Ben Cannon, that young, earnest-looking fellow intent on taxing the hell out one of Oregon's finest products represents District 46. District 46 includes the Mt. Tabor neighborhood, where I grew up (and where my parents grew up and still live). In fact as his bio reflects, he was raised in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood. So why don't I know this guy?
Ben and his family moved to Oregon when he was five, settling at the foot of Mt. Tabor in SE Portland. After attending West Linn High School...
Oh, that's why! His family settled on Mt. Tabor, but deigned the school system not quite so fancy as that of West Linn, so they decided to ship young Ben far across town. Eh, maybe that's why he's a state representative, and I'm blogging.

Now, I'm not saying a price should be placed on Ben Cannon's head. It takes cojones to try and raise taxes on a state's most valued product. It'd be like taxing oil in Texas, or meth in North Dakota. But do we really need the price of a pint to rise by $2.00? $2.00!!! Keep in mind, this is, in all honesty, one of Oregon's most lucrative exports.

Fortunately, you can politely give Representative Cannon a piece of your mind. He'll be having a little "coffee shop conversation" at Bipartisan Cafe on Thursday evening, from 7-8 pm.

Just, you know, mention there might be a middle ground...like taxing beer, I don't know, $.25 per pint more? Maybe don't destroy the unique brewery culture Oregon has built up over the years, being as it's a bad economy and all. Just a suggestion.

Addendum: As my always tax-averse dad pointed out, the fact I even mentioned a $.25 increase means Ben Cannon has already won, in that he just randomly came up with a ridiculous figure, so citizens wouldn't be upset when the number was lowered dramatically, but taxes still increased. It's an old trick.

Also, as dad pointed out, Portland's breweries won't absorb the tax...they'll just up their prices to compensate for the loss. That means, of course, that consumers will be paying more in a time when there's less money to spend, or they just won't buy beer at all, which will cause Oregon's smaller brewers to falter and send larger brewers (like Widmer and the notoriously conservative Rogue Brewing) to states with lower beer taxes (possibly right across the Columbia).

Also, despite living in the Mt. Tabor area for over 5o years, and knowing everyone, my dad is unfamiliar with Ben Cannon. He knows everyone, especially someone who claims to have lived in the area so long. Where did you really grow up, Ben Cannon?


  1. I am so mad about this! They are saying six packs could go up by $2-4. We cannot let this happen! Everyone needs to protest. Our beloved microbreweries would be so hurt by this.

  2. im driving on my iphone blog. beer money piss crap. no rehab crap. people driving too fast on left and right. communist crap.

  3. i don't get this. the tax is to help cover the cost of rehab? so everyone who doesn't have a drinking problem will buy less and people with a problem will be paying for their own rehab? i think jordan is right, we all might just go to washington to buy beer, drinking problem or not. when july hits we can make beer and fireworks runs across the river. if you want a ride let me know.

  4. "It'd be like taxing oil in Texas, or meth in North Dakota." <-- HA!

    Also, I like that your dad is often the voice of knowledge in your blog entries. (That's not sarcasm. I think it's very endearing, plus I think our parents are how most of us come up with our varying perspectives, whether we'd like to admit it or not, and whether we agree with our parents or are trying to distance ourselves from their opinions.)

  5. In Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings, high beer prices are a sign that evil is in control. Really. I always had my questions about the spiritual forces at work in Oregon, but now I'm sure. Next they'll be standardizing all the beer to make it taste like Bud Light and stamping "666" on every bottle.

  6. I'm trying to decipher Don's comment. From what I can tell, using Jordan's geographical references... Don is texting from somewhere in North Dakota.

  7. What if we propose a trade - a higher beer tax for the disbanding of the OLCC. I would pay more for beer if it meant I could buy liquor in a grocery store like EVERY OTHER STATE (except maybe Utah. And Colorado?). But not too much more - $2-4 more per six-pack is definitely too much.

  8. I bet he didn't grow up in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood.

    "...settling at the foot of Mt. Tabor in SE Portland" could be many places, but you're right, if he grew up there since he was 5 you'd think we'd know him or his family somehow.

  9. aha. a little more sleuthing and it's revealed that he actually moved to west linn: http://www.votebencannon.com/meet.html

    "Ben and his family moved to Oregon when he was five, settling at the foot of Mt. Tabor in SE Portland. His family later moved to West Linn, where his father was director of a pre-school, and he graduated from West Linn High School in 1994."

    it's still unclear how long he lived in the mt. tabor area.

  10. he now lives somewhere near montavilla/lents: http://www.repbencannon.com/june_19__2008_newsletter

  11. Wow, we were thinking about moving back to Oregon. Maybe not.

  12. Interesting.

    Last November my county finally overturned an ancient law. We can now, finally, serve and buy alcohol on Sundays. However, one of the towns in our county is still a dry town. They roll up their sidewalks on Sundays to prevent the Good People from breaking the 10 commandments.

    So. There's always that.