Friday, January 11, 2008

MacPherson disqualifies himself

Rep. Greg MacPherson is running for Attorney General, and he has a tough primary fight on hands. Judging from a recent campain release he put out, he apparently thinks he has to pander to his party's left wing to get the nomination. But in doing so, he has pretty much demonstrated that his legal mind is not competent to be Oregon's AG.

Here's the deal: MacPherson sent a campaign e-mail complaining about the "Washington-based religious zealots" who filed a lawsuit to stop Oregon's civil union law from taking effect, asking that signatures that were disqualified from the referendum petition be reinstated so that the voters would get to vote on the measure.

MacPherson's legal error is that he charged conservatives with only caring about "states' rights" when it suits them, but when a state passes some law conservatives don't agree with, the principle of states' rights goes out the window.

The question I have for MacPherson: Are you that stupid? Or do you just assume that WE are that stupid?

First, there is no such thing as "states' rights." States don't have rights. States have powers. Only individuals have rights.

It is revealing, however, that liberals so often make this mistake. They actually believe that states have rights, just as they often believe that government creates wealth.

But the more significant legal error MacPherson makes, one that cannot be just passed off as a semantic error, is his assertion that the civil unions lawsuit is an example of misguided "federalism."

He gives a couple examples of where Oregon has passed some law but then the federal government stepped in to prevent the law from going into effect. Then he claims the civil union lawsuit is another example.

It's not.

Referendum petitions were circulated to allow voters to vote on the civil unions law. It failed by 95 signatures. More than 20 signatures were excluded by the county elections officials because they supposedly did not match the signers' signatures on the voter registration card.

The petitioners went to the signees, got them to sign an affadavit attesting that it was indeed their signature, and took the affadavit back to the counties. Some counties still refused to allow the signatures to be counted as valid!

For each signature let back in, it results in 19 more valid signatures in the total count, since the procedure of validating petitions is to sample 5% of the signatures submitted.

So the lawsuit is simply asking the question whether the government should have the power to unilaterally disqualify signatures without any check or balance on whether the reason for invalidating it was valid. If it is a question of "states' rights," (states' powers) then the question is whether the state should have the unfettered power to exclude signatures from petitions for any reason whatever.

Apparently MacPherson thinks it should.

And he is running for Attorney General.

Terrific.

4 comments:

Righty said...

McPherson's sentiment and bias is identical to the current Secretary of State Bill Bradbury who has used his office to impose his bias upon our State leading to this case and problems with signature invalidation.

McPherson's brand of ethhics, or lack thereof, is in the same model.
He should do well in the election.

Mick said...

There is a legal/political concept that is often referred to as "State's Rights" - I remember using it in debate arguments in high school. In my opinion, McPherson's statement about Republicans has been correct the last few years, specifically with regard to gay marriage and abortion. When the decisions of the individual states doesn't coincide with the Republican stance, they turn it into a Federal issue.

However, McPherson is way off base in describing the ADF injunction as another example. The court system, including the courts at the federal level, is there for a reason as a necessary check and balance.

It would seem to me that McPherson could make a better argument about the plaintiff's standing - i.e. do out-of-state petitioners have the right to stop Oregon statutes from becoming law?

Rob Kremer said...

Mick -
The plaintiffs are actually the people whose signatures were excluded. The out of state organization is just providing the legal services. So, standing is not an issue.

Bob said...

Most prominent in this is a yet another example of a dishonest Democrat misrepresenting an issue to make easy their arguements and advocacy.

McPherson attempts to use this case about valid signatures being invalidated to portray himself as a more worthy champion of the lefty-GLTBQ voting block than his fellow lefty candidates.

He can't be so dumb as to think the case is how he presents it so he has to be deliberate and therefore unethical.

However, this dishonest method he uses is so common place with lefties, on issue after issue, that he probably felt obligated to use it. Proud even.
A badge of honor for the progressive coalition of the Ignorant, Dishonest, Incompetent Oregon, Tyrants.
Also know as IDIOTs.