The last two

Our ballots arrived in the mail yesterday, and a quick perusal turned up only two races on which I hadn't made up my mind: Oregon secretary of state, and state treasurer. I'm a Democrat, and so this primary vote will probably decide who ultimately wins those positions in November in this one-party state.

These two may be the hardest choices in the package.

For secretary of state, realistically it boils down to Tobias Read versus James Manning. Three other old dudes are also running, but they're not viable. I'd like to say no to Read, because he's been state treasurer for the last eight years, and when we voted for term limits, we expected that guys like him would move on out of Salem when their time was up. Instead, he thinks he can just roll over into another state office, for which has no particular qualifications except his extended tenure in the swamp. 

Manning, on the other hand, is endorsed by my two representatives in the legislature, Mike Dembrow and Lew Frederick, who have both turned out to be worse than worthless in recent years. And Manning's part of the nonprofit industrial complex, which is another strike against him. 

So what do you do in a situation like this? I might sit it out, or file a protest vote for one of the Unthinkable Three. If I had to hold my nose and choose between Read and Manning, I guess it would be Read. But boy, what a stinker. I don't think I can do that.

Then there's state treasurer, where the choices are Jeff Gudman and Elizabeth Steiner. He's a finance guy; she's a doctor who's been a big bobblehead in the legislature for going on 14 years. Notably, he wants to take away the tax kicker, maybe using it to pay down debt. She's an obvious tool of the public employees' unions, but Gudman kisses up to them, too. Keep the clothespin on my nostrils, but I'm voting for Gudman.

So to sum up, in order of enthusiasm:

  • District Attorney: Vasquez
  • Congress: Dexter
  • Attorney General: Rayfield
  • County Commissioner No. 2: Burke
  • $380 million zoo bond: No
  • Portland gas tax: No
  • State Treasurer: Gudman
  • Secretary of State: No

In races beyond my vote, but that I care about:

  • County Commissioner No. 1: Mozyrsky
  • State Rep., 33rd District: Grabiel
  • State Rep., 46th District: Hennrich
I'm a "no" on the flood tax and the school tax, but they will pass, and I suppose I'm just voting on those the way old people always do. But this town is a money pit, and you've got to wonder what we're getting for all those billions.


  1. No on any tax measures- it is the only power we have.

  2. I'm voting no on all taxes for a while. The beast needs to go on a strict diet, prioritize its meals, and make healthier choices. That will never happen unless we start rationing the money.

  3. I live in unincorporated WashCo so my ballot didn't have any of the Portland/MultCo nonsense about DA, County Commissioners, gas taxes, etc.

    I voted:

    - NO on the zoo bond;
    - YES to continue the option levy for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue;
    - YES to continue the option levy for Tualatin Hills Parks & Rec District.

    Unlike in Portland, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and the Tualatin Hills Parks & Rec District are pretty well-run. They are good stewards of taxpayer funding. We see service improvements in return for our continuing support.


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