Oregon Libertarians Victorious

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In Oregon, Libertarians victorious in ongoing tax and term-limits fight

Oregon LP Executive Director Richard Burke: Can't lose.

[April 8] Oregon Libertarians have succeeded in an effort to defeat proposed "sin tax" increases and an "ill-advised" term-limits proposal in the state legislature.

LP Executive Director Richard Burke said the LP helped save taxpayers $800 million in new taxes in the special legislative session in February -- and Libertarian activists are already gearing up for the next round.

In addition, the party helped defeat a referendum proposed by state legislators that was designed to compete with a stronger, citizen-backed term limits initiative.

Both victories "further established [the LP] as a significant player in state politics," said Burke.

"I'm very pleased at what we've accomplished here in Oregon," he said. "We've found that when we take action, we can be very effective at influencing the decisions of state legislators. And we also generated some great publicity for the Libertarian Party."

The effort began in January, when Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber called a special legislative session to fill an $800 million hole in the state budget. Kitzhaber supported an increase in cigarette and alcohol taxes as a partial solution to the state's budgetary woes, said Burke.

In response, the LP launched a statewide "No New Taxes Media Tour," holding press conferences in 27 cities to rally the public against the tax hikes. Burke said the tour yielded dozens of media interviews and a daily report on a major Portland radio station.

As a result of the publicity and other grassroots lobbying efforts, hundreds of anti-tax letters, faxes, e-mails, and phone calls were sent to legislators from Oregon residents, said Burke.

The LP also held a press conference in the state capital in Salem prior to the legislative vote. There, the LP informed a crowd of political journalists that the party would run candidates in the November elections against any Republican legislator who voted in favor of a tax increase.

This warning was effective, said Burke, because of the slim majority the GOP has in the legislature. In the House, Republicans hold a four-seat majority; in the Senate, they have a one-seat edge.

Consequently, the tax bills never made it to the floor for a vote, said Burke.

"When we threaten to run targeted candidates who campaign on private property rights and tax cuts, we have a definite advantage against the Republicans," he said. "Most of them didn't want to risk raising taxes under those circumstances."

A "stunned" Kitzhaber then called a second special legislative session at the end of February, said Burke, and again called for tax increases.

In response, Republican State Representative Cliff Zauner and Republican/Libertarian State Senator Gary George distributed copies of an LP news release to legislators, again warning that anyone who voted to increase taxes would be targeted for defeat in November.

As a result, only the bill to raise cigarette taxes made it to the House floor, said Burke. The bill failed on a 30-30 vote.

"According to Zauner and George, the Oregon LP's position caused no small amount of concern in the Republican caucuses," he said. "Allegedly, a number of four-letter words were used in reference to our strategy."

During the same session, the State Senate was set to consider a term-limits alternative to a citizen's initiative being promoted by LP activist Eric Winters. The alternative had already passed the House by a vote of 31-27.

The citizen's initiative, spearheaded by Portland businessman Ted Piccolo, would limit legislators to three terms in the House and two in the Senate. After a total of 12 years in office, incumbents would be banned for life from serving again in the state legislature.

The politician-supported referendum was far more lenient, said Burke. That proposal would limit legislators to 12 consecutive years in office in either house, and allow legislators to run again for office after a period of four years.

Although volunteers are still gathering signatures to place the Piccolo initiative on the ballot, Burke said it is "almost guaranteed" the drive will be successful. Putting both initiatives on the ballot would have confused voters, and may have led to the defeat of both measures, he said.

Winters convinced Term Limits America, a national PAC, to support the Piccolo initiative. The PAC pledged to financially support candidates who "[oppose] incumbent Republicans who arrogantly vote to place this competing measure on the ballot."

Backing down in the face of that political threat, Senate President Gene Derfler chose not to bring the measure to a vote, said Burke.

"Although Libertarians are divided on the issue of term limits, the Oregon LP believed this case was a matter of putting citizen measures before the proposals of politicians," said Burke.

While pleased with the LP accomplishments, Burke said the battle is not yet over. Governor Kitzhaber has already said he will call a third special session in late May or June to address the budget issue again.

However, the LP will continue to pressure politicians to cut spending instead of increasing taxes, said Burke.

"If we succeed again, we will have another legislative victory under our belts," he said. "But if the Republicans raise taxes, the LP will be able to grow dramatically at their expense in the elections ahead. Once again, we can't lose."

-- Dick Tator (Razzor-D@WebTV.com), April 14, 2002


So, Joe, your home state. How do you stand on these? While I aint thrilled about Career polititions, I aint for forcing people into retirement or forcing the people to choose someone else. As for the taxes... There should be, well maybe 7.5% flat tax. Everyones pays the same.

-- Dick Tator (Razzor-D@WebTV.com), April 14, 2002.

Well, Tator, the LP has successfully appealed to people's selfishness, it would appear. Congrats. Cut off the nose to spite the face.

Did you know that every tax dollar spent for community college education repays itself with 10.3% interest? (according to a study reported in a December issue of the Columbian Newspaper, in Vancouver, Wash. (due to graduates earning more, and thus paying more in income taxes)

I believe that a study of K-12 would show even better results. Therefore, it's stupid to cut spending for education, which is going to take a big hit in Oregon, if the legislators can't stand the heat from myopic Republicans, LP's and some Demos. Dumb. Face, nose, spite.

7.5% flat tax; maybe. How'd you come up with that figure?

-- joj (joj@home.org), April 14, 2002.

Well, I dont think that there should be taxes, BUT I do see that we have to pay our elected officials and the Militaries salery. And keep paying for the Post Office that continually runs in the red. (I want to change that too but it would take a Constitutional Amendment).

About the schools, I read somewhere (I'll find it for you later) that it costs about $8,000 a year for a child to go to a Public School. And about $6,000 a year to go to a Privite school. I just got out of Public Education, you dont know what it has become. They are more interedted in teaching you their morals and ideas than they are teaching you book facts. It isnt up to the schools to give us out outlook on life. That is for the Parents.

Also, I heard that they are teaching Kindergardeners and 1st Graders about Homosexual Relationships through "Conjunction Junction" type vids in Big cities. I wouldnt want my child learning about that stuff at such a young age. Nothing offencive about that. I wouldnt want them knowing about Hetrosexuality that young either. But you may have differnent ideas about that. But thats why schools shouldnt get involved in raising children. Just teaching.

-- Dick Tator (Razzor-D@WebTV.com), April 15, 2002.

First of all, do the private schools pay for transportation? Do they pay for kids with special problems, e.g. mental retardation, physical handicaps, emotional problems, etc?

Secondly, I haven't been in public school for a few years (understatement of the week) and haven't had any kids in the system for about nine years. But my impression is that public schools do a lot less moral teaching than private schools do. Is that not still the case? Don't the majority of private schools (read "religious schools") still teach all kinds of pure bullpuckey, like "evolution is no more a fact than Scientific Creationism"? (what an oxymoron THAT is!)

Don't they teach all sorts of other paranormal dogma?

I'll vote for the public schools anyday. Besides, who can afford private schools? If we taxpayers don't start supporting private schools with our taxes, you still have to pay $6000 per year for your kid to attend private school, plus property taxes for the public schools. And I sure as hell don't pay any $8000, or even $6000 per year in school taxes! More like a few hundred per year, regardless of how many kids I have in school. It's still a bargain, but needs more money to hire some aides.

-- joj (jump@off.c), April 15, 2002.

Public school is bad, always had and always will, you can throw as much money as you want, but the chances are it won't fix the problem, money is never a way to solve a problem.

-- Tony (awalker@teknett.com), April 15, 2002.

(I want to change that too but it would take a Constitutional Amendment).

As Thomes Jefferson once said, it's not best one ever made, it's actialy the worst, but it's a start. But even what Libertarians don't believe in such as public education our forefathers did, they thought that public education will help children teach and learn different morals and culture and they will actialy benifit from it, it appears that this isn't the case, so our quest tour a more perfect constitution will continue, but it must be look at with the most ah commen sence otherwise it could destroy the nation. I would like to change the systom so that federal laws and admendments has to be voted in, by the majority of the popilation. It is with this belief that this would reduce tyranny and give people more control over there own fate.

-- Tony (awalker@teknett.com), April 15, 2002.

"If we taxpayers don't start supporting private schools with our taxes, you still have to pay $6000 per year for your kid to attend private school, plus property taxes for the public schools."

But here's the problem, I don't want to pay for your school, I should have a choice of where my money shall go and I really don't care if it is for the children. But I can tell you this, for the children had been the oldest excuse in the history of man kind, they use it against gyptsy, they use it against witches, they use it against evil, they use it against drugs, they use it against everything, so I will never do anything, just for the sake of the children, because the chances are, it's bullshit.

-- Tony (awalker@teknett.com), April 15, 2002.

C'mon, Tony, where'd you go to school?

Do you really think this society can stand to have an entire generation of ignoramuses? That's what you'll get if you don't support the kids.

Tator, you never did tell me where you came up with the figure "7.5%". Please do.

-- joj (joj@home.org), April 15, 2002.

I made it up. A number between 5 and 10. Simple.

And as for the Public Schools, if money will help them, why is it that they are just getting worse and worse when more and more money is being given to them. In a Privite School, they only get buisness if they have good results. In a Public school they get buisness (thus money) regardless. Because children are forced to go to them. It is a Government Monopoly.

When someone like Al Gore says that Vouchers are a bad thing, he is really saying that he doesnt want us common people going to the same school as HIS Children!

-- Dick Tator (Razzor-D@WebTV.com), April 16, 2002.


I dont agree with Tony about Majority Rule. I dont think that any one person or any group of people have the right to rule anyone.

-- Dick Tator (Razzor-D@WebTV.com), April 16, 2002.

why is it that they are just getting worse and worse when more and more money is being given to them.

Tator, that statement suffers from the delusion of "post hoc, ergo propter hoc". You seem to be saying that, because the schools are getting wors and worse when more money is being given to them, they would improve with less money given to them. NOT.

Schools are getting worse and worse (assuming that they really are getting worse, which is very debatable) because of many different factors, money being only one of them. Privatizing them will not solve the problem, and may in fact make it worse. For reasons I won't REstate here.

-- joj (joj@home.org), April 16, 2002.

"C'mon, Tony, where'd you go to school? Do you really think this society can stand to have an entire generation of ignoramuses? That's what you'll get if you don't support the kids.

Tator, you never did tell me where you came up with the figure "7.5%". Please do.

-- joj (joj@home.org), April 15, 2002."

Damn right, If people want to be enlighten then they would want to go to school, school is also to blame for the majority of how society think, the ignorants of there history and the laws that inslave us, it controls society, by making sure that only one type of thinking and one type of society will exist, it is fatal tour the government that all kids remain educated and missguilded, other wise they want have no future tax and people would remain ignorant of the law and will threaten to be against there favor. This is why we have truent laws and public education.

-- Tony (awalker@teknett.com), April 18, 2002.

Privitizing them may solve the problem, how would know if it won't ? You should a least give it a try, if it fails, oh well, don't make big deal out of it.

-- Tony (awalker@teknett.com), April 18, 2002.

Dick, I have thought about majority rule and I did came up with a better issue, instead of having it pass by majority rule, have it go majority rule give permission to go through the legerstaters, then congress can make it into the constitution, I think this would make it harder for polictical partys with there main interest at hand, but I can't see the flawed in it, it will still very much be a republic but only with an extra check and balance to avoid Democracy.

-- Tony (awalker@teknett.com), April 18, 2002.

But then the Minority would NEVER have a say on what goes on in Congress!

-- Dick Tator (Razzor-D@WebTV.com), April 18, 2002.

Well, any ideals on how to make it harder ? Considering that only 10 percent of the majority actaly vote, then I would dought that 75% of a population would even bother, why should the president be the majority or even congress ?

-- Tony (test@123.com), April 23, 2002.

My vote means more because of those who do not. I stand in power. I stand empowered. I am America the Beautiful. Long may I wave. ** wave wave ** I see that Cardinal Law is a person and not a real law. Child molester enabler and hider. Bad cardinal, bad. Bunch of political beaureacrats. A homeless man who cries in Chicago is better and more deserving. Kind of silly, the vatican and all of that, if you ask me. But don't ask me. The weather is lighening up my insides. Been dark sometimes. Who is in charge of the Democratic Party now? Just wondering. Bunch of fire flies in the day so I can't tell. Keep the fire burning. Kum by yah, me lord, kum by yah.

-- (mountain_apple@hello.net), April 26, 2002.

Julie, you are so right on! Less voters equals more power for us who take the time and trouble to learn the issues. Also for Tator, who is working on it.

I LIKE Cardinal Law. Less.

What do you mean, fire flies in the afternoon? I love fire flies. Send some out here to Orygun.

There are but two things wrong with this place: not enough thunderstorms, and NO fireflies.

Thought for the day: Time flies like and arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

-- joj (joj@home.org), May 01, 2002.

I like flies and ants. I was incognito. so I read my books now. hi JOJ. I hope you get to smile a lot.

-- (apples@barbarianland.com), August 05, 2002.

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