October 2, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORIES

 

Barack Obama endorses Kate Brown for Oregon governor

Portland Tribune

Former U.S. President Barack Obama has endorsed Brown as she runs for her final term as governor of Oregon. She faces Republican challenger Knute Buehler and Independent candidate Patrick Starnes. “Today, I’m proud to endorse even more Democratic candidates who aren’t just running against something, but for something—to expand opportunity for all of us and to restore dignity, honor, and compassion to public service. They deserve your vote,” Obama wrote on Twitter.

 

National emergency notification test set for Wednesday

The Daily Astorian

People across the U.S. will receive a test emergency alert message on their cellphones Wednesday morning. Most cellphone holders will receive the messages at 11:18 a.m. PST. The messages will say, “This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed,” with a header saying “Presidential Alert.” Two minutes after the phone messages, another message will be sent via radio and TV. The phone messages are part of the first-ever nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts system. The system is meant to warn about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations. Certain wireless providers also allow customers to receive localized alerts of imminent safety threats.

 

Hobbled by budget cuts, the IRS brings fewer tax fraud cases

Portland Business Journal

Tax evasion is at the center of the criminal cases against two associates of the president, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. The sheer scale of their efforts to avoid paying the government has given rise to a head-scratching question: How were they able to cheat the IRS for so many years? The answer, researchers and former government auditors say, is simple. The IRS pursues fewer cases of tax evasion than it did less than 10 years ago. Provided you are not a close associate of President Donald Trump, there may never be a better time to be a tax cheat. Last year, the IRS’s criminal division brought 795 cases in which tax fraud was the primary crime, a decline of almost a quarter since 2010. “That is a startling number,” Don Fort, the chief of criminal investigations for the IRS, acknowledged at a New York University tax conference in June. “Due to budget cuts, attrition and a shift in focus, there’s been a collapse in the commitment to take on tax fraud,” said Chuck Pine, who used to be the third-ranking criminal enforcement officer at the IRS and is now a managing director at BDO Consulting. “I believe there are thousands of individuals who have U.S. tax obligations and are not complying with U.S. tax laws.”

 

CAMPAIGNS & INITIATIVES

 

Gubernatorial candidates square off tonight in first debate

East Oregonian

In what appears to be a tightening race for Oregon governor, three hopefuls will face off tonight at Portland’s Roosevelt High School for the first time in the 2018 election cycle. The debate will feature Democrat Kate Brown, the incumbent, and challengers Republican Knute Buehler and Patrick Starnes, an independent. The televised debate will feature questioning by youth ages 12 to 19, picked to participate from communities throughout the state. The hourlong debate will start at 7 p.m. and be moderated by KOIN 6 anchor Jeff Gianola and Portland Tribune education reporter Shasta Kearns Moore. John Schrag, executive editor for the Pamplin Media Group, one of the partners putting on the debate, said organizers opted to skip opening statements so there would be more time for each of the 15 youths to ask a question. However, if the candidates use their answer time to attack each other, moderators would provide an opportunity for rebuttal.

 

With debates looming, see where Knute Buehler, Kate Brown stand on top state issues

Statesman Journal

One of Brown’s accomplishments on this front is the passage of the “Cover All Kids” bill in 2017, which extended coverage under the Oregon Health Plan to an estimated 15,000 children in the country without documentation. Buehler voted against this bill, arguing that the state shouldn’t be spending $36 million to expand services to a new population while failing to adequately fund existing programs. But, when it comes to health care, the two candidates are largely on the same page as to what they want to see accomplished in the coming years. Both candidates want to: integrate mental and physical health care; grow mental health and addiction services; dramatically reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths; combat rising health care costs, particularly in prescription drugs; complete the so-called CCO 2.0 Medicaid reform to modernize health care in the state.

 

CALIFORNIA

 

California Becomes 1st State To Require Women On Corporate Boards

Oregon Public Broadcasting

California will be the first state to require publicly traded companies to have at least one woman on their board of directors. California’s Chamber of Commerce and 29 other business groups opposed it, sending a letter to the state senate arguing that the measure is unconstitutional, that it takes into account only gender and not other diversity, and that it seeks to manage the directors of companies that are incorporated in another state. Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles wrote that “the bill specifically creates a classification based on gender, and therefore it raises questions of equal protection under both the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution. When the government legislates on the basis of gender, courts typically subject that legislation to a heightened scrutiny. This basically means the government has to prove it has a really good reason for doing what it is doing, and that there isn’t a better way of accomplishing that goal.”

 

BUSINESS

 

How NAFTA 2.0 will affect business

The Associated Press

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which tore down trade barriers between the three countries. But NAFTA encouraged factories to move to Mexico to take advantage of low-wage labor in what President Donald Trump called a job-killing “disaster” for the United States. Sunday’s agreement is meant to bring manufacturing back to the United States. American dairy farmers get more access to the Canadian market. U.S. drug companies can fend off generic competition for a few more years. Automakers are under pressure to build more cars where workers earn decent wages. The president, never known for understatement, said the new deal would “transform North America back into a manufacturing powerhouse.” The North American trade agreement hammered out late Sunday between the United States and Canada, following an earlier U.S.-Mexico deal, shakes up — but likely won’t revolutionize — the way businesses operate within the three-country trade bloc. Overall, financial markets were relieved the countries reached a deal. For a time, it had looked like Trump might pull out of a regional free trade pact altogether — or strike one without Canada, America’s No. 2 trading partner. At noon Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 240 points.

 

Amazon ups hourly wage to $15, will advocate for higher pay

The Register-Guard

Amazon, which has faced political and economic pressure to raise pay for thousands of employees, is boosting its minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $15 per hour starting next month and said it will push for an increase in the federally mandated minimum wage, which now stands at $7.25 per hour. “We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO.

 

HOMELESSNESS

 

Portland State announces $3 million for homelessness, ‘future cities’

Portland Business Journal

As part of the effort, the university has established two new research centers: the Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative and the Digital City Testbed Center. Each center will get $500,000 a year from Portland State over the next three years. “Portland State’s mission is to use our vast knowledge and expertise to serve the city by addressing its most critical issues,” said Portland State President Rahmat Shoureshi, in a news release. “Creating these two university research centers was a high priority for me to fulfill our mission.” The Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative will try to reduce homelessness by first studying its causes. The center will collaborate with elected officials, nonprofit leaders and other stakeholders. It will ultimately provide policy recommendations.

 

LOCAL

 

Pro-gun rights ordinance would put power in sheriff’s hands

East Oregonian

Pro-Second Amendment activist Jesse Bonifer of Athena wants the oversight of Constitutionally-protected gun rights to become local. “We’re trying to bring everything back to the county level,” he said, “and have it checked by the people who are actually policing it.” Bonifer headed up the effort that placed Measure No. 30-128 Umatilla County Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance on the local ballot for the Nov. 6 election. The proposal would restrict Umatilla County from using resources to enforce state or federal laws that will infringe on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Chad Jacobs, a Portland attorney, said the measure also designates the sheriff as “the guy to decide if it’s unconstitutional or not.”

 

Pendleton’s dry spell nears two months

East Oregonian

When September ended on Sunday, it marked the 57th consecutive day the National Weather Service didn’t record a measurable amount of rainwater at the Pendleton airport. The current streak began on Aug. 28, the day after Mother Nature graced Pendleton with 0.03 inches of rain, but before that the city had already gone 43 straight days without rainfall. Although the warm weather months have been abnormally dry — May, June, July, and August all received below average rain amounts — Pendleton’s current dry spell barely slips into the all-time top 10, according to weather service assistant forecaster Ann Adams. Adams said the record was set in 1974, when Pendleton went 82 consecutive days without rain. But regardless of 2018’s place in history, local growers are starting to feel the effects. While farmers usually use the first rains of the season to eliminate the resulting weeds before they plant their crop, Wysocki said the late seed dates mean weeds will likely grow alongside the wheat stalks, which could mean smaller yields.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Support affordable housing by voting yes on Measure 102

The Bulletin Editorial Board

Measure 102, a legislative referral that will appear on the November ballot, is something of a rare bird. It’s nearly impossible to find someone to speak out against it. They should not. It deserves your support. The measure would amend the state constitution, which bars cities and counties from raising money for a private corporation, company or association. The ban goes back to the original, 1857, state constitution, though it was amended in 1917 to give ports the right to sell bonds. Today, the provision makes it impossible for cities and counties to ask their voters to approve bond measures for affordable housing, which in this state is generally built by private entities using public funds as part of the financing mix. And with nearly 14,000 homeless men, women and children in Oregon, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, that’s a problem.

 

Editorial: Don’t micromanage curriculum

The Bulletin Editorial Board

A high school freshman from Lake Oswego, Claire Sarnowski, is on a mission. She, with the help of state Sen. Rob Wagner, D-Lake Oswego, and Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener, hopes to persuade the Legislature to require high schools to teach about the Holocaust. It’s a worthy subject without question, particularly in this era of heightened ethnic tensions in the country and worldwide. That said, many high school world history textbooks include sections on World War II in general and the Holocaust more specifically. There are good reasons not to add a specific curriculum requirement to what the state’s high schools must offer. Tinkering with curriculum that way is, generally, bad business.

 

Readers respond: Buehler represents all Oregonians

Oregonian/OregonLive

I met Knute Buehler in 2012, just before he ran for secretary of state. I was impressed with him then and continue to be impressed. Knute has moderate ideas, which represent all Oregonians, not just one party. That’s why I’m supporting him for governor in November. Knute appeals especially to people in the middle, like me – people whose views are not represented by interest group politics. He is willing to break from his party if that’s what he feels is necessary to get things done.

 

Opinion: Our next governor must fix Oregon’s revenue system to help schools

Oregonian/OregonLive

As the campaign for governor kicks into high gear, we should look to some key words from one of our most celebrated governors, Mark Hatfield, who once said “Few services a government can provide are as important as education. Oregon traditionally has done an excellent job in this field. The number one problem in education is how to finance our programs.” That statement remains as true today as it was in 1959 when Gov. Hatfield delivered that quote. The problem of how to adequately finance our schools will be one of the biggest challenges facing either Gov. Brown or Gov. Buehler and, regardless of who wins, 2019 is the year in which our schools and our students must see results.

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