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Wednesday, February 03, 2010


by Scot Siegel

"Oregon Newspapers Agree, Measures 66 & 67 Are Job-Killers . . . We Encourage You to Vote Against Them . . . This Is A Paid Advertisement"

-- after an ad running in The Oregonian
through the month of January 2010

I am a small business owner and have a family
to feed and I am conflicted over these measures
that would keep the mentally ill off the street
and lengthen the shortest school year in the nation

I am conflicted because the anti-tax fiends, 'ahem,
were right to point out the proponents lied to us
about the measures' effects on partnerships, sole
proprietorships, and other small family-owned

businesses, like my wife's tutoring center and
the guy down the street who presses the banker's
suits for a buck seventy-five, and his wife the seamstress
who mends those black dresses of the mayor's wife

I am confused and conflicted because Oregon
schools are the butt of Doonesbury jokes, because
The Oregonian is owned by a republican and edited
by democrats, because I have enough food

but don't know how to give some to the people of Haiti
who have no government and few ways to receive
our gifts; and because, despite my degrees and regrets,
I must confess to being stupid for having voted

with my conscience, for consenting to working harder
year after year, for the same less pay, as I have done
my entire adult life.

Scot Siegel is an award-winning urban planner and poet from Lake Oswego, where he lives with his wife Debbie and their two daughters. Siegel serves on the board of trustees of the Friends of William Stafford. In celebration of Oregon’s Sesquicentennial, the Oregon State Library and Poetry Northwest selected Siegel’s first book Some Weather (Plain View Press, 2008) as one of Oregon's Outstanding Oregon Poetry Books. Pudding House released Siegel’s chapbook Untitled Country earlier this year. Siegel edits the online poetry journal Untitled Country Review.