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Common Sense for Oregon Tells Me Nothing Will Change in Oregon with Ballot Measure 50,
the Redistricting Initiative

By Scott Rohter 

"Oregon has had a government of Democrats, by Democrats, and for Democrats for a long time, and the Republican Party will have to do something a lot differently if they are ever going to change that."
-Scott Rohter


Excerpts from this article were reprinted in the Roseburg Beacon - June 9, 2010

     Yesterday I received a letter from Common Sense Oregon.  Inside was a signature sheet for ballot measure 50, a text of the proposed measure, and some literature i.e. a spin sheet describing how the passage of this constitutional amendment will benefit me.  Well pardon me, for saying so, but I don't think so!   My gut instinct tells me that this is much ado about nothing, and that not much if anything will change in Oregon, even if it passes!  Why do I say that? 

     It’s not a game changer to take the power of redistricting out of the hands of Democrat legislators and put it into the hands of retired Democrat judges who are appointed by Chief Justices who are themselves appointed by Democrat governors. I mean really, are we supposed to believe that judges active or retired don't have a party affiliation, or at least a partisan political perspective?   And what would you like to bet that their partisan political perspective isn't Liberal and Progressive?

     Whoever dreamed up this initiative wasn't really thinking it through very well, and they are probably not doing us any favors either.  In my opinion ballot measure 50 is ill-conceived and misguided but it just might be a little bit better than what we have now.  As to whether it is worth all of the time and trouble, I personally don't think so, but it does go to illustrate what poor leadership we have in Oregon now in high places in the Republican Party!

     If Common Sense Oregon really wanted to restore fairness and integrity to the politically charged process of redistricting, they could have come up with a much better plan than this one.  For instance, we could start with a map of Oregon showing all of our counties and major cities, and their current populations and superimpose that map over a purely random grid of squares of certain distances on each side so politics has nothing at all to do with redistricting. There is no partisanship in mathematics, so it would be very difficult for either party to pull off the type of abuse that occurs under our current system. The grid could be composed of squares or triangles and the map could alternate from one form or shape to another and from one decade to another.  But the sides of each  of the units of the grid would be contiguous so that there would be no more meandering unusually shaped districts based on party registration, made to favor one political party or the other .

     My gut instinct tells me that you could sign the petition to put this measure on the ballot or not, but even if it does pass, it won’t restore fairness to the politically charged process of redistricting in Oregon.  Oregon will still be a single Party state with a government of Democrats by Democrats and for Democrats. After it's over the Republican Party will still be irrelevant.

     In order to become relevant in Oregon once again the Republican Party will have to do much better than this initiative.  We need a new generation of leaders in the Republican Party who are not just limited government conservatives, but who are also visionary, out of the box thinkers as well.
"The truth, the political truth, and nothing but the political truth.
A journalist has no better friend than the truth."
- Scott Rohter

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