Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Smith runs anti-Portland ad

Republican US Sen. Smith has been desperately trying to look more moderate, bipartisan and Democrat-friendly. He doesn't mentioned being a Republican and his Portland TV ads tout how he voted with Sen. Obama and has two Democrat supporters. Now BlueOregon.com's has caught Sen. Smith's campaign running an anti-Portland TV ad outside of the Portland TV market:

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Oregon Garden

Ma, Scott, and I visited The Oregon Garden for the first time on Sunday. Admittedly, I'm not a plant enthusiast, so I expected to be bored. However, The Garden did make a good effort to make the gardens interesting to non-green-thumbs. They had a tram ride introducing the gardens, fountains, water features, and a diverse selection of plants.

Okay, I admit that I was still a little bored and the hot, sunny weather didn't help either. I would be interested in re-visiting the garden in the fall on an overcast day. Scott and I may take advantage of a midweek special offered at the new Oregon Garden Resort.

Here are some of Scott's beautiful pictures:

IMG_5087.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

IMG_4792.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

IMG_4757.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Here are my crappy cellphone pictures:

downsized_0928081715.jpg downsized_0928081558.jpg

Focus On The "Family" reviews Family Guy

family guy puke
Originally uploaded by zumbojo

James Dobson's anti-gay/anti-women/anti-nonChristian/anti-everything-else-in-the-world Focus On The "Family" reviewed Family Guy (IMDB.com). Obviously, I would not expect a conservative Christianist group to offer a positive review of a hilariously irreverant series. However, Bob Smithouser's review is written so prudish and sterile-sounding that it's hard not to laugh:

...Creator Seth MacFarlane has no shame. He commonly relies on nudity, bloodthirsty slapstick and jokes about sodomy and bestiality to elicit chuckles from people growing desensitized to caustic cartoon humor...

Exactly! That's why it's funny.

...sociopathic toddler, Stewie (prone to spitting up homoerotic double entendres)...

LOL! I wonder how many episodes Smithouser carefully "reviewed" to write such an accurate review.

...This is must-see TV only for families that think watching a woman projectile vomit onto a kitchen table is rip-roaring fun...

....Episodes have included tasteless remarks about rape, AIDS, child molestation, bulimia, stroke-induced paralysis and people in wheelchairs—including James Brady, who was permanently disabled when an assassin tried to kill President Reagan.

OMG! I somehow missed that scene. What episode was Smithouser watching? Cartoon projectile vomiting is hilarious because IT'S A CARTOON AND NOT REAL.

...Elsewhere, the family dog has apparently had sex with a young woman and produced a human son. The hound bonds with his delinquent offspring (who says "shut up, b--ch" to Lois and beats a monkey to death, leaving it in a pool of blood) by smoking marijuana with the boy. Viewers get hit with an average of 20 profanities per episode which, factoring in commercials, amounts to a choice word every minute...

What freakin profanities is Smithouser referring to?

I love that Focus On The "Family" believes that it's followers are so sheltered within their End Times bunkers that it needs to publish reviews of secular media. Apparently, conservative Christianists are so mentally weak and impressionable that they need Dobson's approval before making their own judgments about what is funny or entertaining.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

woo-hoo: another Simon's Cat

Check the two prior Simon's Cat: "Cat Man Do" and "Let Me In"

Portland City Commissioner, Position #1

[X] Amanda Fritz
AmandaFritzForCityCouncil.com issues: endorsements:
"...pay for the things we need, before we start shopping for things that might be nice but aren't essential..."
"...und community policing, training and support for citizens and staff..."
"...fund sidewalks before streetcars..."
"...Homebuyers and renters, developers and landlords all need fair, predictable, cost-effective housing policies..."
"...create new parks and maintain those we have..."
"... hold economic development projects accountable for results, particularly when tax subsidies are provided..."
"...support general fund allocations to economic development projects and community development small grants, and increase direct participation by all City Council members in attracting and retaining businesses..."
"...Grow and invest in our housing stock to serve middle-income, working families..."
"...Invest in and build our preK-12 educational system, our workforce training programs, and our higher education system..."
"...streamline, simplify and reduce regulatory obstacles that get in the way of businesses choosing Portland..."
"...promote the "Think Local, Buy Local" campaign in City Hall and in neighborhoods..."
"...use the buying-power of the City of Portland's $3billion budget to provide more good jobs..."
"...Amend City code so that contracts are no longer allowed to run 25% over budget before being re-authorized by the Council..."
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian
Just Out
The Skanner

Basic Rights OR Green Light
NARAL Pro-Choice Green Light
From AmandaFritzForCityCouncil.com (It's unclear to if these are primary and/or general election endorsements.):
• Mayor-elect Sam Adams
• Mayor Tom Potter
• fmr City Comm. Gretchen Kafoury
• fmr City Comm. Mike Lindberg
• fmr City Auditor Barbara Clark
• fmr City Auditor Jewel Lansing
• MultCo Democratic Party (co-endorsement)
• MultCo Republican Party
• Sierra Club
• fmr Gov Barbara Roberts
• MultCo Board Chair Ted Wheeler
• Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder
• Metro Councilor Robert Liberty
• OR Sen Avel Louise Gordly
• OR Rep Tina Kotek
• OR Rep Mary Nolan
• OR Rep Chip Shields
• fmr OR Rep Jo Ann Bowman
• 10 unions
Victoria Taft
[_] Charles Lewis
From voters' pamphlet (pdf): endorsements:
"...create jobs, make payroll and provide important services while keeping a close eye on the bottom line..."

From CharlesLewis.WordPress.com platform:
"...create more funding opportunities for small businesses and individuals...such as the revolving loan fund..."
"...Children’s Investment fund is an essential program..."
"...increase, twenty-minute walkable communities that put new affordable housing units near job and retail centers..."
Portland Tribune
Basic Rights OR Green Light
NARAL Pro-Choice Green Light
From CharlesLewis.WordPress.com supporters:
• fmr City Comm. Jim Francesconi
• MultCo Democratic Party (co-endorsement)
Jack Bogdanski: Withdrawn: "...no difference between him and Amanda Fritz, and so we'll be writing in somebody..."
• Rev. Chuck Currie
• fmr MultCo Comm. Serena Cruz Walsh
• Metro Pres. David Bragdon
• PDC Comm. Sal Kadri
• 1 union

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: I voted for Fritz in the primary and will support her for the general election. Her campaign website rivals BarackObama.com in its thoroughness and details. I'm not sure how much she will be able to accomplish as 1/5th of the city council, but I agree with much of what she proposes.

Friday, September 26, 2008

PLGFF: Save Me: B (update)

save me, originally uploaded by machu picchu.

Tammam and I re-lived our ex-gay days at the PLGFF's screening of Save Me (IMDB.com) with Dan. Chad Allen stars as a disturbingly gaunt, gay drug addict who is sent to the ex-gay live-in ministry Genesis after an overdose. Judith Light plays the ministry's Dr. Laura-esque perfectionist leader (which reminded Tammam of one of his ex-gay leaders).

At first, I was a little concerned that the movie's made-for-TV style and soap-sounding dialogue were signs that it was going to be an over-the-top portrayal of an ex-gay ministry (i.e. the funny But I'm A Cheerleader). And the movie did take liberties such as portraying a live-in ministry that apparently caters to only young, white men cast from Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs (Tammam and I agreed that we would have loved to have struggled in such an ex-gay group). However, the movie became more believable after the characters were established and the story was set-up. And it did remind me of much of my own embarrassing attempt to become an ex-gay, evangelical Christian.

The writers and filmmakers seemed to have carefully researched the ex-gay movement and tried to avoid relying on stereotypes and demonizing conservative Christians (although I'm sure conservative Christians would dispute their portrayal). The ministry's leader stressed that the participants are free to leave at any time and her ministry does not change gays -- God does. The movie's Christianese dialogue (i.e. "praise Jesus" in every conversation) was a little gratuitous but it did remind me of my own efforts to say "amen" and use praise talk more during my ex-gay days. I identifed most with the cut-in scenes that showed the participants' self-assessment during their private confession/accountability sessions. They portrayed that much of the harmful messages from ex-gay ministries is self-perpetuated by participants and that it is an internal struggle.

So far among movies, Save Me has most accurately portrayed many aspects of my ex-gay experience. For the gay movie genre, it was a good, enjoyeable movie.

The conservative Christian publication ChristianityToday.com posted a review and interview with Chad Allen earlier this month. The review by Peter T. Chattaway is surprisingly generous and makes some thoughtful observations:

"...and it is striking how one of the film's central relationships revolves around two people who each conform to, yet transcend, a stereotype that each side in this debate may have of the other. Mark's dangerously promiscuous sexual habits are linked to his substance abuse, while Gayle is motivated in her faith and work partly by pain, loss, and guilt. But both of them are still recognizably human, and thus complex, characters...."

Multnomah County Sheriff

[_] Muhammad Ra'oof
No campaign website found. From voters' pamphlet (pdf):
"...need a sheriff's office to reflect the needs and concerns facing us today."
[X] Bob Skipper
No campaign website found. From voters' pamphlet (pdf):
"...I will be fiscally responsible, honest, and word with Commissioners and public safety leaders as I continue to rebuild credibility..."
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian
The Skanner
Portland Tribune

Victoria Taft

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: I'm voting for Skipper who formerly held the office and has returned to complete scandal-prone Guisto's term. I'm glad Skipper's statement acknowledged the damage Guisto has left the office.

I'm not sure if Ra'oof's is serious about running. His handwritten voters' pamphlet statement was vague. However, I appreciate that somone at least contested what is an important office.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

W. trailer

I can't wait for Oliver Stone's W. (IMDB.com):

Hat Tip: Towleroad.com

PLGFF: A Jihad For Love: C

I watched the documentary A Jihad For Love (IMDB.com) with Tammam & Dan on Monday at the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Jihad profiles gay and lesbian Muslims in South Africa, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, India, and other Muslim communities.

It was interesting seeing the parallels between these Muslims' struggle and the struggle many conservative Christians. One scene, in which an imam told a gay Muslim man that homosexuality is a sin and to hope for change, could have easily been replicated in a conservative church.

Jihad reminded me of last year's For The Bible Tells Me So which portrayed the struggles of gay and lesbian conservative Christians. However, Jihad offered more of real time snapshot of the day in the life of gays and lesbians in these repressive countries.

The imprisonments, lashings, death threats and police beatings that these men and women face certainly put gays' political/religious struggle in the West in context. However, there were some optimistic moments as well: the birthday of an early (Hindu?) prophet who was known for having a young male lover is celebrated annually somewhere in Asia (India?); a gay wedding discreetly celebrated in Iran; a lesbian couple living relatively open in Turkey; a South African Muslim group showing openness to a more accurate interpretation of Sodom & Gomorrah. And one of the funniest moments came from gay man's young son who tells his father that homosexuals should be stoned -- especially if they don't buy him a KFC sandwich.

OR Senator (District 18)

[X] Ginny Burdick
No campaign website found. Unfortunately her voters' pamphlet statement (pdf) only mentions her previous accomplishments and does not mention what she will do when re-elected. I hope the Senate Democratic leadership shows more ambition. Endorsements:
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian

• ACLU (pdf): 2008:100%, 2007:82%
Sierra Club
[_] John Wight
No campaign website found. Voters' pamphlet statement (pdf) is blank.

OR "Family" Council (pdf)
(inferred: rated 5+/8)

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: Burdick seems to be running unopposed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Can't wait for the Obama-Palin debate!

Heck have no fury like an old jilted talk show host. Here's an edited version of Dave's comments (while it's up on YouTube). Actually, some of Dave's omitted comments and quips were even harsher:

Dave makes some excellent points. Yes, the economy is getting ready to "crater", but is John McCain really needed in DC? Why doesn't he have faith in his senate collegues or his party's leader? Why after 24+ years in congress and over a year campaigning for the presidency that he has coincidentally chosen to suspend his campaign before the debate?

Since Sen. McCain somehow believes presidential decisions are made one at a time, it seems appropriate for him to send Gov. Palin to Friday's debate. As a presidency-ready candidate, she can certainly handle a debate, right?

OR Representative (36th District)

[_] Jay A Ellefson
No campaign website found. From voters' pamphlet (pdf):
"...offers substantial tax credits for families who choose to educate their children in private, charter, or home schooling programs."
"Physicians and nurses must always be primarily accountable to their patients, not arcane governmental regulations."
"Sacred unions between individuals are a right, not a privilege."
[X] Mary Nolan
No campaign website found. Voters' pamphlet statement (pdf) lists prior accomplishments, but doesn't specify plans for her next term. endorsements:
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian

Basic Rights OR
• ACLU (pdf): 100% 2008, 100% 2007
NARAL Pro-Choice OR
Sierra Club
[_] Steve Oppenheim
No campaign website found. From voters' pamphlet (pdf):
"...see my pet peeve's become polcies"
"...allow school districts to abstain form [from?] inclusion in tax deferred zones..."
"...protect people and businesses from disgruntled people to use the powers of the State of Oregon to harass...", "...protect people from harassing use of the courts..."
"...allow the interstate highways to have the same speeds as our neighboring states.", "...allow a plus 5 MPH lane on any three lane Interstate Freeways...", "...make I-5 three lanes from Eugene to Portland, and not use the scarce highway dollars to build a I-5 behemoth Bridge."
"...allow Oregonians to deduct the costs of adoption..."
"...promote the teaching of Mandarin Chinese in Oregon's primary, and secondary schools..."
"...recognizes the regional differences of Oregon, in regards to land use, and property restrictions..."

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: I am a little disappointed that the incumbent didn't really campaign or declare her plans for the next term -- even if she doesn't have significant opposition.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

OR BOLI Commissioner

[X] Brad Avakian
From BradAvakian.com issues: endorsements:
"Develop the nation's premier renewable energy workforce..."
"Support a strong minimum wage."
"Bring together emerging industries and training centers to provide workers the skills to quickly gain long term employment."
"...streamlining the way Oregon's training centers are funded."
"Increase apprenticeship opportunities for skilled trades..."
"Restore agricultural and technical education in our public schools."
"Penalize employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants."
Portland Mercury
Just Out
The Oregonian

Sierra Club

From BradAvakian.com:
• Nat'l Organization for Women, OR Ch.
Basic Rights OR
• approx. 21 unions and labor groups
• Working Families Party
• Assoc. Gen. Contractors
• OR League of Conservation Voters
• NARAL Pro-Choice OR
[_] Pavel Goberman
From candidate's GetEnergized.com endless rant:
"...against increase salaries of Commissioner of BOLI, Attorney General and many other state employees because our nation is in bid(sic) debt...."
"...No one state government employees (sic) may have salary higher than $85,000..."
"...will enforce all laws regulating the employment of adults and minors, protection amployees (sic) and employers from violation of laws, and conduct claims investigations of violation of civil and human rights and discrimination...."
"...help businesses, create more jobs, improve productivity, increase vocational, apprenticeship and on the job training programs..."
"...develop and manufacture fire resistant wood products..."
"...prevent violations labor rules and honest investigate Complaints."
"...I do NOT accept money from no one..."
"...Organize in order to bring more immigrants to work with request of employers..."
"...Hire people on merit basis, but hire US Citizens first..."
"...Make health care, insurance and sick days affordable for all citizens..."

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: Voting for Avakian who is basically running unopposed. Goberman is a stereotypical perennial candidate who constantly appears on the ballot to express his rants.

Monday, September 22, 2008

OR Attorney General

[_] J Ashlee Albies
Working Families
No website found. From voters' pamphlet (pdf):
"...understand the economic and social underpinnings of crime..."
"...judges and juries need flexibility to fashion penalties that fit the crime and the criminal."
"...aggressively prosecute polluters, corporate criminals, and predatory lenders."
[_] Walter F (Walt) Brown
Pacific Green
No campaign website found. From the voters' pamphlet (pdf):
"...create a Civil Rights Division." "...form special committees to address the issues of educational funding, unemployment, healthcare, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, housing, food, and energy costs."
[X] John R. Kroger

Also won the Republican nomination by write-in (see pdf)
From JohnKroger.com priorities: endorsements:
"...work with the legislature and with treatment experts, police chiefs, district attorneys, and sheriffs to craft a new drug treatment and prevention program for Oregon."
"...revitalize the office’s organized crime section and get that unit focused on tackling the drug cartels"
"...strongly opposed to extending mandatory minimums to drug possession or first time property offenses."
"...hold every polluter responsible for the damage they cause to our health and our environment by seeking higher fines for violators...bring criminal charges against company executives– not just fines, but indictments and prison time..."
"...helping draft and pass [climate change] laws with real teeth to limit the damage we are doing to our world..."
"...work hard to block any illegal end-runs around the [Measure 49] law that ignore the will of the people and threaten our farms, forestland, and open spaces."
"...If the federal government violates the law, I will partner with environmental organizations and take them to court."
"Ensure that every single parent in the state gets the child support to which they are entitled."
"...aggressively attack fraud and abuse in the home mortgage industry..."
"...investigate abusive and undisclosed fees by credit card companies and banks..."
"...create an internet crimes task force..."
"... pursuing and holding accountable major corporations who break the law by failing to protect the confidential financial and medical information of their clients and customers."
"...aggressively enforce Oregon's new payday lending laws..."
"...My position on the Patriot Act is quite simple: we should scrap it entirely and start over from scratch."
"...I will do everything in my power to prevent conservative judges from overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision..."
"...I believe in same-sex marriage. ...However, the people of Oregon have rejected this position... Though I voted against this amendment, my job as Attorney General will be to defend and enforce all the laws..."
"... I strongly support this law [banning sexual orientation discrimination] and will work to see it is properly enforced. I also strongly support the new domestic partnership law ..."
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian
Just Out
The Skanner

Basic Rights OR
NARAL Pro-Choice OR
Sierra Club

From JohnKroger.com supporters:
• Atty Gen Hardy Myers
• Gov Ted Kulongoski
• fmr Gov John Kitzhaber
• fmr Gov Barbara Roberts
• Crime Victims United Pres. Steve Doell
• OR State Police Officers Assn
• Portland Police Assn
• OR Police Chiefs for Safer Communities
• OR Council of Police Assns
• Sheriffs of OR
• 32 District Attorneys
• ~19 unions
[_] James E Leuenberger
From JimLeuenberger.com: endorsements:
"...request that the Legislative Assembly or the people...create Circuit Courts for Oregon..."
"... I will...argue that this constitutional provision [Oregon Constitution Article I] and the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution should and must be read literally. Neither provision includes an exception for felons, the insane, drug addicts, foreigners, dishonorably discharged veterans, or persons who commit domestic violence..."
Um, so anyone and everyone should have guns regardless of common sense exceptions?
"...I will not likely have the authority to make my position on life and personhood the law of the State of Oregon..."
"...I will do all that I can to put Paganism and Environmentalism in their proper place, unsupported by your money taken by the State or any of its political subdivisions..."
"...I will do everything I can to return to you your right to initiate changes to the laws without undue interference by your Secretary of State or Supreme Court..."
"... I intend to support and defend our constitutions even when doing so is awkward and the results unpleasant..."
Victoria Taft

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: Obviously John Kroger is the only serious candidate.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

OR Treasurer

[_] Allen Alley
FriendsOfAllenAlley.com Vision (PDF): endorsements:
"...promote the state’s use of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and wave..."
"...develop new ways to use the assets of the [Common School Fund] to get higher returns for Oregon schools..."
"...create an innovative state-operated carbon credit bank that makes Oregon a constructive force in any market-based system (cap and trade plan) to reduce CO2 emissions..."
"...work with financial services companies, not-for-profit organizations, and state agencies to promote the rights of homeowners and the tools available to them if they struggle to make home payments. ...determine whether the state can serve as a 'lender of last resort' in homes can be saved before foreclosure...."
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian
Victoria Taft

I could not find his actual "friends" on his campaign website.
[_] Michael Paul Marsh
No website found. In his brief voters' pamphlet statement (pdf), Marsh doesn't say what he will do as Treasurer. He does rant about Republican' and Democrats' Ivy League education, how we have voluntarily entered into a "slave relationship" with the government, the government kidnaps children, and a mark-of-the-beast conspiracy theory about Real I.D. Act.
[X] Ben Westlund
WestlundForTreasurer.com priorities: endorsements:
"...promote renewable energy and conservation strategies...to reduce energy costs..."
"...calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require that publicly traded companies disclose emerging risks they face from increasing energy costs."
"...manage the Oregon Health Fund to ensure maximum returns and lower costs."
"...support school funding through the careful management of resources that benefit the Common School Fund..."
"...expanding Oregon's 529 College Savings Network."
"...wise management of Oregon's resources including the Oregon Public Safety Memorial Fund."
Just Out
The Skanner
Portland Tribune

NARAL Pro-Choice
Sierra Club
Basic Rights OR

From WestlundForTreasurer.com endorsers:
• Treasurer Randall Edwards
• fmr Treasurer Jim Hill
• Gov Ted Kulongoski
• Labor Comm. Brad Avakian
• US Sen Ron Wyden
• Suprintdt of Schools Susan Castillo
• fmr Gov Barbara Roberts
• fmr SoS Phil Keisling
• fmr SoS Norma Paulus
• Sen Pres Peter Courtney
• Speaker of the House Jeff Merkley
• US Rep Darlene Hooley
• MultCo Chair Ted Wheeler
• Portland Mayor-Elect Sam Adams
• Oregon Working Families Party
• The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
• The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
• Sen Ginny Burdick
• Rep Mary Nolan
• Credit Union Association of OR
• 19 unions and labor groups
• Planned Parenthood PAC of OR

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: I'm going to voting for Ben Westlund, the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat.

10/03/2008: Here's Westlund's response to Alley's attack ad:

(via JustOut.com)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

OR Secretary of State

This post is still in progress.

[X] Kate Brown
KateBrownForOregon.com issues:
"...crack down on fraud with tough enforcement to ensure signature gatherers follow the law and make sure those who don’t are prosecuted..."
"...making Oregon attractive to new businesses to create new good-paying jobs, and to making it easier to do business in Oregon..."
"...rigorous audits of state agencies, schools and even energy use..."
"...Fair and Open Elections..."
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian
Just Out
The Skanner
Portland Tribune

Basic Rights OR
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund
NARAL Pro-Choice OR
Sierra Club

From KateBrownForOregon.com endorsements:
• fmr OR Gov Barbara Roberts
[_] Rick Dancer
RickDancer.com Issues:
"...signers a chance to verify their signature if there’s a question, instead of just throwing their signatures out..."
What? How can county election officials possibly contact all problem petition signers? As the US Court of Appeals recently ruled, petition signing is not the same as voting and the current rules already favor accepting invalid signatures.
"...make the Secretary of States office Nonpartisan..."
If Dancer wants to magically make the SoS nonpartisan, why didn't he lead by example and run as a non-partisan or at least in the Independent Party? The SoS is a major state office and next in line to the governor, so it's bizarre to think a candidate will not have some party affiliation.
"...uncover the flaws, fix them, and then keep the problems from happening again..."
Victoria Taft
OR "Family" Council (pdf)
(inferred: rated 4+/8)
[ ] Seth Alan Woolley
Pacific Green
"...all election software and hardware be open and accessible to the public..."
"...enable same day registration..."
"...will use his experience developing software platforms and website technology for location-aware and high-performance databases to open up access to our government...."
"...recomputed redistricting based on neutral criteria...

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: Yep, voting for the Democrat.

Friday, September 19, 2008

US Representative OR 1st District

This post is still in progress.

[ ] Joel Haugen
5-Point Plan for America:
"Achieve energy independence by 2019 with alternative energy"
"Overhaul our public education system"
"Become stewards for a healthy citizenry"
"Establish a 21st century foreign policy"
"Replace our broken tax system with a practical alternative, and pay down the national debt"
JoelHaugenForCongress.com Issues:
"...convert our primary energy source from fossil fuels to clean alternatives..."
"...U.S. cannot and should not try to be the Lone Ranger for the world; frankly, we neither have all the answers nor can we afford the financial cost..."
"...incentivize community outreach and military service....education and career advancement to loan forgiveness and loan guarantees can be used as incentives...."
"...investment in renewable energy and improving our nation's infrastructure..."
"...tax revenue is generated through fees that everyone pays on electronic transactions..."
"...move from a prescription-based health care system to a prevention-based health care system..."
"...discourage illegal immigration and reward legal immigrants, along with negotiating with the originating nations formal agreements to keep their populations at home..."
"...In the last trimester, I oppose abortions unless the mother’s life is at risk..."
"...homosexuality is not something that men or women choose, but is a function of genetics that we need to acknowledge and respect in the same manner that we do with heterosexuals..."
"...new GI Bill that encourages citizens to serve their country and provides iron-clad access to health care, education, and job opportunities..."
Just Out
[_] Chris Henry
Pacific Green
ChrisHenryForCongress.org issues:
"...TURN THE US MILITARY, HUMANITARY..." "...priorities are for peace, justice, education, health care, and human rights..."
[ ] H Joe Tabor
No website found. From voter's pamphlet (pdf):
"...support only bills that I have time read..."
"...pass no laws to benefit one class of people over another..."
"...stop funding wars..."
"...encourage low cost energy development, better immigration policies, and ways to cut medical costs..."
"...transfer administration of social programs from the federal government to the fifty states..."
[X] David Wu
WuForCongress.com: endorsements:
"...Protect our civil liberties..."
"...Combat the spread of methamphetamine..."
"...Reduce our dependence on foreign oil..."
"...Ensure quality, affordable health care..."
"...Strengthen the economy and create family wage jobs ..."
"...Improve our school system ..."
The Oregonian
The Skanner

Sierra Club
Victoria Taft: "Write in Lisa Michaels"

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: Yep, going to vote for incumbent Democrat Wu. I am tempted to vote for Haugen just because Wu's campaign has been a little too quiet.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

US Senator

This post is still in progress.

[_] Dave Brownlow, Constitution
• Iraq: "...we need to bring every one of our troops home - immediately!..."
"...The American Empire will fail too...."
"...members of Congress have been breaking the law..."
"...The Federal Reserve is, quite literally, an international counterfeiting ring..."
"...the [Supreme] court is just as tyrannical today as it has ever been..."
"...Hundreds of millions of dollars were raised, while nearly 50,000,000 babies died."
"...The American prison industry has become such a shocking and morally reprehensible mess..."
"...any ban based on gun style, size, caliber, rate of fire, magazine capacity, etc. is in direct conflict with the Constitution..."
"...It is time to entirely rethink the way we provide for the common defense of the states...."
"...There is a little used/known congressional tool called the letter of marque and reprisal, which could be useful in targeting individuals or groups..."
"..."freedom and democracy" may be exploding over an Iranian neighborhood soon..."
"...let's disengage from all of the imperialistic conquests we have ventured off on and spend a little more energy cleaning up the mess we have made for ourselves right here at home..."
"...For as yet unexplained reasons, World Trade Center Building 7...imploded onto its own footprint..."
"...Get the U.S. out of the U.N.!..."
"...only people we allow across our borders are those who want to play by the rules..."
"...NAFTA, GATT, WTO and MFN have been colossal failures..."
"A Sound Foreign Policy: '...peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none...' Thomas Jefferson"
"...Property taxes collected under threat of violence are a clear violation of our inalienable right to own property..."
"...there is a serious doubt whether any of our wages are taxable according to the law..."
"...get the government completely out of the marriage licensing business..."
"...thousand tons of Depleted Uranium rounds...we left strewn all over Iraq..."
"...the federal government can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, refuse them access to counsel, ship them off for interrogation to a country that has even less aversion to torture..."
[X] Jeff Merkley, Democrat
"Cutting Taxes on Working Americans: Make College, Child Care, Long Term Care More Affordable; ...Cut Taxes for 95% of Americans..."
"Growing Rural Oregon: Creating Good-Paying Jobs, Cutting Taxes, Improving Life in Rural Oregon; Support Oregon's Natural Resources Industries and End Unfair Trade Agreements; Provide Tax Relief for Farmers, Ranchers, Loggers, and Fishermen; Invest in New Infrastructure for Rural Oregon; Support an Emerging Bioeconomy; Foster Entrepreneurship and Ensure Access to Technology"
"Protecting Children and Families": "...Fight Meth"; "Crack Down on Sex Offenders"; "...Add 50,000 More Police on the Street"; "...Protect Victims of Violent Crime"; "...Increase DNA Technology"
"Strengthening Education": "...fully funding public schools"; "...Overhaul No Child Left Behind"; "...Head Start Programs must be fully funded"; "...college education must be affordable..."; "Provide children with the health care..."; "...parents to be as involved in their child’s education..."; "...the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) must be fully funded";
"Honoring America's Veterans"; "...allowing disabled veterans to collect their full retirement pay..."; "...Increased funding for mental health services..."; "...screening and treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury..."; "...Fully funding the VA health care system..."; "...expansion of educational opportunities for veterans..."; "...Revised deployment guidelines..."; "...Extend full VA and other benefits to members of the National Guard..."
"Creating Quality Jobs": "...Cancel or fix unfair trade deals..."; "End federal giveaways to companies that ship jobs overseas"; "End billion dollar giveaways to oil companies and invest in a new green economy"; "Strengthen the Buy American Act"; "Provide affordable quality health care to all Americans"; "Give tax credits to families to make child care affordable and incentives to companies who provide child care for their workers"; "Invest in public transportation"; "Employee Free Choice Act would give workers a real choice on a level playing field when deciding whether to form a union"; "...increase the minimum wage and protect minimum wage increases indexed to inflation"; expand "Prevailing Wage"
"Reforming Our Trade Agreements"
"Ending the Iraq War": "five-point path includes: Removing all combat troops starting right away...; Eliminating permanent U.S. military bases...; Engaging Iraq’s neighbors in a diplomatic effort...; Removing all American contractors...and replacing them with Iraqi contractors; ...stronger engagement with the Iraqi Parliament..."
"Health Care for All Americans": "Universal Access", "Wyden's Healthy Americans Act", "Addressing the Nursing Shortage"
"Energy Independence and Conservation": "Investment in Renewable Energy", "Reducing Carbon Emissions", "Incentives for Cities to Reduce Climate Change", "Investment in Research and Development"
"Helping Families Get Ahead": "...take a hard look at abusive practices of some in the credit card industry...", "Among mortgage lenders, prepayment penalties and excessive fees have become the norm for extracting more and more hard earned cash out of consumers...", "...make sure this housing mess doesn’t happen again"
Portland Mercury
Just Out
The Skanner

NARAL Pro-Choice
Sierra Club
Jack Bogdanski
[_] Gordon H Smith, Republican
"Cutting Taxes": "...reductions to the federal income tax, the capital gains tax, and the marriage penalty..."
No mention is made for how the federal budget will be balanced, Social Security saved, and American debt addressed.
"Building the Oregon Tech Community": "...making the R&D Tax Credit permanent, expanding H-1B visa caps, and training the next generation of tech workers..."
"Fighting for Rural Oregon": "...working to fund federal timber sales, writing legislation to expedite recovery of the Biscuit Fire..."
"Bringing the Troops Home": "...transition America’s mission to the Iraqi security forces..."
Smith only changed position after the GOP lost Congress in 2006.
"Helping Power Oregon": "...supports improved fuel economy standards..."
"Helping Families Afford an Education": "...increase Pell Grants, lower student loan interest rates and increase critical funding for the Head Start Program...", "...increase...tax deduction for teachers who purchase classroom supplies"
What? Shouldn't classrooms be properly supplied in the first place?
"Making Health Care More Affordable": "...lower the number of uninsured and drive health care costs down..."
Sounds nice, but vague. Unfortunately, his campaign provides no details.
"Caring for the Greatest Generation": "...strengthening federal programs such as Medicare Drug Benefit, Medicaid and Social Security..."
Pandering to the "greatest generation".
"Creating Parity for Mental Illnesses": "end to health insurance discrimination against people with a mental illness"
"Protecting Oregon's Treasures": "...landmark can be protected without locking out the public..."
i.e. Keep landmarks accessible to businesses by keeping them out of the National Parks System and in the scandal-prone Bureau of Land Management.
Portland Tribune
The Oregonian

Victoria Taft
OR "Family" Council (pdf)
(inferred: 6/7 rated)

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: I still prefer to support Steve Novick, but Merkley is growing on me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

SNL: Palin & Hillary

Scott and I have watched this several times and it's still hilarious:

Burn After Reading: B

burn after reading, originally uploaded by gogomp4picture.

Tammam, Dan, and I saw the Coen bros. movie Burn After Reading this weekend. It's a silly movie about silly, ordinary people doing silly, desperate things. It was funny, but not quite hilarious and seems a little ordinary for the Coen bros. The movie acknowledges that its own ending doesn't resolve or explain much.

There were some interesting previews such as Bill Maher's Religulous (preview), Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon (preview), and Alan Ball's Towelhead


Sunday, September 14, 2008

John Adams: A

Screengrab, originally uploaded by Fontosaurus.

Scott and I finished the "John Adams" miniseries on DVD this evening. Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, and Tom Wilkinson (Benjamin Franklin) were great. The early America settings was amazing.

"Adams" does put the current election in context.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

US President

This post is still in progress.

[_] Chuck Baldwin
"...disband the Department of Education."
"...keep your family safe and your country free, go buy a gun."
"...will use the constitutional power of the Presidency to deny funds to protect abortion clinics.... legalized abortion ends when I take office."
"...No foreign government or world government body or entity ...is allowed to own any portion of US ..."
[_] Bob Barr
"...America will be most prosperous and free when the government stops interfering with private economic decision-making...."
"...As for Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, government must emphasize private choice in health care and private retirement accounts...."
"...Congress should allow the exploration and production of America’s abundant domestic resources, including oil in the Outer Continental Shelf and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge . . ."
"...the Bush administration...has worked to gut ...the privacy rights and civil liberties of American citizens. The next administration must reverse course ..."
"...A continued U.S. presence in Iraq emboldens both insurgents and terrorists, and discourages the Iraqi government from taking control . . ."
"...America should not be the world’s policeman. The American purpose is to provide a strong national defense, not to engage in nation building or to launch foreign crusades..."
"...We must correct the deplorable state of health care provided to so many by the Department of Veteran's Affairs ..."
"...health care policy should be reformed based on the principle of consumer-oriented health care. Regulations which mandate insurance coverage ...should be eliminated. . ."
"...We must abolish the Department of Education, eliminate federal grants and regulations,...""...Allowing governments ...to confiscate property without a compelling justification represents a serious attack on fundamental liberty...."
"...I oppose any law requiring registration of, or restricting the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms . . ."
"...There are several alternative tax reform strategies. One would be to create a flat income tax ...Another option would be to replace the income tax ...with a consumption tax..."
"...The best policy would be to stop illegal immigrant flows while accepting more of the world’s economically productive who want to come to America."
"...Government should make no law that discriminates based on race, religion, sexuality or any other personal characteristic...."
"...Laws regulating marriage should be left to the states,..."
"...We should begin a debate over more far-reaching policy changes, including eliminating the federal government's control over the money supply, thereby leaving monetary policy under the control of the market rather than of politics...."
[_] John McCain

For a supposed "straight talker" candidate, JohnMcCain.com seems anything but straight forward in it's writing. It has many broadly-worded statements that seem to have been processed with buzz words:

"...will lead the effort to develop advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels to promote energy independence and cut off the flow of oil wealth to repressive dictatorships like Iran...."
When did oil become an advanced technology?
FackCheck.org: "He promised to increase use of "wind, tide [and] solar" energy, though his actual energy plan contains no new money for renewable energy. He has said elsewhere that renewable sources won’t produce as much as people think."
"...has a comprehensive economic plan that will create millions of good American jobs, ensure our nation's energy security, get the government's budget and spending practices in order, and bring relief to American consumers...."
"...believes it is strategically and morally essential for the United States to support the Government of Iraq to become capable of governing itself and safeguarding its people. He strongly disagrees with those who advocate withdrawing American troops before that has occurred..."
"...While still having the option of employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit - effectively cash - ...for families to offset the cost of insurance...."
HA! Since when is a tax credit cash? McCain's plan involves taxing employer's health insurance and allowing insurance companies to provide less coverage (see: New England Journal of Medicine)

"...will fight for the ability of all students to have access to all schools of demonstrated excellence, including their own homes.. . ."
"...will establish a market-based system to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mobilize innovative technologies, and strengthen the economy...."
"...top immigration priority is to finish securing our borders in an expedited manner.... will implement temporary worker programs ...All undocumented individuals will be required to enroll in a program to resolve their status."
"...believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned..."
"...Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime..."
"...committed to ensuring that veterans' health care programs receive the funding necessary to provide the quality health care our veterans need and deserve..."
"...would shine the disinfecting light of public scrutiny on those who abuse the public purse, use the power of the presidency to restore fiscal responsibility, and exercise the veto pen to enforce it..."
FactCheck.org: "He called for 'reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs,' but as in the past failed to cite a single program that he would eliminate or reduce."
"...will strengthen the military, shore up our alliances, and ensure that the nation is capable of protecting the homeland, deterring potential military challenges, responding to any crisis that endangers American security, and prevailing in any conflict we are forced to fight. . ."

local endorsements:
Victoria Taft
OR "Family" Council (pdf)
(inferred: 7/7 rated)

[_] Cynthia McKinney
Pacific Green

Not sure what the official campaign website is. McKinney2008.com forwarded me to McKinney-Clemente.org which was down. VoteTruth08.com was up, but didn't have an "issues" page like the other candidates.

[_] Ralph Nader
"Adopt single payer national health insurance"; "Nader/Gonzalez favors a Canadian-style, private delivery, free choice of hospital and doctor, public health insurance system...."
"Cut the huge, bloated, wasteful military budget"
"No to nuclear power, solar energy first"
"Aggressive crackdown on corporate crime and corporate welfare"
"Open up the Presidential debates"
"Adopt a carbon pollution tax"
"Reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East"; "...Nader/Gonzalez proposes that a rapid negotiated withdrawal from Iraq, with UN sponsored elections, is the first step toward delivering peace to Middle East...."; "...will ...side with the strong and courageous Israeli/Palestinian peace movements who are working for a peaceful two-state solution."
"Impeach Bush/Cheney"
"Repeal the Taft-Hartley anti-union law"
"Adopt a Wall Street securities speculation tax"
"Put an end to ballot access obstructionism"
"Work to end corporate personhood"
"Defend, Restore and Strengthen the Civil Justice System"
"Adopt the National Initiative" (i.e. national ballot)
[X] Barack Obama
"Civil Rights: Strengthen Civil Rights Enforcement; Combat Employment Discrimination; Expand Hate Crimes Statutes; End Deceptive Voting Practices; End Racial Profiling; Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Support; Eliminate Sentencing Disparities; Expand Use of Drug Courts"
"Defense: Invest in a 21st Century Military; Build Defense Capabilities for the 21st Century; Restore the Readiness of the National Guard and Reserves; Develop Whole of Government Initiatives to Promote Security; Restore Our Alliances; Reform Contracting"
"Disabilities"; "...provide Americans with disabilities with the educational opportunities they need to succeed ...end discrimination and promote equal opportunity ...increase the employment rate of workers with disabilities ...support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities."
"Economy: Jumpstart the Economy; Provide Middle Class Americans Tax Relief; Trade; Job Creation; Support Small Business; Labor; Protect Homeownership and Crack Down on Mortgage Fraud; Address Predatory Credit Card Practices; Reform Bankruptcy Laws; Work/Family Balance"
"Education: "Zero to Five Plan; Expand Early Head Start and Head Start; Affordable, High-Quality Child Care; Reform No Child Left Behind; Address the Dropout Crisis; Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities; Expand Summer Learning Opportunities; Support College Outreach Programs; Support English Language Learners; Recruit, Prepare, Retain, and Reward America's Teachers; Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit; Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid"
"New Energy: Provide Short-term Relief to American Families; Eliminate Our Need for Middle Eastern and Venezuelan Oil within 10 Years; Create Millions of New Green Jobs; Reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80 Percent by 2050"
• "Ethics: Shine the Light on Washington Lobbying; Shine the Light on Federal Contracts, Tax Breaks and Earmarks; Bring Americans Back into their Government; Free the Executive Branch from Special Interest Influence"

"Fiscal: Restore Fiscal Discipline to Washington; Make the Tax System More Fair and Efficient"
• "Foreign Policy": Iran - "Opposed Bush-Cheney Saber Rattling, Diplomacy"; "Talk to our Foes and Friends"; Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - "achieve the goal of two states"; "Fight Global Poverty"; "Strengthen NATO"; "Seek New Partnerships in Asia"; "Secure Loose Nuclear Materials from Terrorists"; "Strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty"

"Healthcare: Quality, Affordable and Portable Coverage for All"; "Lower Costs by Modernizing The U.S. Health Care System"; "Advance the Biomedical Research Field"; "Fight AIDS Worldwide"; "Improve Mental Health Care"
"Homeland Security: Protecting Our Chemical Plants; Keeping Track of Spent Nuclear Fuel; Evacuating Special Needs Population in Emergencies; Reuniting Families After Emergencies; Keeping Our Drinking Water Safe; Protecting the Public from Radioactive Releases"
"Immigration: Create Secure Borders; Improve Our Immigration System; Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally; Bring People Out of the Shadows"; "promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration"
"Iraq: A Responsible, Phased Withdrawal; Encourage Political Accommodation; Surging Diplomacy; Preventing Humanitarian Crisis; The Status of Forces Agreement"
"Poverty: Expand Access to Jobs; Make Work Pay for All Americans; Strengthen Families; Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing; Tackle Concentrated Poverty"
"Rural: Ensure Economic Opportunity For Family Farmers; Support Rural Economic evelopment; Improve Rural Quality Of Life"
"Service: Enable All Americans to Serve; Integrate Service into Learning; Invest in the Nonprofit Sector"
"Senior & Social Security: Protect Social Security; Strengthen Retirement; Savings; Affordable Health Care; Protect and Honor Seniors"
"Technology: Ensure an open Internet; Create a transparent and connected democracy; Encourage a modern communications infrastructure; Employ technology to solve our nation’s most pressing problems; Improve America’s competitiveness"
"Urban Policy: Strengthen Federal Commitment to our Cities; Stimulate Economic Prosperity in our Metropolitan Regions; Housing; Poverty; Urban Education; Crime and Law Enforcement; Strengthen Homeland Security; Support Families"
"Veterans Affairs: Help for Returning Service Members; Improved Mental Health Treatment"
local endorsements:
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian
The Skanner

Sierra Club

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: There's not a whole lot I can really add that hasn't been covered in the 24/7 campaign coverage. I can't imagine any Republican or undecided voter really believing McCain/Palin would actually inspire or lead the country in a new direction.

It has been interesting reading the minor party candidates' websites. It is sad that the once respected, consumer rights activist Ralph Nader has decided to become a joke. After eight years, it's surprising that Nader has been unable to lead the Green Party (or whatever third party he associates) to any significant victories in smaller elections. Now he has split off to form his own vanity ticket. What's the point? Even the Libertarian and Constitution tickets seem to have the goal of promoting their own fringe ideas, but Nader just seems to like having his own name on the ballot regardless of party.

However, I will admit that Nader's candidate website is much more coherent than the Green Party's odd collection of websites. If you're going to run for president, at least pretend and write like you have plan as president.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Metro 26-96: $125M (0.009%) Zoo Improvements

MultCo Elections:

COST: $0.09 property tax per $1,000 assessed value per year = 0.009%

Shall Zoo protect animal health and safety; conserve, recycle water; issue $125 million in general obligation bonds; require independent audits? If the bonds are approved, they will be payable from taxes on property or property ownership that are not subject to the limits of Sections 11 and 11b, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.?

[_] Yes
The Oregonian: "A cautious 'yes'."
Portland Mercury
The Skanner

From arguments in favor (pdf):
• OR Humane Society
• fmr Gov John Kitzhaber
from OregonZoo2008.com supporters:
• Audubon Society of Portland
• OR League of Conservation Voters
• Portland Japanese Garden
• Sierra Club
• Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder
• Metro Councilor Carlotta Collette
• Metro Councilor Kathryn Harrington
• Metro Councilor Rod Park
• MultCo Comm.-elect Deborah Kafoury
• Portland Mayor Tom Potter
• Portland City Comm. Randy Leonard
• Portland City Comm. Dan Saltzman
• Oregon Zoo Polar Bears Intnt'l & Senior Keeper Amy Cutting
• Oregon Zoo Vet Mitch Finnegan
• Oregon Zoo Vet Lisa Harrenstein
• Oregon Zoo Vet 1958-1973 Matthew Maberry
• Oregon Zoo Vet Tech Margot Monti
• Oregon Zoo Senior Elephant Keeper Bob Lee
• Oregon Zoo Elephant Keeper Jeb Barsh
• Oregon Zoo Elephant Keeper Dimas Dominguez
• Oregon Zoo Elephant Keeper Jeremy Kiby
• Oregon Zoo Senior Primate Keeper Dave Thomas
• Oregon Zoo Primate Keeper Asaba Mukobi
• AZA Elephant Species Survival Prog. Chair Mike Keele
• Polar Bears International Pres. Robert Buchanan
• Polar Bear Expert David Sheperdson
• Elephant Expert Ursula Buhert
• Beaverton Mayor-Elect Denny Doyle
• Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake
[X] No "No":
Portland Tribune

Victoria Taft

From arguments in opposition (pdf):
• Jane Frances Bicquette: "...prolonging woefully inadequate conditions..."
• Oregon Zoo Keeper Phil Prewett
• In Defense of Animals

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: I would like to support the zoo, but $125M for what is essentially a popular recreational attraction pales in comparison to more essential government services. My questions:

  • Why isn't the zoo able to self-fund its expansion from admission fees? Are its admission fees too low? The Oregon Zoo charges $9.75 for adults, but much smaller (and, in my opinion, less impressive) zoos and attractions I've visited are able to charge the same or more:Why hasn't the zoo more heavily depended on tourists for its funding?
  • The bond's wording sounds like a scare tactic. If the bond is not passed, does that really mean animals' health and safety will be at risk? If so, why hasn't the zoo handled its resources and prior expansions appropriately to secure its animals' health and safety?
  • Since it arbitrarily chose to change its name to the Oregon Zoo ten years ago, why are not taxpayers across the state being asked to contribute? The name erroneously implies that the zoo is supported by the state while City of Portland and tri-county taxpayers have built and supported it for over a hundred years. Why should Metro residents pay the same fees and subsidize non-residents?

The more I think about it, the less inclined I feel toward voting for this bond. At the risk of sounding like an old, anti-tax curmudgeon, this measure's sensational wording rubs me the wrong way. I also don't see why local property taxpayers should be financially responsible to expand a popular recreational attraction that doesn't seem to have properly tapped tourists' dollars.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

PCC Measure 26-95: $375M (0.03%) Bond to Expand Facilities

MultCo Elections: SUMMARY: If approved, measure would provide funds for additional classrooms and modernizing equipment at all Portland Community College Campuses to expand and add programs, and accommodate more students. Increase access in Newberg, Sherwood.

COST: $0.329 property tax per $1,000 assessed value over 21 years or less = 0.0329%

Shall PCC expand, modernize, construct facilities for additional students, programs; upgrade technology; issue $375,000,000 in general obligation bonds; audit spending?

[X] Yes "Yes":
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian
The Skanner
Portland Tribune
[_] No

Jack Bogdanski

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: Leaning toward a yes vote, but $375M is a large amount and raises some questions:

  • Why should local property taxpayers be responsible for expansion to Newberg and Sherwood? (Nevermind. Newberg and Sherwood have been in the PCC district since 1968.)
  • Is the additional student capacity to accommodate local students or non-local students?
  • Why is the college unable to fund its expansion plans -- especially if the college is accommodating relocating students?
  • If there is a growing demand for its services, doesn't tuition cover some expansion costs or at least bond repayment?
  • Wouldn't increasing the availability of online courses diminish the need to modernize and expand physical facilities?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Portland Measure 26-94: Renew $70M (0.04%) Children's Investment Fund

MultCo Elections: SUMMARY: Measure would continue financing the Children's Investment Fund to support proven programs designed to help children arrive at school ready to learn, provide safe and constructive after school alternatives for kids, help foster children and prevent child abuse, neglect and family violence.

This Children's Investment Fund can only be used for:

  • Child abuse prevention and intervention: addressing juvenile crime, school failure, drug and alcohol abuse and homeless youth.
  • Early childhood programs: making childcare more affordable and preparing children for success to school.
  • After school, summer and mentoring programs: promoting academic achievement, reducing the number of juveniles victimized by crime and increasing graduation rates.
  • Children in foster care programs: helping foster children succeed who have been abused and neglected.
Accountability measures include:
  • Programs funded must be cost effective and have a proven record of success.
  • Investment fund subject to oversight by a citizen committee.
  • Investment fund subject to annual audits.
  • Administrative costs cannot exceed 5%.

Levy is $0.4026 per $1000 of assessed property value, and produces an estimated $14 million per year for 5 years = 0.04026%

Shall Portland continue supporting child abuse prevention, foster children, early childhood, after school programs, renewing five-year levy starting 2009?

[X] Yes Endorsements:
Portland Mercury
Just Out
The Oregonian
The Skanner
Portland Tribune

ChildrensLevy.com endorsements:
AFSCME Local 189, Albina Community Bank, American Medical Response, Bank of the West, Beam Development, Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia NW, The Boys and Girls Aid Society, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Portland, Camp Fire USA, Cascade AIDS Project, Catholic Charities, CH2M Hill, Comcast, Community Cycling Center, Concordia Neighborhood Association, Conkling Fiskum McCormick, El Hispanic News, Embassy Suites, Ethos Inc., Fishel's Furniture, Fred Meyer, Inc., Gerdling Edlen Development, Heathman Hotel, Higgins Restaurant & Bar, Hollywood Lights Inc., IBEW Local 48, Intel, Iron Workers & Shopmens Union Local 51, Iron Workers Local 29, Jim Fisher Volvo, Kaiser Permanente, Key Bank, KPFF Consulting Engineers, League of Women Voters of Portland, Oregon, Legacy Health System, Lifeworks Northwest, Lucy Activewear, Inc., Morrison Child and Family Services, Native American Youth Association (NAYA), The Niel Kelly Company, New Copper Penny, NW Natural, Oregon Sports Authority Foundation, Pacific Power, Paloma Clothing, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290, Portland Association of Teachers, Portland Beavers, Portland Business Alliance, PCC Federation of Facultyand Academic Professionals Local 2277, Plumbers Union Local 290, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Portland Council PTA, Portland Fire Fighters Association, Portland Hilton, Portland Impact, Portland Police Association, Portland Timbers, Providence Health & Services, Qwest, R & H Construction, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Rejuvenation Hardware, Saturday Academy, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, P.C., Self Enhancement, Inc., Service Employees International Union, Local 49, Sheraton Airport Hotel, Stacy and Witbeck, Inc., The Standard, Trammell Crow, Umpqua Bank, United Finance, Co., United Food & Commercial Workers Local 555, United Way of the Columbia Willamette, Vernon Neighborhood Association, Volunteers of America - Family Relief Nursery, Walsh Construction, Wells Fargo, Wentworth Dealerships, Westin Portland Hotel
City Comm. Sam Adams, Portland School Board Member Ruth Adkins, Metro President David Bragdon, State Sen. Kate Brown, Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder, fmr Mayor Bud Clark, MultCo Comm. Jeff Cogen, MultCo Comm Maria Rojo de Steffey, Sho Dozono, City Comm. Nick Fish, State Sen. Avel Gordly, Roy Jay, Deborah Kafoury, fmr Mayor Vera Katz, fmr Gov. John Kitzhaber, State Rep. Tina Kotek, Dem. Atty Gen Nominee John Kroger, City Commissioner Randy Leonard, Charles Lewis, Mike Lindberg, MultCo Comm. Lisa Naito, State Rep Mary Nolan, Steve Novick, Mayor Tom Potter, fmr Gov Barbara Roberts, MultCo Comm. Lonnie Roberts, Portland School Board member Dan Ryan, City Comm. Dan Saltzman, Arlene & Harold Schnitzer, Michael D. Schrunk, fmr City Comm. Erik Sten, Bob Walsh, Tom Walsh, Sr., MultCo Chair Ted Wheeler
[_] No Taxpayer Association of Oregon PAC (Tigard)
Victoria Taft

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: While the City may not be technically responsible to provide these services, can anyone really argue against this law? I dislike how the City has outsourced the harder, more vulnerable tasks to less prominent governments (i.e. healthcare, jails, courthouse, schools, bridge maintenance, etc.) while keeping the less controversial and more glamourous ribbon-cutting tasks (i.e. police, fire, water/sewer, development, streetcar, parks, etc.). It's obscene that the City spends huge amounts on real estate development and fancy pet projects without considering if schools, children's programs, and clinics are properly served.