Sunday, February 05, 2006

Our Oregon--Ballot Watch

Ballot measure fever is about to get underway.

There's a mixed bag of potential new ballot initiatives for Oregonians to consider. Over at Our Oregon, they've got the current list of possibilities.

The "we hate everything" Freedomworks has more than its fair share of sponsorships. In his great pursuit to move Oregon back to the stone age, Freedomworks Oregon director Russ Walker has a history of violating Oregon's elections and hourly wage laws. Not to mention his association with convicted law breaker Bill Sizemore.

Deep pocketed rightwing sleaze and contributor Loren Parks has his named stamped on Initiative #24, which would require judicial districts for the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Oregon. Which is, of course, the beginnings of trying to force politically rightwing judges on to the bench.

Washington State is already well on its way to having rightwingers attempt to pack their courts. Its part of the Norquist multi-state strategy to "drown" government..or in other to Oregon what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans.

The potential list isn't all without merit, however. Initiative Petition: #40 HOPE for Oregon Families has good possibilities.
The Chief Petitioners are Rep. Mitch Greenlick, Rep. Alan Bates, Sen. Ben Westlund. The Measure would require access to health care as a fundamental right and would require the legislature to adopt a plan to expand health care.

Another good attempt comes from Chris Coughlin of Our Oregon. Initiative Petition #74 is called the Fiscal Responsibility Act. This measure would require that when the legislature passes a significant tax cut that takes effect in the future, they must also lay out the budget cutting plan to make up the difference between the lost revenues. In effect, the legislature has to tell us what services they'll be cutting before the tax cut can go into effect.

We'll be reporting more on these initiatives and the pursuits to get them on the ballot as information comes out.