I knew and worked with Don on various tax and government limitation efforts since the late 1970s. He was a giant in Oregon’s limited government movement. He gave tirelessly of himself for literally decades to reign in the government he thought was too large and too intrusive.
Perhaps my most endearing memory of Don was how, on an early Sunday morning in 1990, he took time from his own Measure 5 signature gathering efforts to join me and others in front of a Portland-area church as we collected signatures for my Measure 11 campaign, which would have provided full school choice for all Oregon K-12 students. Don didn’t have to do that, but he truly cared about improving education for all Oregon’s children, and so he helped do something about.
Cascade’s first major report in 1991 was about Don’s Measure 5. In 2003 a follow up Cascade report found that in its first ten years, Measure 5 saved Oregon property taxpayers more than $5 billion.
Don went on to help put a number of measures on the ballot, including ones to limit state spending, and term limit politicians. When he died he was working on a 2014 measure that hopefully will prohibit state and local governments from deducting union dues from government employee paychecks.
Don was President of the Taxpayer Association of Oregon and the longtime “President for Life” of the Executive Club, which now meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Portland Airport Shilo Inn. As he liked to tell everyone, the Club is not an activist club, it’s a club of activists. Cascade traditionally gives the first update at most of the monthly meetings. The next one will be no doubt be a sad event because of Don’s passing, but it should also be a time for his long-time friends and new-found ones to come together and reminisce about his life and accomplishments.
Every Oregonian who wants to keep government in check owes Don McIntire a huge debt of gratitude. Our condolences go out to his loving wife Romaine and the rest of his family.