Saturday, October 18, 2014

Voted! 2014

Gotta love Oregon's vote-by-mail system. My ballot's filled out and waiting to be dropped in the mail slot. Which I will do later today.

Here's how I voted:

US Senator - Jeff Merkley

Despite having met the Republican candidate, Monica Webhy, and judged her a nice person, I never considered voting for her. Jeff Merkley is a lot like me: from an Oregon timber town (he from Roseburg, I from Klamath Falls) with progressive, blue collar, power-to-the-people views. I met Senator Merkley when he was running against Gordon Smith back in 2008 and I liked him then. His performance as a US Senator is first-rate, in my book. It is nice to have someone in the Senate that is championing my views.

Sorry, Dr. Webhy. You're a nice woman, but I can't vote for you.

US Representative, 3rd District - Michael Meo

Earl Blumenauer is my congressional representative and I like him just fine. But he is in no danger of losing his seat. Which frees me up to vote for Michael Meo, the Pacific Green party candidate. I met Michael a few years back at the Oregon State Fair and we talked about the need to bring former Bush administration officials to justice for their lies and crimes. So, although I know he won't win, I voted for him again this year. Call it a vote to keep Earl honest.

Governor - John Kitzhaber

The bloom has definitely come off the Kitzhaber rose. But despite recent dust-ups over his girlfriend's sham marriage and trumped-up (in my opinion) ethics complaints, he's the only choice for this election. In past elections, I've been a full-throated supporter. I canvassed for him in the 2008 election. I met him once at a fundraiser. And I don't think it's his fault, necessarily, that his appeal has diminished. I mean, for goodness's sake, he's running for a fourth term! Even the most hard-core supporters have got to feel a little Kitz-fatigue. But it's a default vote. The Oregon Republican party is a shambles. Dennis Richardson is at the wheel of a rattletrap clown car. It would be good for Oregon if the GOP could get its act together, but I think that's still a long way off.

State Representative, 42nd District - Rob Nosse

As a Democrat representing Oregon's 42nd district, Rob Nosse faced his stiffest competition in the primary. But since he won that, he's a shoo-in for the general. His only competition is a Libertarian candidate named Bruce Alexander Knight. I don't know the first thing about Mister Knight and it doesn't matter anyway. I didn't vote for Rob Nosse in the primary because he seemed like a single-issue candidate. Rob is gay and married and during the primary, that's all we heard about. I'm all for gay rights and marriage equality, but there are other issues that are just as important. Anyway, all that aside, he got my vote in the general.

State Measure 86: Post-secondary education fund - Yes
I'll always vote to increase access to education for everyone.

State Measure 87: Employ state judes by National Guard and state public universities - Yes
Why not? It just seems like a good idea. And I note that there were no arguments in opposition in the Voter's Pamphlet.

State Measure 88: Oregon resident driver card without proof of legal residence - Yes
People, there are many undocumented residents in Oregon. They're here to stay and they're going to be driving on our streets and highways. It is safest and best to get them "into the system." But, of course, I don't expect the frothing xenophobes to understand that. Let's see if this measure passes.

State Measure 89: Prohibits denial or abridgement of equal rights based on gender - Yes
This seems like a measure that should have passed decades ago.

State Measure 90: Changes general election nomination processes; top two vote-getters in primary face-off in general election - No
In these post-Citizens United days, this is just another method for ultra-rich oligarchs to buy elections. I'm afraid this measure will pass. But let the record show that I voted against it.

State Measure 91: Allows possession, sale of marijuana to/by adults, subject to state licensing, regulation, taxation - NO!!!! (Just kidding!) Yes! Yes! Yes!
See here or here. Whether or not this measure passes (and I think it will pass), marijuana will be legal in Oregon in the near future. The humorous part of it is this: the state may think it can license, regulate, and tax it, but that'll never happen. Marijuana is easily available to anyone without the approval or oversight of the state. This measure won't change that.

State Measure 92: Requires food manufacturers and retailers to label "genetically-engineered" foods - Yes
I follow the general maxim that the more information that is available to the consumer, the better. Besides, Monsanto has spent $2.5 million to defeat this measure. When a corporation as unethical and amoral as Monsanto is against it, you know it's something you should support.

City of Portland Measure 26-159: Bonds to fix playgrounds, trails, parks - Yes
Portland is a great place to live. I'll pay to keep it that way.

Metro Measure 26-160: Retain prohibition on Metro-required single-family neighborhood density increases - Yes
The wording on this measure is tricky. But I think, if passed, it will continue the trend toward in-fill that is crucial to saving farmland outside Portland. Rural folks probably can't understand this, but Metro is a good thing. On balance. We pay to protect our quality of life.

Portland School District #1JT: Levy renewal - Yes
I'll always vote to increase the quality of public education. It's our future.

All in all, this was a pretty cut-and-dried set of choices. I didn't have to  do a lot of mulling over how to vote. Easy election. Let's see how it turns out.

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