Elections

Groups Jockey For Ballot Measure Edge

OPB | July 30, 2008 8:05 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:14 a.m. | Salem, OR

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By Chris Lehman

Oregonians are going to be bombarded with arguments and information about the 12 measures on this year’s ballot.

The campaigns are mostly under the radar right now, but there’s a fierce battle underway this week in Salem over words that will appear in your voters’ pamphlet. Salem correspondent Chris Lehman has more.


Did you ever wonder who writes all those explanatory statements that appear in the voters’ pamphlet?

It’s done by a panel of people for and against measures.  The idea is to come up with an easy-to-read explanation that’s as unbiased as possible.

The statements then go out for public comment, and that’s happening this week in Salem, where groups are making a final attempt to tweak words in their favor.

Democratic political consultant Steve Novick testified on behalf of groups fighting measures by conservative activists Bill Sizemore and Kevin Mannix.

Steve Novick:  “These measures generally are cloaked in flowery language and they all sound great.  But what they don’t talk about are the tradeoffs.”

Tradeoffs like lower revenues for state coffers.

For instance, one measure would allow Oregonians to deduct federal income taxes from their state returns.  It’s expected to take a billion dollar annual bite out of state tax revenue if it passes.

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