As promised in my previous post, these are my views on the Oregon non-statewide Measures that are specific to certain Counties in the upcoming election. As usual, I take a strict libertarian approach to these measures which may differ markedly from the positions of the political party that goes by that name.
Measure 7-65 concerns the looting of Crook County property tax payers to support the Bowman Museum in Prineville. It is pretty obvious that local taxpayers have absolutely no responsibility to fund cultural or educational museums. If this museum is that important to the State and its historical heritage, and it probably is, then it should be funded at the State or Federal level, by the State either cutting its salaries and PERS pensions, or by taxing multinational corporations doing business in the State, who currently pay no income tax whatsoever.
Moreover, if the levy fails, the Museum will not close, but will cut hours and staff. It would still be open to the public.
On Principle, Curry County property owners and residents should vote NO on Measure 7-65.
Measure 14-62 is another attempt to loot the public in order that the government can swill at your trough. It concerns a heinous attempt to impose a cannabis tax on retail sales of marijuana items in Hood River County. The tax is an outrageous 3%. I believe there should never be a tax on any drug less addictive than caffeine on the Benowitz Scale of addictive substances, and cannabis is less addictive that caffeine on that scale. Therefore it should not be taxed. And, while I would oppose any tax on any drug in a libertarian, laissez-faire society, if the taxpayers are going to be forced at gunpoint to pay for other people’s medical costs, as they are under Medicaid and other schemes, then I would not oppose a tax on substances more addictive than caffeine.
Don’t let them financially exploit you while they pay out State PERS pensions of $913,000/yr. If the State can pay that, they can do without your 3% looted contribution. Give ’em the financial finger on November 6th, and vote NO on Measure 14-62.
Measure 18-111 is another boondoggle that will suck approximately $230,000/yr from the wealth of local property taxpayers for 5 years running to fund the Klamath County Museum System. Like Measure 7-65, such educational and historical museums should be funded at the Federal level or by voluntary private organizations. If the State thinks it is that important, let them cut State salaries by $0.05/$1000 and fund it that way.
Vote NO on Measure 18-111 if you live in Klamath County.
Measure 20-290 is a Lane County attempt to get around the first-past-the-post
method of deciding democratic elections in Oregon, by substituting a very complicated point system which is actually an attempt to insert proportional representation, a terrible system, into the US electoral system. It applies only to non-partisan county elections. Each candidate will receive points by the voter, which will then be added up, the two highest point-receivers are then placed in an “automatic runoff”, and the person with the most points wins the election. In other words, not only won’t candidates have to compete in a primary, so the public can get to know their positions long before the final election, but a candidate who ran second could beat a candidate who was the first choice of the public through democratic majority.
Such measures favor socialist and mixed economy candidates at the expense of Libertarian candidates, because libertarians can usually only vote for a libertarian candidate, but would not tolerate anyone who was a partial or complete socialist, like almost all non-libertarian candidates. Socialist or social democrats can vote for several candidates depending on the extent of the candidate’s socialism. So Libertarians are at a clear disadvantage under this so-called STAR voting system.
Don’t tinker with our winner-takes-all, democratic majority, system of deciding elections. Vote NO on Measure 20-290 if you live in Lane County.
Measure 22-174 may be quite popular with some libertarians, but not with this one. What it does, in effect, is have the local Sheriff, in this case the Linn County Sheriff, decide which firearms laws are Constitutional and which are not, and to not spend money enforcing those laws which he decides are unconstitutional. Any Individual or organization that happens to follow the Supreme Court or State Supreme Court’s decisions, can be fined $2k for an individual or $4k for a corporation if the Linn County Sheriff happens to think those laws, which have been declared Constitutional by the Courts, are unconstitutional. Which obviously means, in effect, that the local Sheriff has replaced the Courts, and the Supreme Court, in deciding Constitutional Law, a risible attempt at overthrowing our judicial system. Given the lack of legal training as to the Constitutionality of gun laws that the typical Sheriff suffers from, it is obviously absurd to have them decide by themselves which laws are Constitutional, and which aren’t, and to be able to fine people thousands of dollars if their view of gun laws (and the Court’s view) differs from the Sheriff’s. This is a real invitation to vigilante law, and is obviously an unConstitutional Measure. The Sheriff’s function is to enforce the current laws on the books, not to create new law out of whole cloth.
Defend the Constitution, and the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of our government. Vote NO on Measure 22-174.
Finally, we have Measure 22-176 in Linn County, which changes the office of County Surveyor from an elected to an appointed position. Obviously, this is an aggrandizement of government power at the expense of the democratic choice of the People. County Government already has far too much power in that many county positions from dog catcher to patrolman are assigned by appointment rather than election. The office of Surveyor is too important a position to let it be filled by appointment. Let the voters decide at a general election who is the best to be surveyor.
Vote NO on Measure 22-176 in Linn County.
That concludes my positions on the non-Statewide Measures that will only be on the ballot in specific Counties. Readers interested in my positions on Oregon Statewide Measures 102 through 106 should consult my previous blog post.
— Paul Grad, enviro-vegan Libertarian.