Oregon voters could be forgiven for thinking Kate Brown and Knute Buehler are the only people running for governor this fall. Fueled by an unprecedented $29 million in campaign contributions, the respective Democratic and Republican candidates dominate the TV commercials, the social media ads and the mailbox flyers. So Independent Party nominee Patrick Starnes, who has raised just $12,400 for his campaign, is nearly invisible amid the frenzy. In recognition of that deficiency, Starnes is running what is nearly a one-issue campaign for governor, focusing almost exclusively on campaign finance reform. He wants to see a constitutional amendment to allow for limits on political contributions, which could put outsider candidates on more equal footing. “Hopefully this is the last $25 million governor’s race,” he said last week – before the latest surge in contributions broke what already had been a record.
GET OUT THE VOTE
Voters are turning ballots in more slowly than the last time Oregon elected a governor, according to the state Elections Division, as big money continues to flow to the campaigns of Democrat Kate Brown and Republican Knute Buehler. About 11.6 percent of registered voters turned in ballots as of Friday, Oct. 26 — 12 days before the election — compared with 17.4 percent at this point in the 2016 election, when Brown defeated Republican challenger Bud Pierce. In other recent general elections, the return rate in 2012 was 14.9 percent and in 2014, it was 12.5 percent.
The Multnomah County Republican Party today filed a formal complaint asking for an investigation of Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s new initiative to send city workers out on the taxpayer dime to encourage people to vote. It’s against the law for public employees to campaign for or against a candidate or measure, but not against the law for public employees to encourage people to vote, as Eudaly says she will do. The initiative, first reported last week by WW, has raised questions—in part because who turns out to vote and where can affect the outcome of an election. “This is a transparently partisan misuse of City funds to aid Kate Brown’s losing campaign, ” says county party chair James Buchal in a statement.
“We believe this activity is legal. State law prohibits the use of any City resources to advocate for or against any candidate or measure. As you know, the City “Get Out the Vote” effort is nonpartisan and is directed solely to increasing voter participation in precincts with historically low turnout rates,” says City Attorney Tracy Reeves.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said. He discussed the plan in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that is slated to air Sunday. Birthright citizenship is granted in the 14th Amendment’s first sentence: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Trump has mentioned the idea of voiding the amendment before, most notably in August of 2015, when the birthright issue became part of his hard-line policies on immigration as a presidential candidate. Now Trump is discussing the birthright citizenship law roughly one week before U.S. voters will head to the polls for the 2018 midterm election.
Portland Business Journal
The sweeping corporate tax cuts Donald Trump signed into law almost a year ago have had little or no effect on most US companies’ hiring and investment plans, according to a business survey released on Monday. The National Association for Business Economics found buoyant conditions in the third quarter of 2018, with its members reporting rising sales and improved profit margins, but reported that the Republican tax reform “has not broadly impacted hiring and investment plans”. The survey, conducted between September 26 and October 11, adds to a growing body of evidence that much of the windfall from tax reform has been spent on share buybacks rather than investment, jobs or research and development.
Despite an unemployment rate that has reached a 50-year low of 3.7 percent, most jobs across the U.S. don’t support a middle-class or better lifestyle, leaving many Americans struggling, according to a new study. Sixty-two percent of jobs fall short of that middle-class standard when factoring in both wages and the cost of living in the metro area where the job is located, according to the study by Third Way, a think tank that advocates center-left ideas. A slight majority of Americans, 52 percent, do live in middle-class households, according to recent annual reports by Pew Research Center. And another 20 percent or so live in upper income households. But that’s because they’re juggling multiple jobs, for example, or relying on investments, an inheritance or other household members who may have higher-paying jobs.
Approved last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Shingrix has become an alternative vaccine to Zostavax, introduced in 2006. It has a higher rate of effectiveness — more than 90 percent — and a lower age at which patients can receive it — 50 instead of 60, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But less than a year into its U.S. debut, Shingrix has become scarce at pharmacies across the country.
The Bulletin Editorial Board
Earlier this month, the Department of Environmental Quality refused to release information that would shed light on Oregon’s complex and secretive Clean Fuels Program, which imposes a de facto tax on gas and diesel fuel in order to subsidize the alternative-fuel industry. We appealed the denial to the state Department of Justice, which, unlike DEQ, at least seems to be giving the matter serious consideration. In denying our records request, DEQ argued that the information we seek involves trade secrets and, thus, is conditionally exempt from disclosure. The information may be released only if the public interest argues for transparency. The DOJ asked us to make such an argument, which we were happy to do. And to that end, it asked us to respond to counterarguments provided by a handful of businesses last year following a similar records request. The position taken by affected industries, in brief, is as follows: To help the public, we must hide from the public. Let’s hope the DOJ doesn’t endorse this view.
The Bend Bulletin
We have a rare opportunity to vote for a couple of candidates that focus more on the common ground than to fixate on our differences. They are not afraid to challenge the party line or to speak out against commonly held practices that hold us back. They are passionate. They are tireless. They care deeply about our community and doing the right thing. They possess the rare ability to see and paint the big picture but also to dig deep down into the details to get things done. They are focused on results and not on headlines. Most importantly, they both know that bringing people together is the key and the precondition to moving us forward. Let us move forward together. Let us rally around our common ground. Let our votes benefit all Oregonians. Please vote for Knute Buehler for governor and Cheri Helt for state representative (House District 54).
From my work with Shelly I know she is a freedom-first kind of gal. She looks to opportunity, researches the issues to find a long-term workable solution (not the sound-bite or feel-good language of so many in Salem), and has a knack for common-sense thinking that seems so rare these days. I have also seen her ability to think outside the “Salem Box” that paralyzes so many there, to step up and bring fresh ideas to tackle the big problems in Oregon. If you would like to see Oregon change its national rankings in cost of living, education, workforce stability and compensation, all for the better, please join me in electing Shelly to the Oregon House of Representatives.
I am writing this letter of recommendation for Dorothy Merritt, running for the Oregon House of Representatives in District 30. She is a conservative Republican who believes in the U.S. Constitution as it is written. I have known Merritt for over 40 years. She and her husband Hal have six grown children. Merritt worked rearing her children and then as a successful real estate agent . As a real estate agent, she represented clients and worked within the legal boundaries of the law while staying within her principles and beliefs. I know those same traits and principles will lead her to be a successful representative for the people of Oregon.