Rest In Peace, Don McIntire

Don McIntire, best known as the father of Oregon’s property tax limitation Measure 5, died unexpectedly this week at his Gresham home. He was 74.

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.

About Steve Buckstein

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5 Responses to Rest In Peace, Don McIntire

  1. Greg Byrne says:

    Well said, Steve. It is a tragic loss for all Oregonians. No one better articulated the principles of limited government. Fortunately we still have the voices of you and John Charles, speaking truth to power.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Steve, thank you for your tribute to our beloved Don.

    Don was an Oregon treasure and his spirit is stamped on Oregon’s Measure 5.

    Don’s Executive Club will feel his loss for years to come. The Cigar Room won’t be the same without him.

  3. Nathan says:

    thanks Don, we are just know waking up, and maybe we can put a stop to these who are out to destroy our country.

  4. Paul Bleeg says:

    Wonderful sentiments Steve. The shockwaves are reverberating down here in the San Francisco bay area where we live under the flawed, but better than nothing, Proposition 13. Don wrote a masterpiece in Measure 5. He was Oregon’s best “public servant” in the last 50 years and he never held public office. That makes sense though!

  5. Returning 2005 to OR from CA (Prop 13) after 45 years, your eulogy/intro to Patriot Don McIntire brings regrets not to have known him. Surely the vaccuum his absence creates will challenge the noblest of efforts from Freedom’s remaining Champions! It’s now, or never! Is there not a Cause sufficient to challenge our noblest efforts?

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