December 4, 2018 Daily Clips

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Capitol Roundup: Dems, GOP set leadership line-ups for 2019

The Bend Bulletin

Republicans have selected Rep. Carl Wilson, R-Grants Pass, as the new House minority leader for the 2019 session that starts Jan. 22. He will replace Rep. Mike McLane, R-­Powell Butte, who has served as leader since 2012. McLane chose to step down from the top House GOP spot after an election that left Republicans at a 38-22 disadvantage. House Democrats have more than a three-fifths “supermajority,” which will allow them to pass tax legislation without needing Republican votes. McLane, who was first elected in 2010 and became leader in his second term, will continue to serve in the House but without a leadership position. Wilson said he would lean on his predecessor for help. “Rep. McLane has given so much to this caucus and to our state over the last six years,” Wilson said. “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.” Wilson knows he has his work cut out for him, telling Oregon Public Broadcasting that with its relatively small numbers, the House Republicans are “not even legislative speed bumps” for the upcoming Democratic agenda.

 

Student success committee finds two big priorities

My Columbia Basin

The Oregon Legislature Joint Interim Committee on Student Success has toured schools throughout the state, listening to local stakeholders for several months. InterMountain Education Service District Superintendent Mark Mulvihill says it appears that the committee will help put rank and file lawmakers on the same page as the educators. The top concern the task force reports on finding is the mental health of students. IMESD is beginning to work on that issue for its member schools this year. “Hopefully, we’ll see some innovation and some funding toward that,” Mulvihill said. “That was the number-one thing that the joint committee identified – behavioral issues.” Mulvihill said the group also learned that career and technical education is vital to high school students in preparing them for the real world, especially if a classic path to higher education isn’t of interest to them.

 

Oregon lawmaker: Cap and trade coming

Capital Press

Cap and trade is all but certain to pass the Democrat-controlled Oregon Legislature in 2019, whether rural Oregonians like it nor not, says state Sen. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario. Under cap and trade, the state would implement a limit on carbon emissions beginning in 2021, which gradually lowers over the course of 30 years. Companies can buy credits on the open market to exceed the limit, and money raised by the program would go into a funding pool for climate-friendly initiatives. The bill aims to reduce Oregon’s emissions from 55 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, to 10 million tons. But as Bentz was quick to point out, those savings are .00125 percent of global emissions, which total 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. “This will not resolve climate issues,” he said. Meanwhile, Bentz said fuel providers will buy allowances to exceed the carbon cap at $16 per ton of carbon dioxide, which he calculated will increase the price of gas by 14 cents per gallon in the program’s first year.

 

Oregon senator to introduce bill to thwart return of bottles, cans bought in Washington

The Columbian

Last year, Oregon increased its deposit from 5 to 10 cents on bottles and cans of soda, beer and other beverages purchased in the state. A more lucrative deposit has raised concerns that more bottles and cans from Washington are being redeemed in Oregon, undermining the state’s redemption system. “We do know that there are problems based on the number of interactions we have with people coming from Washington,” said Joel Schoening, spokesman for the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, the industry-led cooperative that manages the state’s bottle bill. While there are no clear figures on how big the problem is, Schoening said that the annual cost to the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative is in the six-figure range. There’s also anecdotal evidence from both states it’s happening. Oregon state Sen. Betsy Johnson, a Democrat who represents a district bordering Washington, said she’s heard enough complaints that she’ll introduce legislation to crack down on people trying to redeem out-of-state bottles. “I have all the data I need, which is hearing from my grocery stores that they are drowning in out-of-state (bottles and cans),” said Johnson.

 

State public records advocate finds litany of flaws in Oregon’s public records laws

Capital Bureau

Governments in Oregon unreasonably delay handing over public documents or charge too much for that access, and put records of elected officials sometimes nearly beyond reach of citizens, according to a new state report. Those are the findings of Ginger McCall, Oregon’s public records advocate and included in a formal report issued last week by the state Public Records Advisory Council. Her observations are her own, though, based on her experiences in recent months with government officials, reporters and editors and citizens who want public documents. McCall found that Oregon’s public records laws are confusing to government and requesters. It allows government officials to delay or withhold records that should be public, and there is little punishment for agencies who violate the law. If citizens or others want to challenge a government’s decision to withhold public records, the recourse can be a costly court battle. Since April, McCall has trained 1,300 government employees and on Oregon’s public records laws. She has also been called on in 90 instances by reporters and editors for help getting government records. The council’s report is meant to inform Gov. Kate Brown and the Legislature and promote reforms in the law.

 

OREGON LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

 

Brown offers vision but no details at business summit

Portland Tribune

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown did not directly address the biggest question facing her administration when she appeared at the 2018 Oregon Leadership Summit on Monday morning — how she wants the 2019 Oregon Legislature to raise the additional $2 billion needed to balance the proposed budget she released last week. Instead, Brown talked in general terms about the need for “more investments” in issues she prioritized in her proposed budget, including education, health care and climate action.

 

Kate Brown, business leaders differ on Oregon’s problems

Oregonian/OregonLive

Gov. Kate Brown kicked off a meeting of business leaders from across Oregon on Monday by trading praises with a hand-picked panel of executives supportive of Democrats’ push to raise several billion dollars in taxes and fees next year for Medicaid, education and tackling climate change. As Oregon rides the peak of the economic cycle, Brown said, “I believe that the time is now, and I think Oregonians agree with that.” Members of the governor’s panel at the Oregon Leadership Summit in Portland certainly sounded supportive, as they complimented each other on their work addressing the state’s most pressing problems.

 

Business Leaders: Pension Reforms Must Be Part of 2019 Education Solution

Oregon Public Broadcasting

With Democrats dominating the Legislature, and pledging to find big new revenues next year, Oregon business leaders on Monday made what amounted to a plea. They’re asking lawmakers to include in any budget deal significant savings in the state’s ballooning pension costs. And they’re offering up their preferred ideas for when the Legislature asks businesses to pay more. “Our economy is the most volatile in the nation,” said Debbie Kitchin, principal of Portland-based contractor Interworks, during an address at the Oregon Leadership Summit in Portland. “A one-sided solution won’t work.”

 

‘We can do better’ in health care delivery, says CEO at Oregon Leadership Summit

Portland Business Journal

Even with Oregon’s success in increasing the health insurance rate to 95 percent, now is not the time to rest on our laurels, the CEO of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center told attendees at the 16th annual Oregon Leadership Summit on Monday. “We have a lot to be proud of, but Oregon still faces many challenges,” Gill Munoz said. The latest United Health Foundation rankings of healthiest states placed Oregon at No. 20, basically the middle of the pack. Diabetes and hypertension are “increasing the burden on individuals and families,” Munoz said. “It’s not time to fall back on short-sighted formulas of cutting benefits or eligibility” for Medicaid, he said. “We don’t need pockets of health but healthy communities across the entire state. We need all sectors of the economy to come together to raise us to the next level.”

 

BUSINESS

 

A Wall Street rule for the #MeToo era: Avoid women at all costs

Bloomberg

No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings. In fact, as a wealth adviser put it, hiring a woman these days is “an unknown risk.” What if she took something he said the wrong way? Across Wall Street, men are adopting controversial strategies for the #MeToo era and, in the process, making life even harder for women. In finance, the overarching impact of avoiding women can be, in essence, gender segregation. Interviews with more than 30 senior executives suggest many are spooked by #MeToo and struggling to cope.

 

EDUCATION

 

Oregon wins $689,000 grant to promote post-high school education

Oregonian/OregonLive

Oregon has landed a $689,000 grant to help the state eliminate disparities in education rates between the overall population and students from African-American, Latino and Native American backgrounds. The Lumina Foundation provided the grant, announced Tuesday. It has planning, research and other support for states to draw on to try to increase college graduation rates. Tuesday’s money goes to Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission to help the state join a coalition of states that have pledged to improve graduation rates. Lumina’s money will help Oregon identify adults with college experience who have yet to earn their degrees, then contact those people and encourage them to consider re-enrolling. Nationally, Lumina said fewer than 30 percent of African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans have a post-secondary degree. The foundation said the comparable number for white Americans is 46 percent.

 

Oregon Teachers Call For Solutions To Disruptive Student Problems

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Staff at Adams Elementary School in Eugene got so fed up with behavior problems in their classrooms, they showed up in force at last week’s school board meeting. Teacher Ann Piazza recited problems facing students with medical needs — a litany that followed testimony earlier in the evening from parents of kids with such needs. Meg Carnagey followed with a multi-part list of how students disrupt classrooms: they walk out and roam the halls, or they stay and break things or throw room-clearing tantrums. And worse. “That includes […] physical aggression such as hitting, punching, tackling, biting, choking and/or kicking directed at students and staff,” Carnagey read. The letter from Adams’ staff was also on behalf of a neighboring school, El Camino del Rio, but these problems are not just in Eugene. Portland teachers have delivered similar messages. State officials and teachers unions have convened meetings recently to examine the problem. Those conversations come as Oregon legislators discuss making a big investment next year in the state’s struggling public school system. School board members, teachers and legislators all agree that Oregon’s education spending has barely kept up with rising costs, as school outcomes like graduation rates have stayed in the national basement.

 

HEALTHCARE

 

Oregon to expand Medicaid coverage to more hepatitis C patients

Portland Business Journal

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said he will approve a proposal to remove limits on coverage for hepatitis C treatment. The Oregon Drug Use Review/Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee, which advises OHA on prescription drug coverage, on Thursday recommended a change in prior authorization criteria. The change will allow all Medicaid patients with chronic hepatitis C to receive treatment, without fibrosis-related restrictions. “I look forward to approving this recommendation to expand treatment coverage for OHP members,” Allen said in a statement. “Oregon has the highest mortality rate associated with hepatitis C in the country. We have an opportunity to eliminate hepatitis C in our state, and this is a key strategy to get us there.”

 

WILDFIRES

 

‘Enough is enough’

Mail Tribune

Gov. Kate Brown’s wildfire response in her proposed budget offers cold comfort to Southern Oregonians looking for relief from long summers of smoke that have damaged the local economy and endangered public health. “What the governor is proposing is nothing,” said Dave Schott, executive vice president for the Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association. “The disappointment resonates with everyone down here.” “The charge of the Council is to evaluate Oregon’s current system for responding to large fires, and determine whether or not the current model is sustainable. The Council will issue a report in September of 2019 to make recommendations for the future of Oregon’s wildfire response infrastructure,” Brown’s proposed budget stated. Brown also wants to hire a person to look for more grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to offset damages caused by wildfires. Brown’s office didn’t answer requests for a response Friday and Monday, offering only to provide background information on the proposal. “It’s disappointing that, A, the funds are so limited and, B, that the funds are to study the effects rather than doing something about the wildfires,” Hicks said. “I think every summer for the last decade has been a case study in wildfires, and enough is enough.”

 

NATIONAL

 

GOP campaign arm reports ‘cyber intrusion’

Oregonian/OregonLive

The National Republican Congressional Committee said Tuesday that it was hit with a “cyber intrusion” during the 2018 midterm campaigns and has reported the breach to the FBI. The committee provided few details about the incident, but said the intrusion was conducted by an “unknown entity.” “The cybersecurity of the committee’s data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter,” spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement. “To protect the integrity of that investigation, the NRCC will offer no further comment on the incident.”

 

Trump declares himself ‘Tariff Man’; markets plunge

Oregonian/OregonLive

The economic agreement President Donald Trump said he reached with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Saturday showed signs of unraveling Tuesday, with the White House threatening new penalties against Beijing and multiple officials seeking to downplay expectations for an eventual deal. Trump, in a series of Twitter posts, threatened to slap a range of import penalties on Chinese products if they did not make major changes in their economic relationship with the United States. “President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will,” Trump wrote. “But if not remember, I am a Tariff man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power.”

 

Senators warn Trump against more attacks on Fed

Portland Business Journal

President Donald Trump was taking a “dangerous” path by attacking Jay Powell and legislation might be needed to protect the Federal Reserve chairman, a bipartisan pair of US senators has warned. Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democrat Chris Coons from Delaware said in an interview that the US president could attempt to take a similar approach to Mr Powell as he did to former attorney-general Jeff Sessions, whom he sacked after the midterm elections. The pair floated the idea of legislation to preserve the Fed’s independence after Mr Trump complained that he was not being “accommodated” by Mr Powell and that he was “unhappy” with his selection of chairman. Mr Flake, Mr Trump’s loudest Republican critic in the Senate, offered the example of Zimbabwe as a “really severe case of what happens when presidents overrule the central bank. We don’t want to go that direction.”

 

Shutdown fight over wall is likely delayed

The New York Times

House lawmakers filed a two-week stopgap spending bill Monday that would ensure that the government remains fully funded as the nation mourns former President George H.W. Bush this week. The measure, which includes funding for the Homeland Security and Interior departments and other federal agencies, would push a showdown over funding for a wall on the southern border to Dec. 21, just before Christmas. It is expected to be passed by unanimous consent this week, according to people familiar with the talks.

 

Wyden: ‘Health care should be a basic human right’

Portland Tribune

For 90 minutes, Wyden, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1996, answered questions from the community as well as from Tualatin High School students. One came from a community member who wanted to know the senator’s stance on the Green New Deal, or Congressional stimulus packages that focus on the environment and climate change. Wyden said if ever there was a wake-up call, it came after Thanksgiving when President Donald Trump’s own scientists laid out a plan as to how dire climate change has become. “This is urgent business,” Wyden said. He said there are currently are 40 separate tax breaks for fossil fuel providers. “I am going to propose throwing them into the trash can,” the senator said, adding he is pushing for three tax breaks that would benefit the environment.

 

LOCAL

 

Increased speed limits in rural Oregon have been deadly

The Bend Bulletin

The East Oregonian analyzed ODOT crash data and OSP news releases to get an idea of how many people died on the roads 26 months before and 26 months after the speed limit increase went into effect. Total deaths went up from 60 to 66, representing a 10 percent increase. Over the same time frame, traffic deaths on other state roads fell by 3.5 percent.

 

Audit Flags Problems With Portland’s Environmental Agency

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A new audit finds problems with how the City of Portland is managing environmental restoration projects and “green streets” designed to control stormwater. The Bureau of Environmental Services is spending millions on projects aimed at improving water quality, restoring wildlife habitat and preventing flooding, but auditors found the bureau often can’t prove those projects are meeting their goals. “The Bureau cannot report on overall progress because there is no  inventory of restoration projects on which to base reporting, none of the projects we reviewed had quantifiable goals, and there are no protocols for consistent monitoring or data collection,” the audit states.

 

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler ‘expects’ to run for re-election

Portland Tribune

Mayor Ted Wheeler now says he expects to run for re-election despite a comment last month that indicated the opposite was true. His new comments came as political circles continue to buzz about what Wheeler muttered in the presence of a reporter for The Oregonian — that he “can’t wait” for his term as mayor to end in two years.

 

OPINION

 

Opinion: Gov. Brown’s budget offers opportunity to transform K-12 education

Oregonian/OregonLive

Our schools are struggling in well-documented ways: Oregon students have one of the shortest school years nationally, classroom crowding has mounted as schools cut teaching positions to save money, and as a result of decades of underfunding, graduation rates are among the lowest in the country. By failing to act for 28 years, we have failed our children. Now, however, we have strong signs of hope on the horizon. Realizing that hope will require hard decisions about reforming our revenue system to pay for public services, including schools.

 

Editorial: Gov. Brown should tell Oregonians what taxes she wants

The Bend Bulletin

Gov. Kate Brown’s new proposed budget and policy agenda has some nice ideas — and some that are completely wrongheaded. Brown aims to spend $2 billion more to improve education, help families with child care, add more affordable housing, add more state troopers, add more auditors and add more. Those new goodies sound great. But we need to know the math. Where does the money come from? Running government like a business would mean when you outline a bunch of great things to buy or invest in, you need to show where the money comes from. Anything else is monkey business. Even running a home budget, we’re sure Oregonians can draw up their own wish lists real quick. There’s got to be a responsible plan to pay.

 

Opinion: Gov. Brown should make audits a priority in Oregon’s state agencies

Oregonian/OregonLive

Gov. Brown can send a powerful message not only by approving resource requests but also by calling for the implementation of all the recommendations in the Secretary of State Audits Division report to strengthen and standardize the internal audit function across state agencies. By implementing those recommendations, state agency internal auditors would be better able to assess risk and offer assurance on performance, ultimately bringing the best possible service to Oregon’s citizens.

 

Our Opinion: Tough call crucial for easing PERS debt

Portland Tribune Editorial Board

This coming year, there’s a way to give those school districts a little relief. It would take some political guts, but we call on Oregon lawmakers to make the tough call. The Legislature should suspend next year’s income tax “kicker” refunds and use the money to reduce the pension debt saddling our public schools. The Oregon Constitution provides for lawmakers to suspend the individual kicker rebates if there’s a two-thirds vote in both chambers. Lawmakers have only suspended the individual kickers once, back in 1991. Suspending the kicker rebates will be hard for Republicans who treasure them as a brake on government spending. But public schools are in crisis, and this is the prudent, fiscally conservative thing to do. And schools are more popular among GOP constituents than the state or local governments. Democrats have long positioned themselves as the champions of public schools. We ask them to prove it next session by helping schools clear out some of the mountains of pension debt that were imposed on them without their consent.

 

My View: Oregonians give schools mixed grades

Portland Tribune

In late October, Oregon’s Department of Education released its much-awaited report card for Oregon schools. The report showed us two things: One, that schools haven’t made much progress since the last one; and two, that education is of high enough interest to Oregonians that the report’s timing became a political football in the governor’s race. As we approach the 2019 Oregon legislative session — and once again, the state tries to balance its budget while ensuring adequate funding for all education programs — we wanted to ask Oregonians’ opinions about education in this state. The answer depends on which schools you’re asking about. Oregonians have slightly more faith in their local schools than they do in schools across the state. Forty-two percent feel their own districts are doing a good job of educating, while 30 percent feel the same about the state’s schools, and 45 percent think schools statewide are doing a poor job. The largest gaps in perceptions about school performance are between members of different political parties and those with different political ideologies. For example, 51 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of liberals think their local schools are doing a good job. Just 33 percent of Republicans and only 27 percent of conservatives agree.

 

Brown’s answer to fire and smoke an embarrassment

Herald and News

With a summer of choking smoke still fresh in local residents’ minds, Gov. Kate Brown’s solution is to create a committee to study the state’s wildfire response. She’s allocated $400,000 for said study in her proposed budget that totals $83.5 billion. That’s billion with a B. If that news has smoke coming out of your ears, you’re not alone. In her budget message, Brown says she will issue an executive order establishing something called the Governor’s Council on Wildfire Response: “The charge of the Council is to evaluate Oregon’s current system for responding to large fires, and determine whether or not the current model is sustainable. The Council will issue a report in September of 2019 to make recommendations for the future of Oregon’s wildfire response infrastructure.” Next September. Anyone who spent the last summer in Southern Oregon can tell the governor, and anyone else who cares to ask, whether the current model is “sustainable.” We don’t need to wait until next September — when the 2019 fire season likely has burned tens of thousands more acres and cost hundreds of millions of dollars — to know that what is needed is not another study, but action.

December 2, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORIES


State Senator Says Culture At The Oregon Capitol Hasn’t Improved
OPB
For months, a group of lawyers, former lawmakers, judges, lobbyists and other stakeholders have been working to address culture change at the Salem statehouse. The Oregon State Capitol Workplace Harassment work group is nearing the end of its task and is expected to submit final recommendations to the state Legislature in the next couple of weeks. Former Republican lawmaker Vicki Berger told Gelser that she feels the group’s key charge is to shift attitudes. “We have to change the culture,” Berger said.

Brown, business leaders to talk taxes, spending Monday
Portland Tribune
One of Oregon’s oldest and most respected business organizations says the 2019 Oregon Legislature should raise personal and corporate taxes — if lawmakers also rein in the cost of benefits to public employees.

George H.W. Bush: Oregon’s reps on Capitol Hill commemorate the 41st president
The Oregonian/OregonLive

George Herbert Walker Bush, the nation’s 41st president and the commander-in-chief whose administration gave Portland the nickname “Little Beirut,” died Friday at 94. Rep. Greg Walden, who represents Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District, is the state’s sole elected Republican in Washington, D.C. Walden said Bush was “a towering figure of kindness and dignity, the kind of which we may never see again.”


GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Oregon’s business lobby undermined by divisions, electoral setbacks and scandal
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Oregon businesses are thriving amid the strongest regional economy in a generation. Politically, however, the business community is a wreck.

College presidents bemoan budget limbo under Gov. Brown’s new plan
The Oregonian/OregonLive
The presidents of Oregon’s seven public universities said they will have to implement double-digit tuition hikes and cut certain programs if lawmakers approve Gov. Kate Brown’s recommended budget for the coming two years.

Top takeaways from Gov. Kate Brown’s $23.6 billion budget proposal
The Oregonian/OregonLive
The governor wants lawmakers to pass a large tax increase — $2 billion —primarily to pay for a longer K-12 school year, smaller class sizes in kindergarten through third grade and an expansion of career and technical education in high schools. The governor didn’t address how elementary schools would find space for additional classes. Brown also wants the Legislature to give schools $200 million more than budget analysts said is needed for them to maintain the status quo; she would get some of that money by cutting higher education.

Kate Brown’s win opens up Oregon’s 2022 governor’s race
The Oregonian/OregonLIve
It’s been just three weeks since Gov. Kate Brown won re-election, but already potential candidates to succeed her are laying groundwork for possible bids. With Brown unable to run again in 2022, the Democratic field is wide open for the first time since 2010.

Washington Gov. Inslee Forms PAC In Move Toward Possible Presidential Run
OPB
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has formed a federal political action committee and started soliciting contributions, signaling an important next step as he decides whether to run for president in 2020, the public radio Northwest News Network and The Seattle Times have learned.


LOCAL

Many vacancies atop Portland bureaus at key time
The Oregonian/OregonLive

Six Portland bureaus have acting or fill-in directors, an unusually high number of vacancies atop the city government amid efforts to modernize and set long-term plans during a period of rapid growth.

Rural highway fatalities increase after speed limit hike
East Oregonian
For the first time in decades, the state was raising speed limits on some of eastern and central Oregon’s most traveled highways. The Eastern Oregon section of Interstate 84 and Interstate 82 were now 70 miles per hour. Nearly the entire length of Highway 97 and several other segments of highway in the region were bumped up to 65 miles per hour.

Five days later, the first person died on one of the affected roads.

Rural Oregon kids hospitalized in cold medicine overdoses
Portland Tribune
Four local youths were hospitalized recently as a result of overdosing on over-the-counter cold medicine and law enforcement and Jefferson County Juvenile Department staff are aware of several other cases.

NATIONAL

Trump praises George H.W. Bush and his legacy, putting aside past feud with family
The Washington Post
President Trump hailed George H.W. Bush on Saturday as a “truly wonderful man” and announced plans to attend his Washington funeral, setting aside years of animosity with the Bush political dynasty that he toppled in his takeover of the Republican Party.

US, China reach 90-day ceasefire on tariffs in trade dispute that has rattled markets
The Oregonian/OregonLive
The United States and China reached a 90-day ceasefire in a trade dispute that has rattled financial markets and threatened world economic growth. The breakthrough came after a dinner meeting Saturday between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.

OPINION

The extraordinary life and times of George H.W. Bush
The Washington Post
George H.W. Bush was caught between worlds. As president, he could be himself at last.He was, by then, an Eisenhower Republican, whose prudence was displayed first when the Berlin Wall came down, next when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, and Bush, when expelling him, stopped short of invading Iraq. Presiding over the orderly end of the Cold War and the vast coalition for Desert Storm, Bush earned the lasting admiration of a discerning posterity, a judgment more important than the one rendered by the undiscerning electorate that in 1992 limited him to one term.

Brown’s answer to fire and smoke an embarrassment
Mail Tribune
This is leadership? With a summer of choking smoke still fresh in local residents’ minds, Gov. Kate Brown’s solution is to create a committee to study the state’s wildfire response. She’s allocated $400,000 for said study in her proposed budget that totals $83.5 billion. That’s billion with a B. If that news has smoke coming out of your ears, you’re not alone.

Skepticism a reasonable response to climate report
The Oklahoman
The German government’s aggressive efforts to transition to green power have not prompted rioting (yet), but they have raised living costs substantially, burdening the poor. And, even though renewables make up about 40 percent of Germany’s electricity supply, that nation’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

The “Tax the Rich” Delusion of the Democratic Left
The Daily Beast
When confronted with how to pay for their extraordinarily expensive policy agenda, the answer of liberal lawmakers, analysts, and advocates is nearly always the same: tax the rich. The “just tax the rich” rhetoric remains empty because the numbers simply do not add up. Wealthy families and corporations are not a bottomless ATM available to finance a socialist utopia.

Conflicting New Estimates of Illegal Immigration
National Review
The spectacle at the border as those seeking to enter illegally, or to do so on bogus claims of seeking asylum — which will lead to their immediate release — has refocused the country on the question of illegal immigration. The Yale study makes it clear that whatever one may think of Trump — or if caravans from Honduras constitute an “invasion” — the conventional wisdom about illegal immigration may be wrong. If the Yale scholars are anywhere close to being right, the problem needs to be looked at as being far more serious than even many conservatives assumed.

 

 

 

November 30, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORIES

State pays $1.25 million for death of 15-year-old foster child
The Oregonian/OregonLive
The state of Oregon has agreed to pay $1.25 million to the family of a 15-year-old Albany girl who died under the watch of child welfare workers.

Tolls on I-5, 205 steps toward federal approval; draft answers few questions
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Oregon will seek federal approval next month to charge drivers to use sections of Interstate 5 and 205 in the Portland area. The state released a 48-page draft application Thursday to the Federal Highway Administration, and the Oregon Transportation Commission will vote, and potentially give the application its final go-ahead, at a meeting Dec. 6. The application would then go to federal authorities for consideration.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Merkley wants to phase out all gas vehicles
Portland Tribune
Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Rhode Island U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse introduced legislation on Wednesday they said would put the country “on the path to achieving 100% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the coming decades.”

Despite more Democratic control, Malheur County legislators see opportunities
Malheur Enterprise
State voters gave Democrats a clear majority in the Legislature but Cliff Bentz and Lynn Findley believe compromise and building alliances across party lines will pay dividends for local voters.

Gov. Brown budgets for continued battle with Trump
East Oregonian
Oregon’s government has been at legal war with President Donald Trump and his administration for two years. This week, it moved to arm itself for more fights. Gov. Kate Brown carved out $2 million in her proposed 2019-21 budget for suing the Trump administration.

LOCAL

New license system launches
Mail Tribune
Oregon hunters and anglers will be able to download 2019 licenses and tags on their smartphones, tablets or computers beginning Saturday as the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife dumps its old point-of-sale licensing system for a new web-based one.

Portland Diamond Project has agreement for ballpark at NW Portland marine terminal (renderings)
The Oregonian/OregonLive
An effort to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland passed an early milestone Thursday when backers said they’d settled on a site for a new ballpark: Terminal 2, the expansive marine cargo site in an industrial district northwest of the Fremont Bridge.

Salem-area residents get warning as Salem Health, Blue Cross contract nears end
The Statesman Journal
About 2,700 Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon customers on Medicare received letters over the past few weeks that the insurance company and Salem Health remain at an impasse on contract negotiations as the current contract nears its end. If they don’t agree on a new deal, Salem Health will no longer be an in-network service provider for Regence customers, including those on individual and employer plans.

NATIONAL

Trump joins Canada and Mexico leaders to sign new trade pact
CNBC
President Donald Trump joined the leaders of Canada and Mexico at a global meeting in Argentina on Friday to sign a revised North American trade pact that he called “groundbreaking” and a benefit for “working people.”

House Dems plan to investigate Trump Organization’s alleged Putin penthouse
Washington Examiner
The House Intelligence Committee plans to probe the Trump Organization’s alleged efforts in 2016 to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a free penthouse in a proposed Trump property in Moscow, according to a new report.

OPINION

Opinion: Let’s work together to build a better Oregon
The Oregonian/OregonLive
At the Oregon Leadership Summit on Monday, leaders from some segments of the business community have an opportunity to do something different this year. We challenge them to work together with a more diverse group of businesses and elected leaders to make targeted investments in our public schools and other essential public services and to play a collaborative role in making needed reforms to our revenue system.

Pro-Con: Is carbon tax the right way to fight climate change?
The Daily Astorian
The U.S. leads the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions in the United States have plunged to their lowest level in a generation, while CO2 emissions around the globe have risen 50 percent since 1990. How did we do it? Increased use of natural gas in power generation is the single biggest factor. With technological advances unlocking previously inaccessible natural gas reserves, the affordable, reliable fuel has become the leading source for electricity generation — reducing carbon emissions to levels not seen since 1992.

Why Are Americans So Sad?
National Review
There ought not to be shame about missing the company of others. We are not meant to be alone, and we don’t find emotional succor or physical satisfaction in relationships with screens. The Washington Post suggests that the solution may be found in more funding for mental-health services and drug treatment. Maybe. But it seems to me that we’re facing not so much a drug problem as a heartbreak problem. The road back to emotional health must include a re-emphasis on commitment to family.

SURPRISE: Governor Kate Brown’s Budget Proposal Requires $3 Billion In New Taxes

Says Oregon Should “Grow Up” and Pay For Massive Spending Increases without PERS Reform

Wilsonville, OR –  The Oregon Republican Party issued the following statement reacting to Governor Brown’s budget announcement today:

Newly-elected Oregon State House Republican Leader Carl Wilson has pointed out that despite $1 Billion in record revenues to be spent, the Governor proposes yet another $2 Billion in spending even though it was recently revealed that the state has a “shortfall” of $623 Million.

“The tax hikes to fund Kate Brown’s ballooning budget will hit Oregonians and it’s job creators hard,” stated Oregon Republican Chairman Bill Currier.  “It is important to remember that Governor Brown managed to dupe voters by refusing to reveal before election day what her actual spending and tax plans were.  Kate’s Offensive October Lies have been replaced by her Nasty November Surprise.”

In making her announcement this morning, Governor Brown declared that, given the “current strong economy,” it is time for Oregon to “grow up as a state” and pay for the record spending and tax increases, which she described as “structural changes” to compensate for decades of “underinvestment” that is now needed to pay for “repair, reform, and reinvestment.”

“Kate Brown’s statement was condescending and insulting to the people of Oregon,” said Chair Currier.  “However, this appears to be Brown’s way of proposing to soak taxpayers with multibillion-dollar tax hikes to fund double-digit budget increases without any real reform of the PERS costs that are devouring state and local budgets, especially education.  We will see if her party’s new legislative supermajority imposes this on hardworking Oregonians.”

The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. Its Chairman and officers are dedicated to promoting Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

Link to Online Posting:

https://oregon.gop/kate-brown-budget-requires-big-tax-hikes-2018-11-28

The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. Its Chairman and officers are dedicated to promoting Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

###

Oregon Republican Party

Communications Director

Kevin Hoar
Email:
communications.director@oregon.gop

Website: Oregon.GOP

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oregonrepublicanparty/

Twitter: @Oregon_GOP

XML Feed: https://oregon.gop/rss.xml

Main: (503) 595-8881

Direct: (503) 902-4671

Fax: (503) 697-5555

Headquarters: 25375 SW Parkway Ave, Suite 200, Wilsonville, OR 97070

November 28, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORIES

Oregon Budget Proposal Targets Health, Housing — And Donald Trump
OPB
Gov. Kate Brown unveiled a $23.6 billion budget proposal Wednesday that plugs holes in state health funding, seeks to gain ground in an ongoing housing crisis, expands access to voting and sets aside millions for challenging the policies of President Donald Trump.

Brown’s budget focus: Schools, schools, schools
Portland Tribune
Revealing ambitions for her final term, Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday announced a record expansion of school funding, a revamping of the state approach to energy issues and readying for legal battle against the Trump administration.

Governor focuses on education, campaign finance reform
The Associated Press
Gov. Kate Brown has unveiled her budget and policy proposals for the next biennium, saying she wants to boost education funding, push campaign finance reform, ensure continued access to health insurance coverage and fund legal counseling for immigrants facing deportation.

Oregon Unions Join Nike In New Push For Tax Package In Legislature
OPB
Oregon’s public employee unions joined forces Tuesday with Nike and a group of long-term care providers to launch a new coalition aimed at pushing a major tax package through next year’s Legislature.

Central Oregon school districts support governor’s 180-school-day goal
Bend Bulletin
Gov. Kate Brown has made it clear: She wants a 180-day school year statewide, which would stretch the school year for most Central Oregon students by about two weeks. Administrators in the region’s six largest school districts agree the longer year would benefit students, but some are worried about what it would cost.

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Oregon House Republicans’ New Leader Looking Beyond The 2019 Session
OPB
The new Republican leader in the Oregon House has no illusions about what the next two years hold for his caucus. Given the difficulty Republicans will face in pushing their policy objectives in a year when Democrats plan to take on education funding, carbon pricing, gun control and more, Wilson says his caucus will work toward another end: regaining seats in the next election.
Grants Pass Rep. Carl Wilson chosen as House minority leader
Salem Reporter
State Rep. Carl Wilson, a Republican of Grants Pass, was elected Monday to serve as House minority leader. Wilson said Tuesday he’s equipped to lead the smaller caucus with a “steady hand.”

Republicans maintain monopoly of Marion County Commissioners as Colm Willis wins
The Statesman Journal
Republican Colm Willis has defeated Democrat Bill Burgess for Marion County Commissioner Position 2 by less than three percent in the final results of the Nov. 6 election, which were certified Monday.He will join incumbent Republicans Sam Brentano and Kevin Cameron, who defeated Shelaswau Crier 50 percent to 44 percent in the Nov. 6 election, as Marion County Commissioners.

LOCAL

OSU climate change report a mixed bag for Central Oregon forests
Bend Bulletin
A new report produced by Oregon State University paints a surprisingly rosy picture for many Pacific Northwest forests in the face of climate change, but the impact on forests east of the Cascades is much more of a mixed bag.

Affordable housing controversy in NW Portland heads to City Council
The Oregonian/OregonLive
A neighborhood group has asked the Portland City Council to block a proposed affordable housing development in Northwest Portland, saying it’s too big for the surrounding historic district.

Salem bans carryout plastic bags in city
The Oregonian/OregonLive
The Salem City Council has banned plastic carryout bags throughout the city. The measure gives large stores such as Costco until April to comply while smaller businesses will have until September to follow the rules.

Teen suicide: Salem tackles taboo subject in wake of Sprague crisis
The Statesman Journal
Mental health professionals and school officials no longer view youth suicide as a private family matter but as a public health crisis. They are imploring parents to talk openly to their children and calling on teenagers to help create awareness.

 

Environmentalists sue over acidic ocean off Oregon coast
KATU
An environmental group is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging that fossil fuel consumption has damaged Oregon’s marine waters by causing ocean acidification that’s killing off shellfish.

Pendleton chamber and downtown association join forces
East Oregonian
The Pendleton Downtown Association and the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce are moving in together, but they’re going to keep some of their assets separate.

Why the plan to end homelessness in Salem, Marion, Polk counties stalled for 10 years
The Statesman Journal
A decade ago, Salem-area leaders embarked on a mission — a 10-year plan to end homelessness. But as January 2018 arrived and the deadline neared, homelessness was worse.

NATIONAL

US, Portland home prices grow at slowest rate in years
The Oregonian/OregonLive
U.S. home prices rose at their slowest pace in nearly two years as the national housing hot streak cooled off. The trend follows the Portland area’s lead. Home prices grew 5.1 percent year-over-year, the slowest growth in six years.

Trump slams Fed chair, questions climate change and threatens to cancel Putin meeting in wide-ranging interview with The Post
The Washington Post

President Trump placed responsibility for recent stock market declines and this week’s announcement of General Motors plant closures and layoffs on the Federal Reserve during an interview Tuesday, shirking any personal blame for cracks in the economy and declaring that he is “not even a little bit happy” with his hand-selected central bank chairman.


OPINION

Opinion: Looking to Finland to improve Oregon’s schools
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Oregon is at a critical moment when it comes to education. As such, the opportunity to share learnings from Oregon at an international summit in Helsinki, Finland, was an opportunity we couldn’t miss.

 

 

 

Our Problem in Oregon

We have a national reputation


Portland’s Left vs Far-Left – hotbed of conflict


Masked vigilantes revealed


Not spontaneous, but carefully organized


 

Old Democratic Party? Wearing hoods, masks, beating people with sticks and lighting stuff on fire. (KKK)

New Democratic Party? Wearing hoods, masks, beating people with sticks and lighting stuff on fire. (Antifa)

Who are the Racists?

Who are the racists: Conservatives or Liberals? https://www.prageru.com/videos/who-are-racists-conservatives-or-liberals

 

The socialist who burned down the Democrat Party is back.  He could have helped fix the world by starting with his hometown of Chicago: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2018/11/20/obama-suggests-trump-racism-mommy-issues/

 

After burning the Democrat Party to the ground, Obama is lecturing U.S. again: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2018/09/07/after-burning-the-democrat-party-to-the-ground-barack-obama-is-lecturing-america-again-n2516824

 

Obama campaigned for four Democrats in close 2018 races…they all lost! https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2018/11/19/in-2018-obama-campaigned-for-four-democrats-in-close-races–all-four-lost-n2536149

 

The Liberal Plantation: https://townhall.com/columnists/johncgoodman/2018/11/24/the-liberal-plantation-n2536410

 

Democrats have Oprah: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/11/04

 

Why are they leaving? https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/11/21

 

Cultural appropriation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_appropriation  Now stop that, Elizabeth! https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/11/22

 

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

 

November 20, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORIES

 

Oregon legislators ordered to comply with subpoenas in sexual harassment inquiry

Oregonian/OregonLive

Judge Christopher Marshall said the subpoenas were reasonable in scope and had been issued lawfully by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. But he also found the Legislature’s top officials initially had cause to object, rejecting the agency’s request for a contempt order and $1,000-a-day fines. That would have totaled $1 million. He gave lawmakers until Dec. 5 to provide documents and Dec. 18 to provide testimony.

 

Oregon Legislators Must Cooperate With Harassment Investigation, Judge Rules

Oregon Public Broadcasting

“The court fully appreciates the constitutional arguments, but finds they’re without merit in this situation,” Marshall said from the bench. The judge’s order means top lawmakers and other senior Capitol officials must produce a wide array of documents in coming weeks, potentially dating back more than seven years. Officials including House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, and Senate Minority Leader Jackie Winters, R-Salem, had refused to comply with subpoenas from investigators. Per Marshall’s order, eight Capitol staffers will also need to sit down for interviews with BOLI investigators.

 

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Oregon Senate Democrats will split top budget job

Oregonian/OregonLive

A triumvirate of Democrats will lead Oregon’s budget-writing Ways and Means committee next year, under a unique arrangement that involves the Senate’s appointment of joint co-chairs: Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose and Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, who represents Beaverton and northwest Portland. Rep. Dan Rayfield of Corvallis is the co-chair from the House. Both Johnson and Steiner Hayward were vying for the job, presenting Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, with a tough decision that he apparently resolved by choosing both.

“Senator Johnson and Senator Steiner Hayward are two of the most experienced budgeteers in the Legislature,” Courtney said in a news release. “They are accomplished individuals. One is a doctor. The other is pilot with a law degree.”

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Winter could put state highways on a low-salt diet

Portland Tribune

On the first eleven miles of Interstate 5 north of the California border, the average number of winter crashes dropped from 115 to 54 after the state’s transportation department started using solid salt on a trial basis. Because of the apparent success of that pilot program and directives from the Legislature, the state will continue to use salt sparingly on some major roadways this winter. While it can be difficult to peg the exact cause of crashes, and the figures fluctuate from year to year, officials found that the two areas they tested as part of a pilot program from 2012 to 2017 saw a decline in crashes after they tried salt. “It was amazing to see,” said Dave Thompson, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation. “The salt was really effective, and still we wanted to minimize its use.”

 

POPULATION

 

People Continue to Move to Oregon, But Locals Aren’t Breeding

Willamette Week

According to new data from Portland State University’s Population Research Center, Oregon’s population increased by 54,200 between 2017 and 2018—exceeding 50,000 for the fourth consecutive year. Migration from other places accounted for 88 percent of that growth. That’s because the state’s natural population increase—the number of births minus the number of deaths—is as low as its been since 1930. It’s also a decrease from last year, when Oregon’s natural population growth hit a 58-year low.

 

EXTREMIST GROUPS

 

FBI Calls Proud Boys An “Extremist Group With Ties To White Nationalism” Recruiting in the Pacific Northwest

Willamette Week

The FBI is quoted in police documents as saying that the far-right men’s group called the Proud Boys is an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism,” according to documents first reported by The Guardian. The Guardian’s report uncovers an internal affairs review involving a Clark County Sheriff’s deputy who was fired for her affiliation with the Proud Boys. In that review document, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office—located in Southwest Washington state—refers to an FBI classification of the Proud Boys as an extremist group. The Sheriff’s Office also warns that the local field office has been monitoring recruiting efforts in the Pacific Northwest.

 

CLIMATE & NATURAL RESOURCES

 

Study: NW Forests Will Weather Climate Change Better Than Others In The West

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Climate change is expected to increase drought and wildfire vulnerability in forests across the West. But new research out of Oregon State University shows that some places will fare better than others. The Douglas fir forests of western Oregon and Washington are among the least susceptible to drought and fire over the next thirty years. This was the case even in the extreme climate change scenario, referred to as RCP 8.5, the scientists modeled in the work. “Worst-case scenario,” said OSU co-author Bev Law. “So why did we choose that? Well, we’re still on that trajectory. We’re still globally on that trajectory of not doing very much to reduce our fossil fuel emissions of carbon dioxide.”

 

MARIJUANA

 

Report says Oregon needs separate agency to regulate pot, current oversight inadequate

Statesman Journal

Oregon needs an independent state agency to regulate marijuana rather than relying on three disparate agencies, according to draft recommendations prepared by the Oregon Cannabis Commission. The state needs to “provide a unified and consistent vision on cannabis regulation,” the report states. The cannabis commission is part of the Oregon Health Authority. As it stands, marijuana is regulated by three agencies — the OHA, Oregon Liquor Control Commission and Oregon Department of Agriculture — whose powers and responsibilities extend far beyond pot into public health, alcohol and crop services. Having pot oversight under one roof makes more sense, said Beau Whitney, a senior economist with the Washington, D.C.-based cannabis analytics firm New Frontier Data. Confusion has arisen in the past around whose jurisdiction enforcement would fall to, be it police or the various agencies, Whitney said. “In that sense, it would make things a little more streamlined in terms of the enforcement side.”

 

HEALTHCARE

 

Regence report digs into prescription drug spend

Portland Business Journal

A new report from BlueCross BlueShield shows how generic drugs have reined in costs for the insurance association’s commercial members, but not enough to offset increases in the brand name category. Total prescription drug spending increased 10 percent annually from 2010 to 2017, even as inexpensive generic drugs dominated the market. Generics now make up 83 percent of total prescriptions filled. Branded patent-protected drugs rose 5 percent and branded specialty drugs rose 10 percent. Generic drug spending, meanwhile, dropped 3 percent. Expensive branded prescription drugs accounted for only 17 percent of total prescriptions filled but for 79 percent of total prescription drug spending, at $79.5 billion, according to the report. Those drugs have few or no competitors. Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon has seen similar trends, said David Robertson, director of clinical pharmacy services. But Regence in Oregon has been able to push its proportion of generics to 87 percent, while specialty branded drug spend trends remain in line with the national Blue Cross trends.

 

Businesses take different approaches to lower cost of health care benefits to employees

Portland Business Journal

The cost of health care is on the rise, and businesses aren’t expecting that to change any time soon. The nonprofit National Business Group on Health surveyed 170 large employers earlier this year, after they finalized their 2019 health plan choices, and found that businesses were projecting the cost of providing medical and pharmacy benefits to rise 5 percent in 2019 — making it the sixth straight year of cost increases. That would raise the total cost of health care roughly $700 to an average of $14,800 per employee, according to the survey. Often, numbers like that can push employers to shift costs to employees. But these days, employers are starting to take a different tack, said Tim Cooper, senior vice president of employee benefits at Brown & Brown Northwest Insurance. “Now it’s really about trying to manage costs while minimizing any cost-shift to employees,” Cooper said. “So businesses are moving toward technology and consumer-driven health plans as well as more high-quality networks in terms of providers. They’re also reconsidering how they fund their programs.”

 

LOCAL

 

No charges for FedEx driver who fatally punched man calling him racial slurs

Oregonian/OregonLive

A FedEx driver was found legally justified in punching a man in Northeast Portland, who later died, after the stranger called the worker racial slurs and tried to hit the driver first, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday. There’s no indication Timothy Warren intended to kill Joseph Magnuson when Warren’s punch connected above Magnuson’s left eye near Northeast Hoyt Street and Northeast 29th Avenue on Sept. 26, Senior Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs wrote in a memo declining to prosecute Warren. A county medical examiner later determined Magnuson was in “extremely poor health” beforehand and that his fall to the ground aggravated pre-existing medical conditions and led to his death.

 

Multnomah County Sends Letters to Voters Affected by Defend Oregon’s Tardy Ballot Return

Willamette Week

“On the afternoon of November 7, 2018,” the county’s letter reads, “representatives of Our Oregon delivered a box of ballots to our office. Your ballot is one of the ballots delivered to us on the day after the November 6 General Election deadline.” It continues: “While Oregon law allows for unofficial drop sites and ballot collection, we encourage voters to use official ballot drop sites or the United States Postal Service to return their ballot.” Affected voters aren’t happy about the mishap. One person posted a copy of their notification letter to Portland reddit with the caption: “I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. Never give your ballot to canvassers coming to your door with unofficial ballot boxes.”

 

Affordable Housing Project To Push Bend’s Growth Boundary

Oregon Public Broadcasting

For the first time in Oregon, a city will annex land for a new neighborhood without the usual public process. Bend’s affordable housing manager, Lynne McConnell, said the state has approved a partnership with private developer PacWest Builders. “And in exchange he’s providing quite a bit of affordable housing in partnership with our regional housing authority.”

About half the 400 homes PacWest plans to build on the eastern edge of town are set to be affordable rentals. People making the area’s median income for their family size are thought to be able to afford most of the other homes. McConnell said there’s demand for 5,000 new affordable units in Bend. The city’s urban growth boundary last expanded in 2016 through a long public process.

 

OPINION

 

Our Opinion: Betsy Johnson will center Legislature

Portland Tribune Editorial Board

It will be tempting for Brown and the Democrats to overreach now that they have the supermajorities and don’t need their Republican colleagues’ help to raise taxes. On a case-by-case basis, this paper might support those efforts — say, on the yearlong effort by the Joint Interim Committee on Student Success to address the shortcomings of our public education system. But with the storm clouds of recession looming, we could imagine Brown and the Democrats saying “yes” to every money-raising endeavor they can conceive. We also can imagine the Democrats giving short shrift to economic development, bolstering the state’s economy to better withstand the next downturn. Johnson can be pugnacious, prideful and profane. She’s known to ignore her own party’s leadership. And like St. Paul, she does not suffer fools gladly. For 2019-20, Johnson could be the stern voice of reason that keeps Icarian Democrats from flying too close to the sun.

 

Update from Rep. Greg Walden

Dear Jay:

Greetings.  

As families gather later this week to celebrate Thanksgiving, let us all remember our veterans and active duty military and their families. On behalf of the people of Oregon’s 2nd District, I want to personally thank them for their service and sacrifice so that we can enjoy the fruits of liberty and freedom.

Greg Walden Invites Air Force Secretary to Kingsley Field for Historic Visit

For the first time since the base’s construction in 1928, the Secretary of the United States Air Force visited Kingsley Field earlier this month at my invitation. I invited Secretary Wilson to Klamath Falls to tour Kingsley Field, hear about the broad community support for the base and the troops stationed there, and meet with local veterans.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and I examine an F-15 fighter jet at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base in Klamath Falls.

During our tour of Kingsley Field, Secretary Wilson got a firsthand look at the expansive air space, state-of-the-art military infrastructure, and tireless work ethic of Kingsley’s leaders and the troops stationed at the base. Secretary Wilson also heard about the challenge of replacing aging aircraft at the base, and why Kingsley Field is uniquely positioned to become a future home of a next generation fighter jet, like the F-35.

Following our tour of Kingsley Field, I convened a roundtable discussion with Secretary Wilson, local officials, and community leaders to discuss the broad support in the Klamath Basin for Kingsley. Kingsley plays a vital role in our national defense strategy, as well as job creation and the local economy in the Basin. Leaders in the higher education, medical, and business community in Klamath Falls told Secretary Wilson about the positive relationship they have with the base, and about how Kingsley Field is a true keystone in the community.

Air Force secretary pays historic visit to Kingsley

The Secretary of the Air Force paid a visit this weekend to Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base for the first time in history.

Rep. Greg Walden invited Heather Wilson, the 24th Secretary of the Air Force, to Kingsley to meet troops and commanders and scope it out as a potential site for a new fighter jet like the F-35.

Click here to read more from the Herald & News.

Walden and Secretary Wilson Meet with Local Veterans

Secretary Wilson and I gather for a breakfast with local veterans in Klamath Falls. Secretary Wilson joined the breakfast fully suited in a custom “173rd Fighter Wing” fighter pilot suit, which she wore in preparation for her flight in one of Kingsley’s iconic F-15’s later that morning.

Before Secretary Wilson departed Kingsley Field, we concluded her visit with a breakfast with local veterans in Klamath Falls. Secretary Wilson was part of the first graduating class at the U.S. Air Force Academy that began accepting women, and served our country in the Air Force following graduation. Secretary Wilson is a third generation pilot, and her grandfather flew for the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. This breakfast was an excellent opportunity for Secretary Wilson and local veterans to share their experiences in the service, and to discuss the challenges facing those who have served our country in uniform.

Secretary Wilson and I served together in the House of Representatives, and we worked together over several months with Colonel Jeff Smith and the Oregon Air National Guard to make this historic visit a success. I appreciate Secretary Wilson’s willingness to come here on the ground to see why Kingsley Field is such an integral part of our national security strategy and local community in Klamath Falls. And thank you to Colonel Smith and the troops stationed at Kingsley for your service to our country and your tremendous efforts to make Secretary Wilson’s visit to Klamath Falls one for the history books.

Rep. Walden, Air Force Secretary eat with local veterans

Local veterans sat down with Air Force secretary Heather Wilson in Klamath Falls Sunday morning. Hosted by Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR, 2nd District), a group of about 20 veterans gathered for an intimate breakfast discussion.

“This community is really important to the support of the base and it’s great to have veteran leaders in the community,” Wilson said.

Click here to read more from KTVL News 10.

Greg Walden Thanks Local Veterans in Grants Pass for Their Service

One of the greatest privileges I have as a member of Congress is meeting with the brave men and women who have served our country in uniform, like the veterans with Grants Pass Veteran’s Breakfast. The monthly Grants Pass Veteran’s Breakfast is a great opportunity for camaraderie and friendship for veterans in the area. Recently, I had the honor of joining the veterans at their breakfast to give an update on my efforts to make sure they are receiving the care and support they deserve at the VA.

With my strong support, Congress has passed into law historic funding for the VA to ensure the VA has the needed resources to give veterans access to the best care possible. We’ve also directed resources specifically aimed at serving veterans in rural areas and strengthening mental health and suicide prevention programs. In addition, we’ve also passed into law the VA Mission Act to bolster the VA, fully fund the VA Choice Program, and give veterans timelier access to quality care through my legislation — the VA Medical Scribe Pilot Act.

Thank you to the veterans with Grants Pass Veterans Breakfast for inviting me to your monthly meeting, and for your service to our country.

Greg Walden Honors Local Family Member of WWII OSS Officer

Earlier this month in Medford, State Representative Sal Esquivel and I had the honor to present Ashland resident Sherry Smilo the Congressional Gold Medal in in recognition of her father, SGT Sidney Smilo. SGT Sidney Smilo served our country during WWII as a member of the 801st/492nd Bombardment group (Carpet baggers), the air arm of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the modern Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The men and women who comprised America’s first spy agency were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, in recognition of their superior service and major contributions during WWII. These women and men — who performed some of the bravest acts of the war — had never before been collectively recognized for their heroic and pioneering service.

It was a privilege to present Sherry with this much deserved recognition of her father’s service to our country, especially during Military Family Appreciation Month. America’s military is strong in part because of the family, friends, and loved ones who support those who serve our country in uniform.

As we recognize Military Family Appreciation Month this November, please join me in thanking the families of our service members for their unwavering commitment to the brave Americans who defend our freedoms. Military families serve too, and we are forever in their debt.

Greg Walden Names Two Oregon Students as Congressional App Challenge Winners

From left, Rogelio Lemus and Ethan Orozco, juniors at Hermiston High School in Pendleton, created the winning app for the 2018 Congressional App Challenge.

Recently, I was proud to announce that Rogelio Lemus and Ethan Orozco, juniors at Hermiston High School, are the 2018 winners of the Congressional App Challenge for our district. The Congressional App Challenge is a competition to encourage students across the country to learn how to code by creating their own applications. The App Challenge highlights the value of computer science and STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Rogelio and Ethan created an app — called B.A.N.A.N.A — using facial recognition technology to help find missing people. The app allows people to upload a photo of a missing person to compare the photo against a national database.

I applaud Rogelio and Ethan for their coding skills, their goal of helping people and their ability to communicate the usefulness of their app. Rogelio and Ethan chose a worthy project that has the potential to help local law enforcement.

The Congressional App Challenge is an avenue for encouraging students to pursue careers in coding, math or science fields and I hope Rogelio and Ethan will do so. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the Congressional App Challenge, you can find more information on my website here.

Hermiston students win app challenge

Two Hermiston students have created an app that may help locate missing people, and have been recognized by Congressman Greg Walden for their work.

Hermiston High School juniors Rogelio Lemus and Ethan Orozco created the “B.A.N.A.N.A” app, which stands for “Basic App to Notify Authorities of Non-Authorized Abductions.”

Click here to read more from the East Oregonian.

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

November 14, 2018 Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Oregon Senate Democratic Leadership Faces Contentious Caucus Elections Nov. 16

Willamette Week

The Oregon Senate Democrats will elect officers Nov. 16 at Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach. Despite gain an 18-12 super-majority over Republicans Nov. 6, senators may not be doing much celebrating at the coast. Instead, the action will focus on the desire of more liberal members to change caucus rules and challenge the leadership of Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), who has led the chamber since 2002. Dissidents want Courtney to allow bills to come to the floor more freely, without 16 “yes” votes and without necessarily having GOP support. Sources tell WW Courtney and Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) will be asked to change those rules or face leadership challenges.

 

Top Oregon Dems Call Harassment Investigation ‘Personal Or Political’

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon’s top lawmakers said the state’s labor commissioner had “personal or political” motives when he launched an investigation into sexual harassment in the Capitol earlier this year. In a court filing earlier this month, the state’s Legislative Assembly also accused Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian of flouting professional conduct rules by serving lawmakers and officials with subpoenas at the state Capitol, and that Avakian’s actions have been “reckless,” along with “highly unusual and improper.” “I think it’s a commissioner that’s just frankly out of control,” Edwin Harnden, the Portland attorney representing the Legislature, told OPB.

 

Gov. Kate Brown Questions Looser High School Class Time Rules

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Seven weeks after backing her state Board of Education’s decision to loosen high school instruction-time requirements, Gov. Kate Brown is second-guessing the decision and calling for additional review of the policy. “I have concerns with the recommendation provided to the State Board by the Department that appeared to not have adequate supporting data to inform the decision,” Brown said in her Nov. 9 letter to Colt Gill, her deputy superintendent of public instruction and director of the Oregon Department of Education.

 

Portland pollster analyzes state election results

Daily Astorian

While registered voter turnout in Oregon in midterm elections typically ranges between 69 percent and 71 percent, as it did this year, the number of eligible voters who participate typically flat lines at 52 percent. This year, roughly 63 percent of eligible voters participated. “So for an apples-to-apples comparison, it makes more sense to look at the percentage of eligible voters who turned out in past elections, and we’ll compare that to 2018,” Horvick said. “Turnout was exceptionally high here in Oregon.” Oregon Republicans have turned out to vote at a higher rate than Democrats since at least 1964. This year, both political parties turned out at an 80 percent rate. “That actually is consistent with the national story,” Horvick said. “Democrats turned out, and so did Republicans.” With voter rates being equal in both parties, Republicans face a significant challenge due to the overall number of registered Democratic voters. A massive population of Democrats lives in and around Portland and, since they live bunched together, can be easier to energize. “They are so much better organized. It is night and day compared to what Republicans have, in terms of, the unions are organized, progressive groups are organized and they worked hand in hand to get the vote out in 2018,” Horvick said. “It’s just the turnout, you know, machine is much stronger on the Democratic side.”

 

2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

 

Jeff Merkley Seeks Oregon Law Change to Clear the Way For 2020 Presidential Bid

Willamette Week

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is openly mulling a run for president. But a bid for the White House carries risks: By state law, he would have to give up his Senate seat to run. “A person may not be a candidate for more than one lucrative office to be filled at the same election,” says Oregon Revised Statutes 249.013. Salem sources tell WW Merkley has quietly asked state legislators for a change in Oregon law so he can run for both president and the U.S. Senate in 2020. Merkley served as speaker of the Oregon House in 2007 and retains a reservoir of goodwill in that chamber. He may face more resistance to changing the law in the Senate, where Democrats are more conservative. “Sen. Merkley has been approached by Oregonians who have expressed interest in changing the law,” says Merkley spokesman Ray Zaccaro. “He agrees this is something that should be addressed.”

 

Yes, It’s Almost Decision Time For 2020 Democratic Presidential Hopefuls

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Even as their staffs and political advisers have already begun scouting out office space, interviewing potential aides, and plotting out a strategy for the 2020 presidential election, most haven’t completely made up their minds on entering what’s expected to be one of the most crowded primary contests in history. “I don’t know and I still don’t know,” former Vice President Joe Biden told reporters on Election Day. “It will be a family decision, and we have time.” Not too much time, though. Some candidates view Thanksgiving as the start of the window for making the political and personal calculation to go forward with or take a pass on a run for the White House. Given the likely size of the field, as well as the extended timeline of presidential campaigns, most of the top-tier potential candidates acknowledge they’ll have to make a final decision by the end of December, if not beforehand.

 

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

 

Oregonians Pay Way More Than They Should For Insulin. One Couple Is Fighting to Change That.

Willamette Week

The high price of insulin is an issue in every state, but it’s a particular problem in Oregon. Nearly 1 in 10 Oregonians suffer from diabetes, a rate well above the national average. Without daily doses of insulin, many would die. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, total spending on diabetes is $100 billion a year nationally. Most of that goes to insulin. That’s not because insulin is a high-tech wonder drug. Experts say the insulin formulations made by Novo Nordisk, Sanofi and Eli Lilly—the three companies that dominate the global insulin trade—have changed relatively little since the turn of the 21st century. “It’s basically the same drug with some modifications,” says Dr. Andrew Ahmann, a diabetes specialist at OHSU. The increase in the cost, he says, “makes no sense.”

 

PROTESTS

 

Portland’s Mayor Points to Seattle as a Test Case for His Plan to Restrict Protests. How Did It Go?

Willamette Week

On Nov. 14, the Portland City Council will vote on a proposal by Mayor Ted Wheeler to let police tell some protesters when and where they may demonstrate. The outcome is still in doubt. The City Council is divided, with undecided Commissioner Nick Fish the swing vote. The fate of Wheeler’s plan probably hinges on whether the council thinks it’s constitutional. In response, Wheeler points to a test case two decades ago and 175 miles to the north. He has repeatedly cited Seattle’s use of an emergency ordinance to shut down several downtown blocks during the 1999 World Trade Organization riots. “We believe 100 percent it will be challenged in court,” Wheeler says, “and we are confident it will be upheld.” Wheeler may get what he wants. But the results in Seattle show that stricter rules are no guarantee people will follow them. And then police will once again have to decide how to respond.

 

Civil-Rights Advocates Proposed An Alternative To Portland Mayor’s Protest Restrictions

Willamette Week

Advocates with three civil-rights groups—the Western States Center, CAIR-Oregon and the Oregon Justice Resource Center—sent their own plan for stopping violent street clashes to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office last month. They presented their alternative plan, WW has learned, with the hope that Wheeler would abandon his attempt to expand police powers to control violent protests. The groups say they met with the mayor and his staff on Oct. 18, just after Wheeler proposed his ordinance to restrict when and where violent protesters can gather. They asked him to consider a broader approach to counter the white nationalism and far-right extremism that has sparked violent clashes on Portland’s streets. They offered to fund the efforts with private dollars. He did not accept that suggestion, they say. And tonight, those three groups are going public with their rejected recommendations, on the eve of a pivotal City Council vote on the mayor’s plan.

 

OPINION

 

Our View: Brown needs to govern from center

Daily Astorian

Kate Brown was re-elected as Oregon governor with 49.99 percent of the vote in the latest statewide results. She should never forget that number. Neither should her Democratic colleagues in the Oregon Legislature. Even if her tally edges past 50 percent in the final results, voters did not seem very enthusiastic for her policies or her performance. Oregon needs a new Kate Brown, one who will govern from the center instead of one who is seen as placating the public-employee unions and their allies who not only helped keep her in office, but also added to their Democratic majorities in the Legislature.

 

Editorial: Mayor Wheeler, slow down on regulating protests

The Oregonian Editorial Board

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was spot on when he recently described how increasingly violent protests in downtown are hurting the city’s reputation, damaging the city’s economy and leaving local residents feeling unsafe. Yes, yes and yes. And so it’s understandable these disturbing conclusions led Wheeler to craft an ordinance that would provide him with greater power to regulate protests. Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, echoed his concerns in a hearing last week, saying she’s powerless to prevent violent protests and is left only with the tools to react after the fact. “The community is fed up,” she told City Council. Indeed, the proposal Wheeler hopes to put to a vote on Wednesday is exactly what some residents and business owners have called on him to introduce for months. But this ordinance is not the answer.

 

Opinion: The Independent Party’s long-term play for democracy reform

Oregonian/OregonLive

On one hand, what Starnes did was damaging to the public perception of our party and to those who had cast ballots for him. On the other hand, what he did was also kind of great. A cabinetmaker with no prior experience or background on the issue of campaign finance reform was able to get a sitting governor to prioritize the issue after more than a decade of inaction.

 

Editorial: Allow testing of driverless cars

The Bulletin Editorial Board

It’s likely that in the 2019 legislative session Oregon lawmakers will debate what to do about driverless cars. Should Oregon allow their sale to the public? Should Oregon allow testing?

Some industry groups have been putting pressure on Oregon to accelerate what’s allowed, otherwise the state will be left behind. Some states have already given a green light to deploying fully autonomous vehicles on the road. Rep. Susan McLain, D-Hillsboro, is drafting a bill for the 2019 session that would allow limited testing. She’s right to take that approach. At this stage, it’s too early for sales. More testing is needed.

 

The Way Forward from the Midterms

National Review

Can political conservatism survive the growth of government-led intervention designed to shore up fundamental institutions? When it comes to government intervention, what’s the limiting principle? If we believe government can rebuild the labor market according to Cass’s prescriptions, or rebuild families according to Douthat’s and Salam’s, where is the line drawn? Tucker Carlson recently suggested on my show that he’d ban automatic driving because of the danger of job loss among blue-collar workers, for example. Would that be a bridge too far? If so, why? Constitutional philosophy suggests that Douthat, Salam, and Cass are completely right when it comes to the world they seek to build: safe, stable, culturally solid, community-oriented. But constitutional philosophy also suggests that the institutions that hold up such a world cannot be created by government. Churches do not thrive because government subsidizes them; families do not thrive because government subsidizes them. Nobody goes to church for the tax write-off, and nobody gets married and has children for the earned-income tax credit. Tax write-offs and tax credits are at best slight incentives not to abandon plans already made. They are not incentives to build societally important institutions. This means that conservatism’s fundamental challenge these days is extra-governmental: convincing Americans to re-engage with family and civic associations outside of government, which cannot effectuate such re-engagement itself.