September 4, 2018 Daily Clips



Editorial: Gov. Brown silent on the big question

The Bulletin Editorial Board

The two leading candidates for governor, Republican Knute Buehler of Bend and incumbent Democrat Kate Brown, both came out with plans for Oregon’s lackluster education system this summer. Only Buehler offered a way to pay for them. Brown has largely stayed silent on that subject. She would, for example, increase funding so that more low-income children could go to preschool. It’s a good idea, to be sure. But Brown hasn’t said where the money will come from, other than from the state budget. Buehler is far more specific than Brown. He would boost state education funding by 15 percent, and he would pay for it by reforming the state’s Public Employees Retirement System. It’s great to have good ideas about improving Oregon’s education. It’s even better to have a plan to pay for those improvements.


Editorial: The math problem Gov. Brown’s education plan ducks

The Oregonian Editorial Board

Nowhere does Brown address one of education’s biggest threats: the increasingly massive chunk of school district dollars that go to employees’ pensions rather than to students’ education. And until state leaders enact reforms that restructure Oregon’s unsustainable public employees retirement system going forward, they are unlikely to find the revenue – or support for new taxes – to make the game-changing investments that Oregon students need. This is a reality that Buehler tackles head on in the education platform that he released. He states up front his support for requiring employees to redirect contributions from individual accounts to the pension fund and other reforms that would free up dollars to help fund a long list of educational investments. He envisions adding General Fund dollars and, if necessary, seeking new revenue to increase the education budget 15 percent for the first two budget cycles in order to pay for smaller class sizes, a 180-day school year, college classes for high school students, grants for school reading aides and a wide range of teacher supports. Certainly, these are also campaign promises that may or may not materialize if he were to be elected. But it highlights one more uncomfortable truth for Brown. After three and a half years as governor and the de facto superintendent of education, Brown can only offer Oregonians a list of what she’ll do for education as opposed to a strong resume of what she has done. It will be up to Oregonians to decide whether her campaign promises – absent proven educational wins – are enough to secure their vote for another term.




Oregon Legislature Says Labor Bureau Can’t Penalize It For Sexual Harassment Issues

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Leaders of the Oregon Legislature have a blunt response to accusations by the state labor commissioner that they’ve permitted a culture of sexual harassment to fester in the Capitol:

They say policing the Legislature isn’t his job. The response says the Oregon Constitution gives the Legislature sole authority to discipline its own members. While it’s possible BOLI could discipline legislators for their conduct on an individual basis, the document suggests the agency has no authority to levy penalties on the body as a whole.


Legislature: BOLI lacks authority to press harassment case

East Oregonian

“BOLI has no constitutional authority to discipline or remove members of the Assembly or to amend the Assembly’s internal policies. BOLI lacks jurisdiction for the redress it seeks because the Oregon Constitution vests exclusive authority over the discipline and oversight of legislators within the legislative chamber those legislators serve in,” Harnden wrote on behalf of the Legislature. “BOLI has limited jurisdiction to seek redress against employees of the legislature or members of the legislature in their individual capacity.” Hardnen emphasized that legislative leadership were taken aback by Avakian’s complaint and said that corrective measures were already in progress. “These issues were already in the open, and corrective measures were substantially and publicly underway before the commissioner’s complaint was filed,” the response states. “It is for this reason that the Assembly is at a loss to understand why the commissioner’s complaint was filed after months of what the legislative leadership believed to be genuine cooperation directly with BOLI and Commissioner Avakian, as well as how the commissioner’s complaint can allege a lack of appropriate action to correct the issues.”


Investigation Clears State’s Economic Development Agency of Allegations of Discrimination, Misspending

Willamette Week

“While our investigation revealed discrete allegations of offensive conduct, we did not find evidence of a widespread toxic work environment or a pattern of discrimination against females or older employees,” wrote Thomas Johnson and Edward Choi, the Perkins Coie lawyers responsible for the report. “While morale is thus unquestionably low at the agency, our investigation did not find evidence of systemic harassment and offensive behavior toward female or older employees, nor were we able to substantiate the allegations of a ‘bro club’ at Business Oregon.” Although investigators didn’t find behavior that met the legal standard for discrimination, they described a clubby male-dominated atmosphere. “What we heard were allegations that male employees are ‘groomed’ for advancement while females seems to have less support from management and fewer promotional opportunities; certain male employees ‘have an in’ with Director Harder by talking sports and going on jogs with him; that men are perceived as having more latitude in the workplace than female employees,” the report says. “Director Harder, the executive team, and other members of management should receive management and communication training to promote an inclusive and professional workplace,” the report said. “Harder and upper management must take on a greater leadership role with respect to improving low employee morale and providing direction for the agency.”




Political year of the woman? Been there, done that, Oregon says

The Register-Guard

Female elected officials in Oregon now have significant and lengthy track records in office, and they are being forced to defend those records this year. Notably, some of them are facing challenges over their stances on the very issues that have propelled calls for more female candidates around the country: sexual harassment and abortion. Republicans, long out of power in the state, are arguing that liberal female leaders have pushed the state further to the left on social issues, including abortion rights, than many Oregon women would prefer. At the same time, a long-simmering sexual harassment scandal has come to a boil in recent weeks in Salem, the state capital, raising a suggestion from some that women leaders may be no more effective at handling the issue than men.


Campaigns kick off at annual Labor Day picnic

Portland Tribune

The annual Labor Day picnic at Portland’s Oaks Park draws thousands of attendees, mostly union members and their families. This year’s event drew Gov. Kate Brown and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici of Beaverton, as well as candidates and incumbents for state, county and city races throughout the region. “This picnic celebrates working families,” Brown said. “It’s the last push before the election season gears up.” Beyond Brown and Bonamici, other speakers on the mainstage included state Treasurer Tobias Read of Beaverton, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum of Portland, and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.


Knute Buehler: 5 key decisions on taxes


Should Oregon raise $3 billion a year by taxing C corporations based on their annual sales above $25 million (Measure 97, 2016)? No. “It hits consumers really tough, especially consumers who are already being hammered by the high cost of living in Oregon. And then it really creates a competitive disadvantage for Oregon companies.”


Kate Brown: 4 key decisions on taxes


Should Oregon raise $3 billion a year by taxing C corporations based on their annual sales above $25 million (Measure 97, 2016)? Yes. “I support Measure 97 because there is a basic unfairness in our tax system that makes working families pay an increasing share for state and local services, including public schools, senior services, and health care,” Brown said in 2016.


Supporters, opponents of Measure 104 make case

Portland Tribune

Supporters and opponents made their case for and against Ballot Measure 104 Friday before an editorial board meeting of the Pamplin Media Group. The measure would amend the state Constitution to require a three-fifths majority, or “supermajority,” approval in both the Oregon House of Representatives and Senate for changes to tax expenditures such as credits, exemptions and deductions. If approved, the measure would also require bills containing fee increases — for fishing licenses, for example — have supermajority approval. Given the current makeup of the Democrat-majority Legislature, those measures would require some Republican support to pass. Supporters of Measure 104 say that the measure would encourage bipartisanship and force lawmakers to work together to write legislation that is palatable to three-fifths of lawmakers. Opponents of the measure, on the other hand, say it could intensify a culture of “horse-trading” in the Capitol, and create legislative gridlock. If lawmakers know that just a few votes stand between the measure passing and failing, they could withhold support until they get something else they want, opponents of 104 say.




Bob Woodward’s new book reveals a ‘nervous breakdown’ of Trump’s presidency

The Washington Post

A central theme of the book is the stealthy machinations used by those in Trump’s inner sanctum to try to control his impulses and prevent disasters, both for the president personally and for the nation he was elected to lead. Woodward describes “an administrative coup d’etat” and a “nervous breakdown” of the executive branch, with senior aides conspiring to pluck official papers from the president’s desk so he couldn’t see or sign them.


Ex-Bush lawyer releases 42,000 pages of documents regarding Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh


William Burck, a lawyer representing Bush, said in a letter to Grassley that the 5,148 documents totaling 42,390 pages retrieved from the National Archives were to be treated as “Committee Confidential,” with access limited to Judiciary Committee members and staff with no public availability, at least for the time being. In the letter to Grassley, Burck said lawyers working on behalf of the former president would determine at a later date which of the documents are “appropriate for public release.”


Billionaire Seahawks Owner Paul Allen Contributes Big To GOP

The Associated Press

Paul Allen, the billionaire Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers owner and Microsoft co-founder, made his largest-ever foray into congressional politics this year by donating $100,000 to a group seeking to keep Republicans in control of the U.S. House. Protect the House is a joint fundraising committee, a type of group that lets wealthy donors make a single large contribution which is then divided among candidates and political-action committees, or PACs, across the country.




More school days might not equal more school time

East Oregonian

Gov. Kate Brown and Rep. Knute Buehler, GOP nominee for governor, have both proposed a mandate for a minimum 180-day school year — in line with the national average. At an average of 162 days (it differs for each school district), Oregon has one of the shortest school years in the nation. The only state law that dictates how long students have to be in class sets a minimum number of instructional hours: 900 for elementary and middle school pupils, 990 for grades 9-11 and 960 for grade 12. Yet neither candidate’s education policy proposal specifically augments the number of instructional hours.


Security Measures, Dyslexia Screening Change As Oregon Schools Open

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Secure vestibules with intercoms, doors that lock from inside, limited entryways and new fencing are all signs students and parents are likely to notice as they show up for school. The new features are reminders that school districts are stepping up security against mass shootings — particularly in the wake of the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last February. Of the 20-or-so Oregon school districts that responded to questions from OPB, every one of them reported making recent changes to tighten security at school buildings, or they were intending to make them soon.




Job market ripe for college graduates

The Bend Bulletin

“Young people who are graduating with a bachelor’s degree have a lot of really pretty awesome opportunities right now,” said Damon Runberg, a regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department. “(In) the projections we’re seeing for labor demand going out the next couple decades, there will be lots of opportunities in lots of different kinds of occupations,” Runberg said.


Companies: Limits to legal immigration harm hiring

The Bend Bulletin

The government is denying more work visas, asking applicants to provide additional information and delaying approvals more frequently than just a year earlier. Hospitals, hotels, technology companies and other businesses say they are now struggling to fill jobs with the foreign workers they need. With foreign hires missing, the employees who remain are being forced to pick up the slack. Seasonal industries like hotels and landscaping are having to turn down customers or provide fewer services. Corporate executives worry about the long-term effect of losing talented engineers and programmers to countries like Canada that are laying out the welcome mat for skilled foreigners.




Nike Unveils Colin Kaepernick as Face of New Ad Campaign, Causing Conservatives to Burn Shoes in Protest

Willamette Week

Today, with the start of the NFL season just four days away, Kaepernick tweeted an image of his face overlaid with the phrase “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” accompanied by the hashtag #JustDoIt. ESPN’s Darren Rovell confirmed that Kaepernick would be part of the company’s campaign to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the slogan. The news of Kaepernick’s campaign has, predictably, prompted a swift backlash from conservatives against Nike.


Nike shares dip amid Colin Kaepernick backlash


Nike shares fell more than 2.5 percent in early trading Tuesday amid a backlash that erupted just hours after Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who sparked controversy for kneeling during the national anthem, tweeted that he’s starring in the Oregon company’s iconic “Just Do It” ad campaign.




SEIU Locals Endorse Former Legislator Jo Ann Hardesty for Portland City Council

Willamette Week

The union, a heavyweight in Oregon politics, sat out the primary and is endorsing Hardesty in advance of the Labor Day picnic at Oaks Park, which serves as a springboard for the fall election season. “I am thrilled to have the support of the Service Employees International Union,” Hardesty says in a statement. “SEIU is known for standing up for progressive values for all workers, and often being the political backbone of so many righteous fights. Together I believe we can take on the issues I know Portlanders are longing for change on: housing, police accountability, climate change and a seat at the table.” Hardesty has the endorsement of Portland Teachers Association from the primary, and Smith had the endorsement of multiple private-sector unions.




Editorial: Don’t break faith with voters on property taxes

The Bulletin Editorial Board

Oregon’s property tax system has problems. That’s so, in part, because of Ballot Measure 50, approved by voters in 1997. It was a third attempt at limiting property taxes, and it did that. It immediately cut taxes, and going forward it established permanent rates, reduced properties’ assessed value, on which taxes are charged, and limited the growth of assessed value. Measure 50 created inequities, however, because it disconnected a property’s assessed value from its real market value and limited growth of the former. As a result, the owners of similar homes in different neighborhoods can have very different tax bills. So far no one has come up with a concrete plan to improve the situation. Lawmakers are talking about it. House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, brought it up at a meeting of coast-area lawmakers and others earlier this month. And Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, has been working on the problem for months. Hass did make one suggestion in June. Just refer a measure to voters that asks if they want a fair tax system, he said. Then, when they say yes, lawmakers could go ahead and create the system and let the courts sort it out. One hopes Hass had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek when he came up with that one.


Our view | Oregon’s carbon plan should be non-starter

East Oregonian

Oregon was a national pioneer on land-use planning. It led the way with the Bottle Bill. Its protection of public beach access is legendary. In each case, Oregonians benefited from the state’s landmark legislation. That’s not the case with the carbon tax-and-invest proposal being shaped by a committee of Oregon legislators. Oregon officials might win environmental plaudits for taking action, but the actual atmosphere would hardly notice. In fact, there’s a distinct chance Oregon could worsen the global situation. The catch is that Oregon’s environmental initiatives already are stronger than those in many states and nations. The world, not just Oregon, loses if companies leave the state for less restrictive locales. Or if Oregon companies switch to buying products manufactured — and shipped — under lighter regulations. Transportation is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases. Gov. Kate Brown and other key Democrats are eager for the committee to act. But there should be no rush. Do what is best for Oregon — all of Oregon.


PERS needs reform, and only Buehler has a plan

The Register-Guard

We are currently in a time of unprecedented growth and prosperity. We should be building new infrastructure, reducing class sizes and improving our public spaces — preparing for the future. Instead, we are simply paying for our mistakes of the past. Imagine how much worse it will be during the next downturn in the economy, and the one after that. Buehler’s plan to move PERS from a defined-benefit program to a defined-contribution program is the best long-term solution that has been proposed.


Kicker rebates on recession’s eve

The Register-Guard

The state Office of Economic Analysis could not have conjured a better illustration of the perversity of Oregon’s kicker law: In 2020, the office’s forecasters predict, Oregon will return $686 million to individual income tax payers — just as the state tips into a recession. It’s the fiscal-policy equivalent of spending your savings on a vacation the week before you need to pay for a kidney transplant. The kicker law could be amended to require that all or a portion of refunds be deposited in the rainy day reserves until they contain savings equal to, say, 15 percent of the general fund, which would amount to about $3 billion. After that threshold of adequacy was reached, kicker refunds to taxpayers would resume. Such an adjustment to the kicker law would ensure that larger-than-expected income tax receipts aren’t immediately spent, and provide refunds to taxpayers once a degree of fiscal stability is achieved.


Op-Ed Blowback:

Trump Behavior Shames Economy

(2018-09-06) — The U.S. Economy today said it was embarrassed at its own impressive growth after learning — from a new Bob Woodward book and an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times — that the country is run by an impetuous idiot.

“Here I am happily growing and creating jobs,” the Economy said, “while this amoral, bozo blunders around the White House saying stupid stuff, and causing chaos for his staffers. It’s humiliating for me to succeed at this level, at a time when senior administration officials have to steal documents from the president’s desk just to maintain proper decorum.”

Reached by phone early this morning, National Security, Deregulation and Judicial Restraint sheepishly agreed with the Economy saying they feel their pleasant circumstances were purchased at the cost of turmoil for senior officials, who have to bear the unfair burden of coping with Trump’s embarrassing behavior just to make America great again.

“When we see the suffering of the anonymous resistance,” they said, “we feel guilty about thriving. After all, what do the American people want more than anything, if not a White House that runs according to historic protocol?”

August 31, 2018 Daily Clips



A National GOP Group Has Started Spending Big On Knute Buehler

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Beginning Aug. 24, State Solutions Inc., an RGA affiliate, spent more than $300,000 on ad time throughout the state. Its opening salvo: A spot calling Brown’s record on education into question. Steven Yaffe, an RGA spokesman, suggested the group was motivated by two recent polls indicating Buehler and Brown might be essentially even. Critics have derided the pollsters behind those results, though there’s a sense locally the race has tightened. The firms, Gravis Marketing and Clout Research, receive tepid marks in a rating of pollsters by the website FiveThirtyEight. “Multiple polls have shown this race to be extremely close, and the RGA views this is as a winnable race for Republicans,” Yaffe said in an email. “Knute Buehler’s record fits the mold of the state, and he has run a disciplined, policy-oriented campaign.” He added: “You could likely see additional RGA investments in the race in the near future.”


Local elections roundup: Ward 5 only contested seat in Klamath falls

Herald and News

In the Oregon House, Klamath Tribes Spokesperson Taylor Tupper will challenge incumbent Rep. E. Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls, for the House District 56 seat. Tupper would be the first Native American woman to hold the position if elected, according to previous reports from the Herald & News.




OHA’s Allen defends controversial opioid tapering proposal

Portland Business Journal

Proponents say the proposal is all in the interest of patient safety, while detractors warn it would be the most restrictive in the nation and would push patients who are not abusing the drugs to street dealers or even lead them to commit suicide. “Patients deserve safe, effective choices to relieve pain — not just a pill,” Allen wrote. “Evidence is insufficient to determine the effectiveness of long-term opioid therapy for improving chronic pain and function.”




Inside the decline of small business lending in Oregon and why minority- and women-owned businesses are hardest hit

Portland Business Journal

The conclusions of the Business Journal’s analysis are similar to last year. While the economy has recovered and capital is readily available for big businesses, Oregon’s smallest businesses, which drive the state’s economy, continue to have problems getting loans. Women- and minority-owned business owners fare the worst. Less than 20 percent of SBA loans in Oregon last year went to women-owned businesses and there’s been a 96 percent drop in the number of SBA loans made to black-owned businesses in a decade. In order to qualify for a loan, an entrepreneur typically needs three ways to repay it, such as receivables, a house that can serve as collateral and a personal guarantee. “If you only have one, that’s typically not enough,” said Beneficial State Bank’s Leach. Shah said the formula favors those with family assets and makes it tougher for minorities and women. Nationally, white households have a median net worth of $104,000, according to the most recent census data. Black households have a median net worth of $9,211. “When you’re going through generational poverty and your parents haven’t given you assets and you’re asset-poor, you don’t have collateral to pledge,” she said.

Shah said women are also more reluctant to use personal assets as collateral.




Insects Could Eat Twice As Much Wheat By The End Of The Century

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The researchers looked at the world’s three top grains: wheat, corn and rice. Based on their model, for each 2 degrees Celsius the temperature rose, the amount of crops consumed by bugs would increase significantly: by 19 percent for rice, 31 percent for corn and by 46 percent for wheat. So if the Earth warms by 4 degrees Celsius — which, scientists say, it is on track to do by the end of the century — wheat losses from insects would double. There are two major factors driving this change. Insects burn more calories the warmer it is. That means they eat more, says Deutsch. “That’s a very simple and well-known effect that’s gonna be true basically for any crop and any insect that eats it.” But that’s not all: as the temperature rises, warmer air also means more bugs, up to a point. Really warm areas like the tropics might see insects decline. But in the cooler, temperate regions where grains are grown, populations could increase dramatically.




Deschutes County wants to re-evaluate farmland

The Bend Bulletin

County commissioners this week discussed moving forward with changes to land use policies that protect land zoned for farming, forestry and other resources. The changes could create an easier path for development in some rural areas, but commissioners stressed that development wasn’t the goal of re-evaluating zoning. “We already have housing out in the rural areas,” Commissioner Phil Henderson said. “What we’re trying to do is get lands that clearly aren’t farmland or forests, but we’re not saying there’s going to be housing there tomorrow.”




Editorial: Good news (and a warning) from state economists

Corvallis Gazette-Times

The fact that the state’s economic recovery is likely to slow down shouldn’t come as a surprise: This is the cyclical nature of economies, although we always manage to convince ourselves on some level that maybe this one is the boom that never ends. We know better, of course. And so do state officials and legislators, who should start thinking now about how to prepare for the inevitable slowdown, especially now that forecasters have a better idea of when it might occur.


Homeless cleanup crews boost downtown

Mail Tribune Editorial Board

Dealing with homelessness and its fallout requires some out-of-the-box thinking. And that’s just what city officials and a local organization came up with in a plan that should help both the homeless and the community. The city has provided a $5,000 grant to Rogue Retreat, a homeless advocacy group, to buy what are essentially janitor carts and supplies to be used in cleaning up downtown. But janitor carts are no good without janitors, so Rogue Retreat is enlisting volunteer homeless people, along with some community service “volunteers,” to help tidy up the city.


August 30, 2018 Daily Clips


Editorial: Fully participate already in sexual misconduct investigation

The Bulletin Editorial Board

After the BOLI complaint was filed lawmakers hired an outside employment lawyer to represent them. Kotek and Courtney have said, loudly enough, that sexual harassment at the Capitol is not OK. Kotek even told reporters when the complaint was filed that if the investigation leads to a better atmosphere at the Capitol and better outcomes for victims, she’s open to it. Their recent actions belie those earlier words. BOLI wants information that would allow it to identify the women who complained about harassment, their lawyer argues, and those women were promised confidentiality. He has formally objected to the subpoenas. It’s time Courtney, Kotek and the others lived up to their promise to participate fully.


Growing economy means Oregon tax collections exceed forecast, triggering ‘kicker’ rebates

The Register-Guard

Personal and corporate income tax collections were higher than forecast as job growth remained strong in Oregon, state economists said on Wednesday. All industries are expected to grow this year and next, with construction, professional and business services and leisure-hospitality leading the way, state economists said Wednesday. Construction jobs grew by 9 percent in the 2018 fiscal year and were expected to grow another 4 percent in 2019.




New audit says Oregon’s state agencies are bad at audits

The Oregonian/OregonLive

If you’re ever wondered why state agencies in Oregon seem to be caught with their pants down so often with fraud, waste and abuse, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson may have an answer for you: They aren’t bothering to look for it or limit the risk. Richardson’s office issued an audit Wednesday lambasting state agencies internal audit functions, saying they had been consistently understaffed, undervalued and neglected by leadership, so much so that agency directors are largely unaware of the activities of their auditors – if they even have one.


Oregon treasurer drawing attention to sustainable investment with Portland summit

Portland Business Journal

Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read walks a fine line when he talks about what sustainable investing means to an office that helps manage a state investment portfolio approaching $100 billion. “Our obligation is to generate returns for retirees,” Read said in an interview this week. “So however strongly we feel about an issue, politics can’t be a driver in what we do.” And yet, he added: “We are not doing our job if we are not taking into account risks, including climate change.”




Priority Oregon: A reminder of “dark money” in politics

The Register-Guard

With the gubernatorial race heating up as the November election nears, it’s customary to see the gloves come off. But Priority Oregon is no traditional political action committee. The ads don’t urge viewers to vote for Brown’s GOP opponent, Knute Buehler. Rather, Priority Oregon is a nonprofit, a “social benefit organization” under section 501c(4) of the Internal Revenue Service tax code. Priority Oregon highlights issues it considers of public importance and urges viewers to contact Brown with their opinions. Priority Oregon says it won’t disclose its donors. So viewers have literally not a clue about the source of all the money for the wave of professionally produced ads. So long as Priority Oregon steers clear of endorsing a candidate or coordinating with a candidate’s campaign, it is legally free to operate as a nonprofit and speak as it wishes.


Gov. Kate Brown’s Campaign Buys Its Health Insurance From Anti-Abortion Insurer

Willamette Week

Gov. Kate Brown’s campaign has repeatedly hammered her general election opponent, state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), for his inconsistent position on abortion, noting that although Buehler says he’s pro-choice, he voted against House Bill 3391—groundbreaking 2017 legislation that required health insurers to provide all Oregon women access to abortions. One problem: Providence Health Plan, a Catholic-affiliated insurer, refused to provide abortion coverage and won an exemption from the law. Yet records show, despite Brown’s unwavering pro-choice stance, her campaign has continued to buy health insurance from Providence—the only insurer exempt from the Oregon’s abortion law. Since the law passed in July 2017, Brown’s campaign has spent $25,000 with the insurer, despite its anti-abortion stance.


Criminal probe of IP 22 signature gathering dropped

East Oregonian

The Oregon Department of Justice has closed a criminal investigation into two petitioners who were accused of giving false information to persuade voters to sign a petition to repeal the state sanctuary law. The complaint has been referred back to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Elections Division. “In sum, our investigation did not reveal sufficient evidence that either circulator violated (Oregon Revised Statute) 260.555, which prohibits, among other things, making a false statement regarding the contents, meaning or effect of a petition,” wrote DOJ chief criminal counsel Michael J. Slauson in an Aug. 29 letter to Oregon Elections Director Steve Trout. Initiative Petition 22 has since qualified for the ballot as Measure 104, Stop Oregon Sanctuaries.




US is denying passports to Americans along the US-Mexico border, throwing their citizenship into question

The Oregonian/OregonLive

Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports – their citizenship suddenly thrown into question. The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown on their citizenship.


Oregon gets $13.7 million from FCC to expand rural broadband

News Channel 21

“These resources are crucial to help make sure all Oregonians can participate in the 21st century economy regardless of where they live,” Walden said in a news release. “Too many Oregon families and people across rural America lack the broadband necessary to realize the full benefits of the digital age. Throughout Eastern Oregon, I hear from people who are among the 23 million Americans unable to access telemedicine, remote learning, next-generation emergency services, and video streaming because of insufficient Internet service,” the lawmaker said. “This funding will further our efforts to close this digital divide in Oregon, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside Chairman Pai and my colleagues in Congress to ensure all Americans are connected to high-speed broadband,” Walden added.




Transition Program helps special-education students enter workforce

The Bend Bulletin

The student workers at the Sisters High School football stadium have honed their landscaping skills by carefully grooming the grounds for the Outlaws’ opening game Friday night. But for these special-education students, the school district paycheck is only half the reward. The real incentive here is learning what it takes to keep a job in the community, according to the Sisters School District’s Transition Program, which helps developmentally disabled students aged 18-21 learn work skills. They initially tackle minimum-wage jobs for the district, then eventually work for local companies.




Feds: ‘Vast’ pot trafficking schemes prompt 6 arrests

The Associated Press

Federal prosecutors in Oregon on Wednesday announced charges against six people involving two “vast” interstate trafficking operations that delivered marijuana to Texas, Virginia and Florida. Proceeds from the black market sales returned to Oregon as cash stuffed in airplane luggage or through the U.S. mail, said U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams.




Drought Lingers Across The Pacific Northwest

Oregon Public Broadcasting

More hot and dry weather is expected to hang around the Pacific Northwest, exacerbating drought conditions that have gripped the region. As of Aug. 23, every corner of Oregon, Washington state and Idaho is experiencing some stage of drought, from “abnormally dry” to “extreme,” according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.


Water unsafe at these popular Oregon beaches, health officials say

The Oregonian/OregonLive

Cannon, Nye and Agate beaches were all under advisories Wednesday morning. Officials don’t know whether the advisory will be lifted before Labor Day weekend. “Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses,” the agency said in a statement. “People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted.”




Lack Of Spanish Training Manuals Poses Issues For Wildfire Crews

Oregon Public Broadcasting

“When I do my briefings, I have to give them bilingual. I know who I can talk to in Spanish, and I know who I can talk to in English,” Miranda said. His career started around the time the government developed bilingual certifications for crew bosses like him, and training courses in Spanish for the rank-and-file firefighters he supervises. But two years ago, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group stopped offering course materials in Spanish. It said they were out-of-date, and there wasn’t enough demand to redo the translations. But leaders from private contractors that fight fires disagree. “We’re like, ‘What the hell. This is a safety issue,’” said Dillon Sanders, president of the Oregon Firefighting Contractors Association. He said the end of Spanish-language course offerings blindsided them.




Advocates for black children silence Portland school board

The Oregonian/OregonLive

Protesters briefly brought a school board meeting in the whitest major city in America to a standstill Tuesday with an emotional rendition of a song considered the black national anthem. The crowd of families who sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” had come to advocate that Portland Public Schools not evict a charter school that caters to black students. But frustration over the treatment of KairosPDX school became a public reckoning over the district’s long history of failing black students. The gravity of the situation was evident in a statement school board chair Rita Moore read Tuesday evening that began, “We all decry the undeniable fact that this district has for many generations failed many students, including students of color and particularly black students.”


Suspected rapist released with no bail, no supervision after five days in jail


An accused rapist from Keizer was released from jail with no bail and no supervision after spending just five days behind bars. “He was ‘forced out’ of the jail due to the jail population. He was given a release agreement and a number of conditions to follow,” Griffith told a KATU reporter via email. “This ‘force out’ process is part of our capacity management plan. Once the jail population reaches 403 inmates and there are others that need to be lodged, the capacity management plan kicks in, which is what happened in this case. Offenders not meeting the qualifications for mandatory holds are all subject to being ‘forced out’ of the jail due to jail capacity.” Griffith said Myers was ordered not to contact the alleged victims, who may have been left in the dark. “(They) are not notified by the jail if/when he was released,” he said. “If the alleged victims have signed up for a VINE (Victim Notification About Offenders) account they will be able to see all that information and stay informed.”

S.O.S. Save Our Students

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
― Ronald Reagan


I am thinking about starting an educational foundation to give seminars on the Miracle of America to young people (clubs, BSA troops, church groups, etc.)   The courses would teach content including, accurate U.S. history, good versus evil, the importance of traditional families, capitalism versus socialism, self-determination versus the evils of big government, God’s divine design in the founding of America, etc.   I think our children need to know and they don’t get it in the public schools.  Unfortunately, the public schools are too busy teaching political correctness and socialism…intolerance for those of us that don’t say and think what we are told by the all-powerful state and the secular-humanist masters.  Do you think there would be any support for this effort?


The totalitarians are indoctrinating your children and grandchildren:


The Democrats keep calling TRUMP and the Republicans “Nazis” and Fascists…what a joke:


Dangerous people are teaching your kids:


What are we getting for our public education dollars?


Socialist policies don’t work.  Apparently Democratic Socialists flunked basic math:


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

August 29, 2018 Daily Clips



Secretary of State Dennis Richardson says he’s still on job despite fatigue

Portland Tribune

He said that other than cutting back on his travel and working in the Secretary of State’s Southern Oregon office more, he is continuing to attend to his duties, which include overseeing state elections and audits. “Other than feeling tired, please know that I’m doing well as I fight this illness,” he said.


Legislators eye changes to property tax system

East Oregonian

As lawmakers meet around the state to discuss how to overhaul the state’s public education system, they’ll eventually face the question of how to pay for it. Changes to the state’s property tax system, which has implications for school funding, could be on the table. “We do not have a revenue structure in this state that can sustain the investments we need in our education system, so we’re going to have to change it,” House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, told attendees at the annual Oregon Coastal Caucus Economic Summit last week.


State accused of violating Supreme Court’s union dues ruling

East Oregonian

Under Janus, public employers are prohibited from deducting union fees or dues from a nonmember’s wages without the employee’s affirmative consent. According to the Oregon DOJ, however, the opinion applies only to the payment of an agency service fee or dues by individuals who decline union membership. “The Janus decision does not impact any agreements to pay union dues between a union and its members to pay union dues,” according to a July 20, 2018, advisory to public employers from Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “Existing membership cards or other agreements by union members to pay dues should continue to be honored.”




Capitol roundup: Big money for Kate Brown campaign

The Bend Bulletin

EMILY’s List has contributed $500,000 to Gov. Kate Brown, according to her latest campaign finance filing. It’s the largest single contribution to Brown’s campaign and essentially matches the $500,000 that GOP candidate Knute Buehler of Bend received from Nike CEO Phil Knight last year at about this time.


National Pro-Choice Group Donates $500,000 To Oregon Gov. Kate Brown

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Emily’s List website shows Brown is one of nine gubernatorial candidates the PAC is supporting this election cycle, calling her “a progressive leader with the experience to move Oregon forward.” “Kate is one of only two Democratic women governors in the country, and her record as a progressive leader makes her seat a top target for Republican takeover this cycle,” the site says.




Oregon Weed Advocates Contemplating Ballot Measure to Legalize Cannabis Cafes

Willamette Week

“Cannabis consumers deserve a place to use their cannabis safely and legally. This is a social justice issue that disproportionately affects the poor, patients and communities of color,” says Madeline Martinez, a national board member for National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and executive director of Oregon NORML.




Nearly All Clark County School Districts Are On Strike

Oregon Public Broadcasting

All summer, teachers and school administrators in southwest Washington have been in contract negotiations to avoid widespread strikes. But now those strikes are happening. Nearly every school district in Clark County has delayed the start of school and is on strike, with the exception of Woodland Public Schools where teachers bargained a 22.82 percent increase in base salary.




Salem homeless: Caregivers test ways to help hospital’s most frequent users

Statesman Journal

Richie Gregg lives in his foreclosed childhood home and the only reason he’s still alive is that they haven’t shut off the electricity. Even with a ventilator pushing air into the 43-year-old’s deteriorating lungs, he often wakes up in the night gasping for breath. Sometimes he can’t gather enough to yell for help — he certainly can’t call an ambulance. So he throws whatever is in reach at the back of his bedroom door until his housemates wake up. This year alone, he’s made 13 trips to Salem Health. That’s how he met Nancy Riley. A nurse and care manager at Salem Health, Riley and two other women run a pilot program designed to help some of the hospital’s most frequent flyers. It was Riley who pushed to keep the electricity on, saving Gregg’s life.




Editorial: Democrats have made a mess, and ballot-box games won’t fix it

The Bulletin Editorial Board

Do you suppose Boddie, saddled with ugly details, would have refused to drop out of the race? That seems unlikely. And if he had dropped out back in June, the party could have placed a different candidate on the ballot. Instead, less than eight weeks before ballots will be mailed, a number of Democratic leaders would like voters in District 54 to support a candidate to whom they have just been introduced. The months preceding this year’s primary weren’t enough for Kotek and company to learn as much as they’d have liked about Boddie, yet we’re supposed to become sufficiently well-acquainted with La Bell in the next month and a half to hand her a seat in the Legislature? Democrats are playing voters for fools.


Opinion: Third-party candidates force Democrats and Republicans to aim higher


Perhaps voter dissatisfaction with the two major parties is partly because political pundits, professional political operatives and the media have ignored or misunderstood the important role of third parties in holding the two parties to account. The first step in correcting that failure could be to Include Mr. Starnes on the public stage with Mr. Buehler and Ms. Brown. A robust third-party presence in elections doesn’t damage the two-party system, it helps complete it.


Legislators are listening to Oregonians about education

Representative Julie Fahey

As a member of the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on Student Success, this year I’ve had the unique opportunity to tour our state and meet with students, parents, teachers, administrators, business leaders and community members. The committee’s goal is to identify what’s working in education and to more fully understand the gaps in our system that limit student success. In the last five months we have visited six corners of our state, held seven public hearings and eight student listening sessions, and toured 28 schools and programs. Our conversations with students reveal common themes, particularly regarding our graduation rates. When I ask students what they like about their schools, the most common answer is “our teachers really seem to care about us.” Students everywhere need to feel a connection with adults in their school who want the best for them. Larger class sizes make this much more challenging for teachers and staff. Students also want opportunities to participate in electives and extracurricular activities — for many students, sports, music, art, or other activities are their main motivation for coming to school.


My View: Without tolls, drivers pay with their time

Portland Tribune

Make no mistake: Oregon drivers will pay one way or the other. We will pay for Oregon roads and bridges through a gas tax and fees and tolls — or we will pay a congestion “tax,” a tax on our time wasted sitting in traffic every day. I applaud the Oregon Legislature for being willing to take the political risk and put on the table a real solution for metropolitan Portland’s congestion problem. Pricing the highway system with tolls is a solution worth pursuing.


Smoke-Choked Skies Across Oregon Show Real Need for Change

Smoke-Choked Skies Across Oregon Show Real Need for Change

As I’ve traveled throughout our district, meeting with veterans, farmers, ranchers, small business owners, community leaders, and other hardworking Oregon families, I’ve seen something all too familiar regardless of where I go: smoke-choked skies and communities blanketed with haze.

Smoky skies reveal an orange sun in the Gorge on my way to Umatilla.

Low visibility from smoke in Pendleton as poor air quality persists across eastern Oregon.

As I made my way through Baker, I could barely see the Elkhorn Mountains across the Baker Valley because of the smoke.

I’ve also received similar pictures from people across our district dealing with another summer filled with smoke. The photos often come with the same message: something needs to change.

Christy, a mother from southern Oregon, sent me this picture of hazy skies and told me, “my children want to play outside but they can’t.”

It’s time for Congress to act for Oregon families like Christy’s and people across the West who are suffering from unnaturally catastrophic wildfires every summer. I’m continuing to push the Senate to act on the Farm Bill forest management reforms passed in the House, so Oregon families don’t have to be trapped inside all summer because of smoke.

Greg Walden: “Fix broken policies to help restore forests”

“We are hostages in our own homes.” That’s how Jennifer, a mother from Medford, described to me what communities in Southern Oregon and across the West are enduring yet again: a summer filled with smoke and fire.

Jennifer continued in her letter to me saying, “my children are robbed of being able to play outside. I absolutely hate that nothing is done to prevent this from happening.”

Click here to learn more about the reforms I’m working to pass into law in my recent guest column for the Medford Mail Tribune.

Walden Brings Region’s Top EPA Official to Southern Oregon to Meet with Citizens Concerned About Smoke

I welcomed the region’s top official with the Environmental Protection Agency, Chris Hladick (seated center at head of table) to Medford to meet with concerned citizens about the health consequences of wildfire smoke.

Communities in southern Oregon and across the western United States are experiencing some of the worst air quality in the world because of wildfires. It is important to understand the full scope of the terrible health consequences of this smoke and what can be done to prevent these unnaturally devastating wildfires in the first place. That’s why I invited the region’s top official with the EPA, Chris Hladick, to Medford to meet with concerned citizens, small business owners, community leaders, and forest managers to hear firsthand how the smoke has impacted business and our everyday lives in Oregon.

The iconic Shakespeare Festival has cancelled 22 shows — a record far surpassing the previous record of nine cancellations. Local high school sports teams have moved practices and games indoors, with unhealthy air quality making it unsafe to play outside. And white-water rafting on the Rogue River grinded to a halt with massive wildfires making this popular summer recreation destination too dangerous. All of this hurts our local economy and robs people of the enjoyment of our state’s outdoors — something unique that we cherish as Oregonians.

Rep. Greg Walden discussing smoke with Jackson Co. leaders

Jackson County’s smoke committee met with Oregon Congressman Greg Walden Friday morning, along with an administrator from the Environmental Protection Agency. All committee members got the opportunity to voice their concerns as to how the smoke is impacting the people they serve.

Click here to learn more from KOBI 5 in Medford.

This fall, I’ve announced that the Energy and Commerce Committee — where I serve as Chairman — will hold a hearing to examine the air quality, environmental, and health impacts of wildfire smoke. Data show that if we do the work upfront to reduce the fuel loads that have built up in our forests due to a lack of management, we can greatly reduce the intensity and carbon emissions of wildfires when they do strike. Who wouldn’t want to take steps to stop wildfires from getting out of control and limit the carbon pollution dumped into our air from these fires?

To learn more about the upcoming hearing, please click here.

Walden Receives Update on Efforts to Battle Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires

At the Incident Command Center at Lake Selmac on Friday, I received an update on efforts to contain the Taylor Creek and Klondike fires in southern Oregon. We must thank our brave firefighters for working tirelessly to battle wildfires raging across our state, and for putting themselves in harm’s way protecting people and property throughout Oregon.

When wildfires do strike, I think it is important that we are fighting to extinguish them as aggressively as possible — keeping in mind the longer they burn the more they dump carbon, fine particulates and carcinogens into our air and destroy more of our forests.

Recently, I wrote a letter to the Trump Administration raising these concerns and urging the President to expand use of active forest management practices on public lands to reduce risk of catastrophic wildfires. We can increase and improve the nation’s firefighting and fire prevention efforts, which will greatly benefit people in Oregon and across the country.

Walden pays visit to Selma fire camp, says he’ll fight to change forest policy

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden and local politicians heard the latest from fire managers Friday afternoon at the Klondike Fire camp pitched at Lake Selmac.

The lawmakers are concerned about the smoke, the size of the fires, and the worsening fire seasons in recent years.

Walden didn’t publicly talk about his forest policy bills at fire camp, but afterward, before driving off to a flight from Medford to Bend, he said that he’ll continue to fight for policies that thin the forests.

Click here to read more from the Grants Pass Daily Courier.

Walden Tours Blue Mountain Seeds’ New Facility in Union County

Blue Mountain Seeds is a small business based in Union County that supports jobs for the local community and is continuing to expand. Recently, I was invited to join the team at Blue Mountain Seeds on a tour of their new seed cleaning facility outside of La Grande.

During our meeting, we discussed the upcoming Farm Bill, which is currently being negotiated between members of the House and Senate. This legislation is an important safety net for agriculture and members of the ag community like the hardworking people at Blue Mountain Seeds. It is also important to improve the management of our forests to reduce the wildfire smoke that has hurt small businesses like Blue Mountain Seeds across our state.

Farmers who were at the meeting told me that smoke levels drastically impact their ability to maintain normal production cycles and makes it impossible to use prescribed burns on schedule because of the air quality. The Senate needs to advance the House passed forest management reforms in the Farm Bill to change the policies that have negatively impacted farmers, ranchers, businesses, and ordinary people across the West during wildfire season.

Walden tours Blue Mountain Seeds, speaks on Farm Bill

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) visited Blue Mountain Seeds’ new seed cleaning facility on Wednesday. He met with members of the local agricultural community, including the owners and employees of the Imbler-based company. The next day, leaders from both parties in the House and the Senate had a conference call to begin discussions about the 2018 Farm Bill — also known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 — the legislation that reforms and continues the programs of the Department of Agriculture.

Click here to learn more about my meeting from the La Grande Observer.

Walden Speaks at OSU Agriculture Research Center in Hermiston

Oregon State University’s Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Hermiston is at the forefront of equipping farmers with the tools they need to stay competitive, and ensuring students are prepared for in demand jobs in our community.

I am proud to have worked closely with the OSU team in Hermiston to fix an outdated federal provision that restricted the Extension Center’s ability to grow.  In addition, I supported legislation earlier this year to provide solid funding for the research centers across our district.  These facilities give us the science-based research to provide better habitat for sage grouse; better, common sense policies on food safety and new efforts to combat pests.

It takes a lot to get this “Duck” to wear an “OSU” hat, but when it comes to Agricultural Research, no one does it better than the OSU crew.  A big thank you to Director Phil Hamm, the entire Extension Center staff, and the ag community in eastern Oregon for your commitment to the success of this center and our students.

Walden Meets with Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District

In The Dalles, I met with the Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District team to receive an update on their work to help farmers recover after the devastating Substation Fire. I’m working closely with them to provide needed relief to local farmers and ranchers after this year’s fires.

Farmers and ranchers — especially in Wasco and Sherman counties — have lost significant crop to rangeland fires that burned across the region. Years of work along 15 Mile Creek literally went up in smoke.

That’s why I called on Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to request relief for those impacted. I requested that Secretary Perdue promptly approve the state of Oregon’s disaster declaration, authorize emergency grazing for ranchers who lost substantial forage for their cattle in the fires and grant farmers flexibility to stabilize soil following the fires. I’m glad to see that emergency grazing was authorized to area ranchers, and will continue to work to help the agriculture community in the Gorge get back on their feet after this devastating fire season.

Fire aftermath clouds future

Click here to read more from The Dalles Chronicle.

In Warm Springs and Redmond, Walden Thanks Oregon Veterans for Their Service

The men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform are owed our profound respect and gratitude. In Warm Springs this weekend, I was honored to recognize 28 veterans of the Korean War for their service.

The quote engraved in stone at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. says it best: “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.”

Presenting an American flag that was flown over the Capitol to Laura Jones for her efforts on behalf of Oregon veterans.

Later on in Redmond, I spent time talking with veterans and their families at the Veterans Appreciation Day BBQ organized by a local veterans’ advocate, Laura Jones, who devotes her days to helping Oregon veterans. Laura put together the BBQ to show her support for local veterans in central Oregon, and the community rallied behind her. With more than $3,000 in donations for raffle prizes and more than 400 pre-made hamburgers donated, Saturday’s BBQ was a tremendous success. As a small token of appreciation for her work, I was proud to present Laura with an American flag flown over the Capitol in her honor.

I continue to support legislation in Congress to help get our veterans the care and support they deserve. I voted to pass into law historic funding for the VA to ensure they have the resources they need to boost mental health, opioid addiction, and suicide prevention programs. And we’ve secured reforms through the VA MISSION Act, which strengthens the VA and improves care for our veterans. This law includes a provision I authored to bring medical scribes into the VA system, so doctors can focus on the veteran rather than paperwork.

And over the last year, I’ve helped more than 600 veterans and military service members with issues regarding disability pay, benefits, and health care. If you or a loved one needs help with the VA or any federal agency, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office from Oregon at 800-533-3303. I will do everything I can to get results for you.

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

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

Best regards,

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

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

Knute Buehler’s One Oregon Rural Tour


To a series of Meet & Greets throughout Oregon
with Knute Buehler
Candidate for Governor of Oregon

Oregon is a big state with many small towns and far-away places that rarely see a Governor – but those smaller communities are as much a part of the state as our big cities. That’s why Knute is embarking on the “One Oregon Rural Tour,” stopping along the way to speak with and listen to everyday Oregonians who are ready for change for a brighter future for Oregon. Check out the events below, invite your friends and neighbors, and RSVP today!

Be sure to check out Knute’s plan to bridge Oregon’s rural / urban divide here.

Harney County Meet & Greet
August 28, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Malheur County Meet & Greet
August 29, 8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. (Mtn Time)

Baker City Meet & Greet
August 29, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Umatilla County Meet & Greet
August 30, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Jefferson County Meet & Greet
August 31, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

All Meet & Greets are free to attend so please share this invitation with others.
For questions or additional Information, contact me, Rebecca Tweed at

Stay informed about Knute’s vision for our state by following Knute on Facebook and Twitter


Rebecca Tweed
Knute for Governor
PO Box 664
Tualatin, OR 97062
Office: (503) 303-8441

August 28, 2018 Daily Clips



Oregon Democrats hope to salvage state House seat with third-party candidate

The Bend Bulletin

The Working Families Party, a minor party that often backs pro-labor Democrats, announced Monday that it had nominated Bend nonprofit founder Amanda La Bell as its nominee in the 54th House District. La Bell, a registered Democrat, will appear on the November ballot alongside Democrat Boddie and Republican Cheri Helt. In a statement, La Bell said she decided to run with the Working Families Party to provide a “real choice” for voters. She previously volunteered to replace Boddie as the Democratic nominee if he chose to drop out of the race.


Kate Brown, Jeff Merkley and Other Democrats Endorse Working Families Party Candidate in Bend House Race

Willamette Week

Democrats seeking an alternative to their embattled nominee in House District 54 have come up with a work-around: They are lining up behind Amanda La Bell, who filed on Aug. 24 to run for the seat being vacated by state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend). La Bell, a first-time candidate, boasts the endorsements of U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Gov. Kate Brown and former Gov. Barbara Roberts, along with several Bend officials. Democrats are keen to win Buehler’s seat because they currently hold a 35 to 25 advantage over Republicans in the House. If they can win a 36th seat, they will have the so-called “super-majority” that the Oregon Constitution requires to raise new taxes without a vote of the people.


16 Oregon Sheriffs Sign Letter Asking Voters To Repeal State’s Sanctuary Law

Oregon Public Broadcasting

– Nearly half of the sheriffs in Oregon have signed onto a letter asking voters to repeal the state’s 30-year-old sanctuary law this fall. The letter released Monday says the state’s “statute undermines respect for law in significant ways.” “(The sanctuary law) tells illegal immigrants that Oregon considers immigration-law violations so inconsequential as to be unworthy of police and sheriffs’ attention,” the letter states. “In doing so, it legitimizes those violations and encourages more.”


Nearly Half of Oregon’s Sheriffs Signed A Letter Invoking Mollie Tibbitts’ Name and Calling to Repeal The State’s Sanctuary Law

Willamette Week

The letter encourages Oregonians to vote for Measure 105, which would repeal the law, in November. It also invokes the murder of a 20-year-old Iowa woman who was allegedly killed by an undocumented man, despite her family’s objection to using her death as a political talking point in debates on immigration policy. “Mollie Tibbetts’ recent murder has refocused attention on the violence and heartbreak illegal-immigrant criminals can visit on Americans and their families,” Burgin writes. “Oregon’s sanctuary statute not only compounds that neglect, but issues a de facto invitation to illegal immigrants to settle in our state.”




More complaints to Oregon’s government waste hotline in 2017: Publicity to blame?

Statesman Journal

There were 77 reports that required further review into a complaint of waste, inefficiency or abuse. In most of these complaints, the allegations were not substantiated, according to the report. Three additional cases remain open. The majority of reports were concerning state policies or procedures or financial management. Others dealt with fraud, theft, improper behavior at work, scams, or public contracting. The Secretary of State office says it has identified through the hotline about $16 million in questionable costs since it was established in 1995.




Nike gives $25,000 to Kate Brown’s re-election campaign


Nike has contributed $25,000 to Gov. Kate Brown’s re-election campaign — a twist that shows the sportswear giant isn’t in lockstep with co-founder Phil Knight. The Beaverton-area company typically keeps its donations to key lawmakers of both parties in the $1,000 to $2,000 range, so the large gift to Brown on Wednesday is unusual.


Portland attorney authored complaint against Gov. Brown-Nike deal

The Associated Press

A complaint alleging that a ballot initiative agreement negotiated by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Nike and a public employees union was illegal was authored by an attorney affiliated with political opponents of both Brown and unions. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports attorney Jill Gibson acknowledged Friday that she had drafted the complaint filed last month with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office by a Portland man named Richard Leonetti.


Brown has seven-step education policy agenda

East Oregonian

Gov. Kate Brown released her seven-step education policy agenda Monday, Aug. 27, components of which will be included in her proposed 2019-21 state budget, her spokeswoman said. “The governor strongly believes that in order to effect change for Oregon’s students, a multi-pronged approach is vital,” said Kate Kondayen, a press secretary in Brown’s office. At 77 percent, Oregon has one of the worst on-time graduation rates in the nation and one of the shortest school years, according to federal statistics.


Oregon’s governor kicks off school year by talking up high school graduation


Gov. Kate Brown kicked off the school year Monday by welcoming Madison High School’s freshman class and securing their shouted promise that all 342 of them will graduate from the Northeast Portland school by 2022. Brown used the appearance to plug one of her familiar campaign promises: that she’ll plow $300 million in the next state budget into adding more career-technical courses to the state’s high schools, double the current level. She hasn’t explained where she will come up with the money, given a projected shortfall of more than $1 billion in the next state budget.


As Oregon governor candidates spar over homelessness, local advocates say long-term solutions needed

The Register-Guard

“Anytime somebody says they’re going to end homelessness with whatever plan, I get a little skeptical,” he said. “Do I appreciate the effort and focus on the issue? Yes. But they’re not going to end homelessness with that kind of money.” Other advocates say the candidates’ plans bring attention to the issue, but they need to prioritize funds for housing, substance abuse and mental health counseling. Any solution would require a large public investment, they said.


Tensions flare as Salem City Council takes stand on Measure 105, other ballot measures

Statesman Journal

Salem city councilors voted 6-3 to oppose a November ballot measure that would repeal Oregon’s sanctuary state law — but not before heatedly debating whether nonpartisan, city officials should take any stand on statewide ballot measures.




Oregon cannabis tax revenue hits record high

Portland Business Journal

July saw a record haul in Salem, with more than $8.7 million in state cannabis taxes collected, according to Department of Revenue data released Monday. That’s nearly 10 percent more than the previous high of $8 million, set in January, and a 63 percent increase over the $5.1 million collected in July 2017.




Texan says he’s selling 3D-printed gun plans, despite ruling


The owner of a Texas company that makes untraceable 3D-printed guns says he has begun selling the blueprints through his website to anyone who wants to make one, despite a federal court order barring him from posting the plans online. Cody Wilson says he began selling the plans Tuesday morning and that he’ll sell them for any price. Wilson says he believes that selling them, instead of posting the plans for anyone to view or download for free, will not run afoul of the Seattle federal judge’s Monday order.




Teacher sex scandals provoke outrage, but how common are they?

Portland Tribune

“One instance is one too many for these types of offenses, and there’s really no excuse for them,” said Teacher Standards and Practices Commission Deputy Director Trent Danowski, who manages the state-level response to these sorts of claims. But authorities are not ready to make a judgment that these cases have become any more prevalent in the MeToo era, nor that Lincoln has a particularly high number. “What I think we’re seeing now is they are much more in the spotlight, perhaps, than they maybe were in previous times,” Danowski said. “It just feels like it’s happening more when maybe that’s not necessarily the case.” Lincoln High School in inner Southwest Portland has had five cases of teachers accused of sexual misconduct or inappropriate relationships with students in the last 10 years.




OHSU suspends heart transplant program amid staff shortage


The state’s only heart transplant program is now temporarily suspended after at least three cardiologists on the transplant team left or announced plans to leave Oregon Health & Science University. The medical center will no longer evaluate new patients for a transplant, accept donor hearts or perform any transplant surgeries for 14 days. Renee Edwards, chief medical officer for OHSU Healthcare, said the transplant team is adequately staffed to follow up with anyone who’s recently received a new heart. People who need pacemakers or comparable procedures can still be treated at OHSU, she said. But anyone on track for a transplant soon would likely be referred to another hospital.


Suicide by opioid: A disturbing new trend?

The Register-Guard

Suicide rates have been steadily climbing, Rockett said, but their numbers are likely even higher. He said too often opioid-related drug overdoses aren’t classified as suicides, and he thinks they should be. These deaths are often deemed by medical examiners as “accidental injury deaths” unless a suicide note is found. This classification doesn’t take into account that suicide and drug overdoses both arise from “purposeful” behaviors. “By always separating drug deaths from suicide is to underestimate the mental health crisis,” Rockett said. “These are all mental health issues, and they need to be on the front burner.”




USDA Will Pay $4.7 Billion To Farmers Hit In Trade War

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Starting next Tuesday, Sept. 4, the agency will take applications from farmers who produce corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans and wheat – products that were targeted in China’s retaliatory tariffs, after the U.S. imposed a 25 percent levy on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. Most of the money – more than $3.6 billion – will go to soybean farmers. China has been the No. 1 export market for U.S. soybeans, buying nearly a third of all American-grown soybeans in 2017.




Editorial: Jefferson County should look at consolidating emergency services

The Bend Bulletin

Jefferson County deserves high quality fire and emergency medical service. A potential consolidation should not turn into a turf war, but an example of how the county’s leaders can work together to improve public safety.