Democrats: The Sky is Not Falling

Everyone’s been talking about the recent Massachusetts special election.  But an equally important election has gone largely unnoticed.

On Tuesday, Oregon voters approved an increase in the state income tax for the first time in 80 years.  They also passed a ballot measure that raised 67 taxes on businesses.  Funds raised from the new taxes are specifically designated for a number of for public education and social services.

Tax increases????  What happened to all those anti-tax teabaggers we’ve been hearing about?  You know, the ones who propelled Scott Brown to success in Massachusetts.  The ones Republicans think will deliver them in the upcoming midterm congressional elections.

“It was a pretty good offer the proponents were making,” Pat McCormick, a spokesman for the lead opposition group, Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes, said sarcastically. “Here’s a way of paying for things that’s not going to cost you anything.”

That sounds like sour grapes to me.

In addition message superiority, supporters appeared to have been better organized.  Led by teachers’ and public employees’ unions, they spent about $7 million on the campaign.  They mobilized members and sent mailers to targeted middle-class voters.  Their website also provided easy ways to spread the word and take action.

“I hope Democrats learn two things from this successful effort.” said SparkLight Communications President Joseph LaMountain.  “One is that the message matters.  The second is that grassroots organization and voter mobilization are the best way to win at the ballot box.”

For more details, please read the recent New York Times article on the topic.

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