Lowering the Bar “Best of 2009”

Kevin Underhill rounds up four amusing miscellanies at his excellent site. From the fourth:

In June, a committee of the Oregon Legislature stuck some language into a bill that would (I think) have briefly redefined “no” as “yes.” Allegedly, Democrats were trying to head off an initiative they feared Republicans would later put on the ballot, asking voters to reject a spending measure. The bill provided that a vote to reject the measure would be counted as a vote to adopt it:

A measure referred to the people by referendum petition may not be adopted unless it receives an affirmative majority of the total votes cast on the measure rejecting the measure. For purposes of this subsection, a measure is considered adopted if it is rejected by the people.

The bill was amended again a few days later to remove the controversial language, after it became public.

P.S. And another installment missed above (“We are all tarnished by your stupidity.”)


  • Not quite the same thing, but I recently discovered that as opposed to the generally held principle that unless otherwise defined words have their ordinary meaning, the rule of law in NJ is that “and” and “or” may be interpreted interchangeably.

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  • Sounds like the 1974 (1972?) ballot initiative in Colorado, on whether to have the ’76 Winter Olympics in Denver: One of the local newspeople here, describing what the issue meant, said that (paraphrasing) “a ‘no’ vote on the issue means you support the Games here; a ‘yes’ vote means you want the Games out of here.”