Monday, February 19, 2007

With a rebel yell...they cried "Moore! Moore! Moore!"

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Hence, your Oregon House GOP have decided to trot out their standard bearer pollster Bob Moore to tell us that 70% of Oregonians think state government has enough money.

I'm not the math and statistics guru on this blog--that's TJ's job. But even a mathematically challenged individual like myself can see that this sucker was extrapolated from the shallow end of the pollster pool.

First of all, the announcement lists only two of the questions, #4 and #9. We have no idea what road the questioners took the answerees down before they made it there because they don't give us the survey in its entirety. For all we know, questions #1-#3 were compiled to specifically piss off the respondents before they made it to #4.

Question #4 queries,

“Which one of the following statements most closely reflects your opinion?
State government has the money it needs; it just needs to spend it more wisely, OR
State government needs to raise taxes to fund additional programs?”

Nicely loaded for full impact--"spend more wisely" or "fund additional programs"? C'mon. Of course they're going to say "spend wisely". If the pollster is aiming to get at what's on the minds of Oregonians, ask them if they'd be willing to raise taxes to fund specifics like the rainy day fund or to restore programs that have been cut from schools. This question is deliberately worded to skew the results.

Question #9 is even more heinous:

“Which of the following do you believe is the most serious problem in state government

Wasteful spending: 31%
Influence of lobbying and special interests: 24%
Elected officials who don't listen to voters: 19%
Partisanship: 11%
Inadequate funding for programs: 9%
None/other: 1%
I don't know: 5%

Given how much press the ethics issues surrounding the Oregon Legislature has managed to garner, I find it extremely tough to swallow that this wasn't the top issue. But even if that's completely legit..this is still worded in a ridiculous way. Nobody wants wasteful spending. This poll sets it up as a given that there's a mass of wasteful spending that needs to be fixed.

So I'll bite...where is this wasteful spending? How much exactly is being wasted?

I think it would be great if the Oregon House Republicans would take a real poll, honestly conducted with solid questions, to find out what Oregonians really believe on the issues. But this is bullshit. They should be ashamed to tout this thing.