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Politics & Porn

Politics & Porn

February 4, 2003
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" What they all seemed to agree on, was that it was ransom money they felt needed to be paid in order to avoid blood on the state's hands. "

Politics and Porn; what may seem as an unlikely combination for some is natural for others. Whether the goal is to be elected to local, county, or state governmental posts, or to Congress – and yes even the Presidency, our country offers opportunity to all – even to porn mongers!

One of the best known personalities in the forefront of “porno politics” is Theresa Reed – known to many of you as the lovely “Darklady.” A prodigious and talented writer who has embraced and lent her support to a number of worthy causes, some of which have nothing to do with the world of online erotica, she recently spoke out on the proposed income tax hike in the State of Oregon.

While this issue isn’t particularly relevant for the majority of adult Webmasters, what is relevant is that we all have a role to serve and a place where we can truly make a positive impact, and if part of the results of our efforts provide a counter-balance to the public’s perception of what a pornographer is, then so much the better. With this in mind, I am going to run her comments from earlier today, delivered at a press conference in Salem, Oregon, addressing the threatened fall-out of Measure 28 and “recommending ways that the legislators -- if they will simply do their jobs -- can avoid enacting the cuts to social services that they insist are unavoidable.” Check it out ~ Stephen

“My name is Theresa Reed and I'm the Campaign Director for the Libertarian Party of Oregon. As you no doubt know, on Tuesday January 28th Oregon voters rejected a three-year income tax increase. This was very much in keeping with Oregon's tradition of resisting general tax increases - a tradition reaching as far back as 1930 when the state adopted its current income-tax system.

What was notable in this election was not that this proposed tax increase failed - but that voters turned out in record numbers to make sure that it failed. According to the Secretary of State, 66% of registered voters - 1 million 243 thousand 606 voters to be exact - said "No on Measure 28." As much as I would love to claim that all of those voters are registered members of the Libertarian party, the truth is that they come from all political ideologies, including the Republican and the Democratic parties.

Oregonians are well known for a number of things. Disliking tax increases is certainly one of those things but it is by no means our only claim to fame. As I travel throughout the country, I repeatedly encounter people who praise the famed beauty of our state, our desire to protect the diverse natural environments that attract so many visitors and residents, our ability to keep our cities and towns clean and livable, our hospitality - even to Californians, our spirit of innovation, and our concern for the health and well being of all who live in and visit this wonderful state.

The "No on Measure 28" vote that 55% of all Oregon voters cast last Tuesday was in keeping with all of these laudable virtues. It was not a vote to propel Oregon into a state of social anarchy. It was not a vote to throw the elderly or mentally ill into the streets to die. It was not a vote to snatch away life saving medications from the most poor and vulnerable. It was not a vote to destroy our school system. It was not a vote to release convicted felons or fire state troopers.

It was, however, the sound of 1 million 243 thousand 606 voters from all over the state crying with one voice a single, unified message: "Enough is enough. We will not be threatened into tax increases, especially during a recession. We will, however, hold our elected officials responsible for their actions."

If those actions include sacrificing the poor, the elderly, the young, the mentally ill, and the very safety of our streets and neighborhoods then Oregonians have a right to know why these things have been done. They have a right to know why they should bow to the demands of fiscal terrorists using the most vulnerable as human shields in a war for dollars. They have a right to know why their elected officials would rather do these things than step up to the plate and once again show the country that Oregon's famed compassion and innovation are not merely the things of legend but of reality.

Prior to the election I and other Libertarians engaged in a number of debates on the subject of Measure 28. One of the things that caught my attention most was that even those who urged a yes vote were unable to summon any genuine enthusiasm for the measure. In fact, they were often apologetic, admitting that it was not a long-term fix and probably not even a particularly good short-term solution. What they all seemed to agree on, however, was that it was ransom money they felt needed to be paid in order to avoid blood on the state's hands. The best argument anyone could muster in support of Measure 28 was a "vote for it or they'll shoot the puppy" defense. I think that's incredibly sad.

Libertarians have long warned that this day would come and we are not particularly pleased to be standing here today knowing that our warnings were both correct and largely unheeded. However, the fact remains that we are here. We can't turn back time. We can't change the past. But we can affect the future.

It is our hope that those who supported Measure 28 were not so much interested in increasing taxes but, rather, in making sure that even in lean times the weakest and most vulnerable would be protected. So far, there have been very few alternative solutions offered to the drastic and horrifying cuts that have been threatened. Our legislators appear frozen with indecision, preferring to work on future budgets rather than seek ways to save the lives they claim will be lost.

Because of this, the Libertarian Party of Oregon comes before you today to say that it is unacceptable to release felons, to deny children an education, and to send the weak to their deaths merely because saving their lives might inconvenience political business as usual. Further, we come to you with solutions. We come to you with hope where others have insisted there can only be despair. We come to you with innovative alternatives to business as usual, alternatives to death and ignorance and fear. We come to you with solutions that can save lives and help set this state back on the road to recovery, to health, and to prosperity - if only we have the courage and integrity to take these first steps.”

As I said previously, this issue is not one which will affect many in our community, but it will affect many in HER community – a community that Theresa is a part of, and cares enough about, to try and make a positive impact upon. The point of this exercise has been to illustrate the fact that we all can – and should – play a role in the diverse society that surrounds us. Who knows, maybe one of you will be our next President! Good luck ~ Stephen


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