Shut up and vote

Since the ballots are in the mail here in Portland, and people are going to vote early, I guess it's time to say how I'm voting. There is a heck of a lot to cast a vote on this time around. Here's where I stand at this point. I'm open to being dissuaded.

I'll start with my enthusiastic choices:

President: Joe Biden.

Portland City Council: Mingus Mapps. See discussion here.

New county income tax, 26-214: No. I know, it's "for the children," and I know, it's only on high-income people, but once it's in, they'll ratchet it down to pick up the middle class. And who needs the county getting involved with schooling small children? We have school districts and educational service districts galore. This is just another end run around the property tax limitations in the state constitution. Don't go for it.

Portland police accountability reform, 26-217: Yes. It's probably illegal because it violates the police union contract, but the cop union needs to hear the message loud and clear. And when their contract gets thrown into arbitration, the faceless, unelected arbitrator needs to hear the same message equally loud and clear. So do the folks in the state legislature, who could fix a lot of the problems if they really wanted to.

New Metro payroll tax, 26-218: No. See discussion here.

Portland Water Bureau spending on non-water-related garbage, 26-219: No. Portland water bills are obscenely high, and increasing all the time, and that's after the Water Bureau was busted in court for illegally spending water revenue on junk, which is forbidden by the city charter. The existing rules are there for good reason. Don't change them.

Cigarette, cigar, and vape taxes, 108: Yes. How we as a country ever let vaping get started is beyond me. Tax the hell out of it. I wish they would have left the traditional smoke out of it; those poor addicts are already hammered enough by taxes.

And my final enthusiastic choice: No Republicans for anything, ever again. That should take care of a lot of the remaining races (including Jeff "Mitch Eats My Lunch Daily" Merkley).

So there – that's what I really want to vote on. 

I'm less enthusiastic about some of my other votes, but here's where I'm going at the moment.

County library bond, 26-211: No. See discussion here.

Portland Mayor: F. Ted Wheeler. See discussion here.

Multnomah Circuit Judge: Adrian Brown. When in doubt (and I don't know that much about either candidate), I go with the alumna from the school at which I teach. ***UPDATE, a few days later: I have changed my mind on this race. See discussion and comment here and here.***

Portland schools construction bond, 26-215: Yes. Reluctantly. Only because it's high time our nasty, incompetent school board spent some money on Benson High School, rather than dismantling it. Jefferson deserves to get fixed up, too. But sheesh, it's another $1.2 billion (not a typo) on the backs of property owners.

Portland parks bond (property tax), 26-213: No. It's the wrong time to be asking for this $239 million. I'll give you the $1.2 billion school bond. We are not made out of money.

Campaign finance reform, 107: Yes. What the heck, let's get the corporate juice out of politics as much as we can.

Decriminalize possession of heroin, cocaine, meth, LSD, ecstasy, 110: No. Running around with 40 units of methadone, a gram of heroin, and two grams of coke in your pocket should get you more than a minor traffic ticket. I like the funding part of this, but the decriminalization goes too far. Get the treatment capacity up first, and only then back off the criminal laws. Forty units of methadone? Really?

Finally, my undecideds.

Metro councillor, Mary Nolan or Chris Smith: Undecided. Do you go with the real estate developer shill or the real estate developer dupe? It's a tough call. I'm leaning shill (Nolan) but could go dupe (Smith).

Magic mushrooms as a prescription drug, 109: Undecided. I'm suspicious of this. I do think it will lead to more of this stuff out on the street where the high school and college kids get to try it for funsies. I'm leaning no.

Am I missing anything important?


  1. I must admit this mushroom measure marks my first official venture into being a responsible adult voter. I fought it as long as I could. First, the notion that they'll just be available by prescription is laughable. So were the opioids and look how they turned out. So what do I think? Well, back in the day my band experimented with bizarre chords, bizarre beats and bizarre drugs. For awhile there we were actually named the Shrumes. You could take them in a manageable dose - in fact I took them almost every Monday night during an entire football season. Halfway through the second quarter, I'd just be staring at the drapes. There were a couple of times though when I took way too many and ended up holding onto the universe by my fingernails. I don't think we should make them legal. If that makes me a square, I'll just have to live with it. I'm sorry if that will prevent veterans from getting them through official channels. I have heard they help with PTSD, but I have a way around that: Stop having these goddamn wars and we won't have PTSD from them.

  2. I am happy to chat with you in more detail about Rima Ghandour, who I am endorsing. Both have lots of great support, and I hear you about supporting an LC Grad (I appreciated your support of my own candidacy when I ran alongside both of them in the primary). However, I believe Rima is better suited because she has significantly more experience in state court. Adrian has handled 3 cases in that forum. By practicing solely in federal court she has handled a narrower scope of claims. Her client has primarily been the government, not a real person (although I am aware she handled cases for individuals when she was in the JAG many years ago). As a lawyer with clients who have claims that fall outside of federal court system (about 50%), and that often involve attorney fee claims, I want the judge hearing the case to already have a deep understanding of those issues. The steeper the learning curve, the worse for my clients. My 2 cents, FWIW.

  3. The timeline for this election is really catching up with me and I can't sleep. Here's the fundamental question in my opinion and it has to do with sectarian violence. What will generate more unrest and mayhem in America: If Trump loses or if he wins? I used to be sure it'd be if Trump loses. I could see his base raising hell - they do exhibit way more enthusiasm than Team Biden, right? Plus I assumed the progressives would be better at handling things and remaining reasonable - that could be bias on my part. But it doesn't matter - I don't feel that way anymore. If Biden wins there will be some trouble for sure, but if Trump wins? Oh my God, the anti-Trump people will go bat-shit crazy. They will not be able to handle it. It'll be a little like me when Bush and Cheney got reelected. I was unprepared emotionally for 4 more years of those bastards. I tell you if Trump wins, there are a lot of people who will meltdown and take to the streets. Look, there's probably going to be violence either way, but the anti-Trump people have the rage factor. Can you imagine Rachel Maddow? She'd be up in a clock tower with a sniper rifle. No, I'm sure of it. If Trump wins, look out.

    1. If Trump wins, I really am leaving this country if at all possible.

    2. It could come down to how these latest emails from Hunter Biden's business associates about China go over. First wasn't that an adorable picture of Hunter sleeping with his crack pipe? Sigh. The latest find from 2017 discusses a split of the money from a deal with a Chinese energy company. It lists the various people getting a cut by initials (Hunter would be H) and then ends with, " 10 held by H for the big guy?" This appears to implicate Joe Biden as a recipient of foreign money from an earlier pay to play scam. That would make it straight up bribe money. Of course, I could just be being cynical. The media sure won't be in any hurry to check it out or ask Joe the tough questions. He'll say the whole thing was debunked years ago and we'll move forward. But the Dems in their flawed search for a nominee could have come up with a slam dunk winner like Tulsi Gabbard. Instead they found a candidate who could be every bit as corrupt as Hillary and that is really saying something. Okay, everyone: Set your phasers to stun and point them directly at your brain. Time for some more "Selective Outrage."

  4. So...You're ready to reward Ted Wheeler for falling flat on his face in dealing with the police? That's pretty generous of you, particularly after your getting burned on Ted Hughes. Because if Ted is re-elected, I'll bet that's how he will interpret it....that he did the right thing by voters. I say vote him out. I don't think his 'experience' counts for much when he sells out his constituency. I'll just keep looking for the next Bud neophytes aren't all bad.

    1. Correction: Tom Hughes, Metro Executive. You sure picked that...


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