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Measure 40

Argument in Favor

In Oregon, we elect all of our trial court judges by district. In fact, Oregon's trial court judges are divided into 27 different districts.

All Ballot Measure 40 requires is that Oregon's appellate court judges also be elected by district.

Under this Measure, Supreme Court judges will be elected in 7 different districts and Court of Appeals judges will be elected in 5 different districts.

The reason we elect our trial court judges by district is to ensure fairness, impartiality and accountability in our judiciary. Ballot Measure 40 will instill that same fairness, impartiality and accountability into Oregon's appellate courts.

By requiring our appellate judges to be elected by district, Ballot Measure 40 will guarantee that our courts will reflect the broad range of viewpoints and opinions which make Oregon so special and unique.

Oregon's appellate courts routinely make new laws, and yet only a small segment of Oregon is represented on these courts. Ballot Measure 40 will guarantee a diversity of views on the courts that have the biggest impacts on our lives, the appellate courts.

Instead of a Supreme Court and a Court of Appeals made up of lawyers from one part of the state, Ballot Measure 40 will make sure all parts of Oregon - from La Grande to Brookings, from Lakeview to Portland, and all points in between – are represented on our appellate courts.

This is not a new idea. Originally, the Oregon Constitution required all judges to be elected by district. This measure simply restores our courts to the way Oregon's founding fathers originally intended all judges to be selected.

Which is the way it should be. The authors of Oregon's Constitution intended ALL judges in Oregon be selected by district to ensure fairness, impartiality and accountability in ALL judges, and ALL courts, at every level of Oregon's judiciary.

Please vote Yes on Ballot Measure 40.

(This information furnished by Russ Walker.)


Argument in Favor

Circuit Court Judges Ask You to Vote Yes on Measure 40.

As former circuit court judges, we ask you to vote "yes" on Measure 40.

Why? Because it is common sense.

Being a judge is a difficult job. When reaching a decision, a judge must rely upon many things to help guide him or her - the laws enacted by the Legislature, the Oregon Constitution, prior court decisions, just to name a few.

But judges are human, not robots, and they bring with them a core set of principles that come largely as a result of where the judge is from. For instance, it is entirely likely that a judge from Portland would have a different perspective than a judge from John Day.

That is why it is vital that we elect judges with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, so out courts are not filled with judges from one section of the state who share one judicial philosophy.

That is why Measure 40 is so important.

Measure 40 will allow voters to elect judges to the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals from all areas of Oregon.

Right now, 16 of the 17 judges on Oregon's appellate courts are from Portland, Salem or Eugene. No judge on the bench is from an Oregon coastal community, any county south of Lane County, and only one judge is from a community east of the Cascade Mountains.

But who knows, 10 years from now all of the judges on Oregon's appellate courts may be from Pendleton and Baker City, leaving the rest of Oregon without a voice in the appellate courts.

Measure 40 guarantees that judges on Oregon's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will be from every region of Oregon. We think that is important.

That is why we are supporting Measure 40.

Ted Abram, former circuit court judge, Klamath County (retired)

Hollie Pihl, Senior Judge, former circuit court judge, Washington County

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Oregon's judges should reflect Oregon's diversity.

Oregon has a strong populist tradition which call for the election of the ministers of justice; public prosecutors and judges of the trial and appellate bench. District Attorneys and Circuit Judges are locally elected, but the 10 judges of the Court of Appeals and the 7 justices of the Oregon Supreme Court are elected "at large" from across the state.

As elected district attorneys who answer to the citizens of the counties we represent we believe Oregon's appeals courts would better reflect Oregon's citizens – not just lawyers – if judges ran from district similar to those that divide Oregon into five Congressional districts.

Measure 40 poses NO threat to judicial independence. In fact, it guarantees true diversity on Oregon's appeals courts. These men and women would be elected, as they are now, without regard to political party, but would reflect the concerns of people from coastal, southern, central and eastern regions of the state as well as the greater Portland area. Portland will be represented by at least two Supreme Court justices and four judges on the Court of Appeals.

As elected District Attorneys we believe Oregon's courts should represent ALL Oregonians.

Vote yes on Measure 40.

Stephen Atchison, Columbia County District Attorney
Josh Marquis, Clatsop County District Attorney
Paul Burgett, Coos County District Attorney
Edwin I. Caleb, Klamath County District Attorney
David Schutt, Lake County District Attorney
Dan Norris, Malheur County District Attorney
William Porter, Tillamook County District Attorney
Thomas W. Cutsforth, Wheeler County District Attorney
Tara Lawrence, Sherman County District Attorney
John Sewell, Hood River County District Attorney
Matthew B. Shirtcliff, Baker County District Attorney

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Shouldn't ALL of Oregon Have a Voice?

"Courts are community problem solvers…"

- Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz, Oregon Supreme Court, Oregon State Bar Bulletin, July, 2006

If this is true, shouldn't ALL of Oregon have a voice in solving problems? Shouldn't all of Oregon have the chance to offer solutions?

Not according to the special interests, especially trial lawyers and the criminal defense bar, who have invested over $400,000 in the 17 judges currently sitting on Oregon's appellate courts. They want to deny the rest of Oregon a seat at the table. They want to protect their investments.

That's right. The only communities that get to have a voice in Oregon's courts are located in the Willamette Valley, the rest of Oregon is on the outside looking in.

Ballot Measure 40 fixes this unfairness

Ballot Measure 40 will guarantee that every part of Oregon – not just the parts inhabited by Oregon trial lawyers – is represented in our courts. So that when the courts start trying to solve your problems, you will have a say in the solution.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40.

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

IF YOU LIVE IN:

Columbia County

or

Clatsop County

or

Tillamook County

or

Lincoln County

RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NO JUDGES ON
THE OREGON APPELLATE COURTS FROM YOUR COUNTY

Measure 40 will guarantee that AT LEAST two judges will be from your corner of Oregon.

Don't you want at least a couple of judges to be familiar with the issues important in your community?

Guarantee your voice in the courts

Please Vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

IF YOU LIVE IN:

Washington County

or

Clackamas County

or

Yamhill County

or

Polk County

RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NO JUDGES ON
THE OREGON APPELLATE COURTS FROM YOUR COUNTIES!

Measure 40 will guarantee that AT LEAST two judges will reflect the community values of your part of Oregon.

Guarantee your voice in the courts.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40.

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

IF YOU LIVE IN:

Linn County

or

Benton County

RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NO JUDGES ON
THE OREGON APPELLATE COURTS FROM
YOUR REGION OF OREGON

Measure 40 will guarantee that AT LEAST two judges will reflect the values and principles of the people who live in the central Willamette Valley - principles that the courts currently lack.

Guarantee your voice in the courts

Please vote YES on Measure 40.

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

IF YOU LIVE IN:

Coos County

or

Curry County

or

Douglas County

or

Josephine County

or

Jackson County

RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NO JUDGES ON
THE OREGON APPELLATE COURTS REFLECTING
YOUR REGION OF OREGON

Measure 40 will guarantee that AT LEAST two judges will reflect the values and concerns important in your corner of Oregon.

Guarantee your voice in the courts

Please Vote YES on Measure 40.

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

IF YOU LIVE IN:

Hood River County

or

Wasco County

or

Sherman County

or

Gilliam County

or

Morrow County

RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NO JUDGES ON
THE OREGON APPELLATE COURTS REPRESENTING
YOUR REGION OF OREGON

Measure 40 will guarantee that AT LEAST two judges will understand and consider issues important to the counties located along the Columbia River.

Guarantee your voice in the courts

Please Vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

IF YOU LIVE IN:

Wheeler County

or

Crook County

or

Deschutes County

RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NO JUDGES ON
THE OREGON APPELLATE COURTS REFLECTING
THE PRINCIPLES OF CENTRAL OREGON!

Measure 40 will guarantee that AT LEAST two judges - when deciding cases – will bring with them the good sense of the people who live outside of the Willamette Valley.

Please vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

IF YOU LIVE IN:

Klamath County

or

Malheur County

or

Lake County

or

Harney County

RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NO JUDGES ON
THE OREGON APPELLATE COURTS REFLECTING
YOUR REGION OF OREGON

Measure 40 will guarantee that AT LEAST two judges will reflect the values and concerns important in your corner of Oregon.

If you want to make sure that your voice is heard and your community is protected, then it is time for a change.

Guarantee your voice in the courts

Please Vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

IF YOU LIVE IN:

Umatilla County

or

Union County

or

Grant County

or

Wallowa County

or

Baker County

RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NO JUDGES ON
THE OREGON APPELLATE COURTS REPRESENTING
YOUR CORNER OF OREGON

Measure 40 will guarantee that AT LEAST two judges will reflect the principles of your special corner of Oregon.

Right now the judicial system is rigged so that only lawyers from Eugene, Salem or Portland will be elected or appointed. There is no guarantee you will ever have a voice in Oregon's appellate courts, unless you.......

Please Vote YES on Measure 40.

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

If you live in Portland, Salem or Eugene
READ THIS STATEMENT!
(Actually, everyone should read this statement)

Would you agree to make the following changes to Oregon's government:

  • Only people from Klamath Falls, Lakeview and Burns could serve in the Oregon Legislature, and


  • Everyone who serves in the Oregon Legislature is selected by one political party, and


  • Everyone who serves in the Oregon Legislature must be a cattle rancher; who will receive hundreds of thousand of dollars from the cattle ranching industry, and


  • If any rancher tries to run against an incumbent Legislator/Rancher, the incumbent will always win and then be able to retaliate against anyone who dares to challenge the incumbent; and finally


  • If anyone tries to change the Rancher Legislature to reflect all of Oregon, not just three communities, the cattle ranching industry (with the help of the media) will cry "politics!" and scare voters away from ever changing the government.

Would you like to have a branch of government in Oregon like this?

Guess what, you do. In Oregon, we call this branch "The Courts":

  • Only people from Portland, Salem and Eugene could serve in the Oregon Appellate Courts, and


  • Everyone who serves in the Oregon Appellate Courts is selected by one political party, and


  • Everyone who serves in the Oregon Appellate Courts has to be a lawyer; and receives hundreds of thousand of dollars from lawyers associations, and


  • If any lawyer tries to run against an incumbent Judge, the incumbent will always win and then be able to retaliate against anyone who dares to challenge the Judge; and finally


  • If anyone tries to change the Oregon Appellate Courts to reflect all of Oregon, not just three communities, the lawyers associations (with the help of the media) will cry "politics!" and scare voters away from ever changing the government.

This is not the system Oregon's founding fathers envisioned. Judges were supposed to be elected by district.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

County Commissioners Across Oregon Ask You to Vote Yes on Measure 40

Why? Because Measure 40 insures fairness in Oregon's courts for ALL Oregonians.

Measure 40 guarantees that every corner of Oregon will be represented in Oregon's appellate courts.

In other words, Measure 40 will guarantee that every Oregonian will have one supreme court justice and two court of appeals judges from his or her part of the state.

Consider this: Right now, 16 out of the 17 judges on Oregon's appellate courts are from one area of the state - the Willamette Valley. The rest of Oregon is not represented in any way on the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals.

Today the Willamette Valley is over-represented on these courts, tomorrow, the coast could enjoy the special benefits of over-representation.

That's right! Right now there is no guarantee that any Oregonian will be represented on Oregon's appellate courts.

And that is just wrong.

As county commissioners from every part of Oregon, we know the importance of ensuring geographical diversity on Oregon's appellate courts.

Ballot Measure 40 ensures every Oregonian will have a voice in the operation of our courts. Please join us in voting Yes on Ballot Measure 40.

Roger Nyquist, Linn County Commissioner
Leslie Lewis, Yamhill County Commissioner
Anna Morrison, Lane County Commissioner
Kathy George, Yamhill County Commissioner

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Each of us comes from a different and unique part of our state. Once every two years, we gather in Salem to resolve problems and protect the people of Oregon. The fact that everyone in the Oregon Legislature is from a different area of the state helps bring fresh perspective and ideas to the discussion.

Imagine if all but 2 or 3 legislators were from Bend. How well do you think the legislature would be able to respond to problems in Portland, Salem, Medford, or on the Oregon coast?

The answer: not very well.

That is why, when the Oregon Constitution was originally drafted, those offices that would make law – legislators and appellate judges – were supposed to be elected by district. Oregon's founding fathers knew that citizens serving on the Oregon Supreme Court should reflect all of Oregon, not just one area of the state, as is currently the case.

What makes Oregon strong – and what makes Oregon, Oregon – is that all of our citizens have an equal voice and an equal opportunity to participate in our state government.

We are supporting Measure 40 because:

  • Measure 40 restores in our Constitution the principle of equal representation in our justice system


  • Measure 40 is about fairness and equality for ALL Oregonians


  • Measure 40 is a much needed step in the right direction.

We ask that you vote yes on Measure 40:

State Senator Doug Whitsett, District 28
State Senator Roger Beyer
State Senator Bruce Starr
State Representative Kim Thatcher
State Representative R. Thomas ("Tom") Butler, HD #60
State Representative Derrick Kitts
State Representative Jerry Krummel
State Representative Gene Whisnant
State Representative Dennis Richardson

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

Measure 40 will reduce the cost of judicial elections and get politics out of the courts

The increasing cost of judicial elections is a serious problem in Oregon, where our judges are elected statewide. Because our judges are elected statewide, it is very expensive for judges to run effective elections and it is even harder to challenge a sitting judge. Why?

Start with this question: Who do the judges turn to when they need campaign cash quickly? That's right, big money special interests such as lawyers associations.

In fact, according to reports filed with the Secretary of State, lawyers have invested over $400,000 in the 17 judges sitting on Oregon's appellate courts.

And as you can imagine, when a sitting judge asks a lawyer for campaign money, the lawyer is very willing to help the judge's campaign. And because Oregon is one of 2 states that does not limit the amount of money lawyers can give, lawyers will give incumbent judges plenty of money to run a statewide campaign.

The result? Challengers cannot raise the kind of money needed to effectively challenge an incumbent, so judicial races go uncontested, and the voters are the worse off.

But the lawyers who have invested all that money in the judges now have friends in Oregon's appellate courts.

Measure 40 will make judicial elections fair and open to more potential candidates by reducing the cost of running a campaign for judge. How does Measure 40 reduce the cost of campaigns? Simple, instead of running statewide, candidates for Oregon's appellate courts would run in a district – just like trial court judges do now.

And a smaller district means lower campaign costs – which will make it harder for special interests to buy influence in Oregon's appellate courts. Lower campaign costs will mean more qualified candidates will be able to afford to run for Oregon's appellate courts.

And everyone – except for the special interests – wins.

For more information go to www.oregonwatchdog.com

(This information furnished by Jason Williams, Taxpayer Association of Oregon PAC.)


Argument in Favor

A pop quiz.. Who Made These Laws?

Public sex acts cannot be prohibited by the government.

Obscene material cannot be prohibited by the government.

The government is permitted to take up to 93% of your property without paying you a dime of compensation.

A judge can release a convicted child rapist and murderer if the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court take too long to decide the case.

If you guessed APPELLATE JUDGES then you would be correct.

These are important issues of public policy made by a few of Oregon's legal elite who represent only a small region of Oregon.

Shouldn't ALL of Oregon have a say in these important issues?

In Oregon, a small cell of lawyers controls a branch of our government that has a tremendous impact on our lives. This cell – also known as the Oregon State Bar Association – will stop at nothing to make sure that most of Oregon is left out of the courts.

Why? Because according to the Oregon State Bar, people who live outside of the Willamette Valley are "not experienced", "not competent" or "not highly qualified" to sit on the Oregon appellate courts.

The Oregon State Bar's condescending attitude towards the people of the state of Oregon should not be tolerated.

When judges make new law out of thin air, ALL Oregonians should have a voice reflected on Oregon's courts – not just those judges the Oregon State Bar approves of.

Measure 40 will restore your voice.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40.

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

YOU WON'T BELIEVE YOUR EYES!!!

Take a look at this statement written by the Oregon State Bar:

"Passage of Measure 40 would not only reduce the competence of the judges.....Oregonians should have the right to elect the most qualified judges possible, and deserve capable, efficient appellate courts. Passage of Measure 40 would work against both of these goals."

- Draft Statement, Oregon State Bar, August 8th, 2006

Can you believe the arrogance and ignorance of this statement?

You read it right, the Oregon State Bar thinks that the only lawyers who are "competent" or "qualified" are lawyers from Portland, Salem and Eugene!

This statement reflects the general opinion the organized lawyers associations have of the general public, and is why these special interests are fighting to keep your voice out of Oregon's courts. The trial lawyers, and criminal defense lawyers, and Portland good-old-boys club don't think the rest of Oregon should have a voice in our courts because Oregonians are "not competent" enough to choose judges on their own.

The fact is that Oregon's court system is controlled by a small group of special interests such as the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Oregon State Bar. The members of these special interest lawyer associations have invested over $400,000 in the judges currently sitting on the bench, and Ballot Measure 40 threatens their investment.

If you vote yes on Measure 40, you will take back control of the courts that have the greatest impact on your life. The people, and not narrow-minded special interests, will once again have the final say in the selection and election of judges, just as Oregon's founding fathers intended.

You don't have to let the lawyers get away with this. You have the power to stop them.

Take back your courts.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

In 1857 the framers of the Oregon Constitution felt it critical that voters know the judges they elect and to "understand the character of the person they put in office." To achieve this purpose they required that Supreme Court Justices be elected from districts.

Today Supreme Court Justices are selected without regard to region. And the result has been nothing short of disastrous for Oregonians. Oregon Supreme Court Justices come from two Oregon cities, and their decisions are deficient because the Supreme Court lacks the geographical diversity Measure 40 will bring.

Can you name two Supreme Court Justices? Most people cannot. There are seven. Yet this Court effects every aspect of your life. Their decisions may have extraordinary impacts on your life, the life of your community and you don't know who they are. Measure 40 fixes that.

Measure 40 is a simple concept: every region of the state should be represented on the Oregon Supreme Court – not just the interests of people who live in two Oregon cities.

Most of the opposition to Measure 40 comes from self-interested lawyers associations centered in the Willamette Valley. Under Measure 40, these special interests would still have the opportunity to elect 4 judges to the Oregon Supreme Court. Isn't that enough?

Apparently not.

One Supreme Court Justice - Bill Riggs – is leaving the Supreme Court early, and the Governor can appoint a new lawyer to fill his place. The Governor will appoint a lawyer approved by the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and the Oregon State Bar. Most likely another lawyer from Salem or Portland.

Ballot Measure 40 would require the Governor to appoint justices from all parts of the state so that the voters will know their judges and "understand the character of the person whom they put in office."

It was a great idea in 1857. It is a great idea today.

Please vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by Steve Doell, Crime Victims United of Oregon.)


Argument in Favor

BUILDING ONE OREGON MEANS COURTS FROM ALL OF OREGON
Ron Saxton

There are growing social, cultural and economic divides in Oregon and bridging those divides is essential for Oregon to prosper and excel. Our judicial system is part of the problem – and Measure 40 represents part of the solution.

Just as the vast majority of our elected officials and government appointees come from the Willamette Valley, so too do virtually all of Oregon's Supreme Court and Appellate Court judges.

The reason is simple: most judges in Oregon are initially appointed to their positions by the Governor, and recent Governors have shown an overwhelming preference for candidates from Portland and the Willamette Valley. Indeed, it is now almost customary that a judge "retire" prior to the end of his/her term so that the appointment process continues and the appointee can enter the next election from with the coveted designation on the ballot of "Incumbent."

But this wasn't always the case. Prior to the 1980's, the Oregon tradition was for the Governor to appoint judges from all over the state and competitive elections were far more common.

Measure 40 helps restore that tradition by requiring that Supreme Court and Appellate Court judges be elected or appointed from geographically distinct districts, thus guaranteeing true diversity without lessening judicial independence.

It is important to understand that Measure 40 is not about judges "representing" parts of Oregon - once on the court judges understand they serve all of Oregon. This measure also isn't about competing judicial ideologies – there are "liberal" and "conservative" lawyers in all parts of the state.

Measure 40 is about Courts that benefit from the differing perspectives and experiences of individuals from all across Oregon, and it is about giving Oregonians from all parts of the state a sense of connection to our Courts. It is time for our Courts to reflect the true strength of our state and the diversity of our citizens.

(This information furnished by Ron Saxton, Friends of Ron Saxton.)


Argument in Favor

The Oregon Family Farm Association PAC asks you to vote yes on Ballot Measure 40

For decades, small family farms have been the backbone of Oregon agriculture. Many of the products we all enjoy are produced in Oregon by family owned and operated farms.

But the ability of Oregon's small farmers to produce products for all of us is increasingly under attack, at both the state and federal level. Groups opposed to farming and ranching increasingly use lawsuits as a weapon to put the small family farm out of business.

Because of the aggressive tactics of these extreme groups, small farmers find themselves at the mercy of judges, many of whom don't have the first clue about farming, ranching, or producing or raising an apple, ear of corn, chicken, or cow.

Having your business succeed or fail based on the decision of a judge who doesn't know anything about how it operates is frightening, even for farmers, who are used to risks in the weather and rising and falling crop prices.

That's why we are thrilled to support Measure 40.

Measure 40 will make sure that judges from all areas of the state are elected to the Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals.

That means that we will have judges who live and work in areas where farming and ranching are the predominant activity, not just the Willamette Valley.

Having judges who understand how farmers and ranchers produces their products and operate their businesses is important. Measure 40 will help ensure that happens.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by Larry George, Oregon Family Farm Association PAC.)


Argument in Favor

MEASURE 40 speaks to the wisdom of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Holmes who said, "The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience." This measure seeks to restore the original intent of the authors of the Oregon Constitution which provided for judicial districting. The authors knew that those who wield judicial power, the least democratic branch of our government, should have walked our streets, attended our schools, prayed in our churches, and should be from every corner of our state.

The current state of Oregon's judiciary reveals how far we have strayed from this critical political insight. Today 16 of our 17 appellate judges are from the Willamette Valley. 87% of all judges in the state are political appointees. These startling statistics would seem more descriptive of Soviet-style elections than those of Oregon.

Tocqueville, a 19th century observer of American democracy warned us that when extremist or elitist elements hijack a governmental branch it

extends it arms over society as a whole; it covers its surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot clear a way to surpass the crowd; it does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them, and directs them; it rarely forces one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one's acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.

Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville.

Heed the warning.....

(This information furnished by Greg Ferguson.)


Argument in Favor

FIX A BROKEN PROCESS - VOTE YES ON MEASURE 40

Anyone who follows the method in which we choose our appellate judges in Oregon can see that the process is broken.

For too long, Oregon governors have been appointing judges from Portland, Salem, or Eugene, with no appointments from any other area of the state.

Are we supposed to believe that there are no qualified lawyers or judges outside of Portland, Salem, or Eugene? Of course not.

Unfortunately, it has been years since Oregon has had an appellate judge from outside of the Willamette Valley. That's not fair.

Our appellate courts shouldn't be stacked with judges from one area of the state. We must have a system where judges are chosen on their qualifications, not on their contacts.

That's why Measure 40 is important. It levels the playing field, and allows judges to be chosen because of their experience, not because of who they know in Salem.

And that's important. A hard working, well-respected trial judge in Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, St. Helens or Lincoln City should have just as much chance to be an appellate court judge as a wealthy trial lawyer in downtown Portland, who just happens to be a friend of the governor.

Measure 40 takes the politics out of how we choose judges in Oregon.
That's why Measure 40 deserves your vote.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40.

(This information furnished by Glenn Cloyd, Oregon Sportsmen's Association PAC.)


Argument in Favor

Who are we and why do we support Measure 40?

In 1983 my husband and I, along with other parents of murdered children, created an organization named Crime Victims United.

Our statement of purpose: "To promote a balanced criminal justice system through public awareness and legislative action."

Our organization has battled for almost 23 years to make our purpose a reality. Our personal experiences and legislative efforts have taught us:

  • Oregon's highest courts are consumed with the rights of the criminal defendant


  • If you live outside the areas of greater Portland, Salem or Eugene, you will not be represented on the Appellate or Supreme Court


  • Oregon's Constitution has been extremely altered by judicial interpretations


  • Many who interpret our laws have no experience as trial judges


  • Our Constitution originally required higher court judges to be elected by districts

Who is in opposition?

  • Oregon criminal defense bar


  • Oregon trial lawyers

Their justification for opposition

  • It would be a hardship to travel to Salem

Supreme Court judges managed to bear this hardship from 1859 to 1910, they should be able to bear it in 2006.

  • Candidates from less populated areas would not be qualified to write opinions

This elitist statement is inexcusable, especially considering some of the opinions written by Oregon's higher courts

In my opinion, the real reason is that the defense and trial lawyers want to protect the advantage they have had in the courts over the last 30 years.

What to expect this measure to accomplish

  • Bring more representation to all citizens of Oregon
  • Seat more judges with trial experience
  • Provide knowledge of issues vital to the safety and economy of all Oregonians
  • Reduce pressure from self-serving individuals and organizations who disregard the impact on the rest of the state

Please vote 'YES' on Measure 40. It's simply fair and good government.

Dee Dee Kouns
Founder, Crime Victims United

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

TAKE THE POLITICS OUT OF THE COURTS
VOTE YES ON MEASURE 40!

Take a look at who opposes this measure....the special interests who oppose this measure have spent $400,000 on the current crop of appellate judges, and they are afraid that if you vote for this measure the judges they will lose the judges they have paid for.

The fact is that politics were injected into Oregon's courts long ago. Right now, lawyer groups and other special interests control Oregon's courts, and they are afraid that Measure 40 will return control of our courts to the people of Oregon.

And the judges hate the fact that they are elected. In fact, in the July edition of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin, the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court said he "is not excited about electing judges" in Oregon.

EVEN THOUGH JUSTICE DeMUNIZ WAS POPULARLY ELECTED!

His ultimate goal is to stop electing judges altogether. Just further evidence that the establishment doesn't want the courts to be held accountable to the voters.

DON'T LET THE LEGAL ELITE TAKE AWAY YOUR VOICE!!

Politics is already in your courts. 16 of the 17 judges in Oregon's appellate courts were appointed by one political party. That is the very definition of politics and partisanship.

The legal elite really hates this measure, and for good reason. Measure 40 takes away their control of our courts and returns control to the people of Oregon, where it belongs.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40.

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

ACTIVISTS COURTS DISTORT OREGON CONSTITUTION
AND CANCEL WILL OF OREGON VOTERS

For many years the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals have been dominated by judges from Portland, Salem and Eugene. There are several theories why this has occurred: changing demographics, concentration of the political elite in the state's urban centers, and the fact that one political party is responsible for all the judicial appointments made in the last 20 years.

Whatever the reason, the exclusion of 80% of Oregon from involvement in the important decisions made by the Oregon appellate courts is bad for all Oregonians. Because of the activist nature of Oregon courts, it is especially bad today.

Starting in the 1980s, the Oregon Supreme Court began a systematic process to reinterpret the Oregon Constitution. This has caused fundamental changes in Oregon constitutional law. The Oregon Supreme Court has substantially expanded the rights of criminals, limited the rights of property owners, and limited the initiative process. Many of the changes instituted by the court are more properly the responsibility of the legislature or of the people through the initiative process.

The historic changes instituted by the courts have occurred with little or no public input. To the contrary, the Oregon appellate courts have aggressively thwarted attempts by the public to influence the outcome. In the last decade the Oregon Supreme Court has struck down voter-approved measures to reform campaign financing, to require that public employees contribute to their retirement, to guarantee a crime victim's rights in the state constitution, and to limit the terms of elected officials.

The magnitude of the issues before Oregon's appellate courts require input from the diverse opinions of all of Oregon.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by Steve Doell, Crime Victims United of Oregon.)


Argument in Favor

GET POLITICS OUT OF OUR APPELLATE COURTS
VOTE YES ON MEASURE 40

The lawyers associations who oppose Measure 40 are trying to fool you into thinking that Measure 40 will somehow "insert politics into the courts."

What the lawyers aren't telling you is that they have invested over $400,000 in the current crop of appellate judges. The lawyers want a return on their investment, and the Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Supreme Court are definitely paying back their friends:

  • The Oregon Supreme Court recently changed the law allowing trial lawyers to sue for an unlimited amount of damages due to "pain and suffering."


  • Not to be outdone, the Oregon Court of Appeals recently changed the law to allow trial lawyers the right to sue public employees personally as a way for trial lawyers to sue the state of Oregon for any amount of money.

The Court of Appeals and Supreme Court gave their biggest contributors - trial lawyers – a generous return on their investment.

IS IT ANY WONDER THEN WHY THE TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE OREGON
STATE BAR ASSOCIATION HATE MEASURE 40?

They have saturated Oregon's appellate courts with "politics" - their politics – and they are afraid Measure 40 will clean up our courts.

AND IT WILL!

Rather than representing a narrow interest group, under Measure 40, the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court will have to be responsive to ALL of Oregon, not just their biggest contributors. Which takes the political power out of the trial lawyers' hands.

Which explains why the lips of so many lawyers are moving.

TAKE BACK OUR COURTS. VOTE YES ON MEASURE 40

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

JUDGES MAKE OVER $100,000 PER YEAR!!!

Opponents of Measure 40 are hoping you buy this argument:

Measure 40 will place an undue burden on judges because the judges will have to have two residences, one in their home district, and one in the Salem area.

Appellate judges in Oregon make well over $100,000! It is unbelievable to hear opponents of Measure 40 complain about "financial hardships" for judges whose salaries are in the six figures!

If you made more than $100,000 per year, could you afford a home in your district and an apartment in Salem? Of course you could.

And so can appellate judges......

Consider this: there are roughly two dozen state legislators who have to maintain a residence in their legislative district and rent and apartment in Salem:

And Legislators Get Paid $30,000 Per Year!!!

If we expect legislators to afford a home and an apartment on $30,000 per year, we can expect judges to "get by" on over $100,000 per year.

This "argument" is advanced by the Oregon State Bar Association. The Bar Association is hoping you will feel for judges who have to scrape by on a mere $100,000 per year.

This is the silliest argument against Measure 40 that one could imagine.

But as you have read, the Oregon State Bar has no respect for Oregonians. The Bar Association doesn't think average Oregonians can pick "competent" judges. The judges themselves don't think they should be accountable to the voters.

The judges and special interests are hoping you will buy their argument.

Please Vote YES on Measure 40.

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)


Argument in Favor

ONE FINAL THOUGHT................

On the next several pages of this Voters' Pamphlet you will read statements in opposition to Measure 40......

The statements that follow are from special interests who benefit from the current political state of the courts in Oregon, and will say anything to keep fairness out of the courts.

These groups are going to make two arguments against Measure 40.

  1. Measure 40 will politicize the courts, and


  2. Measure 40 will help Portland by guaranteeing Portland can vote on three judges, but rural Oregon will be hurt because right now rural Oregon votes on seven judges, and Measure 40 will lower that number

Neither argument should change your mind, and here's why:

First, your courts are already politicized, controlled by the groups that oppose Measure 40. It isn't that Measure 40 will politicize the judiciary, it is the fact that Measure 40 will reduce the political influence of the opponents of Measure 40 that really has them concerned.

Think of it this way: if you had the power to choose all seven Oregon Supreme Court Justices, and then the power was changed allowing you to choose four and someone else chooses three justices, of course you would cry "Politics!" That is exactly why these groups oppose Measure 40.

Second, the idea that rural Oregon will be hurt by Measure 40 is laughable. Just this year, a lawyer from Pendleton – Gene Hallman – ran for the Oregon Supreme Court. He raised more money than his opponents, and he finished third in a three-way race!

Right now only lawyers from Eugene, Salem or Portland are elected or appointed and there is no guarantee that rural Oregon will ever have a voice on Oregon's appellate courts.

Measure 40 restores fairness by guaranteeing that rural Oregon WILL have a voice in Oregon's appellate courts.

Don't be fooled by the statements that follow.....Please Vote YES on Measure 40

(This information furnished by R. Russell Walker, Our Courts Committee.)

 

Elections Division, Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722