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The e-lert is published periodically and sent directly only to those who request to receive it. A typical e-lert includes mostly legislative and political updates, with an occasional Council 75 or other labor-related anecdote. Click here if you would like to be added to the e-lert direct distribution list.

E-lert for Oct. 17
Oct 17, 2014
Oregon AFSCME E-lert

Oregon AFSCME E-lert

Oct. 17, 2014


Edited by Don Loving,

Council 75 Communications Director



BIG BUCK$ — Big corporate dollars continue to flow into Measure 90, the measure that would dramatically change our elections and make it easier for special interests to elect candidates that side with their narrow agenda — at the expense of working Oregonians.


Michael Bloomberg, the 8th richest man in the United States, recently dropped $1.25 million into the election. Bloomberg's contribution is just the latest in a number of large checks sent from out-of-state billionaires to support the effort to replace Oregon's primary elections. In total, these special interests have contributed more than $4 million to date, making Measure 90 one of the most heavily funded ballot measure campaigns in Oregon's history.


So what's in it for them? What brings together this elite but small group of out-of-state billionaires, Associated Oregon Industries, and a number of other big corporations?


It's not hard to connect the dots.


Anti-worker, pro-corporate interests are trying to change how Oregon conducts our elections so they can more easily elect the types of candidates who will side with their corporate agenda. Measure 90 would replace our current May primary election with a "Top Two" system that essentially guarantees that only the two best-funded candidates would reach the November ballot. Third party/minor party candidates would never see a general election ballot.


Corporate funders are spending millions to back Measure 90 because they think they'll get something out of it. Don't let special interests choose candidates for us. Oregon AFSCME urges its members to vote "No!" on Measure 90!


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DIRTY LITTLE NOT-SO-SECRET — Ballots are going in the mail this weekend across Oregon for the Nov. 4 General Election. You should have yours by Monday or Tuesday. If you have not received your ballot by next Friday (Oct. 24), you should contact your county elections office to see what's up.


Once you have your ballot in hand, it's in your best interest to vote quickly and return your ballot immediately. Why? One, you won't forget later. Two, it will stem all of those little "reminder" phone calls you receive at home — from AFSCME and others.


Here's the skinny: whether or not you vote is a public record in Oregon. Not how you vote, obviously, but whether you do. And in the sophisticated digital age of the 21st Century, county elections offices are constantly updating their voter file lists as ballots come in. In turn, AFSCME and a zillion other organizations pay to receive updates on who's voted and who hasn't, and those updates form the basis of the call lists. Ergo, the quicker you return your ballot, not only have you performed your civic duty, you've also gotten yourself off the call list. By the way, such lists are always 48 hours or so behind, so don't get too irritated if someone calls you the day after you've mailed your ballot, there is some lag time.


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GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY — We haven't yet taken time in an e-lert you give you AFSCME perspective on Ballot Measure 86, which the union has endorsed. We're doing so now.


Measure 86 is about making college education more affordable. Dubbed the Oregon Opportunity Initiative, Measure 86 would create a constitutionally dedicated permanent fund that will be invested to generate income. Income from the investment returns will both increase student assistance in the short-term, and also put Oregon on a path toward a lasting solution.


The fund could be created in various ways, such as direct deposits over time, bond proceeds, or periodic appropriations.


The fund itself isn't spent, but rather invested — with the earnings dedicated to student assistance programs. The benefits are proportional to the size of the fund, but are expected to continue to grow over time.


To maximize the impact of the grants, program administrators would be asked to design incentives for:


  • Critical degree programs in STEM fields;


  • Vocational training and other workforce development programs; and


  • On-time graduation (measured by credits), to reduce infrastructure needs as well as student debt.


Read more at he Oregon Opportunity Initiative website.


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UNION RECOMMENDATIONS — If you'd like to know who AFSCME has endorsed in the Nov. 4 election, look for a mailer soon divided by regions. Our endorsements are intended as a guide. It's a very grass-roots, democratic (small "D") process. Candidates are interviewed locally by a panel of members. That panel makes a recommendation to the Council 75 Political Action Committee, which in turn makes a final list of recommendations to the Oregon AFSCME Executive Board, which has the final say. The E-Board is elected every two years at the biennial Oregon AFSCME Convention, and is balanced both geographically and by type of membership (state employees, city employees, etc.). You can also review the entire list of endorsements, as well as more details on the process, on the Election Central tab of our website.


For those of you in Clackamas County, the Oregon Education Association is asking AFSCME voters in Clackamas County to support Measure 3-447, the Clackamas Community College bond measure. OEA notes that Measure 3-447 does not increase taxes, it simply continues the current bond rate for CCC — a low rate of less than $40 per year for most Clackamas County property owners. The bond will support Career Technical Education programs needed for students of all ages into the future, and Measure 3-447 supports affordable transfer programs that lead to four-year degrees.


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WALK, TALK — Finally, we close this edition of the e-lert with a reminder that with ballots now soon in hand, it's more important than ever for us to get out the vote. There are several canvasses and phone banks upcoming that could use some volunteer help.




  • For phone banks out of the Salem office, contact Dinah Foley.


  • For information on events in other areas, contact your staff representative in your area field office.


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Page Last Updated: Oct 17, 2014 (11:16:01)

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