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Special Election night 2007

by Frank Mungeam

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

Posted on November 6, 2007 at 6:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM

KGW political analyst Len Bergstein blogs on the ballot measure races for M49 and M50 starting at 8 p.m.

A random thought -- even with the failure of M50 , health care remains at the top of the list of issues most Oregonians want their government to solve...that means even more focus on the Health Commission recently appointed by Governor Kulongoski...and a tricky political question for the Governor and Democratic leadership of the Oregon Senate and House as to whether or not to bring a childrens' health care funding measure to the short legislative session in February -- such a measure might appeal to the Democratic base but might underscore a split between more liberal and more moderate democrats, influence the internal battle to replace speaker Merkley and give Republicans a fresh "no new taxes" mantra leading into the 2008 election so that they have something to talk about other than separating themselves from national Republican politics

Interesting to think about what legal maneuvers will follow on the victory of M49...assuming that there are issues about the wording of certain sections of the measure as it relates to how much "loss of a property right" must be shown by property owner in making a claim, I would expect Oregonians in Action to seek a show-case to challenge the new law relatively quickly...

One bittersweet personal moment -- just got off the phone with our son who is attending GWU in Washington DC and working at a political firm that is handling the yes campaigns on M49 and a split victory/loss night for him...

For those watching AP wire service, there are laerts on both M49 and M50 -- AP calling Yes on 49 and No on 50...

Just talked to a reporter at The Oregonian -- they are showing very updated numbers which have M49 winning substantially and M50 being defeated...I am not in a position ot dispute their numbers but i was sckeptical to hear the size of teh NO on 50 wouldhave to mean that so much of the late breaking vote broke to the no column, which if true means that as good and smart as the field effort was that the yes campaign put together, they couldn't hold up against the size and quality of the No TV ad campaign...

Watching for new AP numbers -- earliest returns showed M49 with yes winning 67-33 and M50 No leading new numbers since first returns

M49 is showing strong support in ealy returns...this is a testament to a favorable ballot title and a smart campaign which tapped into Oregonians' fear of losing "what's secial" about Oregon...using rural, farming families to carry the images offset the "property right" appeal of the No campaign...and the Yes campaign organized an effective outreach/coalition effort that was missiong last time around [M37]...because this is another chapter in the on-going debate oregonians have been having about land use, most observers doubt that this will be the final word -- expecting alegal challenge, a fight in the next legisaltive session and possbly another ballot measure as soon as 2008.

So a little background while waiting for the next round of number...50 started off with a huge margin -- reflecting the number of nonsmokers to smokers...then $8 million later the No campaign had controlled the messages and moved the dial on the issue of putting the tax in the the time the yes campaign came on TV they were able to stop the movement form yes voters to undecided....and that's where the votee sat for awhile -- No campaign had the advantage of ad budget and some very compelling ads, but were unable o close the deal...then the yes campaign turned up the intensity ontheir field campaign and found a receptive audience in democrats and women-- the key for the Yes became how much they could get out that vote to above 50% and resist the huge TV buy by the No....

Campaign to make Clackamas County a 5 member Commission will probably be one of the more interesting stories after people digest 49 and 50 results...interesting mix of personalities and politics for this metropolitan County....

First votes expected 49 leads and should lead through thenight....surprise will be how well Yes on 50 campaign was able to use an effective "field campaign" targetted to specific voters [fem/dem] to offset the paid media campaign at $12 million plus...