November 2014 Elections

Mjpresson Wikimedia

Voters in Oregon have said yes to recreational marijuana. Now state officials face a challenge: how to take the pot economy that’s been operating “under their noses” and turn it into a regulated market. A key question is what will happen to the state’s medical marijuana program.

The first thing you need to know is that Measure 91 doesn’t touch Oregon’s existing medical marijuana program.

Medical pot is exempt from the measure’s system of regulation, including the $35-an-ounce tax on marijuana flowers.

Nationally, turnout for this week's election was at an all-time low -- about 42 percent. But in Oregon it was on par with previous midterm elections at just under 70 percent. Election officials attribute this to the state's vote by mail system.

Tony Green is spokesman for Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown.

Lindsay Eyink

A measure to require labeling of genetically modified foods was narrowly defeated by Oregon voters. Measure 92 was rejected by nearly 51 percent of voters with 49 percent approving. Opponents called the measure's failure a decisive victory. Spending on both sides was historic for Oregon. Opponents raised nearly $20 million, according to the Oregonian. Supporters raised about $8 million.

Supporters of Measure 92 said Oregon has the right to know if their food contains genetically engineered ingredients. Opponents said the labeling would increase food costs.

Lane County Voters Approve School Measures

Nov 5, 2014
KVAL.com

Three school district funding measures have been approved by Lane County voters. They will help pay staff salaries and make school improvements without affecting the districts' current budgets. KLCC's Corinne Boyer has more.

Democrats are on track to keep control of the Oregon house and improve their margins in the state senate.

Oregon Votes To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Nov 5, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Oregonians have voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults. Washington DC also voted in favor of a pot measure. Oregon’s new law goes into effect in July of next year.

Excited college students gathered on the sidewalk outside the Measure 91 victory party.

Inside medical marijuana patients mingled with lawyers, retired policemen, and pot activists.

"Yes" campaign director Anthony Johnson thanked his volunteers and the voters and called legalization a more humane approach to drug policy.

Tiffany Eckert / KLCC

Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio has won a 15th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He arrived at a Democratic watch party at Cozmic Pizza in downtown Eugene Tuesday night to a throng of supporters.

Representative DeFazio reflected on the mid-term election and his opponent, Art Robinson.

Election Results

Nov 4, 2014

UPDATE: 9:01 am

All five incumbents have won re-election including:

Won: U.S. House District 1 (D) Suzanne Bonamici

Won: U.S. House District 2 (R) Greg Walden

Won: U.S. House District 3 (D) Earl Blumenauer

Won: U.S. House District 4 (D) Peter DeFazio

Won: U.S. House District 5 (D) Kurt Schrader

Larry Rich has defeated Mike Baker for Mayor of Roseburg.

Oregon General Election Unofficial Results

Karen Richards

What do Voodoo Doughnuts, the U of O duck, and  Oregon’s Secretary of State have in common? They were all on campus today (Monday) encouraging students to vote.

Dozens of students dropped their ballots in the box at U of O’s Erb Memorial Union at the event. Many stopped to talk to Scott Coltrane, the university’s interim president, and Kate Brown, Oregon’s Secretary of State. Brown says turnout is slightly behind where it was four years ago, but she’s confident the final numbers will at least equal that election:

John Rosman / OPB

Next week, voters in Oregon will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana. In rural southwest Oregon growers are divided by ballot Measure 91. Some see benefits to a new legal market. Others fear their way life is about to change. It’s the first story in our new series, Cannabis Country, a look inside Southwest Oregon’s pot economy.

In the hills that surround cities like Medford and Roseburg cannabis is a cottage industry. Thousands have signed up to grow the plant under the protection of the state’s medical marijuana program. In October, they cut the valuable flowers.

Liam Moriarty / JPR

Oregon’s Third Senate District – which comprises southern Jackson County including most of Medford – is one of several key districts where the outcome of the race could overturn Democratic control of the narrowly-divided state Senate. JPR's Liam Moriarty looks at the re-match between incumbent Democrat Alan Bates and Republican challenger, Dave Dotterrer.

dpo.org

Terry Thompson, one of three Lincoln County commissioners, seeks a fourth four-year term.  He faces a challenge this November from Lincoln City Mayor Dick Anderson.

KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher spoke with both candidates

Ashley Ahearn / Earthfix

When people vote, the environment is not always at the top of their minds.
But behind the scenes, the environment is a big part of this year’s election.
Environmental groups have emerged as some of the top spenders in elections in the Northwest - thanks to the help of California Billionaire, Tom Steyer.

 It’s about 8AM. I’m in Bellingham about to go mall walking.

Doug Ericksen: "Hey are you Ashley? Alright let’s roll. We’re on the clock."

Senator Doug Ericksen gently coaxes his aging father, Len, on his morning walk around the Bellis Fair Mall.

The Twists And Turns Of The Oregon Governor's Race

Oct 28, 2014

The race for Oregon governor was supposed to be predictable. An incumbent Democrat is running in a state that hasn't elected a Republican as governor since 1982.

If you ever doubted the importance of your vote, a would-be Lane Electric director may change your mind.

Lynn Bowers didn’t win her bid to be one of seven directors Monday night at Lane Electric’s annual meeting. She wasn’t even one of the top two vote-getters. 

Lane Electric is a cooperative serving a rural area around Eugene-Springfield. Six candidates vied for Central District director.  Bowers picks up the story:

Bowers: “The top two were Nathan Philips, 257 votes, and Ingrid Kessler at 256.”

A one-vote difference.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Two northwestern states are considering whether to follow Washington’s lead and legalize recreational marijuana. Oregon and Alaska will each take up the question on Nov. 4, and both ballot measures reflect lessons learned in Washington.

There are plenty of different approaches to legalizing recreational marijuana, but for starters, there are basically two options on the menu: Colorado and Washington. So which one is more appealing to our neighbor states?

Newport News Times

Newport citizens will choose between two candidates for this years' mayoral race. Incumbent Sandra Roumagoux has been at the job for two years. She's being challenged by Dean Sawyer, who is currently the Emergency Management Planner for the Siletz Tribe.

Sawyer previously worked for more than 30 years as a Sergeant in the Newport Police Department. He is a current city councilor. Saywer wants to increase citizen participation in government by holding more open town hall meetings where people can ask questions.

Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District

Oregon public schools are increasingly turning to voters to help fund essential education services. The small rural district Crow- Applegate-Lorane has a 5-year levy renewal on the November 4th ballot.

Yogi Berra Would Love This Year's Oregon Ballot

Oct 24, 2014

It's like deja vu all over again for Oregon voters this year. And it's not just because John Kitzhaber is making his fourth run for governor.

Linn-Benton Community College

Voters in Linn and Benton counties are being asked to decide if their property tax dollars should fund capital projects for the community college.

Linn-Benton Community College serves about 22,000 students at the main campus in Albany and centers in Corvallis, Lebanon and Sweet Home. The school wants to issue a general obligation bond which would cost taxpayers $0.18 per $1,000 of assessed property value. For an average priced home, that's about $36.00 a year.

www.ci.florence.or.us

After the November election, the city of Florence may have a new mayor and turnover in three of the four city council seats.

Nola Xavier has been mayor of Florence two years. Before that, she was a city councilor for eight years. She wants to serve another term in order to complete several ongoing projects:

Xavier: "We're in the process of hiring a new city manager. We need a new police chief. We've been working with an interim in both of those positions for quite some time."

Mjpresson Wikimedia

A ballot measure in Sisters asks voters to decide if medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed to operate within city limits.

Earlier in the year, the Sisters City Council adopted a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. Sisters wasn't ready to welcome licensed medical pot shops. Now, the 1,200 or so registered voters in the small tourist town will decide on Measure 9-101. It would amend the municipal code and allow dispensaries.

McKibben Womack is president of the Sisters City Council. He hears the pros and cons of medical marijuana from constituents.

Newport Public Library

Lincoln County libraries are hoping voters will say “yes” to ballot Measure 21-156. The measure asks the Library District to renew the levy that’s been funding the county’s five public libraries since the mid-90s.

Measure 21-156 asks county voters living outside of Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo and Yachats to renew the levy taxing nine cents on every 1,000 dollars of property value. These voters make up the Lincoln County Library District. The tax allows residents throughout the county access to the library. Ted Smith, the director at Newport Public Library explains:

USGS

Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District is a Republican stronghold. The GOP has held the seat since early 1981, and that likely won’t change this November.
This year’s Democratic challenger is hoping to make inroads by positioning herself as a moderate alternative on issues such as the economy and natural resources.

Lindsay Eyink

Last spring, voters in two southern Oregon counties passed measures to ban the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. Now, Oregon voters statewide are being asked to approve a measure to require genetically engineered foods to be labeled. As with the similar, unsuccessful ballot measures in Washington and California, lots of out-of-state money is flooding into the campaigns on both sides.

Meeting date: October 17, 2014

Air date: October 20, 2014

The Opportunity Initiative: Investing in Oregon’s Higher Education

Guest Speaker: Ted Wheeler, Oregon State Treasurer, and Bob Brew, Executive Director, Oregon’s Office of Student Access and Completion
Coordinators:  Marty Wilde and Karen Hyatt

cityofroseburg.org

The City of Roseburg has two candidates on the ballot for mayor this year. Incumbent Larry Rich has served 8 terms as mayor. He is being challenged by Transportation Planning Manager, Mike Baker.

Larry Rich works as the Assistant Principle at Roseburg High School. He’s proud of infrastructure projects he’s worked on including the Highway 138 Corridor and Waterfront Improvements. Rich describes himself as the same person regardless if there is an election going on.

John Stark / KLCC

Incumbent Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio and his Republican challenger Art Robinson traded barbs Wednesday night in a debate at the University of Oregon Law School in Eugene. They were joined by Green Party candidate Michael Bielstein discussing topics including funding for rural counties, liquefied natural gas terminals, oil trains, climate change and education.

Stephanie Yao Long / The Oregonian

The behavior of Oregon's First Lady provoked the sharpest exchanges during a gubernatorial debate in Portland Tuesday night on KGW television. Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber declared that he would freeze out his fiancé from any policy-making roles in the near-term.

OPB News

U-S Senator Jeff Merkley and his Republican challenger Monica Wehby went head-to-head Tuesday on Medford TV station KOBI. In their only scheduled debate, both candidates sought to portray the other as extreme and out of touch with everyday Oregonians, while positioning themselves as champions of working people. 

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