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Posts published in “Day: November 7, 2007”

Where 49 passed

Measure 49

M49 yes - blue; M49 no - red

There's a more detailed map (showing percentage breakdowns) at Blue Oregon, but this one should give you the general picture of where the land use Measure 49 did well, and didn't.

The did-well turf is a little broader than you might have thought, even recognizing the landslide vote in its favor.

The only heavily-populated pieces of the state where it didn't win were Jackson (Medford/Ashland, no 59.7%), Douglas (Roseburg, no 57.1%), Josephine (Grants Pass, no 65.6%) and Coos (Coos Bay, no 57.1%) counties, in the southwest. Is there a reason the southwest, more than other areas, was more resistant to 49, or more supportive of 37?

A large portion of Jackson is strong-growth conservative territory, to be sure. But so is Deschutes County (Bend), and it went for 49 by 54.4%.

Of the half-dozen counties where the "no" vote topped 60%, three - Grant, Harney, Lake, Curry - were among the state's least populated, and the others (Josephine and Klamath) are on the small side.

Multnomah, of course, was a sure bet to pass it, along with Benton, Lane and a few other usual suspects. But the yes counties include some places you might not ordinarily suspect: They aren't all liberal Willamette Valley counties. Umatilla (Pendleton) and Union (La Grande) voted in favor. So did conservative Crook and Jefferson. And in the Willamette, counties like Linn and Polk usually tend to the more conservative and Republican side of the fence, but showed up in favor of 49.

Also of note: The counties where 37-related land issues were especially high profile tended to vote decisively for 49. In Yamhill County, historically conservative and Republican, the yes vote was 63.1%. In Washington County, it was 67.7%. In Clackamas County, 65.5%.

But this wasn't a case of three or four counties in one corner of the state forcing their will on the rest. This was a broadly statewide result.

The Spokane shift?

Mary Verner

Mary Verner

Too many ballots remain to be counted to nail conclusively the result in Tuesday's Spokane mayoral runoff.

But in checking the numbers we have, we're reminded of a post from August 21, where we said - after citing the political assets of incumbent Mayor Dennis Hession - "That said, we’d right now give odds that in November Spokane’s voters will replace him with Council member Mary Verner, who fits none of the traditional criteria but maybe satisfies where a lot of Spokane is headed." (Bearing in mind this is a reference to Spokane city, not the county or wider region - much the same as in Boise.)

The most current totals we see show Verner at 18,064 and Hession at 15,172, with thousands more ballots to be counted, we know not how many. So we'll hold off extended discussion for a while. But this will be worth some extended discussion.

ID: Eagle Village Green Preservation Society

Preserve Eagle

Michael Huffaker, Saundra McDavid, Al Shoushtarian

The Idaho elections of note Tuesday were in Eagle, where the key local issue - or what should be - of rapid growth was squarely on the table. And the voters there did something remarkable, shifting direction and even attitude sharply; whether sharply enough to invoke major change in the short haul, we'll know soon.

Growth really is the only serious issue in Eagle, a city just northwest of Boise. As recently as 1990, its population was 3,327; now, it is somewhere north of 25,000. And about to grow dramatically again, since the city is involved in annexing some mass chunks of the foothills to the north, and if it succeeds eventually could add maybe another 10,000 people to its population base. (Some of those people from the foothills apparently showed up at Eagle City Hall intending to vote, not realizing they weren't city residents. Yet, at least.)

The city's policy generally, as you might expect, has been open doors to development, in dizzying amount. This year, Mayor Nancy Merrill is opting out, and after a good many years of a mostly-stable crowd in place, newcomers are scrambling for the mayoralty and council seats. The key point distinguishing them is their positioning on growth.

First takeaway from Tuesday's election is that the candidates favoring least growth came out ahead. But the point will be revisited when the city holds a runoff on December 4 between its top two mayoral contenders.

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OR: Measure 50 in multi-context

cigarettes The decisive failure of Oregon Measure 50, which sought to raise cigarette taxes with most of the money to go to child health care, is getting attributed in the early reviews to the most obvious fact of the campaign over the issue: The massive, swamping, super-expensive campaign by tobacco companies against it. Bill Lunch of Oregon State University was quoted in the Oregonian as saying, "It's an example of an election being bought. It's as simple as that." The Oregonian's editorial on the subject this morning suggested a similar view.

Except that it's not quite as simple as that. Look at 50 in the context of where it came from, what else the voters did in Oregon yesterday, and the face of money issues on the ballot recently otherwise, and you get a more complex picture.

To put this in context: We're absolutely not arguing that the most expensive single campaign (by far) in Oregon history, one that rained endless TV ads for months and that drowned out its opposition with a 4-1 spending margin, wasn't an important factor. Obviously it was. But some other factors had to be in play that allowed it to succeed as strongly as it did, and a bit of compare/contrast throws some of them into relief - and may help suggest what child health care advocates might want to do next.

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