Home Back Issues December 2008 Politics beat bucks in ballot measures battle

Politics beat bucks in ballot measures battle

| Print |  Email
Archives - December 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008

STATEWIDE As the dust settled following November’s election, Oregon taxpayers found themselves on the line for a relatively small price tag for ballot measures. Measure 57, which increased prison sentences and a drug treatment programs, will cost $268 million over the next four years. The combined cost of the eight measures that failed, on the other hand, would have been at least $1.7 billion over the next few years.

Surprisingly, big price tags aren’t what push the majority of Oregonians to vote for or against a measure. Voters who take the time to read about the cost of a measure in an election aren’t insignificant, but they’re still not large enough to make a difference in the final tally, according to Oregon State University political scientist Bill Lunch. What matters is politics: who supports or opposes a measure and how persuasive their arguments are. Sometimes cost figures into that, and sometimes it doesn’t.

“If there isn’t a campaign against a measure, almost anything can pass — ballot measure titles normally sound positive,” Lunch says. “The key to a defeat is the presence of groups who are willing to run a campaign against it.”

And this year there were plenty of groups willing to do exactly that. According to post- election analysis, union organizations spent at least $14 million successfully fighting seven different measures. But it was only the campaign against Measure 61 and its billion-dollar price tag to build new prisons, say Lunch, where cost was a significant part of the opposition’s argument to voters.                    

ABRAHAM HYATT


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

More Articles

Podcast: Turn Things Around with David Marquet

Contributed Blogs
Friday, October 17, 2014
davidmarquet thumbBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nick Herinckx, CEO of Obility, and Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, share what they've been reading.


Read more...

The 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon 2014

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Proud, diverse and underpaid.

Pride in their organizations’ mission, fairness in the treatment of women and ethnic minorities, flexible work schedules — these are just a handful of workplace characteristics that employees of this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits appreciate about their organizations.


Read more...

Semiconductor purgatory

News
Monday, October 06, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Intel's manufacturing way station; Merkley's attack dog; Diamond Foods gets into the innovation business.


Read more...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS