By editorial board • 

Only one measure deserves voter approval this election

If you decide to just vote no on all five measures appearing on your November ballot, we wouldn’t blame you. You can’t go very far wrong opposing what primarily amounts to a collection of clever but misguided ruses.

In point of fact, we favor Measure 102, the only one submitted by duly elected representatives rather than well-heeled special interests relying largely on paid petition gatherers. It would allow cities and counties to use their bonding authority to help finance private affordable housing ventures — something we desperately need to reduce rampant homelessness.

We have expressed our strong opposition to Oregon’s headliner measure, 105, elsewhere on this page. Here’s our take on the rest of this sorry lot:

Measure 103

This one is being presented as a constitutional amendment, signaling bad intentions from the outset. It is being promoted as a ban on the assessment of sales taxes on groceries, but its actual aim is exemption of corporate Oregon from its fair share of taxes and fees.

The vast majority of sales tax states exempt groceries, and Oregon voters have resoundingly rejected all attempts to impose a sales tax on any good or service here. So there is no real threat, let along one justifying amendment of our Constitution.

Measure 104

Measure 104 is also being submitted as a constitutional amendment, designed to embed its mischief in the Constitution instead of state statute, which is easier to change. It would extend the Legislature’s current three-fifths supermajority requirement to encompass fees in addition to taxes.

Virtually every agency in state government assesses routine, innocuous and widely supported user fees that must be periodically adjusted for inflation. This measure would play havoc with the adjustment process for no good reason.

Measure 106

Here again, the proponents are attempting to disguise their true aim, blocking abortion of any kind anywhere in the state, by targeting use of public funds in support of the procedure.

It doesn’t take Einstein’s IQ to determine who is: a) more likely to resort to abortion; b) most likely to fall back on public funds. Yes, it’s the poorest among us.

The poorest members of our society possess the least access to sex education, contraceptive means, stable family structure, effective parental supervision and positive role models. They suffer the most exposure to neglect, abuse, exploitation, sexualization and other forces contributing to unwanted teen pregnancy.


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