Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Michael5000 Tells You What to Think!

[right: "Rock the Goat" by the Honorable Vice Dork Emeritus Fingerstothebone, used without so much as a how-do-you-do]

If you live here in the Beaver State, no doubt you are wondering what to do with those ballot thingies that came in the mail the other day. Well, you're in luck! Here are the official L&TM5K endorsements for the Oregon ballot measures!!! I recommend just blindly following them without question.

YES on 54 (eligibility for school board elections) -- This is an uncontroversial housekeeping measure, an obvious yes.

YES on 55 (changes operative date of redistricting plans) -- Another uncontroversial housekeeping item.

YES on 56 (property tax elections are decided by majority of voters voting) -- This measure repeal's Oregon's recent "double-majority" law, which requires property tax measures to win a majority of votes in an election in which a majority of registered voters cast ballots. The double-majority law has been a grotesque perversion of democracy, forcing "no" votes into the mouth of every person who is out of town, isn't paying attention, loses their ballot, or decides to to sit out an election. It never should have been passed, and it stinks, and it really needs to go.

YES on 57 (increases sentences for repeat criminal offenders) -- Not really an especially great plan, but it needs to pass to rule out Measure 61, below. Isn't democracy fun?

NO on 58 (prohibits teaching public school student in language other than English for more than two years) -- Here's an idea: maybe people who have trained for years to be teachers and then spent years in the classroom, teaching, know more about education than other taxpayers. Maybe we could back off and let them figure out what works best? Just a thought.

NO on 59 (creates an unlimited deduction for federal income taxes on individual taxpayers' Oregon income-tax returns) -- I am in general opposed to special tax cuts for the wealthy. They have so many already.

NO on 60 (teacher "classroom performance," not seniority, determines pay raises; "most qualified" teachers retained, regardless of seniority) -- Another attempt to micromanage school administration by a committee of the entire citizenry. Offensive to common sense.

NO on 61 (creates mandatory minimum prison sentences for certain theft, identity theft, forgery, drug, and burglary crimes) -- Crime is, contrary to public opinion, way down in the Beaver State. I would prefer my tax money to be spent on education, libraries, and proactive policing, rather than to warehousing the additional 5000 prisoner wards of the state this measure would create. But that's just me. Lamentably, this measure really appeals to kneejerk tax-and-spend Conservatives, which is why we are pretty much forced to vote yes on the more moderate 57.

NO on 62 (allocates 15% of lottery proceeds to public safety fund for crime prevention, investigation, prosecution) -- Whenever you allocate lottery proceeds to anything, you make government dependent on the promotion of gambling. I've always felt that it is unjust to put a special tax on the mathematically unsophisticated.

NO on 63 (exempts specified property owners from building permit requirements for improvements valued at/under 35,000 dollars) -- Much as people like to yak about the restrictions placed on what they can do with their homes by building codes, they are really among the most progressive laws we have. Building codes recognize that your house is likely going to be around longer than you are. They are not, as people sometimes complain, "the city protecting your from yourself," but rather the city protecting the future inhabitants of your house (not to mention your neighbors) from you. Or, if you prefer, protecting you from the former inhabitants of your house, not to mention your neighbors. It's a good thing.

If 63 passes, houses are going to get pretty ugly. It would be a boon for the fly-by-night contractors and a big green light for the kind of Sunday carpenters who don't realize how complicated a project is until they are halfway through it. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would make life a little shabbier for everyone.

NO on 64 (penalizes person, entity for using funds collected with "public resource" for "political purpose") -- A crude, heavy-handed union-busting measure.

I HAVE NO IDEA on 65 (changes general election nomination processes) -- I don't know what to think of this one. It sounds daft, but it has some smart people signed on as supporters. Anybody have ideas on this one?

Au Contraire, Mon Frere!

I haven't filled the ballot out yet. If you want to tell michael5000 what to think, the comment button is down yonder.

But I Don't Live in Oregon. Any Advice for Me?

Well, for the national Presidential election, I am inclined to a candidate who, although young and not as experienced as I would love, has nonetheless shown himself to possess remarkable skills of leadership, administration, and policy development. He has had the good judgement to choose for a Vice Presidential candidate a seasoned, highly competant politician who can complement his strengths and remedy his weaknesses.

Which is to say....

Obamarama, baby! Barack the House!!
Wednesday Weigh-In: Still 213, which is now four over plan. May have to step this whole thing up.
On a positive note, I forgot to drink any diet cola last Sunday...


Morgan said...

Yay Obama! Yay Biden! Yay TMBG!

Boo 18+ voting requirement!

Nichim said...

I voted yes on 65 on the "hey the same person came up with this that came up with vote-by-mail and I love vote-by-mail, I'll give it a go" tip, and then instantly regretted it but not enough to go down to the county office and try to get a fresh ballot. Don't know what to tell ya. Otherwise I might as well have slavishly followed your dictates, with the exception of 57 which I just couldn't make myself vote for. Irrational morality again.

fingerstothebone said...

I opened up my voters pamphlet and got about 1/2 way through the 1st page (!) and got interrupted. I thought, oh good, I can go do something else now.

Anonymous said...

Don't tip the goat over....

Rebel said...

This is an incredibly helpful post. I just printed out my electronic ballot and was planning on filling it in tomorrow - but without the voters guide I was a bit unsure how to vote on the measures.

Personally I think anyone who can look at the state of the country, and the world after 8 years of Republicans in power and *still* vote for McCain should be checked into a state institution and put on suicide watch because seriously-- how much worse would you want things to get???

Um... sorry, I mean uh... I'll be voting for Obama.

Rex Parker said...

In future years, this election - perhaps this past decade - will be written as The Tragedy of John McCain. Going from America's most popular political figure in 2000 - one with a real opportunity to go Independent (Mavericky!) and change the political landscape of the country (I think McCain / Powell, for instance, could have won in 2000) - to this sad shell of a man in 2008 who has aligned himself with people and a strategy that even he clearly has no respect for. It's his own damned fault, but I still find it sad. You get killed by a dirty campaign, turn around and then hire the guys who ran that dirty campaign ... and it blows up in your face? Squandering your honor in pursuit of personal glory - That's Shakespearean.

I am genuinely afraid there will be actual violence on election day. Some voters will not take kindly to being heckled and taunted by the racist lunatic fringe, who are already lining up across the street from polling places with their Obama = Muslim = Communist stickers and what not.

I am glad to see sensible Republicans saying "uh, no," en masse. Heartening. I'm just hoping my dad is one of those Republicans. I'm afraid to ask.


Yankee in England said...

But Rebel doncha know that McCain and Palin have God on their side, Obama is a terrorist and if you don't belive me all those weapons of mass destruction they found in Iraq should be proof enough for you that the Republicans would never lie. Plus doncha know that Obama is an Arab. Plus Palin is a woman, you are a woman, therefore you must vote for McCain and Palin. Really it is simple, just like the peopele who will be voting for McCain and Palin.

Ben said...

Measures 57 and 61: I believe we can still vote BOTH of them down--am I wrong? I think the only question of which would take precedence applies only if they both win. Unless I hear otherwise, I will be voting against both of them.

I too am torn about 65. On the one hand, it seems like the parties should be allowed to choose their own candidates. However, I am intrigued by the idea that an open primary might lead to the demise of our current, contentious 2-party system. That would allow a broader spectrum of Americans to have a voice in government, which I think would be a good thing.

Thanks for your thoughts on these issues!

Anonymous said...

I'm NO on 65. I've never had a problem with the partisan nature of the primaries. I registered as a Democrat when I was old enough to vote, and I never have understood the whole "I'm Independent I don't want to be pinned down it isn't fair I can't vote in the primaries" whinging. If you believe there is a difference between the two parties and want to help shape what one of them stands for, then you join it. And if you want to support third-party candidates, you don't vote for a measure that will only allow two candidates to run in the general election.

And Measure 63, from the perspective of someone in the residential building trade? Sucks in every way. But if I go into it now I'll be late to meet with someone about their remodeling project.

DrSchnell said...

Good God, what is it with you Oregonians and your ballot measures anyway? Aren't these the kind of thing you elect your legislature for? What are they doing to earn their paycheck?

Unknown said...

A rousing NO on 65!!!

While minor party and independent candidates all too rarely are elected, they are where many fresh and challenging ideas come from that the major party candidates have to address during the all too freakin' long haul to the election.

Also - with a voters pamphlet lacking people who list as a qualification that they've attended a Mary Kay Cosmetics conference (I kid you not - she's in Redmond), where would the entertainment factor come in?

Michael5000 said...

@annie: Well OK then!