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Ballot season commences

Well, it’s that time again in Oregon – ballot season. Ever since Oregonians caught on to this whole ballot initiative business, they’ve seized upon it with the zeal of a hyper-active bonobo monkey (That one’s for you, Ted). More below “the fold.”

UPDATE: Here’s the actual legal mumbo-jumbo that Oregonians in Action filed against Measure 49.¬†Is there¬†anyone around here with the requisite lore to decipher such a scroll?

The biggest measure coming down the pipes this cycle is Measure 49, which would significantly neuter Measure 37. Supporters of the measure already have a website up and running, but most of the 49 hype appears to be centered around an independent blog – Land-use Watch. Lefties across the state are smugly predicting the smooth passage of 49. They claim Measure 37, passed by a wide margin in 2004, was a Trojan horse designed to gut land-use regulations and environmental laws. Of course, the voters obviously didn’t know what was good for them at the time, so now we have to go back and fix that pesky mistake – a return to a pristine, green Oregon free from cigar-chomping, scorched earth timber barons and crazy survivalists.

Oregonians in Action, the property rights group who engineered Measure 37, is fighting the new ballot measure in an unusual way. Apparently, they’re trying to scuttle the whole initiative by challenging the legality of the ballot’s title. I don’t know much about the logistics of any of this, but the folks over at OIA are pretty sharp. They must be considering this their ace in the hole because they haven’t launched any other anti-49 campaigns so far.

Speaking of 2004, remember Measure 36 – the one that defined marriage as “one man, one woman” (at least that’s what I gathered from thousands of bumper stickers)? The Religious Right is trying to capture some of that old, Measure 36 magic again in 2008. Their knickers are in all sorts of bunches over the Oregon Legislature’s recent passage of two laws – one granting domestic partnerships to gays and lesbians and the other barring discrimination in the workplace due to sexual preference. Several signature drives are currently under way.

Unfortunately (for them), the morality police are having a hard time rallying the troops. In fact, they can hardly put forward a unified front. Unlike 2004, the general populace can’t be bothered to issue more than an apathetic “meh.” Perhaps they just can’t see the harm in letting two people live together and share the benefits of such an arrangement. Or maybe they feel safe now that marriage is protected from “teh gay.”

In any case, the Religious Right isn’t going to slink off without a fight. In fact, they’re pushing extra hard to get out the fundamentalist vote. I know this because I was at a church service in my hometown when the pastor announced that there were several petitions in the fellowship hall with titles such as “Protecting Traditional Morality.” Ah, nothing beats the combination of politics and religion.

  1. Jake says:

    I think the phrase “mud-gulping” is wildly inappropriate even for OC standards. I prefer turd-chomping.

  2. Sean Jin says:

    It’s about time the Religious Right made their comeback. I’ve been having to cower in fear at the thought of gays having the same chances of getting jobs as me.

  3. Danimal says:

    Conditionally, and only after all criteria are met.

  4. Niedermeyer says:

    Land-use lawyers laugh?

  5. Danimal says:

    [T]he folks over at OIA are pretty sharp.

    “SNERBLBERT” is the sound a land-use lawyer makes when he laughs coffee up his nose.

  6. Timothy says:

    Is Lon Maybon out of jail yet? If so did he “go native” while he was on the inside?

  7. Ossie says:

    According to the Oregon Citizens Alliance, 83 percent of all gay men participate in the act of mud-gulping.

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