OK, with everything else going on, this one's not exactly on the front burner. But one thing I'd like to know from the Guv candidates is how many chips they're ready to spend to reverse the 1990s initiative measure that commits every dime of gas tax and auto registration money to highway construction, or closely-related expenditures.
If that weren't the law, we might not be on the verge of throwing another hundred million highway dollars at the Sisyphean task of unclogging Highway 62, the major road thrusting north out of Medford towards Crater Lake and Bend. This particular rathole has swallowed more ODOT cash over the years than I can remember. Yet as I write these words 62 resembles a long linear parking lot for more hours of the day than ever. I don't think a thoughtful argument can be made that this new slug of cash will make a difference for more than a very few years. Even local county commissioners are reluctant to accept this particular check, and in the world of cash-strapped local government, that's just weird. Weird enough to deserve its own column.
We're going to hear plenty from 2010 candidates about Oregon's great and glorious Green heritage, and how it's the key to a future worthy of our kids. Working to repealing the car-worshiping mandate on transportation spending would be a good way to show they mean it.