Sunday, November 12, 2006

CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC

 

I’m fairly happy with the election results. In spite of the screaming and bitching from the right instead of the left. The newest complaints are coming from the one who believe that if Bush had fired Rumsfeld before the election the Republicans wouldn’t have lost so bad last Tuesday. Just keep telling yourselves that guys. I think the problems go a little deeper than that. And Iraq wasn’t at the top of the list at the exit polls.

 

What I’m really happy about is the number of ballot measures here in Oregon that failed. Many of the states that have the initiative process are being used as labs for their pet projects such as term limits and lowering taxes. Out of all the measures the only one that succeeded concerned the use of eminent domain powers to seize private property and make it available to other private developers to increase the tax base. Something that has not been a real problem in Oregon. All the others went down in flames. All got on the ballot using paid signature gatherers and were financed by out of state interests with most of the money coming from two individuals. Neither of whom lives in Oregon. Hell, one of the money bags is a millionaire real estate developer who lives in NEW YORK. I’ve got no problem with asking us to vote these measures. But, damn it, come here and live with the results and quit treating us like lab rats. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a majority of my fellow Oregonians agree with me.

 

For the first time in years the Dems not only control the governor’s office but the legislature. I don’t know if it will help but the Oregon legislature has been a joke for the last couple of sessions. Same problems with rabid partisanship that the rest of the country has been seeing. One example has to do with civil unions. Oregon passed a “defense of marriage” initiative a couple of years ago. It was implied during the campaign that some kind of civil union measure might be possible. When more liberal legislators tried to bring a civilunion bill in the legislature last session the Republican speaker of the house blocked it, wouldn’t even let it be debated, on the grounds that the “voters had spoken” in the initiative vote. A lot of people were not happy, including me. I can live with a no vote, I won’t be happy, but I can live with it for awhile. But to not allow any kind of vote at all that’s not right. She got re elected but won’t be speaker next session. Yippee, yippee, yippee.

 

One result did surprise me. We had term limits on the menu again and our own little lobbyist scandals just before the election. The majority said no to term limits this time. Last time we passed them the judges threw them out on a technicality. I suspect that some voters exercised term limits of their own at the ballot box for some of the legislators involved in the lobbyist scandals. Which is as it should be. We have term limits, it’s called voting for the other candidate And we probably have a window of a session or two before it comes up again. Maybe we can get the worst of the messes cleaned up before then. Hope springs eternal.

2 comments:

tenyearnap said...

Good to feel Hopeful for a change.

mlraminiak said...

I believe the whole initiative process is a BAD idea.  It may even be largely why our legislature IS such a joke.  If we don't trust our legislators enough to let them legislate, why do we even bother having a legislature?  Hire (vote in) good people, and then let them do their damn jobs.  Lisa  :-/