ISN'T IT TIME FOR OREGON TO TAKE THE HIGH ROAD AGAIN?
Vote NO on Measure 66!
For 25 years I have lived on the Clackamas River. I love this river, and from my travels throughout Oregon I know why it is important to protect Oregon's watersheds. I am also a member of the Clackamas River Basin Council, and I understand the desperate need to adequately fund watershed councils. I agree with Governor Kitzhaber:
"If we are to restore our watersheds and the salmon, steelhead and trout dependent on healthy watersheds, it will take the participation of every Oregonian." (12/18/97 letter to Oregon Plan Partners. Emphasis added.)
The goals of Measure 66 are noble, but do these noble ends justify the means? Measure 66 further legitimizes state run gambling. Not only does it provide added justification for preying on those addicted to gambling, but gambling revenue is becoming a major addiction for Oregon. According to a Time Magazine article entitled "They call it Video Crack":
"In Oregon, between 1995 and 1997, the state budget relied for 9% of its revenue on the lottery system, most of it from video poker. An effort to get rid of video gambling there evaporated this year. 'The state is overwhelmingly dependent' says Peter Bragdon, a lawyer who helped the Governor study the problem." (Time, 6/1/98)
Regardless of whether Measure 66 passes or fails, we will still have state run gambling. But, if we are truly serious about repairing our parks and restoring fish and wildlife habitat, then financing must come from all Oregonians, not from Oregon's gamblers.
To prey on the weak is to abdicate the moral responsibility of all citizens to protect the precious gift of our life support systems and our community. We send the wrong message to ourselves and our children by using gambling to finance government. I urge all Oregonians to vote no on Measure 66 and continue the noble effort to stop state run gambling.
Lloyd Marbet Oregon Conservancy Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org
(This information furnished by Lloyd Marbet.)
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