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Measure 37 snookered voters

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Yee-haw! It’s great to see High Country News riding full bore to expose the awful "takings" initiatives under way in six Western states (HCN, 7/24/06: Taking Liberties). HCN is right on when it asserts that people were snookered into voting for this awful legislation in Oregon, where I lived at the time. Even my conservationist and liberal-minded grandparents voted for Measure 37 because of the complicated way it was worded — "We thought it just meant that people should be compensated if the government takes their property," they told me soon after the vote. On my part, I didn’t even believe the measure had a chance or I would have talked to a lot more people beforehand. The same initiatives are going to pass elsewhere without concerted outreach on all of our parts. At least now we have examples of how this measure is hurting Oregon and its people that can be spread far and wide.

Peter Bahls, Director,
Northwest Watershed Institute
Port Townsend, Washington

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