the question. It might have been proposed precisely to pre-empt a more effective measure on that question, contain so many loopholes as to be useless, etc.

Measure 39 - Clarification 25.Aug.2006 10:32

Brian the Green

Darn those double negatives. We support the ballot measure and are opposed to the government seizing property from one private party in order to transfer the private property to another private party.

Greens vs. Democrats 25.Aug.2006 10:35

Brian the Green

I think it is interesting to note where we differed from Governor Kulongoski on Ballot Measures.

Measure 39 - Greens Yes, Dems No
Measure 42 - Greens Yes, Dems No
Measure 46 - Greens Yes, Dems No
Measure 47 - Greens Yes, Dems No

clarification 25.Aug.2006 10:58

bht

hey Brian the Green:

in your original article, you said to vote no on 39 and 42...but in your last comment you are saying to vote yes on them?

this is confusing.

ok now I am really confused 25.Aug.2006 19:34

term

Now I am especially confused about the measure 39 stand. Yes or no!? Well, we all do need to read and study these issues on our own, of course, but I do hope the Greens will clairfy ALL of the measures now. I am not sure of the Green stand on any of them. Thanks

Vote Yes on Measure 39 26.Aug.2006 08:44

Brian the Green

The Measure would prohibit the government from condemning private property to transfer it to another private property. Vote Yes on this measure. We don't think the government should be taking one party's property and using the power of government to transfer the property to another private party.

Measure 42 Clarification 26.Aug.2006 08:47

Brian the Green

Sorry about the confussion. Vote YES.

We do not want insurance companies using credit scores to calculate rates. This is a social justice issue. Insurance companies can use prior claims and other risk factors to set rates but they can't jack your rate simply because you are poor or have a lower credit rating.

M42 29.Aug.2006 12:13

Green/Red/Black

The Green Party is supporting one of Bill Sizemore's ballot measures!? On the surface the measure seems good, but the sponsor gives me serious pause. I am certain I am missing some information.

Please Absolutely Vote YES on 42 12.Sep.2006 20:35

Tired of Subsidizing Good-Credit Folks

I have not had an accident or traffic violation for OVER 15 YEARS. Yet I pay high car insurance rates because of past bad credit which already has its own punishments built-in, so, in essence, I'm serving two sentences for the same crime. This is EXTREMELY UNFAIR.

Opponents of 42 (read Insurance Companies) say that the measure would make people with good credit subsidize those of us with bad credit. That's distorted logic, since the issue should not be credit but driving record. What's really happening is that us with bad credit and good driving records are subsidizing those with good credit who may have a less-than-perfect driving record but still get a break. Because richer people will tend to have better credit, the present situation is a classic case of the poor subsidizing the rich. It's time to end this injustice.

It's funny to see myself (a progressive) allied with Bill Sizemore, but so be it on this one.

Vote YES on 42.

measure 42 13.Sep.2006 23:45

psycheros

I agree. Despite the Sizemore association, I can't find a good reason not to vote for it. I started researching this measure when I received a letter today urging me to vote no on measure 42 beacuse it will supposedly raise everyone's insurance rates. So we are supposed to support unfair insurance practices because if we don't, insurance companies will punish everyone for it? That's crap. The letter also said that Oregon law already restricts insurance companies from raising existing customer's rates ased on their credit scoes, and isn't that enough? No, it's not. Sizemore had a good point in one of the articles I read, which was that the current system actually discourages healthy competition because it prevents consumers from shopping for better rates from a different insurance company who can price-gouge them based on their credit score. I also read a statement from someone from the Farmer's Insurance group who said that they generally disagree with the practice of basing rates on credit scores. So...perhaps insurers such as these who already don't use credit scoring will not be raising rates if this measure passes. And, since the passing of this measure could motivate consumers to price-shop for new insurance, perhaps it won't cause industry-wide rate increases after all. Am I missing somethimg....?

Don't be fooled - Vote "NO" on Measure 39 19.Sep.2006 17:32

PB

The title description of M39 is deceptively simple, but - as with Measure 37 - be careful what you wish for.

1. This measure was sponsored by Oregonians in Action and was written and being funded by out-of-state property rights extremists using the Kelo decision to arouse fears and pounce on sound land use planning.

2. The Kelo case didn't give government new powers, but upheld long-standing existing law.

3. The measure is unnecessary since eminent domain is rarely, if ever, used to transfer property to a private party. But it removes a sometimes valuable tool for needed community redevelopment. It would be one thing if the measure sought to limit transfer of "non-blighted" property acquired through eminent domain to a private party. But instead it applies to ALL properties and ALL projects. I'm all for protecting small property owners from voracious corporate entities, but suppose a rail company held out and precluded redevelopment of the Pearl District.

4. The measure has unintended consequences for eminent domain where a government acquires property needed for a PUBLIC project. It changes existing law by allowing private property owners to reject the initial offer made by a jurisdiction based upon an appraisal, and instead take the jurisdiction to court AND have them pay for the private property owner's attorney and court costs when the value found by a trial exceeds the INITIAL government offer. This means that virtually all PUBLIC projects using eminent domain will be subject to private property owners "high-balling" the jurisdiction, resulting in increased costs to taxpayers, will reduce amicable settlements, increase litigation, and enrich attorneys and hold-out property owners at the public's expense. Moreover, to avoid going to trial, in fear of paying additional court/attorney costs, governments will be encouraged to pay above market value early on. Either way, the public loses.

5. M39 will cost the taxpayers more, without any additional public benefit. The Secretary of State's office estimates that state and local governments will pay between $16-30 million more PER YEAR to acquire properties needed for essential public projects (roads, schools, water/sewer treatment plants, etc.).

So don't be misled by a cursory reading of the ballot title. Vote NO to Ballot Measure 39!

see nation article 27.Oct.2006 15:02

alb alb@sccs.swarthmore.edu

I found this article from The Nation useful in figuring out how to vote on Measure 39. Evidently this fellow Howard Rich, who says "private property is the cornerstone of our freedom," is pushing these measures in many states at once, and while they're portrayed as a response to the Kelo vs New London decision, they are really about "takings" and preventing the government from being able to regulate development on land without compensating the landowners... looks like a cousin of Measure 37, costly to our state budget and threatening our ability to protect environmental, health and community values by planning and choosing how land gets developed.

 http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061106/schrag
The Nation, November 6, 2006 issue
"Rich's Stealth Campaign," by Peter Schrag