Where “No” Means “Yes, But Just a Little Less”

It’s safe to say the teachers’ unions didn’t get what they wanted from their candidates on Election Day, but on ballot initiatives they were successful, winning in Massachusetts, Georgia, Maine, Montana and California.

The one disappointing outcome was in Oregon, where union-backed Measure 97 went down to an 18-point defeat. The initiative would have instituted a 2.5 percent tax on business gross sales that exceeded $25 million.

One would think that such a resounding loss would be cause for evaluation, introspection and a second look at the fundamentals of the measure.


“We are in a better position than ever to raise the revenue schools and families in Oregon need,” said Ben Unger, executive director of Our Oregon, the union-financed group that ran the Measure 97 campaign.

The Portland Tribune reported, “Unger rejects the idea that the measure was flawed in any way. He said he probably wouldn’t shape it any differently if he could do it over again.”

Measure 97 would have raised an estimated $3 billion annually, to be spent primarily on the school system.

On Tuesday the public employees unions unveiled a new proposal: How about $2.5 billion a year?

Legislation would place a 2 percent tax on gross sales on companies with more than $100 million in sales, plus increase taxes on health care companies.

Vox populi, vox nihili.