Kevin Mannix wants to give rural Oregon a louder voice in the state Legislature. But his plan is more like wishful thinking than an accurate reflection of where Oregonians actually live.
The Oregon Supreme Court this week ordered the Oregon Department of Justice to rewrite the ballot title for Mannix's Initiative Petition 5, which would completely change the way Oregon draws legislative districts.
As The Oregonian first reported, the court wants the DOJ to make clearer just what a tectonic shift Mannix is proposing. Mannix, a former lawmaker and prolific ballot measure writer, wants to give 25 rural Oregon counties with a total population of just over 1 million more clout than the five metro-area counties with twice that many people.
But a recent chart by Josh Lehner, a state economist, shows why the metro area wields so much clout—it contains a disproportionate share of Oregon's 4.2 million people and generates most of the state's jobs and money.