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Sep 292014

Clackamas County Clerk StampSherry Hall has stepped in it again. This time her intentional actions may strike at the very heart of some important laws and could have a negative impact for hundreds of Clackamas County residents.

Ms. Hall, the long serving Clackamas County Clerk, has a well-documented history of ineptitude running elections that has resulted in several newspapers calling for her replacement. We always hoped that her mismanagement was limited only to elections. But no. Now it seems to extend to the Records and Recording Divisions.

In an apparent effort to force her personal views against same-sex marriage on the citizens of Clackamas County, Hall is abusing the powers of her office and putting all marriages at risk. Continue reading »

Sep 272014

big poker moneyLeave it to Big Money to bring us a ballot measure which is very sneaky in its approach. Yes, Measure 90 is cunning. It is not about political parties. It is about yet another way of increasing the odds where money and not people will determine the election results.

Imagine playing draw poker. Someone with deep pockets sits down at the table. After the cards are dealt, Mr. Deep Pockets slaps down heavy cash to drive out competition. Only one other person can match his expenditure. Having only one competitor now means that after the draw Mr. Deep Pockets will be able to bluff with big cash to intimidate the one opponent left with far less at risk than if all the players who had a serious chance at winning were still in the game.

In Washington and California where the Top Two Primaries have been adopted, this is exactly the result: Voter turnout is lower with most voters (who vote in much lower percentages in the primaries) having no real choice. Too, write-in candidates are not allowed. And money can be spent to more cost-effectively intimidate the only two remaining candidates to ensure they do not step out of line and offend the interests of big money.

Measure 90 is a statistically calculated and tricky way to increase the influence of money on elections. And it is sponsored by those with a lot of money to spend on influencing elections. Big business interests are the culprits, plain and simple. Let’s skip this no-win poker game and Vote No on 90.

Sep 252014

By Peter Nordbye

stephanie nystromIn 2012, I ran for state representative in House District 52. During that election, I became known as the $50 candidate because I accepted only $50 donations from individuals residing in the district. I ran with this limitation because I was concerned about the effects of big money on our elections and the power and influence of big money on our government. In spite of being outspent nearly 20 to 1, I received over 48% of the vote.

I am proud of my campaign, but I did come to realize that more money was needed to run this kind of campaign. During the course of my campaign, I spoke with hundreds of people living in our district. Over and over, I heard the theme of disillusionment with our election process. A large number of people were dropping out of the system; choosing not to vote or even register to vote. By foregoing our right to vote, we are giving big money even more power. Continue reading »

Sep 252014

marijuanaWith Clackamas Democrats endorsing Measure 91, which would largely de-criminalize limited marijuana possession and growth while allowing commercial sales, we asked the Yes on 91 committee for a brief statement on the measure. It was written by Liz Kaufman of the committee.

Treating the complicated issue of marijuana using the criminal justice system is a total failure. One out of every 14 arrests in Oregon is for simple possession. That’s a lot of police time and resources wasted on a “crime” that hurts no one. Meanwhile, there are untested rape kits and unsolved murders. Measure 91 will allow police to pursue serious crimes and violent criminals.

We believe that instead of enriching street gangs and drug cartels, Oregon’s business owners and growers should take over this industry. Taxes raised at regulated, inspected and properly zoned operations will help fund schools, law enforcement and drug treatment and prevention in Clackamas County and across Oregon.

This carefully written, detailed measure will result in a safer community for all of us. Join us in voting Yes on Measure 91.

Note: Clackamas Democrats joined the Democratic Party of Oregon in supporting all of the state-wide measures except Measure 90, the so-called “Top Two” primary.

Sep 232014

Blue checkmark on vote checkbox, pen lying on ballot paper

If you missed Tuesday, Sept. 23, as National Voter Registration Day, you’re not alone.  Some 22% of all eligible people don’t register in Oregon.  But if you miss the Oct. 16 deadline to register locally you’ve done less than admirably at your civic responsibility.  Why does that matter?

When John F. Kennedy won the presidency from Richard Nixon in 1960, it was close.  Very close.  In fact, Kennedy won by an average of just one vote per precinct.  So if one of your neighbors had changed their mind at the last minute and voted for Tricky Dick, along with a whole bunch more, Nixon would’ve won.  Just one per precinct (average 422 voters.)

Here in Oregon, back in the late 1980′s, State Senator Wayne Fawbush, Hood River Democrat, was in a tight re-election fight.  When the dust settled he was only 34 votes ahead.  That prompted an automatic recount and Fawbush, who had some 35 precincts in his district, barely won.  Your vote counts.  Don’t overlook it.

In fact, if you have a driver’s license you can even register on-line using ‘My Vote’ at OregonVotes.org.  Or secure a handy-dandy form from any county clerk’s elections office or get one on-line.  Just do it.  You’ll feel better come Nov. 4 when the ballots are counted and you’ve done your job.

Sep 222014

ron wyden.framedSenator Ron Wyden will be the keynote speaker at the Roosevelt Dinner and Auction on Saturday, September 27th. Sen. Wyden is the senior senator for Oregon, serving since 1996. He previously served in the House of Representatives from 1981 to 1996. He is an independent voice for Oregonians and the nation, and emphasizes his positions on health care reform, national security, consumer protection, and government transparency.

Sen. Wyden chairs the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation and serves on the Budget, Energy and Natural Resources, and Intelligence committees. Politico reported that Wyden’s ascent to Chair of the Senate Finance Committee would vault him into the ranks of the Chamber’s most influential.

The Roosevelt Dinner & Auction will be held at the Oswego Lake Country Club, starting with cocktails at 5.30 on September 27, 2014.  It features a delicious dinner, guest speakers, and an oral auction with our favorite auctioneer, Dave Hunt. Before dinner, guests will have an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a number of gift-laden baskets or buy a bottle of quality wine from the “wall of wine.” Click here for tickets and more information.