Down the Ballot

Friday, April 23, 2010

Polling Local Politics


This is the poll results for Oregon State Senate candidate Steve Griffith. What the poll says about Griffith and his chances in his senate district are not as interesting to me as what Republicans are thinking about incumbent representatives.

The poll participants responded to how they viewed the three candidates. 54% of respondents said they were unfamiliar with State Senator Richard Devlin. If Republicans are banking on dissatisfaction of Democrats to get them into office how can they allow this? Shouldn't they be attempting to frame the discussion to convince voters that that those incumbents are not serving the people? If Republicans were convincing voters in Oregon that Democrats were doing a poor job, that 54% would be a lot lower and Senator Devlin's unfavorable rating should be a lot higher.

What this poll shows me right now is that neither Mr. Griffith or Mrs. Kremer have much of a chance in November.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tell Me What You Think 'Obamacare' is, I'd really like to figure it out.

So what exactly is Obamacare? Who comes up with this stuff? I don't recall Obama being an M.D. or a porter like Peter Mayhew was in his early days. Maybe if Howard Dean were president it would make some sense, "I ain't going to take this Deancare!" It would actually sound really cool if Bill Frist were president, 'Fristcare'. It just sounds kinky. Seriously though what do Tea Party people think is happening in the country? Healthcare is a largely private venture. Most of us fall under private healthcare plans that our employers sign us up for. All this healthcare bill is saying is that, "YOU MUST HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE OR ELSE". It lets Sorority Sally stay on mothers health insurance plan until she is 26. Which is good because lots of college students have really crappy health insurance plans provided through their student fees that don't cover a whole lot. Just two of the many things this legislation set forth to do. We really wont be able to determine how effective this legislation will be until after 2014 when all of the measures within the legislation have come to full effect. Now we must sit and wait and hope our leaders didn't just hand us over to the health insurance companies.

It seems Obamacare is probably a bad name for a bill that dealt more with insurance rather than health care. Maybe Obamasure would have been a better name.

Bill Moyers has been going to great lengths to get answers about all the 'reform' talk that has been in Washington for the last year. Listen to him interview a former health insurance big wig. Wendell Potter finally had the revelation that people need health care. They need good health care that actually offers care as opposed to administrative roadblocks that deny coverage.

Moyers also held a discussion on his show between the various groups within the reform movement that came to heads before the vote. There were those like Potter who believed that the bill should just be passed as is and those who believed that a reform that did not include a 'public option' was no real reform at all. Below is a good overview before the vote occurred.

So will this reform save us money? Or are we just flushing our money down just a more bigger toilet than before? Only time will tell. 2014 seems a long way away though.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

EBAY FIND #3 Oregon for IKE Sticker

This bumper sticker pops up from time to time on ebay when you search for Oregon political memorabilia. It is bright orange...very bright orange in person.It was made by Oregon Citizens for Eisenhower Committee--Oregon City, Oregon for either the 1952 or 56 campaign. I can't be sure for which. Republican Dwight Eisenhower beat Democrat Adlai Stevenson both in 1952 and 1956.

Eisenhower won 66%-38% in '52 and actually performed worse in '56 with a 55%-44% victory. 1956 was an interesting year in Oregon politics as Oregon Senator Wayne Morse had defected from the Republican Party and was running against former Oregon Governor Douglas McKay as a Democrat. It seems though most voters would prefer to split their vote between the two parties and send both men back to Washington D.C. that year. The article 'Like Ike, Morse at Same Time? That's Top Question in Oregon' from the Sarasota Journal offers an neat perspective into the dynamics of the race in '56.

This item is being offered on EBAY right now. I have seen it sell from anywhere between $5-$15 dollars. For a nearly 60 year old item they have all been in good shape. I own two myself. Look like what they would have looked like had you marched down to your local Ike HQ and picked one up during the actual election.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Let them Drink! Martinis for Monmouth

Citizens of Monmouth, Oregon are hoping to remove the last link to the towns long history of prohibition. This May residents will vote on removing the ban on the sale of “intoxicating liquors” containing more than 14% alcohol per volume. Basically, this will allow bars and restaurants to serve rum, vodka, and any other liquor you could find in your average liquor store. Provided they meet all the current legal requirements that exist in the state of Oregon.

Here is the actual city code they are hoping to repeal:

40.120 Sale of Liquor Prohibited. No person shall sell or barter or offer for sale any intoxicating liquor containing more than 14% alcohol by volume within the limits of this city. (Ord. 697, sec. 2; amended by election of Nov., 2002 )

The previous amendment in 2002 ended the dry spell of the town that had existed since 1859. Starting in 2003 residents were allowed to purchase Beer and Wine at stores, restaurants, and bars. Now, through citizen initiative, residents are hoping to finally do away with the last remnants of the towns dry era.

In December of 2009, Chief Petitioners Cec Koontz and David Sherman helped gather enough signatures to put it on the May 2010 ballot. You can contact the campaign through this website Martinis for Monmouth.

It turns out that Monmouth really only became dry in the first place to spite a local business owner in the 1850s. Back in 2002, the OSU Daily Barometer covered the fascinating history of the law. For some reason the local store owner wasn't too keen on paying his bills and town elders were getting grumpy so they petitioned the territorial legislature to incorporate them as a town. One of the first things they did was ban the sale of booze. Which drove the naughty store owner out of business. Today we have many different means to collect money from individuals who don't pay their bills. No need to go outlawing alcohol for entire communities to get back at one person.

So far there has been little press outside of Polk County. Mayor John Oberst, who helped lead the first effort in 2002 is optimistic for 2010. You can read more on the developments thanks to the Polk County Itemizer Observer 'Hard alcohol repeal qualifies for ballot','Liquor proponents keep spirits up' and 'Freeing the Spirits'. I'm sure if Oregon had a Prohibition Party we might hear something from them. This is just a fine example of what the fruits of the Oregon system of government can bear. Through the initiative process we citizens can change laws at pretty much every level of government in Oregon. It is something that should be cherished.

As someone who came to Monmouth to attend Western Oregon University in 2003, I was able to witness the transformation of Main Street into what it is today. The changes have been especially stark within the last three years. In 2003, I had very little reason to leave campus and now there are ample shops and restaurants on Main Street. My favorite places were Rick's Place, which had been there for many years and one of the newer establishments Nagani Sushi Bar.

So let them drink I say...or more exactly, let them buy and sell drinks to people who want to have a good night on the town Monmouth style. For more information on what you can do to help contact Chief Petitioners Cec Koontz and David Sherman.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bradbury TV ad -Get Rolling already and watch it.

The first Bradbury TV ad has been uploaded to Youtube. This ad does several things. It introduces Bill Bradbury to voters, and it introduces viewers to some of his issues; like the bank of Oregon. The ad is upbeat and recognizes while we may be a little stuck right now we can get "rolling" again. It is always good to be positive and optimistic about our future. Kudos to Team Bradbury for a nice first ad.

The only thing I wish was different is that the link to the website could have been a little bigger. Some people have small televisions and it may be difficult for them to see. Perhaps something like having Bill say, “to learn more about my solutions visit me on the web”...but that's just me being a nitpick. Great first ad Team Bradbury.