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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Oregon

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May 22, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Wrap your head around this: Marijuana laws in Washington and Oregon

Matt Lewis collecting petitions at the Saturday market in Portland on May 13, 2012.(Photo by A.V. Crofts/UW Election Eye)

Washington and Oregon both legalized medical marijuana in 1998. Since then, there’s been amendments, initiatives, petitions, and proposals. Here’s a breakdown of the laws in our neighboring states, and a look at what lessons Washington can learn from Oregon as we consider legalization.

PORTLAND — During our second day in Portland, with temperatures nearing 90 degrees making it feel more like July than May, the UWEE team found a man collecting signatures at the Saturday Market. He was advocating for two initiatives that would make the Oregon marijuana law more lenient. We had seen similar efforts all over town.

Marijuana legalization will also be one of the hot-button issue in Washington this election season: Initiative-502 will be on your ballot in November.

According to New Approach Washington, a group supporting the ballot initiative, I-502 “would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over twenty-one; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana and marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues.”

Phew — that’s a mouthful. In simpler terms, I-502 would legalize marijuana in Washington.

Well, sort of. 

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Comments | More in State | Topics: Ballot, I-502, marijuana legalization

May 20, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Portland shows the library some love: ballot 26-125 renewal levy passes

Libraries Yes Campaign signs in Portland, Oregon on May 13, 2012. (Photo by A.V. Crofts/UW Election Eye)

Libraries Yes Campaign signs in Portland, Oregon on May 13, 2012. (Photo by A.V. Crofts/UW Election Eye)

The Multnomah County library ballot initiative provided an opportunity to launch a crowdsourced social media campaign that leveraged place-based networks — social networks that aggregate user visits and reviews of physical locations, such as Yelp or Foursquare — to raise awareness and build community around the library system.

PORTLAND, Ore. — With a library circulation second only to New York City, there was no doubt that the Multnomah County Library Levy Renewal (ballot initiative 26-125) would pass. This is a city that loves its libraries. (Seattle comes in at number five. Not too shabby.)

Think about that for a minute. A city of less than one million has a circulation that is second only to a city with over eight times the population. That’s c-r-a-z-y.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Libraries Yes Campaign, Multnomah County, Oregon

May 14, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Portland’s mayoral race: 23 candidates, three frontrunners, only two can advance

PORTLAND, Ore. — May the odds be ever in your favor, Portland’s mayoral candidates.

Portland mayor campaign t-shirts

The hot weather and the build up to Tuesday's primary brought out campaign t-shirts on Mother's Day weekend May 12-13, 2012 (Photo by UW Election Eye)

With Portland Mayor Sam Adams not running for re-election after one term, 23 candidates are competing for the open seat in this Tuesday’s primary election in what might be called a Hunger Games-like scenario. The two top vote-getters will go on to compete for the seat in November, unless someone wins more than 50% of the vote, in which case he or she wins the mayoral race.

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Comments | More in National | Topics: Cameron Whitten, Charlie Hales, Eileen Brady

April 25, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Border-hopping shoppers cost state millions in lost revenue

Washingtonians who shop in Oregon or make tax-free purchases online might not know it, but they’re actually breaking the law. With a billion dollar budget shortfall, state lawmakers are considering drastic measures to make up this lost revenue.

That tax-free shopping spree in Oregon is actually tax evasion (Illustration by Amber Jackson/UW Election Eye)

SEATTLE — I remember the day my father brought home our flat screen TV. It was about seven years ago, he went on a business day-trip to Portland and came back with a huge flat box and a “guess what I got” smirk on his face. He said he happened to walk into an electronic store earlier that day, found the slick 52-inch flat screen for $800. The best part is, he didn’t have to pay sales tax in Oregon!

A lot of Washingtonians do the same. Drive a couple of hours (or just a few minutes if you live in Vancouver, WA) across the southern border and get the same things you can in Washington, but without up to 10% sales tax you’d pay here.

That’s a pretty good saving, and no harm done, right?

Well it turns out it’s illegal. And it’s costing our budget-crunched state government quite a chunk of change.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: border, online shopping, Oregon