Thursday, May 13, 2010

Election not exciting the electorate

As of yesterday, the turnout in our May 18 primary election hadn't even reached 20 percent.

That's pathetic and it bodes well for the $44 million county jail bond because the "yes" voters are more motivated. Also, the "no" voters could mistakenly believe that the "double majority" is in play when it is not. A 50 percent turnout isn't necessary for the jail expansion to pass.

If you don't wan't the jail levy to pass, and I don't, then you had better vote "no" and get your ballot in.

We need to make at least a symbolic gesture that we see education and not incarceration as a way out of the Great Recession.

Two statewide education measures are on the ballot, 68 and 69, and they aid lower and higher education without directly impacting taxpayers.

They should receive strong "yes" votes.

Over the past 15 years Oregonians have increased prison spending by 50 percent while cutting funding for higher education by 44 percent.

Crime is down in Deschutes County and there is space available now for more inmates. Plus, working with the state to utilize the vacant prison in Madras would be way more cost effective.

Also, we can't afford the jail expansion.

Meanwhile, the cost of higher education continues to escalate.

Contrary to popular perception, we can't have it all. We can't continue to fund prisons at the expense of universities.

Let's "send them a message."

In this case, "them" is "us."

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