Oregon conservative Kevin Mannix made his name with "tough on crime" ballot initiatives like 1994's Measure 11—which created mandatory sentencing for certain crimes—that, in part, has caused Oregon jail beds to double in the last 12 years, according to the Associated Press.
Mannix's ballot measures are classic "law and order"/"lock 'em up and throw away the key" efforts, designed to quell fears that society is running amuck with violent criminals. And the measures normally pass.
Now, he's poised to return to the ballot in November 2008 with an update to Measure 11 that would establish tough mandatory sentences for burglars, identity thieves, and drug dealers.
Only, here's the catch: According to data released by the FBI—and widely circulated by State Representative Chip Shields—property crime in Oregon dropped 16.6 percent from 2005 to 2006. And that was on top of a 5.1 percent drop from 2004 to 2005.
That bit of fact is unlikely to make a difference. Measure 11 passed in 1994 by a wide margin, and an attempt to repeal it in 2000 was defeated 3-1. Oregonians love their prisons. SCOTT MOORE
GANG OUTREACH BOSS OUT?
Mayor Tom Potter has reportedly told his gang outreach director, John Canda, to resign or face being fired because he is rarely in the office and cannot often be located.
Canda, who was hired by Potter in July 2006 after the county slashed its gang prevention funding, was unavailable for comment by press time. The mayor's office also did not return a call for comment. MATT DAVIS