Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: How the Libertarians Voted on State Ballot Measures in Their Primary

As promised in our last post, in which we discussed our winning of the Libertarian Party’s Gubernatorial nomination in the party’s self-financed primary, we shall here review how Libertarians voted on the probable State Ballot Measures come November.

All in all, it was a heartening vote, with Libertarians generally coming down hard on the right side of the issues, although there were a few disappointments and surprises.

Ballot Measure No.2, which prohibited automatic payroll deductions from State workers into their union, was endorsed 551 to 386 with 47 blank votes. I voted Yes.

Measure No. 6, which prohibited government funds for abortion, was defeated 430 to 539 with 16 blanks. I abstained.

Measure No. 8, which legalized same-sex marriage, was passed 698 to 268 with 12 blanks. I abstained because I think all marriage, being a religious contract, should be outside the realm of the law and government.

Measure No. 21, which de facto legalized cannabis but gave the State the power to tax and regulate, and which was the least restrictive of the three cannabis de-criminalization measures on the ballot, was passed by the Libertarians with a resounding 807 to 173 vote with 9 blanks. 807 was the highest number of votes any of the State Measures received on one side of the issue. We voted yes on this issue, somewhat reluctantly, because we do not think cannabis warrants any State interference, regulation, or taxation, except for possible DUI and non-medical delivery to minors. But we are pleased to see that Oregon Libertarians are this tolerant, and makes us glad we are representing this party and its views.

Measure No. 22, which would legalize cannabis and set up a state cannabis commission passed 696 to 272 with 16 blanks. I voted against it, because I did not want to endorse the setting-up of yet another unnecessary State commission, which I have a visceral opposition to. Perhaps if you looked at the annual salaries of those on State Commissions, you would experience a similar visceral nausea.

Measure No. 23, which called for Individual’s Natural Rights to be placed above so-called Corporate Rights, passed 669 to 297 with 18 blanks. Another good and vital decision by the Oregon Libertarians. I voted yes.

Measure No. 34 called for equality of the sexes. It passed 769 to 185 with 24 blanks. I voted yes.

Measure No. 52 is a very important issue, that would in effect re-legalize racial discrimination in business, by classifying it as a “religious belief”. I was disappointed to see that it passed 535 to 418 with 26 blanks, but the fact that the vote was more or less evenly divided in opinion is a good sign. I voted against it, since I believe it violates Contract Law, but the issue calls for more clarification and debate.

Measure No. 53 is yet another cannabis legalization bill, but restrictive in our view because it sets up an entire taxing regime. Though it passed 772 to 203 with 13 blanks, I abstained, because I feel very strongly that cannabis should never be taxed, though State medical certification of potency would probably entail a fee. Cannabis aficianados should stand pat on “no taxes on cannabis”.

Measure No. 54 carried a surprising result. This was the “top two tier” voting bill, that would list all the candidates, minor parties included, in the primary, but only allow the top two to appear on the November ballot. This bill seemed to me a dream method for keeping the Libertarian Party and Libertarian Candidates off the ballot for good, instead of our current system where, despite the arduous process, Libertarians can hope to be represented on the final ballot. State Chairman Wes Wagner wrote an eloquent argument against this measure which appeared in the Libertarian Ballot mailed to every registered party member in the State, but apparently it fell on largely deaf ears. I voted against this horrendous measure, which aims to suppress any dissent in American politics, unless it comes out of the Democratic and Republican Parties, the two main collectivist, Fascist parties. But the vote was 606 to 311 in favor, with a large 50 blank votes, the largest number of blank votes received on any of the measures, which illustrates the confusion voters felt as to whether this bill advanced or hindered the prospects for Libertarian and other minority party candidates. But its aim is suppression.

Measure No. 301, which would give drivers cards to illegal aliens was defeated 287 to 677 with 19 blanks. While this bill might have practical beneficial effects on road safety, it condones and facilitates the breaking of national immigration laws, and we do not feel that is fair to those who have already gone through the long and arduous process of becoming Naturalized U. S. Citizens.

Finally, there was Measure No. 402, which would place funding post-secondary education as a requirement in the State’s Constitution. The measure was rejected 282 to 675 with 23 blanks. I voted against it. With over 50% of State spending going on so-called education, it is clear that this measure will just further bleed the taxpayers by burdening them with yet another unconstitutional “Consitutional Amendment”. Government schools are a curse, and should be abolished, not augmented. Their abolition would open up a whole new industry to tens of thousands of potential educators and tutors.

This Primary showed that Libertarian voters tend to be “Liberal” in the sense of “Classical Liberalism”. They seem to be for legalizing cannabis and same-sex marriage, yet seem divided on abortion and “religious descrimination” in business. I believe it is a party inchoate, looking for a form, and those of us who speak up will help to define that form.

My platform can be reviewed at:

Paul Grad,


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