Numbers are current as of 5:50 a.m. on 11/7/07.
Some early election results this morning. These numbers will change a bit, of course, as mailed ballots continue to trickle in…
- In property rights: Oregon’s Measure 49, the partial antidote to Measure 37, was passing easily by 61 to 39.
- In transportation: Puget Sound’s Proposition 1—the roads and transit propsal—looked headed for defeat by a margin of 44 to 56. (Full results here.)
There are a couple of lessons, I think, that we can glean from the results:
1. People hate regulatory takings laws. They really hate them. They’re fundamentally undemocratic; they breed unfairness and resentment; and they damage valuable community traditions.
2. For the first time, it appears that worry about climate may have tipped the scales in a transportation vote. In fairness, there was plenty of confusion and disagreement over the proposal’s climate impacts—mainly because no one conducted a full climate assessment of the measure — but it clearly weighed as a factor for a critical bloc of voters on both sides of the issue. (See, among others, the Seattle P-I (yes), The Stranger (no), the Yes Campaign, the Sierra Club’s No Campaign, Ron Sims (no), the right-leaning Washington Policy Center (no), and even the anti-tax/rail No Campaign, which kept trumpeting the Sierra Club’s opposition as a primary reason to vote no). In fact, Prop 1 may be the last of its kind: a Cascadian transportation proposal that lacked a climate accounting.
We’ll have more to say on each of these later.
Update: I don’t always write well at 5:30 in the morning. Some of the language above is changed, for the better I hope.
What we forget is that all real property is a grant from the state. The state (us, the citizens) own all land within the sovereign jurisdiction of the state. Your title to real property is not outright – it has strings: taxation, eminent domain, police power, and escheat. Individuals do not own land; that is why it is called “real estate.” You have only an “estate” in the land, which is the grant to an owner to use the land and the ability to transfer that land.The police power affects owners of real estate, most prominently, as zoning.The key provision of Measure 37 turns on the impact of a regulation (exercise of the police power) on the immediate value of the property. What Measure 37, and its supporters, have done, is to confuse the police power of the state with eminent domain.Measure 37 provided that if at any point in the future a regulation enacted in the past, but after purchase of the property, causes the value of the land to decline, then the regulation is effectively moot. Thus, we the people, have to pay or waive, the police power because Measure 37 has effectively confused regulation with eminent domain.Mesure 49 does not resolve this, but what the results do show is that Oregonians rejected the keystone of the property rights movement – that regulation equals eminent domain.
Wow. You were up almost as early as I. Have a cup of coffee on me. Cheers!
Sitting here in Beirut at 3:30 AM (well,your time), my first reaction at seeing Measure 49 result was relief and joy. First, congratulations to Sightline for solid work to make the consequences of Measure 37 visible and real for voters. Part of that reaction comes from residing, temporarily, in a land where “land use regulation” is most notable for its absence. Or, you suspect, as a cover for the rich and powerful to become more so. As always, being away from home brings some of what you value into sharper relief. (Again thanks to Sightline for helping us remember what is worth preserving in the Northwest.)But being in Lebanon colors my reaction also with awareness of how serious, indeed how deadly, partisan and sectarian division can become if not countered by our better angels. So, to the victors, a toast. But not the spoils. If not a hand outstretched to opponents, how about at least an ear open to real complaints from real people.