"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Many of you know that I have been working to democratize Oregon's elections for about 25 years. At present, I am working entirely as a volunteer to defeat Measure 90, a "top two" election system, which will radically change Oregon's elections--and not in a good way.
The election systems used in Oregon and most of the U.S. are antiquated and lag far behind the systems used by most of the world's democracies. They do need to be changed--which is why I do the work I do. About the only way to make our elections worse is to implement a top two system.
The supporters of Measure 90, which include some of the richest men in America, want you to focus on the so-called "open primary" where all candidates from all parties run against each other. That, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. However, what those billionaires are not telling you is that your "choices" for voting will be severely restricted in the November election. Only two candidates for each race will be on the November ballot. They could be two Republicans or two Democrats. Independent candidates and Greens and Libertarians will disappear from statewide races. In effect, elections will be over in May before anyone is paying attention.
"Top Two' has been used in California and Washington. The results have been disastrous. Voter turnout has dropped to its lowest levels ever and the promises of ending gridlock have never materialized.
Three quarters of the funding for Measure 90 has come from two billionaires. One of them is John Arnold, a Texas-based Enron profiteer who pocketed an $8 million bonus the day before Enron went bankrupt.
There are those who say "we have to do something about our elections, we might as well do this." To me, that's like saying "we have to do something about global warming and nuclear power doesn't release greenhouse gasses." Either way, if we take what is viewed as the quickest and easiest path, we'll wind up with toxic waste for years to come.
I urge you to Vote No on 90.
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Thanks for reading this.
If you want more information, I've written a couple of op-eds recently about Measure 90:
This is something I wrote a couple of years ago about an alternative to Top Two:
One of the many articles detailing the follies of Measure 90 backer, John Arnold:
General information on Measure 90: