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Sunday, November 5, 2006

Tell them to mind their own business

Oregonians ought to reject The Oregonian

The unified campaign against this year's ballot measures is brought to you by people who don't live in Oregon and, of course, won't have to live with the results of Tuesday's election.

The Oregonian's owners - billionaire publishing magnate brothers named Newhouse - sit in offices in Manhattan and Washington, D.C., watching at a comfortable distance the multi-million dollar lab experiment in media bias they are sponsoring in Oregon. They are waiting to see whether Oregon voters drown in their negativity.

Meanwhile, voters scurry around this last weekend before Election Day trying to get fair and balanced information from The Oregonian about measures on the ballot. Good luck. The Newhouses only frame the measures according to the government union position: 44 and No MORE.

There is one clear way out: Vote opposite the Newhouse choices. At every intersection with the negativity and poison visited upon Oregonians by the out-of-state Newhouse billionaires, turn toward the measures, instead. Send a message to these wealthy ideologues, all the national unions, all the people who treat Oregon's precious citizen initiative as an invitation to spread a brown stench of negativity to every corner of this state.

Tell them to butt out. Say it with five "YES" votes, starting with Measure 39, a product of the national horror of the U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo v. New London decision allowing government use of eminent domain for private purposes. This would prevent such a travesty in Oregon. Measure 39 has a deep appeal, but the Newhouses are suggesting it would restrict the use of public-private partnerships in Oregon and inhibit economic development. What a fiction.

Measure 40 would require that judges on the Oregon Supreme Court and Court of Appeals be elected from geographic districts - just like legislators. Oregonians' right to elect top judges now is a hoax. They retire mid-term so a political hack can get appointed, always run for reelection unchallenged, and serve until boredom takes over, etc.

Measure 41 has a fair ballot title. The out-of-state billionaire Newhouses abhor it because it would save $160 or so to the average taxpayer.

Measure 45 restores the legislative term limits that the voters approved once but the insiders tossed out in 2002. The Newhouses have spent literally tens of millions of dollars on free publicity for the No campaign. But rotation in leadership is just what Oregon needs, so our lawmakers will put the good of the state ahead of their personal gain.

Measure 48 earns special hatred from the Newhouses because it is Oregon born and Oregon bred - a spending limit that, without raising taxes, will set aside $1 billion of Rainy Day funds in the next budget and put voters in charge of overspending decisions. The Newhouses detest taxpayer advocate Don McIntire and have broken new ground in express advocacy as a bullhorn for the government unions against The Rainy Day Amendment.

It's the Newhouse's money, of course, out of their own pockets. They can do what they want with it since media objectivity is a quaint theory mugged by facts. And because of the First Amendment the Newhouses will not report any of their sourly negative and biased "news and opinion" as political campaign expenditures.

But this election is not about your state, it's The Newhouses'. And only they get to decide what to do with it.

The Oregonian, Nov. 5

1 comment:

Don Smith said...

Amen, Brother. Er, or sister. Or whoever you are. The Oregonian's hit pieces on these measures have been nothing more than front-page editorials.

Vote yes on 48. If we have 48, we won't need term limits.

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