Slant 11-8-2012

• Votes are still being tallied as we go to press this week, but we’re encouraged by what we’re seeing. Eugene City Councilor Betty Taylor gets another four years, and it’s clear Juan Carlos Valle would have done much better if he had run in a different ward. Chris Pryor, for example, was unopposed in Ward 8, but he got only 3,600 votes out of 8,200 ballots cast in that ward. That’s a huge undervote in that race, and also in the race for the County Commission seat that now belongs to Pat Farr (16,816 undervotes). Our Lane County Democrats in legislative races did well against their heavily funded Republican rivals, helping break the tie in the Oregon House. Reps. Paul Holvey, Phil Barnhart, Nancy Nathanson and Val Hoyle cruised to easy victory and John Lively captured the hard-fought open race against Joe Pishioneri in District 12. Republicans should take some lessons here: Going negative, being deceptive and aligning with the radical right are not effective campaign strategies in the 21st century. And it’s worth noting that Fergus McLean managed to get 30 percent of the votes in Republican Bruce Hanna’s District 7 without spending a nickel.

Our endorsements differed from the R-G’s. The daily has never endorsed Betty Taylor, one of Eugene’s most popular city councilors ever. We favored Kate Brown for secretary of state and the daily picked loser Knute Buehler. We liked James Eagan for Court of Appeals and he won despite the R-G’s endorsement of Tim Volpert. We picked a loser in Measure 80 that would legalize pot, but the daily did not support the successful Measure 85 sending the corporate kicker to schools. And hey, the Guard favored Rep. Bruce Hanna who won District 7 despite our endorsement of long-shot Fergus McLean.

• Woohoo! Who wants a jail tax? No, seriously. Lane County polled residents over the summer and the result from the pollster was that voters just might go for jail bed tax on the ballot. Commissioner Pete Sorenson wants to make sure that public safety in Lane County isn’t just about keeping people in jail but also that services like WomenSpace, which deal with other aspects of public safety such as domestic violence and who have also experienced massive budget cuts, are part of the conversation. After the coal train debacle when the Board of Lane County Commissioners was set to vote on supporting coal exports without letting the public know in advance, we’re delighted the board is going to get its agendas out early and with more information. Go make your voice heard to the board on everything from jail taxes to coal during its public comments time slot  at around 9 am Wednesday mornings (Tuesdays after Dec. 1) and stay tuned to our blog and news briefs for County Commission updates (and snark). 

Kudos to voters who approved (or did not ban) gay marriage in Washington, Maryland, Minnesota and Maine, and to those who voted for regulated pot in Washington and Colorado. We’re jealous. Maybe when we have concrete proof that gay marriage isn’t contagious and no apocalypse happens, Oregon can work on catching up.

California’s Bears have given the Ducks trouble in recent years. But, with Oregon picked as 28-point favorites Saturday at Berkeley, the 4 pm game is likely to offer little suspense. So, while Oregon runs past the Bears, consider these pressing questions: Could one team offer up two Heisman Trophy finalists? Will Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas carry the ball enough against Cal to stay in the Heisman race? They have hardly played in the second half of some Oregon blowout wins. That’s good sportsmanship and keeps them healthy, but may make it harder for a Duck to win the Heisman. Watch for Barner to run for 200 yards and Thomas for another 100, while the Ducks roll by 30.

• How not to flirt with an EW staffer: Stagger up to us at Cowfish and loudly complain that the bar got Best Singles Scene in our Best of Eugene issue, but you’re not meeting any hot chicks. It really helps your cause if you leer drunkenly as you bemoan the lack of babes that are susceptible to your slurred advances. Hey dude, it’s a readers’ poll; you chose Cowfish — we just count the numbers. Our annual Best of issue was flying out of the red boxes this past week, our rainbow-and-unicorn bedecked awards are up all over town and we are curious: What categories are we missing, what should we cut and what can we do to make Best of Eugene even better? It’s all about you, so comment at, drop us a note at or hit us up on Facebook.

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