NO ON 87
Save Our Smut!

MEASURE 87 isn't your ordinary, run-of-the-mill amendment intended to protect the sanctity of children and the prudish school marms of Oregon--it is a blatant assault on YOUR (and the Mercury's) freedom of speech, and must be STOPPED! Oh sure, it sounds innocent enough: A "yes" on 87 would allow zoning of sexually oriented businesses. That's enough to get our "no" vote, right there. If they want to move businesses solely on moral grounds, then start with Coffee People. But not only would 87 allow the zoning of nudie establishments, but any commercial business that displays "representations of sexual activity." That could include your local art gallery, public library, Powell's, Cinema 21, and certain free weeklies.

And worse, this amendment would weaken our state's constitution, by reducing our freedoms to the vastly inferior level of the federal constitution. Don't let your ability to read Savage Love be compromised by Christian fuddy-duddies! Say "Hell, NO!" to 87!

NO ON 91
(Unless You Really Like Phil Collins.)

THINK OF Bill Sizemore's tax deduction bill as a beautiful lover with herpes and gonorrhea. Is it worth it? It's hard to say that saving a few hundred dollars per Oregon taxpayer isn't inviting. How about that leather jacket I've had my eye on? What about a spring-time trip to Mexico? Before these intoxicating possibilities cloud your civic-minded judgment, consider the sobering consequences. Like the Law of the Conservation of Matter--wherein matter cannot be created or destroyed--so goes state fiscal planning: Savings to tax-payers most often comes at the cost of state-sponsored social services. Is a trip to Hawaii worth taking away services from the homeless and the state's children? If this bill passes, we swear to God that the Mercury will play Phil Collins "Another Day in Paradise" round the clock from a PA system attached to the top of the Burnside Bridge.


AT THE FOCUS of Measure 94 are juveniles--teenagers 15-18 years old. Under Measure 11, passed six years ago, teenagers who committed any one of many crimes were automatically sent to jail--do not pass Go!--for at least five years and 10 months. Unfortunately, the idea that one size of punishment fits all kids does not allow for reform or inventive methods of rehabilitation. Some kids really do just need a hug; others need a few weeks of boot camp. One size does not fit all!

Both sides of the debate have thrown out fairly compelling anecdotes, stats, and studies. Advocates for mandatory sentencing--that means, against Measure 94--stress that Measure 11's tough-as-nails approach has forced down violent crime rates. What they fail to tell you is that judges already have the discretion to lock up the most heinous juvenile delinquents. They don't need mandatory sentences to tell them how to do their jobs. What Measure 11 does is take away any discretion that judges and DAs have to custom-build sentences.

NO ON 95
Because Becky Miller Should Mind Her Own Goddamned Business!

MEASURE 95, coined "teacher merit pay," would base teachers' salaries on their students' performances. Amidst its murky text, the measure fails to define how student performance will be gauged. We can only assume assessment will be based on stadardized test scores. As low-income and minority school districts tend to score lower on these tests, this will only accelerate the exodus of teachers away from these schools--the ones most in need of better teaching. Moreover, what will happen to Special Education, music, and art teachers' salaries? How are you going to measure performance in Special Ed. classes? Is that really the point, anyway? And get this: To add insult to injury, the chief proponent of Measure 95, Becky Miller, home-schools her children!!! Just like those fucking anti-choice busybodies who feel it's their god-given right to muckle with other people's lives, Miller has stuck her nose where it doesn't belong. Thanks--but no thanks--for your concern.

(Once Again With Feeling) VOTE NO TO HOMOPHOBES!

WE SHOULDN'T even need to say anything. Only problem is that there's an invisible bulkhead of voters in this state who will actually vote "yes" for this bigoted measure. You need to vote NO, NO, NO as many times as possible so that those homophobes don't overrun our cities. The last ballot measure sponsored by the OCA was beat down only by the slimmest of margins--and, at that, only because the liberal pockets of voters in Portland, Eugene, and Ashland came out in mass to vote against it. Oh yeah, and even if you are a homophobe, know that the OCA are not only homophobes, but crooks as well: just last week, the OCA was found in contempt of court over a case started a decade ago, in which they threw a photo-journalist against a wall (of a church, no less!). Now, they're ordered to pay hundred of dollars in legal fees as well as additional fines. (And by the way, to the owner and certain employees of Precision Images on Burnside? The poster on page 7 is a joke. Doy!)