September 17, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORIES

 

Is Oregon Governor Kate Brown Asking Taxpayers To Fund Her Re-Election Campaign?

Forbes

According to Oregon law, public funds cannot be used for a political purpose. Yet, data we’ve compiled at OpenTheBooks.com shows a troubling pattern of Governor Kate Brown mixing taxpayer-funded travel with campaign fundraising events. This pattern could allegedly violate state law or the governor’s own ethics policy, which states, “employees are expressly prohibited from using any work time or any state resources to conduct political activities.” Now, our auditors found Brown repeatedly blurred the lines between state agency resources and campaign activities – for years. Brown is exercising the power of incumbency and engaging in old-school politicking on the public’s dime. Repeatedly using taxpayer money to lower the cost of campaigning and leveraging her office to raise campaign cash seems to be a violation of Oregon law, and the governor’s ethics standards.

 

Editorial: Brown gets down and dirty

The Bulletin Editorial Board

Brown has said more than once that she wants what’s good for Oregon, good schools, good health care, and so on, and we believe her. So, too, does Buehler, though the two have clear differences on how to get there. Chief among them are how the state should pay for things like Medicaid (Oregon Health Plan) and more money for schools. It’s that vision, and the road to its fulfillment, that should be the focus of the governor’s race this year, not false accusations and name-calling. Brown knows that, of course. But if the polls are correct, she’s facing a challenger with a chance of unseating her in a couple of months. She doesn’t want to lose, and that’s understandable. Less understandable and far less high-minded is her willingness to make false claims about her opponent, or to allow her campaign staff and other supporters to do so.

 

Editorial: Gov. Brown has a disappointing record on openness

The Bulletin Editorial Board

Gov. Kate Brown swept into office in 2015, declaring: We “must strengthen laws to ensure timely release of public documents.” But her record is disappointing. We wrote recently about the way Brown is denying the public access to legislation state agencies plan for the 2019 session until after the November election is over. That’s not timely release of public documents. And we remembered other incidents that subverted open government. Her administration has done things such as prioritized controlling information, not releasing it; manipulated the use of redactions; tried to conceal disciplinary records; and made figuring out the law a guessing game.

 

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Labor Commissioner Proposes Fining Legacy Health $5.2 Million For Depriving Employees of Required Breaks

Willamette Week

“Under Oregon law, employers must provide one 30-minute unpaid meal break to anyone working a shift of six hours or more,” Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s agency explained in a statement. “Businesses must also provide two paid 10-minute rest breaks in an eight-hour shift and three such breaks in any shift longer than 10 hours.” A BOLI investigation found that in 2017 Legacy hospitals had deprived workers of required breaks on 5,156 occasions. It could be liable for penalties of $1,000 for each instance.

 

CAMPAIGNS & INITIATIVES

 

Oregon Poll Shows Leads For Gov. Kate Brown, Opponents Of Immigration Measure

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Pollster Tim Nashif, who heads the market research firm, has been active in Republican politics in the state. But he says he conducted the survey independently from any political group — and his findings provide little comfort for Republicans seeking to end their 32-year losing streak in Oregon gubernatorial elections. Brown in recent weeks has stepped up her advertising, firing back at TV commercials from both Buehler and a third-party group that had attacked her. ‘There’s something that has taken place in the last couple of weeks, because he has seemed to slip a little bit,” Nashif said. The Buehler campaign declined to comment on the survey. But Republicans officials were quick to release portions of a poll conducted for No Supermajorities PAC, which is helping fund GOP legislative campaigns. That Sept. 6-11 survey of 2,831 voters, by Causeway Solutions of Washington, D.C., showed Buehler at 43 percent and Brown at 41 percent. The margin of error is just under 2 percentage points. Preston Mann, co-director of the PAC, said he thought his group’s poll provided a much more accurate picture of the race. “I’m extremely confident in the numbers we got back,” he said.

 

Buehler cushioned by $1.5 million in Knight cash

The Bend Bulletin

The latest campaign finance statements filed by Buehler earlier this week include official confirmation of the $1 million contribution from Knight that brings the total he has contributed to the Buehler campaign to $1.5 million — he gave $500,000 last year. It’s the largest donation by an individual to a candidate in the history of Oregon politics. Buehler’s cash on-hand ballooned to $1.6 million after getting the Knight check on Aug. 13, after falling below $200,000 just after the May 15 primary. The money in and the money out were reported this week.

 

Gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler and his political battles

The Bend Bulletin

During the 2015 session, Buehler voted consistently with the Republican minority on tax and spending issues. He etched a reputation as a moderate by championing bills to allow pharmacies to issue on-demand birth control and to require insurance companies to cover a full year of refills for all contraceptives. Buehler said he has tried to make his own political path. He is a moderate — a moderate Republican. That is something he said the state needs when both chambers of the Legislature have Democratic majorities.

 

Measure 105 opponents launch statewide campaign

Portland Tribune

Opponents began their campaign with voter-outreach efforts in several cities, including Portland, where more than 150 volunteers gathered at the Oregon AFL-CIO offices before they canvassed neighborhoods. “Voters are starting to pay attention. We have less than 50 days until the election,” said Andrea Williams, leader of the official No on 105 campaign and executive director of Causa, Oregon’s immigrant rights group. “This is a really critical time for us to start talking to voters.”

 

ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

 

​Even in better times, some Americans seem farther behind. Here’s why.

Portland Business Journal

As new research illustrates, two groups in particular have stalled: whites without a college degree, and blacks and Hispanics with one. Both are being far outpaced by college-educated whites. “America has been a story of getting ahead, of progress,” said Morris P. Fiorina, a political scientist at Stanford University. “There’s been no story of progress — for them.” The lingering economic insecurity has fired resentments, sharpened identity politics and fueled populism on the right and left that is upending hierarchies in the Democratic and Republican parties.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH

 

CDC: Oregon has 31st highest obesity rate in the nation

Portland Tribune

In Oregon, about 29.4 percent of the population is classified as obese, defined by the CDC as those with a body mass index of 30 or above. The new data was self-reported during telephone interviews conducted by the CDC and state health departments. On average, the more education you have, the slimmer you tend to be. Just 22.7 percent of college graduates are considered obese, compared with 35.6 percent of adults lacking a high school diploma. Weight also varies depending on race. African-Americans are believed to have the highest rates of obesity, followed by Hispanics and then whites.

 

EDUCATION

 

Battle Ground Teachers Vote To Approve Salary Contract, End Strike

Oregon Public Broadcasting

By a vote of 687-6, teachers with the Battle Ground Education Association overwhelmingly approved a new two-year salary contract. “99 percent,” union president Linda Peterson announced to a standing ovation at Battle Ground High School after tallying the votes. New teachers in the district will now start with a salary of $48,593, with the most experienced teachers with advanced degrees making up to $93,731. Next year’s salary range will increase by inflation costs decided by the legislature. “I am so excited and proud that we were able to get this done,” said Peterson.

 

LOCAL

 

Report Finds Salem Knew For Years That Algae Could Threaten Water

Oregon Public Broadcasting

While the assessment, by a Cincinnati-based consultant, found much to praise in the way Salem handled a water quality hazard Oregon had never seen, it also found that the city was caught off guard even though it had known for years algae toxins posed a possible threat. Perhaps more concerning, the report found that new safeguards put into place by the city might not be enough if an algae bloom threatens Salem’s water again.

 

OPINION

 

Another voice: Integrity needed in the electoral process

Anna Williams

I am proud of the work I have done in our community, and proud of my service on the CAC. As a social worker, I show up every day for the Oregonians who need it most. As an educator, I mentor and train students to do the same. As a parent, I show up every day for my sons, helping to raise thoughtful and kind people. Showing up and caring for my neighbors is my job, and I am good at my job. When it comes to the needs of our community, there are no “little things,” and there is so much work to be done. I intend to spend the next two months focused on the issues, and I hope Jeff Helfrich and his supporters will do the same.

 

Letters to the Editor for Sept. 15

Hood River News

I met Jeff Helfrich when he was running to replace Mark Johnson as our State Representative for House District 52. Since then, I have had the opportunity to talk with Jeff and meet his family at numerous community activities around the town of Hood River. I have been very impressed by Jeff’s high energy level and interest in participating with community groups. Jeff was appointed last November to fill the remaining time of Mark Johnson’s term as state representative for House District 52 when Mark resigned from his seat to take another position. I found Jeff to be very personable, a great listener and well informed on local and state issues. I was quite impressed with his record of public service in a variety of capacities, from military service, to a career as a police officer, to serving on the Cascade Locks City Council. I believe all these experiences have prepared him well to be an effective State Representative. Please join me in supporting Jeff Helfrich this November for House District 52.

 

Taylor Tupper a reader’s choice for state representative

Herald and News

I attended a dinner recently where Taylor Tupper, who is a candidate for State Representative from District 56, spoke to the group. Taylor will be trying to unseat Werner Reschke who has filled that position for one term. She will learn what she needs to learn and will always make decisions based on what is right for people. Taylor will be at several events in Klamath County right up to the election….at a rally at Moore Park on Sept. 23 and the Democrats Fall Fling at the Shiloh on Oct. 13, to mention a couple. I urge you to make the effort to listen to and talk with Taylor, and then to vote her in as our state representative. You won’t be sorry.

 

Who is the real Teri Grier? Mailers differ

The Register-Guard

After viewing two different mailers just days apart, I wonder if other people are as baffled as I am about the real Teri Grier. If you’re a Democrat in House District 9, you might think Teri Grier is a third party, feel-good candidate who is ready to save folks from the tragedy of a health care bankruptcy. If you’re a Republican or Independent, on the other hand, you’ve seen quite a different mailer that paints a slanderous picture of Caddy McKeown as some kind of scheming shrew playing poker with your money. There’s even a gratuitous Portland liberal jab thrown in for good measure. Don’t be fooled, voters.

 

Measure 104 will create tax accountability in Oregon Legislature

Statesman Journal

More than 20 years ago, Oregon voters passed a ballot measure preventing politicians from raising revenue without support from a three-fifths majority, as opposed to a simple majority. The goal was to encourage bipartisan efforts and prevent highly partisan political agendas passed by close, controversial votes. Now, politicians in Salem and their lawyers are changing the rules, weakening the definition to make it easier to raise revenue without the three-fifths majority approved by Oregon voters. Just this past year politicians raised $1 billion in new revenue targeting small businesses, and only small businesses. The new pattern is to eliminate exemptions, deductions, and credits, which they claim are not tax increases therefore do not require a three-fifths majority vote. Measure 104 will close the loophole and clarify once again that politicians cannot raise revenue without a supermajority vote. It will also help keep homeownership affordable for all by protecting the state home mortgage-interest deduction and

property-tax deduction.

 

Don’t preserve tax breaks and loopholes for Oregon special-interest groups

Statesman Journal

Measure 104 is a recipe for gridlock in Salem. It would expand our existing (constitutional) supermajority (three-fifths) requirement so broadly that it would be nearly impossible to get even routine business done. Oregon is already one of 14 states in the country that requires a supermajority to raise taxes. This measure does nothing to protect Oregonians — all it does is protect special-interest loopholes.

 

Editorial: Eudaly’s proposed tenant protections miss the mark

Oregonian/OregonLive

Portland’s elected officials are doing their part to promote the $652.8 million regional housing bond going to voters this November. They have contributed to  the campaign, offered their heartfelt support in public meetings and signed on as official endorsers for the bond. But if they really want to help get and keep families housed, they should focus on how their own policies stand in the way. Because regardless of the bond’s success or failure, the duration and severity of this housing crisis hinge on whether leaders encourage the market as a whole to add more housing or quash it. Unfortunately, a sweeping proposal being developed by Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly falls squarely in the latter category.

SOCIALISM versus CAPITALISM

SOCIALISM (What we get if we let the Democrats get control of Congress again)

 

How’s Socialism Doing in Venezuela? https://www.prageru.com/videos/hows-socialism-doing-venezuela (I lived there for two years in 1975-1977)

I Really Don’t Feel Like Submitting To Socialist Tyranny. Do You? https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2018/09/06/i-really-dont-feel-like-submitting-to-socialist-tyranny-do-you-n2515865?utm_campaign=inarticle

CAPITALISM (What TRUMP is bringing back to AMERICA the Beautiful)

 

Worker wages accelerate to a nine-year high: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-adds-201000-jobs-as-wage-growth-accelerates-to-nine-year-high-2018-09-07

 

“The U.S. is the hottest economy in the world today. We’re crushing it,” https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/09/17/kudlowontrumpboomandchina/

 

The Democrats measly attempts at stopping the TRUMP SCOTUS nomination:

 

Here: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/09/10 AND here: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/09/08 AND here: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/09/06

 

Americans for Liberty PAC

Upholding the Constitution in the Tradition of our Founding Fathers

Executive Director Lanny Hildebrandt

1615 4th Street

La Grande, OR  97850

(541) 963-7930

State Audits Uncover $106.2 Million in Questionable Spending

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Oval Secretary Richardson

Secretary of State

DENNIS RICHARDSON

The State of Oregon

DATE: September 12, 2018

State Audits Uncover $106.2 Million in Questionable Spending

Under Secretary Richardson’s Administration

SALEM, OR — Today, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson released a statement documenting approximately $106.2 million in questionable spending by four state agencies from January 2, 2017 through June 30, 2018. One audit that contributed to this result was the Audits Division’s report on improper Medicaid payments. Auditors estimated that the agency unnecessarily paid nearly $74 million, including duplicate payments and payments for ineligible Medicaid clients.

“When I came to this office, I promised to increase transparency, accountability, and integrity in Oregon government,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. “Identifying $106.2 million in questionable spending of tax dollars helps fulfill that promise. I’m proud of the Audits team not only for identifying questioned costs and savings, but also for their important role in providing increased transparency regarding how state government programs are working and identifying and recommending improvements in program efficiency and effectiveness that will prevent wasteful spending going forward.”

The Audits Division has consistently identified more in revenue enhancements, savings, and questioned costs than the audits themselves have cost. While this measure does fluctuate over time, the 2017-18 fiscal year was an especially successful return on audit investment. This equates to $14 in questioned costs uncovered for every $1 spent conducting the audits.

Since June 2018, another example of the division’s exceptional work was uncovering $641,835 of dubious lease payments made by the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE). ODOE paid rental charges defaulted on by a now-defunct solar power company that had also been given loans through the Small-Scale Energy Loan Program that they could not pay back.

The Audits Division anticipates the identification of additional questioned costs, savings, and revenue enhancements from audits currently underway.

The Audit Plan for next year will include audits explicitly focused on cost savings and increased efficiency. Also planned is the establishment of a full-time Medicaid audit team, which is anticipated to have high returns on investment.

“Oregonians should have trust that the state is spending their hard-earned tax dollars efficiently, appropriately, and for the good of their communities,” said Richardson. “This is personal to every taxpayer, and it’s personal to us in the Secretary of State’s office. We will continue working tirelessly to ensure transparency, efficiency, and accountability to Oregon taxpayers.”

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September 12, 2018 Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Oregon Prisons Were Ordered to Protect Veteran Benefits. They Tried to Find a Loophole Instead.

Willamette Week

When the Oregon Legislature set up a mechanism last year to collect debts from inmates in state prisons, it made an exception. It barred the state’s Department of Corrections from taking money from veterans’ disability benefits. But prison officials built in a work-around that would force former service members behind bars to pay court fines before they could buy food, clothing or sundries from the commissary. Critics say the Oregon Department of Corrections is unfairly and perhaps illegally trying to take money from imprisoned veterans.

 

Professional Republican Bomb-Thrower Jonathan Lockwood Takes Some Parting Shots at Oregon

Willamette Week

From the minute I became the spokesman for the Senate Republicans, I set Kate Brown in my cross hairs, and whether it was working on Knute Buehler’s campaign, Greg Wooldridge’s campaign or while sipping yerba mate in the morning, my goal was to tank her numbers, and I did.

 

CAMPAIGNS & INITIATIVES

 

Gov. Kate Brown’s Campaign Claims A Hate Group Endorsed Her Opponent. It Didn’t.

Willamette Week

“Knute has neither sought nor would he accept the endorsement of this organization,” Buehler’s campaign said in a statement responding to WW’s questions about the alleged endorsement. “Unfortunately Gov. Brown has a history of lies and smears about Knute’s record.” When asked why the campaign said OFIR had endorsed Buehler when it had not, a spokesman for Brown’s campaign said the press release referred to informal and implied endorsements of his legislative record and policy positions in comments made by Kendoll to OPB and by OFIR in social media posts.

 

Nike CEO takes public stance on sanctuary law repeal

East Oregonian

“Nike employs people from all over the world; we can attest to the unique value, contributions and innovations that people from diverse backgrounds add to Nike and to Oregon’s culture and economy,” wrote. “Ending Oregon’s sanctuary law will damage Oregon’s longstanding track record as a place that attracts diverse talent from across the globe.”

 

Statesman Journal partners with nonprofit on political candidates’ background checks

Statesman Journal

Most businesses run job candidates through a background check before hiring, to ensure there are no surprises or issues that didn’t come up during the interview process. With that in mind, the Statesman Journal is partnering with a nonpartisan, nonprofit called Verify More to do background checks on Mid-Valley political candidates. The Statesman Journal hopes the partnership will improve voter confidence in Mid-Valley candidates and decrease the chances of candidates inflating their credentials or omitting information.

 

LOCAL

 

Oregon hiker likely killed by cougar, authorities say

The Register-Guard

Search and rescue teams found the body of Diana Bober, 55, on Monday off a trail in the Mount Hood National Forest in Welches, about 40 miles southeast of Portland. Her body was several miles from where searchers found her car last week near a ranger station.

 

Josephine County’s Attempt To Upend Oregon Cannabis Laws Has Failed

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A U.S. magistrate judge has recommended dismissal of a lawsuit Josephine County filed against the state of Oregon, finding the county has no standing to sue the state, and hasn’t proved it’s been injured by laws allowing growth and consumption of recreational and medical cannabis. The recommendation will now go before a U.S. district judge, who will decide whether to dismiss the case.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Transparency takes another hit with state’s unwarranted secrecy

The Oregonian Editorial Board

The motivation for the refusal to disclose these forms may or may not be the pending election. It may or may not be a housekeeping move. But one thing is clear: It’s another disappointing stand by a governor who pledged transparency from Day One. Brown should direct the Department of Administrative Services to release the documents and accept the scrutiny.

 

Editorial: Gov. Openness should release records

The Bulletin Editorial Board

This year, with Brown up for election, the policy for releasing such records has changed. There are new instructions sent to agencies about the forms: “Although it is expected that agencies will have discussed legislative concept ideas with stakeholders, agencies are directed to treat this document as confidential and privileged and, accordingly, not to share the text of this form outside of state government before legislation is drafted and finalized.” That will be after the election is over. Does that make any sense at all except to hide what the government is doing from the public?

 

Can candidates execute plans on homelessness?

The Register-Guard

State action on homelessness hinges on the central issue in the governor’s race. Would Democratic Gov. Kate Brown or Republican Rep. Knute Buehler be the more effective leader? The governor’s most important role arguably is as CEO of state government. That requires the wisdom to hire effective staff, including agency directors; the leadership to get state agencies working in the same direction; and the tenacity to keep atop that work instead of jumping from priority to priority. Candidates always campaign on their vision for the state. The electorate must assess whether they have the skills, expertise and experience to convert that vision into reality, whether on homelessness or any other issue.

 

Oregon Audits Division Earns Fourth Consecutive National Impact Award for Audit on Affordable Housing

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

Oval Secretary Richardson

Secretary of State

DENNIS RICHARDSON

The State of Oregon

DATE: September 11, 2018

Oregon Audits Division Earns Fourth Consecutive National Impact

Award for Audit on Affordable Housing

SALEM, OR — Today, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson announced the Oregon Audits Division has won its fourth consecutive impact award from the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES).

The performance audit entitled, “Oregon Housing and Community Services: Critical Improvements Needed to Help Ensure Preservation of Affordable Housing for Low-Income Oregonians,” received a 2018 Certificate of Impact.

NLPES is a national organization associated with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The society supports legislative program evaluation and performance auditing with recognition for superior performance. The society’s Certificate of Impact is awarded to those organizations whose reports had a documented public policy impact within their respective states.

“The fact that NLPES has chosen to award the Oregon Audits Division with a Certificate of Impact four years in a row demonstrates the division’s ongoing commitment to improving state government,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. “I am proud of the excellent work our auditors do every day in service to Oregon.”

The Oregon Housing and Community Services audit, released in December 2016, found that:

  • The agency that was created to be the state leader on housing, Oregon Housing and Community Services, had fallen short on its efforts to preserve affordable housing.
  • The agency needed to improve strategic planning and data management.
  • The agency also needed to address cultural and organizational challenges, such as poor communication, inconsistent staffing, and inadequate policies and procedures.

Reports receiving impact recognition must meet certain criteria, which include program improvements as a result of implementing audit recommendations and documented impacts from the perspective of the Legislature, public, and other organizations. Award judges found the audit met this criteria in the following ways:

  • On the day the audit was released, a new director started at the agency, who used the audit recommendations as a blueprint to effect substantial, positive change.
  • Audit findings and recommendations helped propel important legislation to preserve affordable housing in the state, including three significant bills that were passed in the 2017 legislative session: HB 2002, which expanded laws regarding preservation of affordable housing; HB 2852, that directly addressed the audit recommendation to expand the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit Program by extending the sunset and increasing the credit by $8 million; and HB 5530, which increased funding for housing preservation efforts by $25 million in lottery bonds.
  • The agency also received additional staff, which the director attributed directly to the impact of the audit.

The Oregon Audits Division previously earned the NLPES Certificate of Impact in 2017 for its audit on public records; in 2016 for its audit on state debt collection; and in 2015 for its audit on the state’s adult GED program.

Members of the audit team included: Sandra K. Hilton, Jamie Ralls, Rebecca Brinkley, and Danielle Moreau.

Read the full audit on the Secretary of State website.

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September 11, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORIES

 

These iconic images from 9/11 are truly unforgettable  

Statesman Journal

The country watched in horror as hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The attack killed 2,996 people, making it the deadliest foreign attack ever on U.S. soil. Each anniversary brings a resurgence of memories from that fateful day, but the heartbreaking visuals are particularly striking. Here are the most memorable photos from the September 11 attacks.

 

US marks 9/11 with somber tributes, new monument to victims

The Associated Press

Margie Miller was among the thousands of 9/11 victims’ relatives, survivors, rescuers and others who gathered on a misty Tuesday morning at the memorial plaza where the World Trade Center’s twin towers once stood. She came to the site from her home in suburban Baldwin, as she does 10 or so times a year, to remember her husband, Joel Miller. Only a few fragments of his remains were recovered. “To me, he is here. This is my holy place,” his widow said before the ceremony began a moment of silence and tolling bells at 8:46 a.m., the time when the trade center was hit by the first of two terrorist-piloted planes. Victims’ relatives who had brought signs bearing photos of their loved ones wordlessly held them high.

 

Deaths from 9/11 diseases will soon outnumber those lost on that fateful day

Statesman Journal

Seventeen years out from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, nearly 10,000 first responders and others who were in the World Trade Center area have been diagnosed with cancer. More than 2,000 deaths have been attributed to 9/11 illnesses. It will get worse. By the end of 2018, many expect that more people will have died from their toxic exposure from 9/11 than were killed on that terrible Tuesday.

 

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Capitol roundup: Brown says no plans for property tax changes

The Bend Bulletin

Gov. Kate Brown says her budget proposal, due after the November election, will not include a property-tax proposal. “We’ve been getting a lot of calls on property tax reform,” Brown told reporters Thursday. “My office is not developing a policy and there will be nothing in my budget on this issue. It would require a constitutional amendment.” Brown said she would deliver a balanced budget proposal, as required by law. She confirmed aides are talking with proponents and opponents of property-tax reform but reiterated that her budget would not initiate any action on the issue.

 

ELECTIONS

 

On The Sidelines Of Democracy: Exploring Why So Many Americans Don’t Vote

Oregon Public Broadcasting

“I feel like my voice doesn’t matter,” she said on a recent evening at a park in East Providence, Rhode Island. “People who suck still are in office, so it doesn’t make a difference.” Davis might sound contrarian, but she’s not. Although these days more Americans say they’re enthusiastic about voting in a midterm election than at any point in the last two decades, come Election Day, nonvoters like Davis will still probably be the norm. For every 10 adults eligible to vote, only about four cast a ballot in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections.

 

Washington Post Puts Oregon Governor’s Race in National Context

Willamette Week

The Post put Oregon in the context of other blue states, including Vermont, Maryland and Massachusetts, where most voters are Democrats but the governor is a Republican. Although Democrats here and across the country are likely to tar Republican candidates by linking them to President Donald Trump, a polling expert told the Post that may not be successful.

John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, cautioned that the allure of Republican governors in some traditionally Democratic states appears to be persisting, despite the Trump presidency, because swing voters still prefer some ideological “balance” in state governments. “There is a real thirst and desire for people to see state lawmakers focus on issues that affect them in tangible ways, and sometimes that means reaching across party lines,” Della Volpe told the Post.

 

CLEAN ENERGY

 

Appeals court backs Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program

Portland Business Journal

Trade groups representing gasoline, diesel and ethanol producers, sellers and users argued the program, which requires fuel providers to meet gradually declining carbon intensity targets, discriminates against out-of-state fuels. But as it had in 2014 when it ruled on a largely identical California program, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the Oregon program discriminates “against fuels based on lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, not state of origin.”

 

California Sets Goal Of 100 Percent Clean Electric Power By 2045

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating the electricity target on Monday. He also issued an executive order calling for statewide carbon neutrality — meaning California “removes as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits” — by the same year. The bill specifically requires that 50 percent of California’s electricity to be powered by renewable resources by 2025 and 60 percent by 2030, while calling for a “bold path” toward 100 percent renewable power by 2045.

 

LOCAL

 

Portland mental health center failed to stop suicide after problems surfaced, report says

Oregonian/OregonLive

A patient died by suicide at the Unity Center for Behavioral Health two months after state investigators informed the psychiatric hospital that it was failing to safeguard patients, according to findings from the latest inspection released Monday. The suicide and other problems illustrate the Unity Center’s seeming slowness to fix serious lapses. Those included instances of staff members not properly restraining and secluding patients and not adequately monitoring patients who wanted to harm themselves. Patients also were able to escape.

 

California Woman Sues Port of Portland, Saying Police Tackled Her in Airport Sheraton Lobby

Willamette Week

Blanca Aguirre says Port of Portland police tackled her without warning or explanation, failed to read her Miranda rights, illegally detained her and refused to document her injuries or complaints. Aguirre is the second Latina woman to allege excessive use of force by the Port of Portland police this year. The first was Jathina Campos, who says police gave her a black eye and chipped her tooth in an altercation at the airport.

OPINION

 

Editorial: Health-care taxes for the poor should be broadly based

The Bulletin Editorial Board

Tina Edlund, senior health policy advisory to Gov. Kate Brown, has revealed some of the revenue options being considered in interviews. One she mentioned is to tax employers whose workers are on the Oregon Health Plan — that’s the state’s version of Medicaid. This concept is sometimes called a Walmart tax. The idea is companies that don’t pay their workers enough are getting a corporate subsidy from the government, so they should pay it. But it would likely have may unintended and unwanted consequences.

 

Guest column: Vote no on Measure 105

The Bend Bulletin

Imagine what it would be like if you were an undocumented immigrant and every time you considered reporting a crime to local law enforcement you thought you would be reported to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. What would you do? You would refrain from reporting. By eliminating Oregon’s anti-racial-profiling law, some members of our community will no longer feel safe coming to law enforcement with crime tips, concerns or reports. In turn, crime rates will go up, and we will be less safe. That’s one reason why I strongly oppose Measure 105.

September 10, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORY

 

State sued for withholding proposed legislation

The Portland Tribune

A Portland lawyer Greg Chaimov has sued the state of Oregon to force them to release proposed legislative concepts that have routinely been released in years past. The Oregon Department of Administrative Services in May notified state agencies that the forms would be temporarily exempt from disclosure until Legislative Counsel submits the bill drafts to Gov. Kate Brown’s office for final approval. The deadline for that submission is Nov. 30, “well after the November general election,” according to the lawsuit filed Sept. 5 in Marion County Circuit Court. “We are concerned that this dramatic change in policy is primarily a political decision to prevent public disclosure of legislative concepts that could be damaging to the governor’s re-election effort,” said Rob Harris, co-chair of the IPO. “Especially during an election, there is a strong public interest in disclosure of the administration’s legislative priorities. We believe that good government practice should trump political considerations and call on the governor to reverse this decision.”

 

CAMPAIGNS

 

Election 2018: Knute Buehler and Kate Brown on spending

Oregonian/OregonLive

Oregon’s government never seems to have enough money. Even with the economy purring in 2017, top lawmakers from both parties warned that the state was headed toward painful budget cuts north of $1 billion. The state avoided those cuts, thanks in large part to tax receipts outpacing expectations. But the dire warnings in the best of times illustrated how little control Oregon’s political leaders seem to have over budget growth. While Buehler says the problem is the state’s failure to curb personnel costs and reprioritize spending, Brown supported a plan two years ago to grow the budget by nearly 30 percent by passing new business taxes.

 

Knute Buehler: 4 key positions on spending

Oregonian/OregonLive

Should Oregon trim state government spending by around $300 million, particularly by controlling public employee health insurance costs (Senate Bill 1067, 2017)? Called the bill “faux cost control” and voted “no.”  “It seems like the solution to our big problems is … more government control, be it rent control, be it gun control or now price fixing of the health care sector,” said Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon who objected to a requirement in the bill that public employee health plans to pay no more than double the Medicare reimbursement for services at certain hospitals.

 

Kate Brown: 4 key positions on spending

Oregonian/OregonLive

Should Oregon trim state government spending by around $300 million, particularly by controlling public employee health insurance costs (Senate Bill 1067, 2017)? Signed the bill into law and ranked it among the Legislature’s top accomplishments last year.

 

GOP hopefuls eye unlikely arenas: blue states

The Register-Guard

After handing out pamphlets touting his support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage, Knute Buehler stepped to the microphone at a recent campaign event and vowed that “opportunity” will “replace poverty” and “hope will replace despair” in the state. And if elected, Buehler added, he would govern with an “open mind and a caring heart.” As Buehler spoke in this working-class Portland neighborhood, Rachelle Dixon slipped into the audience, frequently nodding her approval. That was notable, considering that Dixon is the vice chairwoman of the Multnomah County Democrats, in a year in which Democrats hope to punish Republicans up and down the ballot because of disillusionment with President Trump. “There are Republicans I know for sure ‘I would never vote for this person,’” said Dixon, 51. “But when I look at this man and his voting record, I don’t say, ‘Gosh, I’d be scared to be in the room with this guy.’”

 

Gov. candidate Knute Buehler, from Roseburg to Rhodes scholar

The Bend Bulletin

Just northeast of Roseburg is Colliding Rivers Park, where the Little River flowing north slams head-on into the North Umpqua River flowing south. The spot churns and pops with water and air before merging into the main branch of the North Umpqua, now heading tranquilly west. Knute Buehler still visits the place where he spent childhood summers in the 1960s and ’70s. But over time, he says he’s found new meaning in the forces that come in from the left and the right to form a main stream. “Sometimes, conflict can create incredible beauty at the end of the day,” said Buehler, the Republican state lawmaker from Bend who is the GOP’s nominee for governor. “Unfortunately, we aren’t seeing that right now in politics, because things are not mixing. They just hit head-on and try to go over the top of each other. The strength is in the mixing, be it rivers or politics. Ideally, you get the best of what is coming in from both sides.” Buehler, 54, is hoping his political version of colliding rivers will unseat incumbent Gov. Kate Brown and end Republicans’ nearly 32-year drought in winning the governor’s mansion.

 

Brown, Buehler eye Medicaid funding gap

East Oregonian

As the state stares down an $830 million funding gap in the state’s Medicaid program, both gubernatorial candidates say they want to find a long-term funding solution.  Brown’s health policy plan, released Friday, makes clear, among other priorities, that she wants to expand access to health insurance coverage and do so by “optimizing federal funds, funding the program from a broader revenue base and providing a longer and more stable funding timeline.” Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon, said in his July health care platform that he wanted “stable, long-term and broad-based” funding for the program. “Knute believes that providing low-income Oregonians with health care and fully funding Medicaid is a value that we all share,” Monica Wroblewski, a spokeswoman for Buehler, said in a statement Friday. “He is open to a discussion about the best way to accomplish this, but any solution should be balanced, equitable and permanent. And we should start by making the current hospital assessments permanent.”

 

PROTESTS

 

Fifteen Protesters Will Go to Trial on Federal Charges For Blocking ICE Employees’ Work

Willamette Week

“When our government blatantly commits human rights violations while our elected representatives refuse to act, we are morally compelled to take action and stand in solidarity with immigrants, refugees, their children, and their families,” an activist group called the Portland General Defense Committee said in a press release announcing the protesters’ intent to take their cases to trial. “The majority of [the defendants] plan to reject any and all plea deals,” the release continued, “and plead not guilty to all charges on the grounds that ICE is guilty of human rights violations, abusing and terrorizing immigrants, refugees, and citizens.” Most of the protesters were charged with two misdemeanors, including failure to comply with lawful direction of a federal officer and creating disturbances.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

Why most deported parents decline reunification with their children

The Register-Guard

Deep into the extraordinary effort to find deported parents who remain separated from their children, attorneys are learning that about two-thirds want their children to stay in the U.S. rather than reunite as a family in their homelands. The decisions show something government officials have long argued: that migrant families from Mexico and Central America who cross illegally into the U.S. do so largely to get their children across. Having the children flown back to their home countries — where many say they are fleeing gang violence — would seem counterproductive to the parents, even if it results in long-term separation. Gelernt said parents with older children tend to lean more toward keeping them in the U.S. because of their vulnerability to gang recruitment. Parents of younger children tend to choose reunification.

 

HOUSING

 

One Cost Estimate to Solve Portland’s Homelessness Problem? $640 Million Over 10 Years

Willamette Week

Portland City Hall and Multnomah County have estimated how much money is needed to create 2,000 units of supportive housing, the kind of housing that comes with services and is designed to address the needs of chronically homeless people. It’s a big number: somewhere between $592 million and $640 million for the first 10 years. Then they say a sizable investment will be required to keep those services going: $43 million to $47 million a year. More bad news: The need has grown since the county and city started analyzing the number. Over the next 10 years, the county and city probably need 2,400 units, not the 2,000 estimate they started with.

 

BUSINESS

 

Burgerville updates uniform rules to ban buttons after Portland workers wear pro-immigration pins

Oregonian/OregonLive

The fast-food business announced Thursday that it’s updating its written uniform policy so it “represents our long-standing commitment to creating a universally welcoming and inclusive environment for our customers and employees alike,” according to a statement from Burgerville Human Resources Director Liz Graham. The new policy goes into effect next Thursday and forbids items on workers’ uniforms that have political and personal messages.

 

Portland Burgerville Workers Union Threatens Legal Action After Companywide Ban on Wearing Political Buttons

Willamette Week

Burgerville executives yesterday instituted a ban on employees donning political flair including buttons that read “Black Lives Matter,” and “Abolish ICE.” “We wear buttons that say Black Lives Matter and Abolish ICE because police brutality, racist deportations, white supremacy, and fascism do not cease to exist when we clock on at work,” Schlenz says. “Burgerville’s motto is ‘serve with love.’ The union asks who do they serve—white supremacists or its anti-racist workers?”

 

JOBS & ECONOMY

 

Will blue-collar jobs boom last?

The Bend Bulletin

The rapid hiring in blue-collar sectors is delivering benefits to areas that turned out heavily for Trump in the 2016 election, according to the Brookings Institution, a shift from earlier in this expansion, when large and mid-sized cities enjoyed most of the gains. The biggest drivers of the blue-collar hiring surge are the rebound in oil prices, the need to rebuild after disasters such as Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, and rising demand generated by a growing economy. In the past year, the economy has added 656,000 blue-collar jobs, compared with 1.7 million added in the services sector. But the rate of growth in blue-collar jobs is speeding up, while service-sector job growth has hovered around 1.3 percent over the past year. “This is massive for us. We’ve been in an economic downturn for years, actually decades, but this could bring an economic boom to the area,” said Tackett, who is program coordinator of the Advanced Integrated Technology program at Ashland Community and Technical College. The good times might not last. Some economists warn the long-term trends still favor big cities and digitally focused industries. There are signs growth may be tapering off in some blue-collar sectors: Home sales have cooled this summer and manufacturers are fearful of Trump’s trade war.

 

Study: Minimum wage increases in 6 cities working as intended

The Bend Bulletin

The minimum wage increases that started four years ago in Seattle are spreading across the country, but economists continue to study — and disagree about — the impact. The latest look at increased wage floors in six U.S. cities, including Seattle, finds that food-service workers saw increases in pay and no widespread job losses. That reinforces the conclusions the same group of University of California, Berkeley, researchers reached in 2017 after studying just in Seattle. Jacob Vigdor, the Daniel Evans professor of public policy and governance who leads research on the Seattle minimum wage at the UW, has his own criticisms of Berkeley’s approach. Vigdor agrees with the Berkeley study’s findings; his own group duplicated them using its own methodology and data. He said the focus on just one slice of the economy may miss the bigger picture as minimum wages rise. “I think it’s the right answer to the wrong question,” he said, noting that the food-service industry represents only about 30 percent of the low-wage work done in Seattle. “It’s assuming the restaurant industry equals the low-wage labor market, and it does not.”

 

‘Broken’ economics has child care industry in workforce crisis

Oregonian/OregonLive

A dire child care workforce crisis amid a booming U.S. economy is compelling many industry players to turn to business tactics more closely resembling Wall Street than “Sesame Street” — including noncompete clauses for child care workers and client families, college tuition incentives for the workers and non-refundable wait list fees for desperate parents seeking day care slots.

 

OPINION

 

Local control belongs to municipalities not special interests

Statesman Journal

Measure 103 is deeply misleading. Proponents claim it would ban taxes on “groceries,” but there is no tax on groceries and nobody proposing one. The truth is, Measure 103 does nothing to lower the cost of groceries. It protects vaping products and private catering from taxes, but it fails to exempt household necessities like diapers, soap, and toilet paper. Even more confusing? The measure actually prevents the legislature from raising or lowering a wide range of business taxes that hit small businesses and family farmers. So while big, out-of-state special interests would get a sweetheart deal, it would be almost impossible to give local businesses and family farms the tax relief so many need.

 

Two Views: The impact of Measure 103, which would amend Oregon’s constitution

Statesman Journal

Measure 103 would ban state and local governments from enacting taxes on groceries including any on food and soft drinks. It would also freeze the state’s corporate minimum tax for supermarkets. Most importantly, though, if passed, Measure 103 would enshrine these changes in the Oregon Constitution.

 

Keep groceries from ever being taxed in Oregon

Statesman Journal

As advocates for a hunger-free Oregon and longtime board members of Oregon’s statewide food bank, we understand how too often Oregon families struggle to put food on their tables. It’s heartbreaking to see. That’s why we’re proud to be the co-chairs for the “YES on 103 – To Keep Our Groceries Tax Free!” campaign. We have never taxed groceries in Oregon, and we never should.  Taxing groceries is a terrible idea, but politicians and powerful special interests – the same ones opposed to Measure 103 – keep trying.

 

Opinion: Repeal the kicker

Oregonian/OregonLive

Every successful entity – government, business or family – first sets a vision, and then it uses appropriate financial instruments to achieve that vision. None starts with a fixed pot of money and then decides how to spend it. Families buy houses, cars and college educations with loans. Entrepreneurs get loans or distribute equity to open or grow a business. Governments issue bonds and sometimes run deficits to build and maintain investments and services, in good times and bad. The kicker says: No. We cannot rethink our financing because the government must refund revenue above an arbitrary amount, regardless of whether it has met the purposes for which we have created it. We should give ourselves back the power, through our Legislature, to meet our social contract. The kicker should be repealed.

Greg Walden: 31 days. 2,050 miles. 29 meetings. 12 counties. 14,408 messages responded to

31 days. 2,050 miles. 29 meetings. 12 counties. 14,408 messages responded to.

Meeting with the people working on the ground to solve problems in our communities across our vast district is the best way I update my “to-do” list. Throughout the month of August, I sure added to that list. Driving 2,050 miles across 12 counties in our district, I held 29 meetings with concerned citizens, community leaders, local officials, veterans, small business owners, and other hard-working Oregon families.

Clockwise from Top Left: 1) Thanking a Korean War veteran for his service at a recognition ceremony at Warm Springs. 2) Touring Blue Mountain Seeds’ new seed cleaning facility outside of La Grande. 3) Holding a press conference in Medford to call for active forest management to prevent unnaturally catastrophic wildfires. 4) Presenting Luis Alcala an American flag in Hood River in honor of his becoming a citizen of the United States.

I also responded to 14,408 messages from Oregonians who called my office, sent postal mail, or emailed me to share their views on the issues facing our state and country. You can always keep in touch with me through my website at https://walden.house.gov/contact-greg.

And please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance with a federal agency. Just in the last year, I helped 1,335 constituents with cases, more than 46% of which were veterans seeking help with benefits and health care at the VA. You can call my office from Oregon at 800-533-3303, and I will do everything I can to get results for you.

Walden Secures Relief for Oregon Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by Wildfires

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (right) and I met with wheat farmers in Sherman County in July. Sadly, this very wheat farm lost significant crop in the Substation Fire that devastated the region. I worked with Secretary Perdue to secure needed relief for the wheat farmers and ranchers in the district  who were hit hard by the rangeland fires.

This wildfire season has not only impacted our forests and choked our communities with smoke, but also has devastated farmers and ranchers in Oregon. Farmers and ranchers — especially in Wasco and Sherman counties — have lost some or nearly all of their crops to rangeland fires that burned across the region. That’s why I wrote to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in August to request needed relief for those impacted.

Secretary Perdue came to Oregon to meet with me and the local ag community shortly before these fires devastated one of the very farms where we met in Sherman County. I heard from the people hit hardest by the fires who told me that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) could greatly assist them in dealing with this disaster by both authorizing emergency grazing for ranchers who lost substantial forage, and by granting farmers flexibility to stabilize soil following the fires.

I applaud Secretary Perdue’s prompt approval of my request to get our farmers and ranchers the assistance they need to get back on their feet after these fires. To learn more, please click here.

Relief in sight for Oregon farmers, ranchers impacted by wildfires

Relief is in sight for Oregon farmers and ranchers who suffered severe losses after wildfires ripped through Wasco and Sherman counties earlier this year.

Oregon representative Greg Walden wrote Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Aug. 2, asking for assistance for wheat farmers and ranchers impacted by the Substation Fire.

Click here to read more from Fox 12 Oregon.

Senate to Vote on Opioids Package Following House Passage of Walden Bill

Since the House passed my bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid crisis — the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act — (H.R. 6) in June, I’ve worked closely with my colleagues in the Senate to move this package forward. There was a big development last week in our fight against the opioid crisis: the Senate expects to advance legislation in the coming days.

Shortly after I spoke with key Senators last week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnel announced that the Senate will vote on the Opioid Crisis Response Act — the Senate’s legislative package to address the nationwide opioid crisis.

My bill, which passed the House by a vote of 396 — 14, will help efforts to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect our communities, and bolster our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. To learn more about this legislation, please click here.

After the Senate passes the Opioid Crisis Response Act, members of the House and Senate will work together to negotiate a package to send to the President’s desk. Please know that I will use my leverage as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee during these discussions to ensure the final bill will help attack the opioid crisis from all angles and bring needed assistance to people in our communities.

The opioid epidemic is killing more people every year than die in traffic accidents.  Lives are on the line, and it’s good to see members of both parties and both houses of Congress working together to find real solutions.

 

Senate reaches agreement on opioids package

The Senate has reached an agreement on an opioids package aimed at addressing the national epidemic that killed 72,000 Americans last year…..

…. The House passed another package of opioid measures in June, and the two sets of bills would need to be reconciled before becoming law. President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency and on Aug. 20 urged the Senate to pass legislation that tackled the fentanyl problem specifically.

Click here to read more from The Washington Post.

Legislation Moves Forward to Help Consumers Save on Drug Costs

As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’m advancing legislation to help lower what patients have to pay for their medications. Click here to learn more.

The Energy and Commerce Committee — where I serve as Chairman — is working on bipartisan legislation that would ban so-called ‘gag clauses’, which prohibit pharmacists from telling you how to save out-of-pocket costs when purchasing prescription medications. This problem was first brought to my attention by a pharmacist from Grants Pass who told me that as a pharmacist she was precluded — under certain insurance contracts — from sharing with consumers that paying for medication out-of-pocket may be cheaper than going through their insurance plan and paying the deductible. She told me that she once even received a cease and desist letter for trying to help a child with a terminal disease access his medication. That is unacceptable. Senator Wyden is leading the effort in the Senate and I’m doing my part in the House.

These gag clauses have no business in an open and free market place and the legislation I am moving through the Energy and Commerce Committee has broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. To learn more about our legislation, please click here.

Representative Walden says his committee is moving forward with a bill to prohibit ‘gag clauses’

Click here to watch coverage from News Watch 12 in Medford.

Rural Oregon to Receive More than $13 Million to Support Broadband Expansion 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (left) and I met with first responders in Umatilla County in June to discuss how broadband can help them save lives in an emergency. Oregon is receiving more than $13 million from the FCC to support broadband expansion in rural areas.

Oregon will receive $13.7 million through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to facilitate rural broadband expansion. These resources are crucial to help make sure all Oregonians can participate in the 21st century economy regardless of where they live.

Locations in all 20 counties of Oregon’s Second Congressional District will receive this support, and this allocation will help connect more than 10,000 homes and small businesses across our state.

Too many Oregon families and people across rural America lack the broadband necessary to realize the full benefits of the digital age.  While we’ve been making progress there are still too many communities where people are unable to access telemedicine, remote learning, next generation emergency services, and video streaming because of insufficient Internet service.

This funding will further our efforts to close this digital divide in Oregon.  I’m also continuing my efforts in Congress to expand broadband infrastructure to rural communities in our state. I led the effort to pass the RAY BAUM’S Act into law, which reauthorized the FCC and gave the agency additional tools to enhance broadband expansion to underserved communities.

To learn more about these efforts, please click here.

 

Walden Applauds Support For Broadband Expansion In Rural Oregon

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today [8/29/18] applauded an announcement from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that Oregon will receive $13.7 million to support rural broadband expansion. The funding is made available through the FCC’s Connect America Fund Phase II auction, which allocated $1.488 billion in support to be distributed over the next decade to expand broadband to unserved communities in 45 states.

Click here to read more from Klamath Falls News.

Greg Walden to Twitter CEO: “It is critical that users are confident that you are living up to your own promises”

Click here to view my remarks during an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. 

Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool that millions of people around the world use to get information, read the news, and share ideas. Allegations of bias at Twitter has raised serious concerns among its users, which is why I pressed CEO Jack Dorsey for answers during a hearing as to how the social media giant moderates its platform.

I’ve heard concerns from people across our district that certain content and opposing ideas and viewpoints are being blocked, censored, or removed by Twitter employees with no explanation. Oregonians and millions of people across the country simply want the curtain to be lifted to see how these decisions are made and by whom.

Users must be confident that Twitter is living up to the promise, stated in the company rules, “…that everyone should have the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”  The American people want to be assured that Twitter is living up to that mission, and this hearing was important to ensure Twitter remains accountable and transparent to the people who participate in this online “public square.”

To learn more about my hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, please click here.

 

Walden presses Twitter CEO on moderation at hearing

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore, led a hearing Wednesday before the Energy and Commerce Committee with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to seek answers as to how the social media company moderates its platform.

The hearing, entitled, “Twitter: Transparency and Accountability,” addressed concerns about Twitter’s algorithms and its policies for policing content.

Click here to read more from News Channel 21 in Bend.

Care Packages for Military Spouses

The families of America’s service members deserve our gratitude and respect. Last week, I was proud to assemble care packages for military spouses of those currently serving our country away from home.

Thank you to United Service Organizations (USOs) for putting together the care package assembly. Thank you most of all to the men and women serving our country in uniform and their families for the sacrifices you make on behalf of all Americans.

That’s all for this update. Remember, you can always keep in touch with me via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


Please feel free to sign up for my E-Newsletter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you have not already done so.

If you would like to contact me with a follow-up question or comment, you can do so by clicking here.

 

Kate Brown Rewards Donor With PERS Appointment Despite Zero Pension Experience

Oregon GOP Calls Move Troubling, Demands Explanation From Governor

Wilsonville, OR – A new report in the Oregonian is raising questions about Governor Kate Brown’s ability to manage the growing pension crisis, as well as her cozy relation with campaign donors.  The Oregonian reports this morning that Brown has appointed Sadhana Shenoy the new CFO of the PERS board.  Shenoy “lacks any direct experience in pension management or administration.”

Choosing a PERS head that lacks any pension experience would seem to be the very definition of mismanagement, but that’s only the beginning.  Secretary of State records reveal that Sadhana Shenoy is also a direct campaign donor to Kate Brown, contributing to Brown’s re-election campaign just this year.  With this appointment, Kate Brown’s PERS board “would be made up entirely of Portland-area Democrats – one a union leader and two others, including Shenoy, who are donors to Brown’s campaign.”

“This appointment raises troubling questions about whether Kate Brown is rewarding a campaign donor with no relevant experience by giving her a senior government position she lacks standard qualifications for,” said Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier.  “Brown needs to explain immediately why she is rewarding her campaign donor weeks before the election.”

“The PERS crisis is perhaps the most serious crisis facing our state.  When you combine Governor Brown’s gross mismanagement of the critical problems facing Oregon with her chronic pay-to-play cronyism, it’s no wonder that Oregonians are looking for someone else to lead our state.  It’s time to elect Knute Buehler for Governor.”

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