October 22nd, 2008 WW's Beloved Readers | Letters to the Editor
 

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FOLLOW THE MONEY

I expect union-bashing from the Bill Sizemores of the world, but not from you.

In the latest version of your endorsement article [“Our Endorsements,” WW, Oct. 15, 2008], why do you praise legislators who are “business friendly” (House District 34) and “pro-business” (House District 30), but attack and shame candidates for standing up for an agenda (Attorney General, Congressional District 5, and House Districts 42, 45, 51, 30) that would increase money to education programs, stress tax fairness from corporations, and whose members have been on the front line of every civil rights battle this country has seen?

No other group—on the left or the right—whether the environmental lobby or the Pro-Life movement, has received such treatment as you reserved for labor unions and the hard-working people they represent. Businesses have spent over $110 million on lobbying during the past decade—which is 14 times what is spent by organized working people (oregonfollowthemoney.org).

But corporations do not receive any of your ire. Why do they get a free pass? If our corporate partners were paying their fair share for education, infrastructure and the like, perhaps our citizens would not have to struggle and cut corners to fork over hard cash to cover their operating expenses (while their CEOs rake in billions in “bailout” money).

What part of labor’s agenda do you disapprove of: universal health care for all Oregonians? Protecting workers’ rights? Civil rights? Standing up against businesses that abuse the law? Educating our children? Giving workers a 40-hour week, safe working conditions and a voice in the workplace?

I do agree with many of your recommendations, and appreciate your standing up to Bill Sizemore. I just wish you wouldn’t fall into the same McCain/Cheney/Limbaugh attacks on those of us in the middle who are working for progressive change and jobs with justice.

We deserve better from your publication. And I do not stand alone.
Tim Flanagan
via wweek.com

Measure 65: STRAIGHT FROM BIG BIZ

WWeek sells out, just like EVERY OTHER editorial board [“Our Endorsements,” WW, Oct. 15, 2008]. Look at the big businesses and special interests supporting this [Measure 65]. It’s a travesty of corporatism: saveoregonsdemocracy.org/

Is it a surprise that the City Club gave a unanimous rejection? They actually investigated and analyzed the effects of this measure. You, unfortunately, didn’t.

This measure encodes the two party system and works against majority vote, and it would destroy my party, the Pacific Greens. Think about that. It’s not just that we’re left out of the general election. The general election is HOW we maintain ballot access.

Why make sure to count our votes accurately when the outcome is merely random based on what candidate appears, too? Louisiana is rife with examples. I wrote an article on about a dozen bad examples in Washington’s recent results.

I don’t mind so much that it destroys my third party. The fact that majority vote, which I’m campaigning in support of, with Ranked Choice Voting (or Instant Runoff Voting), is thrown out the window is more critical to my opposition.

If this passes, can I expect WW to come out in support of a fix for the majority vote problem? I’ll be working on that campaign in the next election cycle.
Seth Woolley
via wweek.com

Editor’s Note: Woolley is running for secretary of state.

CORRECTION: In last week’s Endorsements package, we undercut our lovely argument directing readers in the Centennial School District to vote “Yes” on that district’s bond measure by mistakenly having the word “No” in the graphic. Let us be clear this week: We are unabashedly recommending a “Yes” vote on that bond and apologize for our error. For a summary of all our endorsements, turn to page 8.


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