On Monday we wrote about Oregon voters’ rather … what’s the word? … shortsighted approval of Measure 37, which many folks felt would eviscerate the state’s largely successful (if slightly bloated and overly complex) land-use planning rules.  Today, Ore. Gov. Ted Kulongoski said that voters didn’t actually mean to eviscerate the program, and that he would pay out Measure 37 claims to landowners rather than abandon the rules.  

Good luck with that, Ted.

David Hunnicutt, head of the property-rights group that pushed the measure, promptly replied: “Ninety-nine out of a hundred people who’ve had their rights taken from them don’t want a check. They just want the ability to use their land the way they could when they purchased it.” Why, it’s almost like he did want to eviscerate the rules!

Not wanting to commit political suicide, Kulongoski rushed to assure voters that he wouldn’t do anything crazy, like raising taxes.  Instead, he’d pay out the claims by taking money from other programs — say, “health programs, programs for senior citizens, and help for low-income children and families.” Lovely.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.