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Friday, November 03, 2006

Bottom of the Barrel

Thank god we're in the final weekend of the 2006 political campaign. If I have to see/hear/read another political ad I'm gonna barf. Politicians have no shame; they are the bottom of the barrel and deserve whatever befalls them. That said, I hope that all of you have taken the time to read your ballots carefully, mark them, and SEND THEM IN. They have to be in the hands of your local voter registrar by 8 p.m. Tuesday (November 7, 2006) night. NOT POSTMARKED but IN THEIR HANDS.

I try to stay apolitical on this blog, except for matters related to PERS. This election presented me with a bit of a challenge as I tried NOT to let PERS be the ONLY issue influencing my vote. In the end, I pulled the lever for Ted. I never considered Ron Saxton as he represented the absolute bottom of the barrel, tell them what they want to hear, beat up on public employees, make your rich friends richer, kind of candidate that I loathe and despise. Another tough call was for Supreme Court Justice. Given the judiciary's role in furthering the rape of PERS retirees, I spent a lot of time before pressing the lever for Virginia Linder. Jack Roberts has a lot of political experience, but his legal experience seemed a bit sparse for someone sitting on the Supreme Court. I'm not enamored of voting for a career judge to occupy the highest judicial seat in Oregon, but I'm less enamored of a career politician sitting anywhere, especially on the Supreme Court. I've read a few of Virginia Linder's decisions and they are well-written, well-reasoned, and take positions that I'm comfortable with. I also polled many of my friends in the legal community whose opinions I value. To a person they all recommended Linder over Roberts. That was enough for me. On the ballot measures I mostly voted no on everything. I simply do not trust the law of unintended consequences. The ballot measures may sound reasonable -- and they may be -- but I've been in Oregon long enough now to see how well-intentioned measures, ENSHRINED IN THE OREGON CONSTITUTION, are hijacked by malign interests. Constitutional amendments have too high a threshhold to get removed if they turn out to be bad public policy. Moreover, I do not think that any public policy matter should be placed in the Oregon Constitution. Statutory changes are sufficient for these and require a much lower threshhold for removing if they turn out to be "wolves in sheeps clothing." I didn't have much choice in my state representatives. I live in Richard Devlin's Senate district, and Greg MacPherson's House district. Devlin has done a good job, and he voted the right way on PERS matters. No problem there. MacPherson has done a good job too, EXCEPT for his role as the Governor's water-carrier on the House PERS Committee in 2003. The opposition was weak (was there any?), and so, absent any plausible choice, I voted for MacPherson anyway. MacPherson knows I'm still mad at his involvement in the PERS reforms. I've told him via email and in person, and continue to remind him when I run across him around my district. But, basically, his heart is in the right place. He's a bright guy and his other legislative work is really stellar.

The PERS media firestorm has calmed down a bit, although some loony Eugene writer contributed another anti-PERS screed to the Register Guard. Watch the Register-Guard for responses to this hit piece of mis- and disinformation.

Off for the premiere of Borat tonight. I need something to distract me from the malaise of election season sensory overload.

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