How We Voted (Updated)

Following is how we voted on some of the Candidates/Measures (& How Oregonians voted):

US PresidentBaraka Obama

US Senate – (Justin) Jeff Merkley, (Peggy) Steve Novick

US Representative, 3rd Dist. – Earl Blumenauer

Secretary of StateKate Brown

Attorney General – Greg Macpherson (John Kroger)

State Representative, 23rd Dist.Jackie Dingfelder

Multnomah Commissioner,  Dist. No. 3Judy Shiprack

Portland MayorSam Adams

Portland Commissioner No. 1 – (Justin) Jeff Bissonnette, (Peggy) Amanda Fritz

Portland Commissioner No. 2 – Nick Fish

Portland Commissioner No. 4 – Randy Leonard

State Measure 51 – NO (YES)

State Measure 52YES

State Measure 53 – (Justin) YES, (Peggy) NO – not yet determined.

Oregon Primary Election 2008 Guide: Candidates

The Oregon Primaries are coming up in a few weeks, and there is actually more to vote on than just Hillary or Barrack.  The Oregonian has a pretty comprehensive Voter’s Guide online, but following is my take on several of the candidates for this election:

Portland Mayor: Sam Adams

Adams has worked in the Mayor’s office and as a city commissioner.  He has the knowledge of the city government that comes with experience, along with the understanding that the Mayor cannot do everything and that they need their commissioners (i.e. no “strong” mayor).

Portland Commissioner #1, 2, & 4: no opinion yet.

Multnomah County Commissioner #1, 3, 4: no opinion yet.

US President: Dennis Kucinich Barrack Obama

For most, myself included, choosing between Clinton and Obama is like choosing between cornflakes or rice-crispies. Both are good, but the decision comes down to a gut feeling. To find substantive difference between Obama and Clinton, one must start going through their voting records and introduced bills while in Senate. I opted for the voting record for this section, but you can find their introduced bills here (Clinton) and here (Obama).

In my findings, there have only been seven times when both Clinton and Obama voted on a bill and disagreed (the mouse-over synopses are from Project Vote Smart):

Clinton For: HR 4297S 2020, and S 3711

Obama For: HR 6HR 5441HR 5441, and HR 5631

Riveting, huh? If only these bills were as easy to read as the synopses, but they’re not, and the synopses don’t do them justice.  Other ways to help you decide are political selectors such as SelectSmart and USA Today.

US Senator: Jeff Merkley

Merkley is a better statesman and has better political experience than his competitors, which are both very important in trying to unseat the incumbent, Gordon Smith.

Oregon Secretary of State: Kate Brown

Both Vicki Walker and Kate Brown have the education and experience to serve in this role, along with similar ideas as to what they will do once in office.  For me it came down to endorsements (see, they do matter), and while Walker’s list is longer it is mostly individuals, whereas Brown’s list contains more organizations that I agree with, such as Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Basic Rights Oregon, and NARAL.

Oregon Attorney General: Greg Macpherson

Greg Macpherson has better experience and community involvement here in Oregon.  In addition, I caught part of a debate on OPB between the two, and agreed with Macpherson’s views on Mandatory Minimum Sentences, being that they are too stringent for lesser crimes, and that judges should have more discretion for first time offenders.

Oregon Primary Election 2008 Guide: Measures

The Oregon Primaries are coming up in a few weeks, and there is actually more to vote on than just Hillary or Barrack.  Following is my take on several of the measures for this election:

Oregon Measure 51: NO

This measure, which amends Section 42 of the Oregon Constitution, is called a “house-keeping measure” since it helps solidify laws that have already been passed, but are they good ones?  Since our legal system is based off the concept “innocent until proven guilty”, isn’t that how it should be? The defendant, until proven or plead guilty, should be treated as innocent, and therefore their rights, and not the victim’s should be more important.  The “victim’s rights” from that section include, among others, the right to refuse being interviewed by the defendant’s lawyer, which could seriously impact the defendant’s case, especially for someone wrongfully accused of a crime.  This measure strengthen laws that should not have been passed in the first place. 

It is also worth noting that the ACLU ( is “neutral” on this measure.

Oregon Measure 52: YES

This measure, which amends Section 43 of the Oregon Constitution, is also a “house-keeping measure”, but unlike section 42, the “victim’s rights” in this section are reasonable; the right to be reasonably protected from the criminal defendant, and the right to have decisions for pretrial and/or bail based on that reasonable protection and likelihood to appear for trial.  Strengthening these rights, which do not infringe on the defendant’s rights, is a good idea.

The ACLU ( is “neutral” on this measure also, but I believe that to be because they lumped the two measures together.

Oregon Measure 53: (tentative) YES

Reading the text of this measure, I am not entirely convinced that the benefits outweigh the risks of abuse, but I try to have faith in humanity.  The sections that concern me are in regards to forfeiture without conviction.  One section allows forfeiture of property for “crimes similar to the crime for which the claimant was convicted.”  If the claimant committed these similar crimes, then why aren’t they being prosecuted for them?  Another allows that “property of a claimant who has not been convicted of a crime may be forfeited in a civil forfeiture proceeding only if the claimant consents to the forfeiture…”  This is where I see a large chance of abuse; if people don’t know that it’s okay to say “No, you can’t take that” to the police (I’m assuming that the police would be the agents of the “forfeiting agency”) and not have criminal repercussions, then there could be a situation of amoral, but not illegal, “forfeitures”.  Again, I say YES to this measure because I have faith that there are more moral officers than there are amoral ones.

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