House Republicans respond to Governor Brown’s State of the State Address



Salem, Ore. – House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) issued the following statement after Governor Kate Brown delivered her State of the State address to a joint session of the Oregon Legislature:


“It’s hard to appreciate Governor Brown’s future aspirations for our state when she has failed to address so many problems here in the present. The governor gave only a passing reference to our PERS crisis, she did not address the scandals that have plagued the Oregon Health Authority, and she failed to provide any clear vision for how she would address the heartbreak and suffering of our state’s Foster Children. When is our state government going to get serious about solving the real problems that are staring right at us?”



Daily Clips


Gov. Brown to give state-of-the-state

Portland Tribune

“My vision is of an Oregon where we increase economic prosperity, and do it in a way that ensures prosperity is inclusive — an Oregon where everyone is given the same fair shot at building a better life for themselves and for their children,” Brown said in a statement Thursday.


Your Voice, Your Vote: Lawmakers tackle tough topics in Oregon’s short legislative session


A short legislative session starts Monday in Salem, and Oregon lawmakers have 35 days to make some very big decisions. House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson and House Minority Leader Mike McLane joined KATU’s Steve Dunn to discuss what they are facing through the next several weeks, and how it will impact the public.


Oregon lawmakers prepare for 2018 Short Session


Part of the thing that the state of Oregon needs to do is to be ready to help pick up some of the slack the Federal Government is likely to impose on families that temporarily need help to bridge things between one job and the next, or emergencies and other things,” said Representative Barnhart. Barnhart will also be working on a clean energy jobs bill, along with an amendment proposal to make health care a universal right.


Powell Butte legislator to introduce two bills, criticizes emphasis on cap and trade legislation

Central Oregonian

McLane opposes work on the legislation during this session for two main reasons. One, he contends it is too large in scope and has too much of an impact to be addressed during the 35-day session. “In five weeks, there is not sufficient time to pass one of the most significant changes in tax laws,” he said. “Those who are pushing it claim that it has been discussed for multiple sessions, and I don’t dispute that, but it’s not an existing law, and it is a significant impact to Oregon.”


Proposed Oregon law would force class size into school budget talks

Statesman Journal

Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, a chief sponsor on the bill, told the Statesman Journal class size is his top priority this session. But he doesn’t have a strong idea yet whether the bill will pass. “It is unacceptable when there are more students than desks,” he said. “I want (families and educators) in there complaining about class size. “It should be the highest priority of the district. Everything else should come second,” he said. “And then, if they say, great, now we don’t have enough money, I’m happy to fight for more money.” Clem said this is one option the state can take, but it isn’t the only one. “It doesn’t get them more money, but it does put them in the middle of the conversation,” he said.




Elizabeth Graser-Lindsey sees ‘way forward’ for HD39 unity

Portland Tribune

Graser-Lindsey previously served on Clackamas County’s Transportation System Plan committee for two years. During her one year on the county’s Traffic Safety Commission, she advocated for rural road safety by pointing out ditches along roads, the lack of turnouts and blind hills with fatal crashes.




Editorial: A 35-day marathon


The Oregon Legislature convenes in Salem today with an agenda that risks trying to cram 10 weeks’ worth of business into a five-week calendar. Lawmakers should bear in mind the reasoning that led voters to approve annual legislative sessions in 2010, after rejecting the concept three times before: The 35-day sessions in even-numbered years were advertised as being needed for housekeeping and budget-balancing purposes — substantive policy-making was to be reserved for the 160-day sessions in odd-numbered years.


Editorial: Legislators can chip away at PERS woes

Albany Democrat-Herald

Speaking of momentum, the banner year enjoyed by the stock market in 2017 cleared away $3 billion of the pension system’s unfunded liability. But you might recall how system officials recently dialed down the estimated rate of return from the system’s investments, and it would be crazy now to revisit that number. After all, part of the PERS problem is that state officials for years overestimated that rate of return. There’s no need to repeat that mistake, and the market’s performance last week offered everyone a vivid reminder that what goes up also can go down.

Dorchester Conference


Only 2 Weeks Left for Reduced Price Registration!
Salem, Oregon – March 2nd -3rd
You only have 2 weeks left to register at the reduced price for the 54th Dorchester Conference.
This is the most talked about conference in years. 
Don’t miss it!
Come to the conference to hear from national speakers Roger Stone, Kevin Jackson, Scott Jennings, and Oregon’s own, Congressman Greg Walden.
Roger Stone, Kevin Jackson, and Scott Jennings
Congressman Greg Walden
Salem Convention Center
Salem Convention Center
200 Commercial St SE
Salem, OR 97301
March 2nd – 3rd, 2018
Dorchester Conference | 503-851-1330 | Email | Website

Daily Clips



Remarkable change of lineup as Oregon legislative session dawns

The Oregonian

An unusually large crop of newbies will be among the senators and representatives gathering in Salem beginning Monday for this year’s six-week legislative session. Seven lawmakers were appointed to vacated seats within the last few months, and only two have prior legislative experience. Given that lawmakers’ terms all run through the end of even-numbered years, that level of change in the lineup is atypical at the start of one.


Oregon, Washington want to hike taxes to combat global warming

Fox News

When President Trump was candidate Trump, he called climate change a hoax. Since taking the Oval Office, he’s said very little about greenhouse gasses and their impact on the planet. But he did issue a statement that he plans to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to reduce emissions as a way to stop global warming. But West Coast states are driving in the opposite direction, with designs of erecting a green wall built on taxing carbon. “This is both an economic benefit for the state of Washington and a job creator,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat. “Jobs in the clean energy sector are growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy.”


Federal Tax Cut Leaves Oregon With Its Own Budget Hole

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Republican lawmakers are skeptical about the need to immediately act on the business tax provisions. “I don’t think it’s going to be as severe as what the speaker and others are saying right now,” said House Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte. Eventually, he said, the tax cut could generate additional revenue for the state.


Bipartisan Support For Drug Transparency Bill Raises Hopes of Passage

The Lund Report

Rep. Rob Nosse, D-Portland, has found bipartisan, bicameral support for legislation to improve the price transparency for pharmaceuticals, giving momentum to passage that eluded advocates last year. The 2018 proposal is heavily scaled back from Nosse’s 2017 legislation, which would have set caps on how much drugmakers could charge or increase prices. House Bill 2387 passed the House Health Committee on a party-line vote, but floundered in the budget committee and never reached the floor.


‘OPB Politics Now’: Oregon Legislature Short Session

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon legislators will be starting a short session, which is held in even years. We talk about what’s on the agenda in the latest episode of “OPB Politics Now.” OPB’s political team, including Jeff Mapes and Lauren Dake, are joined by Oregonian/OregonLive political reporter Hillary Borrud.


Oregon Business Group Launches Ad Blitz Attacking Climate Change Bill

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Opponents of Oregon legislation to combat climate change are starting an ad blitz claiming that it would jack up consumer costs. Priority Oregon said Thursday it will spend at least $100,000 on TV, radio and digital ads attacking the bill that would establish a “cap and trade” system aimed at reducing carbon emissions. That bill may come up for debate at the upcoming legislative session in Salem. Scott Bruun, a former Republican legislator who is a spokesman for the group, said that the bill will lead to “cost increases to gasoline and to food and even heating your home.”


Oregon cap-and-trade proposal facing attack ads

Portland Business Journal

Erica Hetfeld, Priority Oregon’s executive director, said that like many other nonprofits, the organization doesn’t reveal its backers. “Our mission is to make Oregon a place where we put more money into the pockets of working people,” she said. “That’s why we’re working on this issue.” Cap and trade would require large polluters to obtain “allowances” — permits, essentially — matching their carbon emissions. The number of those allowances available would decrease over time, forcing emissions reductions. By 2050, reductions would be reduced 80 percent from 1990 levels.


Reschke sponsors bills to end late term abortions, lighten labor regulations

Herald and News

Two new bills sponsored by a Klamath Falls representative could affect late term abortions and labor contractors across the state. Rep. E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls) announced Friday that he plans to use his two allotted bills in the 2018 legislative session to end late term abortions and remedy what he describes as “burdensome and costly” rules for businesses that provide janitorial services, according to a news release.


Fallout from groping allegations looms as Oregon Legislature to convene

The Oregonian

An uneasy Senate President Peter Courtney told reporters Monday he feels the Kruse hearings will “dominate in ways that we can’t quite understand or know right now.” Courtney, D-Salem, described the allegations against Kruse as “very serious and very disturbing.” He added, “It’s overwhelming. I’m very worried.”


Vietnam Memorial Wall Closer to Reality


Rep. Sal Esquivel says, “We’re doing real we’ll we’re a little over 80 percent of the way there. We’re in the homestretch, we’ve raised 400,000 for a 500,000 project, just short, 100,000 but we’re making it. Hopefully it will be done by the end of this year.”




Lawyer, musician runs for state House

Daily Astorian

Local attorney John Orr has filed for the Democratic primary to replace state Rep. Deborah Boone. Boone, D-Cannon Beach, announced last month she would not run for an eighth two-year term in state House District 32. Tillamook County Commissioner Tim Josi and local educator and author Melissa Ousley have also filed for the primary. Brian Halvorsen, an Independent from Rockaway Beach, has also filed.


Marty Wilde To Announce Candidacy For Oregon House District 11


Wilde says among his top priorities if elected is helping better fund state education. “I got ahead and I was able to climb out of poverty because I had great teachers,” Wilde tells KLCC.  “They were unionized, they were strong, they were relatively well-paid for what they did. “And they cared about their students. And the public supported them. I think the public still supports them, but we’ve underfunded them to the tune of at least a billion dollars each year.”


Republican gubernatorial candidates address issues

La Grande Observer

The need to reform Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System is becoming more desperate by the day. Republican gubernatorial candidates Bruce Cuff, of Marion County, and Knute Buehler, a state representative from Bend, shared this concern Thursday afternoon during presentations at a meeting of the Union County Republican Central Committee at the Flying J Travel Plaza.


Portland political conservative makes late entry into Oregon gubernatorial race


Portland resident Greg Wooldridge, a former U.S. Navy pilot and a social conservative, is entering the race for Oregon governor, potentially shaking up the Republican primary election this May. In an interview on Friday, Wooldridge said that, after months of deliberation, he has decided to run because the state needs the leadership skills he acquired during his years commanding the Blue Angels, the Navy’s elite flight demonstration team. “Oregon is headed in the wrong direction,” he said. “I’d led units that needed fixing and I can do it for this state. … I want to make our government as unobstrusive as possible.” Wooldridge, a 70-year-old motivational speaker, will present a challenge from the right to state Rep. Knute Buehler of Bend, the presumed GOP gubernatorial frontrunner.




US Attorney for Oregon says state has ‘formidable’ problem with black market marijuana

The Oregonian

The top federal prosecutor in Oregon on Friday pressed for data and details about the scope of the state’s role as a source of black market marijuana. U.S. Attorney Billy Williams told a large gathering that included Gov. Kate Brown, law enforcement officials and representatives of the cannabis industry that Oregon has an “identifiable and formidable overproduction and diversion problem.” “That is the fact,” he told the crowd at the U.S. District courthouse. “And my responsibility is to work with our state partners to do something about it.”


Federal Prosecutors and Local Officials Hashing Out Disagreements on Marijuana Policy at Summit

Willamette Week

Oregon’s top prosecutor highlighted his top concerns about the marijuana industry, while Gov. Kate Brown again voiced her support for the state’s legal industry and its small business owners.


Williams seeks more info on Oregon black market marijuana

Portland Tribune

U.S. Attorney Billy Williams Friday convened a closed-door ‘marijuana summit’ of elected officials, law enforcement and other stakeholders.




Portland could see global warming-related sales tax on fall ballot

The Oregonian

The petition would amend city code to apply a 1 percent tax to all Portland sales by large corporations except medicine, health care and certain groceries. Companies would be affected if they have at least $1 billion in annual sales and sales of $500,000 within Portland city limits. It’s not clear how much money the surcharge would raise.




Editorial: Legislators need to get outraged about Oregon’s foster care

Bend Bulletin

Oregonians should be outraged that their government is failing children in this way. Legislators must put aside their bickering and their pie-in-the-sky lawmaking, create a plan and find the money to make certain Oregon’s most endangered children are protected in the way they should be.


Fix foster care shortfalls


The state audit concluded with two dozen recommendations to address the Department of Human Services’ management challenges, foster parent recruitment and retention, and child welfare staffing. Some of these recommendations do not require additional funding or staffing, such as removing unnecessary barriers to recruiting foster families and collecting and using data to improve the foster care system by providing accurate, timely information on the availability and capacity of foster homes. Others would require appropriations from the state Legislature — such as increasing payments to foster families to cover the actual cost of raising a child. These are all recommendations that state officials, elected and appointed, should take very seriously. The cost of doing nothing to improve foster care in Oregon is far too high.


Editorial: Oregon needs more foster families and child caseworkers

Daily Astorian

Oregon state Rep. Knute Buehler, the Bend Republican who is running for governor, responded to the audit by calling for a special bipartisan commission to recommend specific reforms that could be implemented within 90 days. That is a good idea, even though Pakseresht has accepted the audit report’s recommendations and vowed to follow through. But during the 35-day legislative session that begins Monday, Oregon lawmakers need not wait — they dare not wait — to add caseworkers and help foster children. This audit report belongs on every legislator’s desk, not on the shelf.


Guest: Oregon must solve fiscal challenges and invest in the future

Jon Owens, ESCO & OBI

Oregon must prepare its workforce for the inevitable change in manufacturing technology and methods to retain these jobs and to capitalize on new opportunities that will arise. Helping Oregonians develop the skills to maintain their jobs and thrive in an automated workplace will require increased investment in education and training by both private employers and the government — investment that’s possible only if Oregon corrects its fiscal imbalance.


Guest: Climate protection and economic development go hand in hand

Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland

As contemplated in the bill, the emissions cap would not take effect until 2021, giving the state Environmental Quality Commission time to develop program details in consultation with stakeholders. The Clean Energy Jobs legislation will provide predictability and certainty for large carbon emitters. And by reducing carbon pollution in our atmosphere, we are protecting our air, water, mountains, forests, deserts, valleys, coasts and rivers — the astounding natural ecosystems that support all life and make Oregon the special place we call home. Inaction now will cost Oregonians. The time for a responsible, economy-wide cap on carbon emissions is now.




GOP Sees Reasons for Optimism in 2018 Midterms


Rep. Steve Stivers, the chairman of House Republicans’ campaign committee, presented the midterm outlook to his colleagues Thursday evening. Speaking to reporters before that briefing, Stivers admitted Democrats are “energized” and said Republicans were prepared for a “battle.” But he cited the tightening generic ballot and slight uptick in Trump’s approval ratings as positive signs. Democrats currently have a 7.3 point advantage in the generic ballot, according to the RealClearPolitics average, but that is down from a 13-point margin at the end of last year.


Trump Gains Among Independents, Republicans After Tax Bill


When asked in mid-September about his handling of the tax issue, the YouGov weekly poll had 70 percent of Republicans saying that they approved of his performance and 34 percent of Independents saying they approved. By early December, the numbers were worse among Independents, with only 30 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving Trump’s performance. But as the bill came closer to passage, his approval rating increased. Our Dec. 25 survey after Trump signed the bill into law, showed an uptick among Independents, and Republican support surpassing 80 percent.


House memo states disputed dossier was key to FBI’s FISA warrant to surveil members of Team Trump

Fox News

A much-hyped memo that shows alleged government surveillance abuse during the 2016 campaign has been released to the public and cites testimony from a high-ranking government official who says the FBI and DOJ would not have sought surveillance warrants to spy on a member of the Trump team without the infamous, Democrat-funded anti-Trump dossier.


Arizona House kicks out Rep. Don Shooter over sex misconduct

Associated Press

The Arizona House kicked out Republican Rep. Don Shooter on Thursday because of a lengthy pattern of sexual misconduct, making him the first state lawmaker in the U.S. to be expelled since the #MeToo movement emerged last year. Other legislators nationwide have resigned or been stripped of their leadership posts after being accused of misconduct. But the expulsion marked a new escalation in handling such cases after a report ordered by the legislative leader of his own party showed Shooter engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment toward women.


Daily Clips



Cheri Helt announces candidacy for HD 54 (Bend)





Oregon Legislature faces likely budget shortfall

Associated Press

Democrats in the House intend to focus on establishing a right to health care, investing in public education and mitigating climate change, among other priorities, said House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland.


That’s too ambitious of an agenda for the short legislative session, Republican Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte told reporters.


“All I’ve got to say is, wow, all in 35 days,” he said. “Abuse of this short session has brought us to the point of questioning how we operate. The session has turned into a propaganda session and a campaign session.”


Courtney also voiced concern about the Legislature taking on too much when he appeared separately with the Senate leadership panel.


“Already the expectations are well beyond what you can do in a 35-day session, well beyond, in so many areas” Courtney said.


Oregon legislative leaders have big goals, timing concerns

Statesman Journal

Oregon Senate leaders struck a bipartisan chord of caution during a legislative preview event Monday with reporters, keen to reiterate that the session beginning Feb. 5 is only 35 days long and grand policy proposals could very well fall short because of the truncated timeline.


“Already the expectations are well beyond what you can do in a 35-day session. Well beyond. In so many areas,” said Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem.


Democratic House leaders, meanwhile, outlined broad policy objectives targeting some of the more controversial issues facing the state, sparking a combative response from a Republican colleague who echoed the senators’ timing concerns.


House Democratic Leader Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, also laid out their intent to pursue bills on the opioid epidemic, public school funding, government effectiveness, net neutrality, gun violence and economic fairness.


“All I’ve got to say is ‘wow.’ All in 35 days,” said House Republican Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, seated two seats away. “I never thought that the course of history could be reset to that extent in such a short amount of time.”


Leadership differs on scope of legislative session

Portland Tribune

House Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, called House Democrats’ priorities “ambitious” and “aggressive,” saying they were geared more toward the November election — including an effort to make health care a right in the state’s constitution.


House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, said she understands the language in the bill, championed by State Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, which refers the issue to voters, to be “aspirational.”


“My understanding is (Greenlick’s) goal is not to set up a right of action but to set up an aspirational goal,” Williamson said.


McLane disagreed, saying the measure “may be aspirational in how it’s marketed, but it is absolutely functional in the leverage that they’re seeking to dictate public funding, so we have to talk about that.”


“The question becomes, what’s the purpose of this, outside the political ramifications from the 2018 campaign, where Congress’ health care discussion may give them some leverage in swing districts?” McLane said.


Oregon Senate Democrats say 2018 session is too short to pass cap and trade plan

The Oregonian

Top Democrats in the Oregon Senate said on Monday that the 35-day session that begins next week is too short to pass a statewide cap and pricing plan for greenhouse gas emissions. Their comments suggest supporters of the climate plan lack the votes necessary to achieve even a simple majority in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 17-13 edge. They spoke at an event organized by the Associated Press to provide a preview of the session.


Carbon pricing unlikely to pass this year

Portland Tribune

House Republican Leader Mike McLane of Powell Butte said he believes House Democrats also are short of votes to the pass the legislation, but he declined to identify the source of that information. House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, declined to answer a question about whether there is a way to enact a cap and invest program this year.

Dems split on carbon cap timing

Bend Bulletin

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said the session should primarily go to fixing any problems with the state budget caused by the new federal tax cuts. He said the long to-do list of his colleagues in the House was unrealistic. “Expectations are well beyond what is possible,” said Courtney. “This is not a 40-day session; it’s not a 60-day session; it’s not a 90-day session. It’s 35 days.”


Oregon can pass cap in trade in 2018, backers insist

Portland Business Journal

“My personal opinion is that we most likely will not be able to get over the finish line,” Burdick said, according to the Capital Press. Courtney said the legislation needed more work, the Oregonian reported, and suggested it could be passed in 2019. But that’s nothing new, said Brad Reed, communications director for Renew Oregon, which spearheaded passage of the state’s last major climate legislation, in 2016. “I did not hear the Senate president or the majority leader say a bill won’t happen this year,” Reed said Tuesday. “They did express how challenging the timeline of a short session could be, and that’s what they’ve been saying all along.”


Legislature braces for shortfall


House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, said a “one-time hit” on the budget is anticipated from the federal tax overhaul. But McLane said the tax changes passed by the federal government will increase money coming into state coffers, will make Oregon’s economy grow, and will reduce taxes most Oregonians pay. “If taxpayers behave in certain way, then it’s possible that in the short run, the state government may have a reduction,” McLane said. “But all projections and the state economists have said the tax plan passed by Congress and signed by the president will increase the amount of money coming into the state government.”


Oregon House Democrats Want Voters To Make Health Care A Right In State Constitution

Oregon Public Broadcasting

House Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, countered that Democrats want to use the measure as a “political talking point” during campaigns. He said everyone wants to improve access to health care, but he added the measure could lead to more costs for taxpayers.


Local legislators talk about what they’re pitching in 35-day session

East Oregonian

Rep. Greg Smith of Heppner said he anticipates long days when the Legislature’s short session convenes Monday. The Republican representing House District 57 has eight committee assignments, including vice chair on the House committee on revenue, co-vice chair on the joint committee on ways and means and co-chair on a ways and means subcommittee. “I’m really going to spend the vast majority of my time working policy issues through money,” Smith said.


Rob Wagner Appointed to Hotly-Contested Oregon Senate Seat

Willamette Week

Wagner, a Lake Oswego School board member and former longtime Salem lobbyist for the American Federation of Teachers, faced stiff competition from Claudia Black, who recently retired as a lobbyist for Multnomah County, and Daphne Wysham, an environmentalist from West Linn. Black in particular generated strong support from people who’d known her over decades of public service. But Wagner got an earlier start and had strong support in Clackamas County, where more than half the voters in Senate District 19 reside.




Oregon Incarcerates Youth At Higher Rate Than Most States

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon incarcerates young people at a higher rate than almost any other state, according to a new report from the Oregon Council on Civil Rights. The report focuses on ballot Measure 11, which passed in 1994. Measure 11 imposed mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes like rape, murder and assault. It also required 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds charged with those crimes to be tried as adults.


New report calls Measure 11 sentences for juveniles ‘harsh and costly’

The Oregonian

Oregon’s longstanding policy of treating juvenile offenders accused of serious crimes as adults is “harsh and costly” and fails to account for adolescents’ capacity for change, the Oregon Council on Civil Rights says in a new report issued Tuesday.


Muslim inmate sues state over failure to provide halal meals

The Oregonian

Kambarov claims he is not served halal meat and that vegetarian alternatives have been cross-contaminated with pork, a forbidden food for Muslims. Halal refers to food and drink prepared in accordance with Islamic dietary laws.




Deschutes County talks marijuana with OLCC

Bend Bulletin

Once an applicant receives land-use approval from the county, the OLCC assigns an investigator to each marijuana grow. The investigator conducts a background check and completes the application process. Danica Hibpshman, OLCC’s director of statewide licensing and compliance, said a shortage of investigators, particularly east of the Cascades, has caused a significant backlog, and the licensing process can often take six months even once an applicant earns land-use approval from the county.




Former official claims sex discrimination, lies, obstruction at Oregon military agency in $4 million suit

The Oregonian

A former high-level official at the embattled Oregon Military Department has filed suit against the agency, claiming she was fired for blowing the whistle on wasteful spending, sexual discrimination and officials’ dishonesty with regulators.  Laurie Holien, deputy director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management from 2013 to 2016, is seeking a $4 million judgment, according to her suit. The Oregon Military Department has denied all her claims in its own court filings.


Oregon disaster prep agency faces debt over misspent funds

The Oregonian

Oregon’s emergency preparedness agency misspent millions of dollars of Department of Homeland Security grants between 2010 and 2012, prompting federal officials to demand repayment, according to records recently obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive. Federal auditors now plan to audit three additional years of agency spending to check whether it misused money during those years, a letter from federal officials shows.




Oregon Community Foundation makes first investments from new $20M fund

Portland Business Journal

The goal of the Oregon Impact Fund is to address job creation in under-serviced communities, as well as affordable housing, education, access to health care and natural resources management. Investments from the fund will range from $500,000 to $2 million.




Editorial: Democratic divide could lead to better results on cap-and-invest

Bend Bulletin

Oregon’s Senate leadership broke with colleagues Monday by admitting the upcoming legislative session is far too short for the aggressive plans of fellow Democrats. The refreshing realism is a hopeful sign that Democrats might not be able to railroad a complex cap-and-invest carbon pollution plan advocated by other Democratic leaders, including Gov. Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek.


Our View: Oregon’s graduation rate is abysmal

Daily Astorian

Bureaucracy flows downhill. Each time Oregon adopts a new school regulation or law, it increases the administrative burden, which means less time for working with school principals, who then have less time for effectively coaching teachers, and on and on. Whenever the Legislature adds a mandate, it should have the guts — and the insight — to cancel outdated, ineffective mandates. That should be a central function of the Legislature and of the state administration, especially because a new mandate might be needed in response to our second issue: Is it too easy to become a teacher?


Editorial: State should take anonymous whistleblower complaints seriously

Bend Bulletin

Whistleblowers — employees who disclose what they believe to be wrongdoing in their agencies — are protected from retaliation under both federal and Oregon law. That protection may get stronger if state Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, has her way. She’s introduced Senate Bill 1599, which would require the state to allow whistleblowers to report anonymously.


Editorial: Colleges join drive to ag education

East Oregonian

These are exciting times for agriculture — and ag education. More students are learning the skills and gaining the backgrounds they’ll need for a career in agriculture. And more colleges and universities are joining the region’s community colleges and land-grant universities in helping their students find professions in agriculture. They recognize the opportunities that await their students. All they have to do is take a drive.


Guest: Beverage tax burdens poor, threatens jobs and doesn’t fix big problems

Rep. Chris Gorsek

This is not the reform we need. This tax won’t help us address the big revenue problems we face in Multnomah County nor will it directly address the healthcare issues we face here and around the state. We need sweeping tax reform to find enough money to support our schools. Every time we approve a tax on the most vulnerable, a tax that doesn’t do enough, it’s harder to create smart, fair solutions.


Guest: Reducing wildfires preferable to ‘cap and invest’

Nick Smith, Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities

A “cap and invest” scheme that imposes arbitrary emission limits on a relatively small number of Oregon businesses at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per year will do little to influence global climate conditions, but it could potentially cost Oregon jobs and reduce our competitiveness in a global economy. A better solution is to increase the pace and scale of forest management on public lands and reduce the risks of catastrophic wildfires. Let’s produce more Oregon grown and manufactured products that are environmentally friendly and support our rural economy.


Kate Brown Approval Drops 13% to below 50% After Scandals, Incompetence

Oregon GOP Chair Says Years of Corrupt, Negligent Leadership Taking Toll

Wilsonville, OR –  According to the latest polling, Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s approval has taken a dive in the past year after her administration has experienced a profound series of mismanagement, corruption, and financial negligence scandals. These scandals are in addition to the Governor’s support for controversial tax increases on health care and energy, as well as her much-criticized failure to seriously address the looming PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) fiscal catastrophe.

In an independent poll conducted quarterly that measures the approval ratings of Governors across the nation, Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s approval has seen a 13% drop in the past year, down to 45% – below the 50% threshold that is considered dangerous for an incumbent reelection campaign.

Morning Consult Polling:
April 2017 – Kate Brown: 58% Approve; 31% Disapprove
July 2017 – Kate Brown: 53% Approve; 33% Disapprove
October 2017 – Kate Brown: 50% Approve; 34% Disapprove
January 2018 – Kate Brown: 45% Approve; 37% Disapprove

News outlets across the state that tend to support Democrats have taken to harshly criticizing Oregon’s Democrat Governor for all these failures and scandals but to no apparent effect on the Governor’s priorities or actions.  Instead, the past year has been witness to numerous heavy-handed attempts to prevent public and media scrutiny, to the point of obstructing audits and stonewalling public records releases.

“OHA, DEQ, DHS, DOE, Wildfires, Medicaid Fraud, Criminal Sanctuaries – Kate Brown’s tenure has served up a virtual alphabet soup of scandals and reports of gross incompetence and waste by her administration.  Each has often been followed by revelations of malfeasance by Brown’s subordinates trying to prevent the public from learning just how bad it really is,” said Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier.  “Meanwhile other catastrophic problems, like PERS, grow worse with no serious solutions on the horizon.  Instead of leading, Kate Brown has chosen to focus on political posturing and raising campaign cash.”

“Oregonians are tired of the negligent, corrupt leadership they are getting, and they will have the chance in November to replace a mere politician like Brown with real leadership that will get serious about restoring competency to our state agencies and seeking real solutions to major challenges.”

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


Oregon Republican Party

Communications Director

Kevin Hoar

Website: Oregon.GOP


Twitter: @Oregon_GOP

XML Feed:

Main: (503) 595-8881

Fax: (503) 697-5555

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


List of Tax Reform Good News:

UPS, Cigna, Hostess Announce Bonuses, Investments, and Free Snacks Due to Tax Reform:

Lowe’s Announces $1,000 Bonuses Due to Tax Reform:

Hydrogen-Electric Truck-Maker Nikola to Build $1 Billion Arizona Plant, Creating 2,000 Jobs:

Exxon Mobil Announces $50 Billion Investment in U.S., 12,000 New Jobs, Citing Tax Reform:

FedEx Announces $3.2 Billion in Wage Increases, Bonuses Due to Tax Reform:


U.S. Manufacturing Expanded in January at Close to Strongest Pace Since 2004:

U.S. Oil Production Tops 10 Million Barrels A Day for First Time Since 1970:

Private payrolls grow by 234,000 in January, vs 185,000 expected:

Trump’s First Year Saw Americans’ Compensation Rise At Fastest Pace Since 2008:

64 Percent Of Small Business Owners Say Trump Is Making Their Enterprises Great Again:

Dow pops 224 points, stocks notch record close on strong earnings:

President Trump is Right – US Markets Up Nearly 50% Since 2016 Election:

The Republican National Committee Just Blew Through an All-Time Fundraising Record:


Feel the Bern:

Military after Obama:

The New FBI:


“It’s always good to be underestimated”. DONALD TRUMP


Lanny Hildebrandt MBA CPA

1615 Fourth Street

La Grande OR  97850

Telephone: (541) 963-7930

Fax: (541) 963-7750



Daily Clips


Study: Oregon’s Medicaid Experiment Is Working

Oregon Public Broadcasting

“When we were being honest about what we could accomplish in the first five years, we figured we’ve got to get more people access to care and we’ve got to make sure that there’s a level of quality in that primary care that’s more consistent across the state,” Smith said. “The report tells us that we did all of those well.”


Oregon health reforms get mixed check-up

Portland Tribune

He said the next five years would be a significant test of whether the CCOs thrive, adding that federal or state reforms will be needed to address high drug prices. He said the Oregon system “may be well suited to address these issues over the next five years.” The federal government provides a majority of the funding for the Oregon Health Plan but the state chips in a significant portion as well, which drove the Measure 101 fight. The state reforms kicked in even as an expansion mandated under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act flooded the system with billions in additional federal funds as well as nearly 400,000 newly eligible members.


Sudden oak death task force fights for funding

Coos Bay WordLink

The plan was designed to hopefully eradicate sudden oak death by 2019 provided the task force gets the funding it needs. “This is probably the scariest thing we’ve seen as far as a pathogen effecting our economy,” Oregon State Rep. David Brock Smith said. The scientific name of the disease is phytophthora ramorum. he NA-1 strain has been present in Curry County since 2001. In 2015 a new strain of the disease was recognized in Curry County known as the EU-1.


Rep. Marsh holds town hall meeting, reveals goals for short legislative session


“There’s going to be a struggle over this,” said Marsh, “But we have momentum and we’re going to push the discussion as far as we can during this session.” She is looking to pass a Greenhouse Gas Cap and Invest program with the goal of reducing green house emissions and producing new revenue. “Overtime, we will be able to achieve as a state, an 80 percent reduction below our 1990 emissions by the year 2050,” she said.




Secretive, Business-Oriented Group Launches Attack Ad On Oregon Gov. Kate Brown

Oregon Public Broadcasting

“One of Priority Oregon’s functions is to hold public officials accountable and hold them up to standards of transparency,” said Jill Gibson, a Portland attorney long active in attempts to ban compulsory union dues for public employees in Oregon represented by organized labor. She is now serving as Priority Oregon’s spokeswoman.




Who’s Who of Oregon Politics Gathers to Celebrate the Life of Former Mayor Vera Katz

Willamette Week

For Portlanders, the neighborhoods and structures that Katz did so much to build will provide plenty of other reminders. When Katz was in eighth grade, the printed program distributed at her service said, a teacher asked her class to write did what they wanted on their tombstones. Katz’s choice: “She made a difference.”




Editorial: Statistics offer look at value of CTE

Albany Democrat-Herald

The statistics released last week by the state seem to support that belief. As as state officials and legislators look to find ways to continue driving graduation rates, these new statistics offer additional evidence of the value of career and technical education.


Guest: Short legislative session begins soon

Rep. Brad Witt

February 5th marks the beginning of the “short” session, and we recently spent 3 days in Salem preparing for that biennial event. Committees in both Chambers held hearings to introduce legislation proposed by the members. Since the Session will only last 35 days, House members may only introduce two bills, while Senators may only introduce one bill. Standing Committees are allowed to introduce three bills, so by the time it is all said and done, we will probably have around 300 bills to review.


Guest: Pass Clean Energy Jobs bill

Pep Fujas, professional skier who grew up in Ashland, skiing every winter at Mount Ashland. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and two young daughters

I am excited to see momentum on pricing climate pollution in Salem. As federal leaders continue to deny climate change, Oregon has a chance to lead the nation in the transition to a clean energy economy — to better the future for our children and our mountains.


Daily Clips



Denyc Boles selected as new District 19 representative

Statesman Journal

Former Republican Rep. Denyc Boles was unanimously selected Wednesday to fill the vacant District 19 seat in the Oregon House of Representatives by the Marion County Board of Commissioners. Boles will serve the remainder of former Rep. Jodi Hack’s term and has already filed to run for re-election in November. “I’m excited to be an advocate for my community, to let them know that they have someone accessible to help, maybe, get their belief back in government,” Boles said.


Oregon private school parents in limbo on 529 accounts after congressional tax overhaul

The Oregonian

House minority leader Rep. Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, said he is still studying the overall effect of the federal tax code on Oregon. He suggested, though, that he’s inclined to expand Oregon’s tax breaks to families with kids in private K-12 schools. “House Republicans are generally in favor of any measure that would allow parents to pursue an education that best fits with the needs of their children,” McLane said in a written statement. “If we can achieve this goal by clarifying or expanding 529 plan tax benefits here in Oregon, I think that is something legislators should strongly consider.”


State denied summary judgment in timber lawsuit

Albany Democrat-Herald

Linn County argues in the lawsuit that the state violated a contract with the county to manage state forest trust lands with an eye toward the “greatest permanent value.” At the time these lands were conveyed to the state, the county argues, it was assumed that “greatest permanent value” entailed maximizing timber harvests, and earmarking money from those harvests to the counties and other government entities.


But the state’s attorneys argued that the term “greatest permanent value,” is ambiguous and also applies to other goals in managing the land, such as clean water and recreation. As the state began to manage the land with those other goals in mind, timber harvests declined, and so did the payments to the counties. Linn County’s suit argues that represents a breach of contract.


57 new fees and fee hikes proposed for forest

Mail Tribune

The increases are designed to add about $100,000 to the forest’s nearly $200,000 recreation budget and allow forest managers to better maintain and enhance the sites amid cost increases during years of flat or reduced recreation budgets, said Julie Martin, the forest recreation program manager.


Oregon sanctuary state status draws DOJ threats

The Oregonian

A high-level U.S. Department of Justice official sent a threatening letter to Oregon criminal justice officials Wednesday, demanding documents about the state’s compliance with a federal immigration law and saying they “will subpoena” the records if Oregon fails to give them over by deadline. Oregon could be forced to pay back several million dollars in federal grants if it is found to violate federal law, the Justice Department letter said. It’s unclear whether federal officials will back up the threats with action.


U.S. DOJ renews threats over state’s sanctuary status

Portland Tribune

In a letter sent to 23 jurisdictions nationwide, DOJ officials threatened to confiscate federal criminal justice funding from cities, counties and states that refuse to assist federal authorities in enforcing U.S. immigration law.


Bridge Battle, Part Deux

Bend Source Weekly

he fight over the proposed Deschutes River pedestrian bridge south of Bend may suffer a knockout blow if a new bill passes in the upcoming short legislative session.


Reschke appointed vice-chair of energy, environment committee

Herald and News

“I am honored to have the opportunity to increase my involvement in shaping policy in the upcoming session,” said Reschke. “As a member of the Revenue committee, I will be an advocate for tax reforms that benefit Oregon families and will work with my colleagues to oppose unnecessary tax increases. As the Vice-Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, my top priority will be defending our rural communities from the cap and trade bill currently being pushed by Democratic leaders. I look forward to serving on both of these committees, in addition to my other committee assignments, in the February legislative session.”


The Portland Winterhawks Ask Lawmakers for an Exception to Oregon’s Minimum-Wage Laws

Willamette Week

Oregon has moved aggressively to raise its minimum wage, but some of the highest-profile performers in this city don’t get paid at all. Those performers, mostly teenagers, play ice hockey for the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. The team sold about 6,000 tickets per game last season and also profits from food, drink and merchandise sales at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the Moda Center, the team’s home rinks.




Kate Brown will continue fundraising during the legislative session

The Oregonian

“Surely, forgoing the daily distraction of fundraising from governing for just 35 days, nearly nine months before the general election, is possible for you and your campaign staff,” Buehler wrote. “Particularly during this time of excessive and unnecessary partisanship and division in our national politics, this voluntary action on your part will send a message that here in Oregon, we value good government and governance over partisan and political advantage.”




Measure 101 is in the rearview mirror, but Medicaid’s budget woes are not

Portland Business Journal

As federal funds continue to dwindle, the fiscal challenge will grow even greater in 2020.


Yesterday’s Election Results Highlight Enormous Growth in Oregon Voter Registration

Willamette Week

The big difference, and the reason the number of registered voters has increased so sharply, is the “Motor Voter” law, which went into effect in 2016. The latest figures from the elections division show that the law has added 390,000 new voters to the rolls (88 percent of them unaffiliated with any party).


Esquivel says $3 million election was worth it

Mail Tribune

But one of the people who forced the measure to the ballot, Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, thinks the effort was worth it. “I think the people of Oregon need to weigh in on these issues,” he said Wednesday. Ballot Measure 101 passed 57.9 percent to 42.1 percent in Jackson County — and by a higher margin statewide. Esquivel said he was surprised that 60 percent of Oregon voters said “yes” to raising taxes on hospitals and insurance companies to avoid cuts to the Oregon Health Plan, this state’s version of Medicaid. “I thought it would be closer,” he said.


Some GOP counties backed measure

Associated Press

It wasn’t only Democratic-leaning counties in Oregon that voted to impose a tax on hospitals and health insurers to pay for Medicaid for low-income residents. Several counties that voted for Donald Trump also helped propel the measure to a resounding yes vote. As president, Trump endorsed Republican bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid. Oregon did the opposite on Tuesday when it expanded funding of Medi­caid, making up for a drop in the federal government’s share and covering more children.




Oregon pot regulator upset by sales to minors, but lack of banking bigger problem

Statesman Journal

The head of Oregon’s pot regulatory agency on Wednesday blasted retailers who got caught selling marijuana to minors in a series of late-2017 sting operations. “There is nothing more damaging than that,” Steve Marks, executive director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, told audience members at the fourth annual Cannabis Collaborative Conference at the Portland Expo Center. “Your friends in government are really, really disappointed.”




Editorial: Measure 101 vote did not mean health care is a right

Bend Bulletin

What Measure 101 meant was spun so hard it was like the head spin in “The Exorcist.” The taxes were not taxes. They were called “assessments” to muddy public understanding. Democrats in the Legislature even concocted a scheme to have a Democrat-controlled committee write the ballot title for Measure 101, so they could further spin what it was about.


Editorial: Chart Medicaid’s future


More broadly, Tuesday’s election offered voters a chance to cast a vote of no-confidence in the Legislature, Gov. Kate Brown and state government in general. Oregonians did not take that opportunity. Voters understood that jamming a stick in the spokes of the Medicaid program would be a poor way of lodging a political protest. While the state’s leaders can draw encouragement from having prevailed in the Measure 101 campaign, hard work lies ahead. The problem of creating a fair and sustainable Medicaid finance system remains.


Editorial: 101’s passage gives a break to legislators

Albany Democrat-Herald

What should legislators do with that additional time? Here’s our first suggestion: Nothing. Instead, tackle the relatively minor work of tying up loose ends from the 2017 session, fine-tune the state’s budget and then go home. In other words, deliver a short session that’s in line with what voters expected when they approved annual sessions in 2010.


Editorial: Expanded health coverage is safe — for now

Mail Tribune

Federal policy — and Congress’ willingness to continue matching state expenditures for Medicaid — are factors beyond the control of state lawmakers. But the Legislature does have to come up with the state’s share of Medicaid funding. Voters have said loud and clear that the state should live up to that responsibility. Legislators should listen — and start now to secure long-term funding when the two-year plan voters just affirmed runs out.


Editorial: Bill on civics testing is a foolish shortcut

Bend Bulletin

If its anonymous advocates really want to improve civics education, they need to engage with the education department and educators. They need to understand what might be an effective method to enhance civics education in a context that gives it meaning. The goal of SB 1513 is good. The method is a foolish shortcut. It deserves swift defeat.


Include better leadership more professionalism, with more tax funds

Herald and News

Along with extra funds that come in from the tax should come a higher level of commitment that crosses partisan lines and also includes higher level of professionalism both by elected officials and state administrators. Is that too much to ask of Oregon’s political leaders?


Guest: Carbon emissions bills: Cap-and-trade proposal unnecessary and harmful

Shelly Boshart Davis, Boshart Trucking

Oregon is already one of the lowest greenhouse-gas emitters in the country, and we’re getting lower. In fact, while our state’s economy and population have grown considerably since 2000, our state’s greenhouse-gass emissions have declined by 13 percent. Oregon is responsible for a meager .7 percent of emissions in the United States, and .1 percent of global emissions. You could eliminate the Oregon economy entirely and not make a dent in global greenhouse-gas emissions.


Guest: Carbon emissions bills: Clean Energy Jobs bill is a victory

Diane Nunez, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber

There’s no reason for Oregon to wait. Our Latino business community has grown by 250 percent since 2000. Oregon has the workforce and the desire to build new, sustainable jobs and businesses now — and we’re hungry for opportunities to grow. Clean Energy Jobs will create those opportunities, and we will all benefit. I work every day to create opportunities for growth in our business community, and I’m excited by the prospects this bill offers our state. We shouldn’t let this opportunity pass by.

MAGA Real News


A year of real change by President Donald J. Trump:

Complete List of President Trump’s Historic Accomplishments His First Year in Office:

Economists Credit Trump For Booming Economy:

Dow pops 140 points, closes at record after Caterpillar and 3M earnings:

Dow spikes 322 points, closes above 26,000 for the first time:

Dow’s 31 Percent Gain Under Trump Highest Since FDR:

Stock market’s value under Trump has grown by $6.9 trillion to $30.6 trillion:

U.S. Manufacturing Output Rose in December for Fourth Month:

Jobless Claims Hit 45 Year Low:

Trucking Companies Race to Add Capacity:

Home Depot hourly employees to receive up to $1,000 bonus due to tax reform:

Disney to Give Employees $1K Cash Bonuses and Launch $50M Education Program:

Starbucks Announces Employee Raises:

The Government Shutdown:

The Cave In:


“If you’re interested in ‘balancing’ work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable”. Donald Trump


Lanny Hildebrandt