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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Voters thank the Newhouses

Oregon makes 2006 a year of 'yes' to the Newhouse brothers

Oregonians ate up the spoon-fed negativity served up by Si and Donald Newhouse, the billionaire out-of-state media mogul brothers who own of The Oregonian, and said "no" to most proposals on the state ballot, soundly adopting a vision of unlimited state government.

Among the 9 of 10 initiatives on the ballot opposed by the Newhouses, only Measure 39 passed. In the aftermath of the national horror of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling known as Kelo v. New London, Measure 39 bans government condemnation of private property in Oregon for use by another private party.

Political experts estimate that the New York-based Newhouses, billionaire owners of the far-flung Advance Publications empire, provided at least $75 million worth of in-kind negative advertising against the measures. The donations were part of a coordinated campaign led by government unions and involved flowing the undisclosed money through a local subsidiary, The Oregonian, that is shielded from campaign finance law by a First Amendment loophole.

In an interview with The Oregonion, Portland pollster Adam Davis said that results showed undeniable voter support for the New York-based Newhouses' vision of Oregon. He said voters reacted positively to out-of-state money urging them to unleash new growth of government taxing, spending and borrowing that had been pinned down by voters locked into a conservative stupor since the early 1990's.

"There isn't a responsible-government sentiment out there that we saw a decade ago, when we had 40+ years of corrupting single-party rule," Davis said. "We are in different times now. Both parties are now lusting to abuse government power and the voters have no other choice. The Newhouses understood this new paradigm. I guess that shows why they're billionaires and the rest of us aren't."

The only campaign the Newhouses lost was Measure 39, the latest proposal from the property rights group Oregonians in Action. The ballot measure bans governments from seizing private property, then turning it over to another private party hand-picked by the government. Currently, Oregon law permits this practice.

"Whether you're Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Green Party, I don't think it really matters," said David Hunnicutt, president of Oregonians in Action. "Property rights are important to everybody. There's no other explanation for how the Newhouse billionaires were unable to enforce their multiple standard on this one."

In a wide-ranging interview with The Oregonion, Fred A. Stickel, publisher of The Oregonian explained why reporters did not bother to seek out other measure proponents for comment on their failure. "With the derision phase of our overt political campaigns complete, we immediately settled back in to the more comfortable ignore phase. It's straight out of our Style Guide," Stickel said.

Stickel added, "We hope Sandy and Peter can return soon and begin to harvest the negativity they helped sow so effectively. The plan is to spring back into high dudgeon after the holidays, when the new Legislature convenes early in 2007. The Newhouses have demanded that we disable the initiative and referendum process once and for all in Oregon, and they are quite willing to reach deep into their own pockets again and again to do it."

The state of New York, home base for the out-of-state billionaire Newhouse brothers, does not have an initiative process. "It's simply a matter of whatever it takes. Let's hope Oregon's long nightmare is finally over," Stickel said.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

interesting site. the oregonian officially jumped shark when it endorsed ron saxton for governor.

it's important to keep an eye on the republican-run media. good work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a chuckle on an otherwise bleak day.

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