Governor Tells Voters To Reject Ballot Measures 

Governor Tells Voters To Reject Ballot Measures 
Posted by CN Staff on July 10, 2004 at 08:30:02 PT
By James Sinks 
Source: Bulletin
Salem -- Gov. Ted Kulongoski has two words of advice for Oregonians when it comes to the slate of initiatives that appear headed to the November ballot. "Vote no." He said Friday he's read six of the seven submitted measures  an effort to loosen medical marijuana limits being the exception  and believes the proposals should be defeated.
"All of these things are designed by special interest groups to actually get a specific benefit for them to the exclusion of others and actually divides us rather than bringing us together," he said. Not surprisingly, reaction to the governor's sentiments was mixed, depending on which side of campaigns people are on. Kulongoski offered his perspective during a question-and-answer session with reporters following a press conference on the state's regulation streamlining efforts. No measures have officially qualified for the ballot as of yet. The deadline to submit initiatives was July 2, and Elections Division workers have until Aug. 1 to verify signatures. Proposals submitted would ban gay marriage, reestablish term limits for state lawmakers, limit medical malpractice damages, require compensation if land-use laws affect property values and abolish SAIF, the quasi-public workers' compensation insurer. Kulongoski said all the measures share a common thread: They will distract attention and unravel political unity at a time when the state needs to focus on issues like growing the economy, improving schools and providing health care to more Oregonians. "I do not see a measure on the ballot that actually in the long run serves the interests of the people of this state," he said. The governor did not signal whether he will actively campaign against any of measures. But Charlie Burr, spokesman for the effort to oppose medical malpractice award limits, said he welcomed the news anyway. "We're not completely surprised," Burr said. "It's a poorly drafted measure that doesn't get to the heart of the problem." Brian Boe, vice president of public affairs for Liberty Northwest Insurance, which is the primary sponsor of the effort to shutter SAIF, said the governor is erring by painting all the measures with a similar brush. "I think it's premature and a little bit surprising to see the governor come out and advocate that people summarily dismiss all of them," Boe said. He said some of the proposals  such as those connected to medical and workers' compensation insurance  could help the governor's goals of improving the state's business climate. In any event, Boe said he's not concerned the governor's advice will carry much weight come fall. "Oregonians have proven in the past that they analyze and make decisions on measures on a case-by-case basis," he said. Source: Bulletin, The (OR)Author: James SinksPublished: July 10, 2004Copyright: 2004 Western Communications Inc.Contact: bulletin bendbulletin.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Voter Power Foundation Are We Getting Close To Legalizing Pot To Vote on Easing Medical Marijuana Use Looms Over Medical Marijuana Expansion
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