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BILL SIZEMORE'S 2006 OREGON VOTERS GUIDE

 

 


By Bill Sizemore

November 1, 2006

NewsWithViews.com

I have received so many requests by friends and associates for voting recommendations that I decided this year to release my recommendations as an on-line voters guide. I made it brief and to the point. Feel free to use it and pass it on. Feel free to ignore it. But please, whatever you do, don’t email me and tell me I should have recommended that you vote for some minor party candidate that doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance of making double digits, let alone winning. I am a practical voter. There is too much at risk to “make a statement” that no one will hear.

Oregon Governor's Race

Ron Saxton is really the only choice. Ron has campaigned on the message that we can manage the state better without raising taxes. He promises to set priorities for spending and review everything government is doing to see what could be accomplished more efficiently and what could be eliminated altogether. I have to hand it to Ron Saxton, he has stuck by his guns and has not wavered or raced to the “middle” after the primary, as most of us expected.

Our current governor can be sharply contrasted in that he has proposed numerous tax increases and seems to think the only way to improve the state is to take more of our money to do so. For pretty sound reasons, I did not support Ron Saxton in the primary, but now believe there is no realistic choice given that either Ron Saxton or Ted Kulongoski will be governor for the next four years and no one else.

This is a really tight race and it is critical that we all vote wisely and not throw our votes away. Recommend: Ron Saxton

Oregon Supreme Court

Chief justice Wallace Carson is retiring. This also is a very important race. Former labor commissioner Jack Roberts will not be an activist judge, but will interpret the law as written. Roberts is on record stating that the Supreme Court fabricated the infamous Armatta ruling - the ruling that allows judges to throw out voter - approved measures on grounds that the Constitution clearly states the court does not have. If nothing else, Jack will write some dissenting opinions on a court that currently is unanimously leftwing almost all of the time. Recommend: Jack Roberts

Measure recommendations:

39. Stops government from abusing its power to take private property from one private property owner and then sell that property to another private person that will generate more tax revenue from the property. People, not government, should be able to choose whether or not they want to sell their property. Measure 39 is a strong statement in favor of private property rights and is sponsored by Oregonian in Action. Recommend: a resounding Yes

40. Breaks Oregon Supreme Court and Court of Appeals into geographical districts based on population. All parts of the state would have a judge on the state’s highest court. Measure 40 ends Portland monopoly of the judicial branch of government. Allows judges to be recalled in the district that elected them rather than statewide. Most important measure on the ballot. Will restore some accountability to Oregon courts. Sponsored by Freedom Works. Recommend: Yes

41. Allows voters to deduct $3,200 per exemption (dependents) on their state tax return instead of claiming the state’s mere $152 state tax credit. Saves Oregon taxpayers $140 per family member and still allows more than a billion dollars in growth in state revenue. In spite of what opponents are saying, this measure will not force any cuts in government services. It will only slow the rate of growth in spending and will put $400 million per year back into the pockets of taxpayers. Disclosure: I wrote the measure. Sponsored by Freedom Works. Recommend : Yes

42. Prohibits use of credit scoring to establish a person's insurance rates. Yes, the measure messes with the free market and regulates an industry, but I believe necessarily so. Insurance is a government mandated product that consumers must purchase. They have no choice. In that instance, it is incumbent on government to insure that the product is priced fairly. According to Consumer Reports Magazine there is no connection between a person’s credit scores and the likelihood he or she will get in an accident, so the use of credit scores is unfair and unwarranted. Industry threats of increases in premiums if the measure passes is merely a scare tactic. Unless you have a bad driving record, it is unlikely that you will see any increase. Besides, passing this measure is the right thing to do. A lot of decent people are being hurt by the status quo. Sponsored by Bill Sizemore. Recommend: Yes

43. Requires girls under 18 to have their parents notified before they undergo an abortion. Does not require consent, just notification. Includes safeguards to protect minors who are from abusive homes. This measure is so common sense that everyone should vote for it. Government should not have the authority to guide a minor into such a decision without any parental involvement. Sponsored by Oregon Right to Life. Recommend: Yes

44. Expands state prescription drug program, which currently allows lower income citizens over age 54 to purchase prescription drugs at a reduced rate through state program. Removes restrictions and opens program to all Oregon residents who are not covered by a prescription drug program. Government has no business running such a program. I am voting “No”, but expect the measure will garner more than 70 percent of the vote. Recommend: No

45. This measure limits the terms of legislators. On the one hand, it is good to have legislators in office for some time to learn a complicated system. But, those who stay a long time tend to see things government’s way and forget life in the real world. Also, it is no secret that the power tends to go to politicians’ heads after a while. This measure restores term limits that voters approved in 1992 and the Oregon Supreme Court absurdly overruled nine years later. Measure is retroactive and will open up lots of legislative seats in 2008 to give newcomers a chance to get elected and serve for a while and then get back to their families and businesses. Arrogance of office and advantage of incumbency makes this a good government measure. Sponsored by U.S. Term Limits. Recommend: Yes

46. Campaign finance reform, or so it is called. Nice attempt to rein in campaign spending fairly. Is part of a two measure strategy, including measure 47. Measure purports to take unions and corporations out of candidate politics. I believe sponsors have the best of intentions. Unfortunately, the measure fails to accomplish its intended task. The measure fails to deal with the problem of coerced union payroll deductions for politics, which means unions, especially public employee unions, will be given a huge advantage over corporations, if these measures pass. Does not affect ballot measure spending, only candidate races. Recommend: No 47. See 46 explanation for companion measure. Recommend: No

48. This measure is quite controversial, yet all it does is limit the growth in state spending to increases in inflation and population. It does not say what the state must do with the money, though creation of a rainy day fund for leaner times is likely if Measure 48 passes. Without this reform, state spending will skyrocket this budget cycle. This measure would curtail some of that inordinate growth and yet allow enough growth to avoid cuts to programs. Sponsored by Americans for Limited Government. Recommend: Yes

There are a lot of legislative races and local government races that I have not addressed. Here are my general recommendations:

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If it increases taxes, vote “No.” If the race is partisan, vote Republican. (I am not a Republican by the way. Most are too liberal for me.) The reason you should vote Republican is this: The Oregon Senate is firmly in the hands of Democrats, and that is unlikely to change. The Oregon House currently is Republican controlled, but looks headed in the same direction as the U.S. House of Representatives - for a Democrat takeover. Voting Republican would help insure that there is a divided government. If Democrats win the governorship, as they have for more than two decades now, Oregon could be headed for an all-Democrat state government. If that happens, hide the silverware. You may not believe it, but things could get a lot worse in this state. If Democrats win control of everything, it will.

Thanks for considering my recommendations. Feel free to pass them on.

© 2006 Bill Sizemore - All Rights Reserved

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Bill Sizemore is a registered Independent who works as executive director of the Oregon Taxpayers Union, a statewide taxpayer organization. Bill was the Republican candidate for governor in 1998. He and his wife Cindy have four children, ages eight to thirteen, and live on 36 acres in Beavercreek, just southeast of Oregon City, Oregon.

Bill Sizemore is considered one of the foremost experts on the initiative process in the nation, having placed dozens of measures on the statewide ballot. Bill was raised in the logging communities of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, and moved to Portland in 1972. He is a graduate of Portland Bible College, where he taught for two years. A regular contributing writer to www.NewsWithViews.com

E-Mail: bill@otu.org

Bill's Web site: www.Billsizemore.net


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If it increases taxes, vote “No.” If the race is partisan, vote Republican. (I am not a Republican by the way. Most are too liberal for me.)