Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

Oregon Business expands events portfolio

The Latest
Friday, March 27, 2015
htctfacebookBY OB STAFF

New events series brings magazine to life.


Read more...

Grassroots movement pursues carbon bills

News
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
eventthumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A partnership of a grassroots environmental organization and a youth group is striving to build community and business support for carbon price legislation.


Read more...

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

MBA Perspective

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."


Read more...

Courtside

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Enjoying a power lunch at Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.


Read more...

6 chiefs of staff dish on their bosses

The Latest
Thursday, February 05, 2015
legilistiblog-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask chiefs of staff for the scoop on Oregon legislators.


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