RNC Statement on the 16th Anniversary of September 11, 2001

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Co-Chair Bob Paduchik released the following statement on the 16th anniversary of 9/11:

“Today we remember the souls who were taken from us too soon,” said Chairwoman McDaniel. “While we continue to grieve and will never forget, we are reminded that a new force was born from the immeasurable pain our country suffered that day – one of unity, selfless service, and love for our neighbors.”

“We also look ahead to the fight that remains against radical Islamic terrorism. We give thanks to our military which, under the steadfast leadership of our commander in chief, is continuing this battle with renewed resolve. President Trump has made it clear to the world that extremism will not win.”

“We must never forget that radical Islamic terrorism has taken tens of thousands of innocent lives,” said Co-Chair Paduchik. “Please pray for all people that fight the war on terror.”

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Oregon House Daily Clips

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Democrats see path to ‘cap and invest’ in 2018

Portland Tribune

Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, said he plans to decline an invitation to join the work groups.

“I don’t want to be brought along as window dressing for an outcome already determined by the Democrats,” Bentz said. He said discussions should center on whether “cap and invest” is right for Oregon. State lawmakers have yet to assess how much existing policies have already reduced CO2, Bentz said. “In its place in the world, has Oregon done its part or not?” he said. “Those are justifiable questions to ask because we are a small state.”

 

Deciding whether to adopt “cap and invest” should wait until 2019, when the Legislature will have a session of more than five months, Mann said. The session in 2018 lasts only 35 days.

“We are talking about an extremely complicated issue, and a 35-day session we do not think that is appropriate,” Mann said. Opponents also say costs of the program would eventually trickle down to consumers. “We would have a lot of concerns about the way the program is presented so far because the individuals affected by this are in rural and low-income communities who already have taken the brunt of policy changes recently and in the last several decades,” Mann said.

 

PERS

 

PERS panel close to finishing

Bend Bulletin

After the August meeting of the task force, Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, wrote an opinion essay for the Eugene Register-Guard saying Brown had failed to lead on reforms.

 

VOTING

 

Feds come up with $500 for statewide voter info list

Portland Tribune

Richardson said representatives of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity bought the list Sept. 8. The commission had requested the information in June, when commission Vice Chairman Kris Kobach sent a letter to states asking for detailed information about voters, some of it personal and outside what most states usually provide.

 

ELECTIONS

 

Rep. Noble files for re-election

McMinnville News-Register

 

Legislators consolidate power, cash, in partially invisible cycle of giving to each other

Statesman Journal

Oregon’s campaign finance law was built around a trade off. Any donor — whether in-state, out-of-state, special interest or corporate — can give unlimited amounts of cash to any state candidate as long as there is complete transparency. This keeps citizens informed and candidates aware their actions are public. But there’s a hole in the system.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

Cut in HealthCare.gov ads won’t affect Oregon

Bend Bulletin

“Where Oregon is in a better position than a lot of states that use HealthCare.gov is that we do have funding here at the state level,” said Elizabeth Cronen, communications and legislative manager for Oregon’s Health Insurance Marketplace, the state agency in charge of ACA outreach. “We have both the funding and the framework to do our own outreach and education to consumers.” The funding in Oregon comes from a $6 per-member, per-month fee on health insurers for every medical policy sold via HealthCare.gov and 57 cents for every dental policy. That’s expected to amount to $9.25 million this year.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Wash. congresswoman seeks to block Oregon tolling plans

The Oregonian

But by making those compromises, lawmakers left the state without enough money to pay for all essential road and bridge upgrades, said Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, a co-author of the bill. Without tolling, the carefully-balanced funding plan goes awry. “If we don’t have tolling we will not have the money to replace these essential structures,” he said.

 

“We said please open the door to negotiation. What she’s done is slam it shut. She needs to be asked: Where’s the money?” Bentz said. “Maybe she has some funding in her back pocket she hasn’t told us about,” he said. “We’ve heard a lot about an infrastructure package. Maybe there’s a big pile of money on its way to Oregon, but I haven’t heard of it.”

 

Governor says she’ll continue to support the bypass effort

Newberg Graphic

“I would certainly argue that the Newberg-Dundee bypass did exactly that,” Brown said. “In terms of full funding for the entire project, I haven’t seen the full numbers, but I think what it says is a commitment to the state to keep this project moving forward and to see it through completion.”

 

EQUIFAX

 

Rosenblum: Don’t rely on Equifax after breach

Portland Tribune

“This is a monster data breach,” Rosenblum said on Saturday. “All of the personal information accessed by the hackers can be used fraudulently to validate the claimed identity of someone trying to open a bank or credit account. I urge Oregonians to assume your personal information has been hacked and take extra precautions to help ensure its safety.”

 

EDUCATION

Average SOU student debt tops $27,000

Mail Tribune

Upon graduation, 68 percent of Southern Oregon University’s Class of 2016 had student debt, and that debt averaged $27,375, according to a report published in August by LendEDU.

 

WILDFIRES

 

Agencies’ firefighting money is burning up as fast as the West’s forests

Register-Guard

Public officials have thrown more than 7,000 firefighters, 400 fire engines and other pieces of ground equipment, and about 40 helicopters into the fray against the forest fires besieging Western Oregon. Federal agencies alone have spent more than $200 million thus far combating the string of blazes from the Columbia River Gorge to Brookings.

 

This is why Oregon hasn’t deployed the SuperTanker to fight Eagle Creek, Chetco fires

The Oregonian

“If we need to use it, we’ll just order it up,” Doug Grafe, fire protection chief for the Oregon Department of Forestry. “But the broken terrain won’t allow it.” Strong and unpredictable winds, abetted by the heat of the fires burning in both ends of the state, also make maneuvering the 747 through the mountainous regions difficult enough.

 

How big are Oregon’s wildfires?

Bend Bulletin

The past month has been one of the smokiest in Oregon history, but in terms of how much Oregon forest has burned, 2017 is far from being the state’s worst fire season.

 

Walden Introduces Bill To Expedite Reforestation In The Gorge

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon Republican Congressman Greg Walden introduced a bill to Congress Friday to expedite salvage and reforestation projects in the Columbia River Gorge and other National Scenic Areas after catastrophic events like the Eagle Creek Fire. That blaze, which ignited Sept. 2, is now the nation’s top priority wildfire and is burning more than 33,000 acres in the Gorge.

 

Oregon wildfire fallout a sign of seasons to come

The Oregonian

The truth is more complex. With weeks left in the fire season, more than a half-million acres have burned – a little more than the yearly average over the past decade. That total, however, is far less than the devastation of 2012, when nearly 1.3 million acres burned. But the climate is changing and with that, experts warn, comes a “new normal.” The precipitous drop in air quality, a run on face masks and widespread event cancellations may become more commonplace.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Oregon’s U.S. senators urge Trump to keep U.S. Attorney Billy Williams

The Oregonian

“In August, as promised, we provided you with recommendations for two positions: United States Marshal for the District of Oregon and United States Attorney for the District of Oregon,” Merkley and Wyden wrote. “Unfortunately it is now apparent that you never intended to allow our longstanding process to play out. Instead, you have demonstrated that you were only interested in our input if we were willing to preapprove your preferred nominee.”

 

CONGRESS

 

Walden votes against blocking funds to sanctuary cities

The Oregonian

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., joined a small group of congressional Republicans who voted last week against blocking some federal funds from states and cities that don’t cooperate with immigration enforcement agents.

 

OPINION

Editorial: Call the health care tax what it is – a tax

The Oregonian Editorial Board

Unfortunately, the proponents of the funding package can’t even stomach calling a tax a tax. If they believe the funding plan, inequities and all, is the best way to keep Medicaid going, they should make that case to the public. Disguising the truth never works as long as people hope it will.

 

Editorial: Don’t lose focus when the smoke clears

The Oregonian

Yet as the smoke slowly dissipates this year, we cannot let the memory of yellow haze and choking winds erase what should be very clear now to us all. Wildfires are a constant in our summers and we must do more to help our forests withstand the flames. We can’t control lightning. Or, it seems, the mistakes of adolescents with fireworks. But we can push for better management practices from the federal agency in charge of the forests that blanket a majority of our state.

 

Editorial: Absenteeism saps chances for high achievement

Daily Astorian

Attendance trails off badly toward the end of high school, when students should instead be gathering momentum for careers by doing well in classes. More than 28 percent of juniors and seniors at Astoria High School, more than 30 percent at Warrenton High School and 40 percent at Seaside High School are chronically absent. Active intervention is needed well before the final years of K-12 schooling to make sure to minimize the underlying reasons for missing classes.

 

Editorial: Oregon ablaze: Let’s take steps to minimize future fires

Portland Tribune

The anger many Oregonians have expressed toward the careless teenager who allegedly started the Eagle Creek inferno is understandable. But it must be matched by a commitment to make changes that will allow us to minimize the effects of future fires — whatever their cause.

 

Editorial: Congress does some, but not enough for wildfires

Bend Bulletin

There should be a buffer where federal land managers have the freedom they need to reduce fire danger and fight fires however they see fit. Walden has been working hard to fix that problem for Crooked River Ranch. Congress should take action on his bill to do that, too.

 

Editorial: Forest agencies need to explain more about letting small fires burn

Herald and News

The rationale behind allowing small, supposedly non-threatening fires to burn is that such fires clean out the woody debris and brush that’s often, but not universally, seen as a major contributor to wildfires.

 

Editorial: Addressing Oregon’s legacy of injustice

Mail Tribune

Beyond the consideration of racial and ethnic bigotry, non-unanimous verdicts make it easier for prosecutors to win convictions in Oregon than in other states. A 12-member jury that takes a poll at the beginning of deliberations and comes up 10-2 for conviction is unlikely to take the time to deliberate and persuade the two dissenters to change their minds when that isn’t necessary.

 

Guest: Governor’s transportation plan will benefit entire state

Matthew Jensen, Local 737

As the country’s political landscape has become more and more divided, the kind of leadership shown by Brown is becoming all too rare. The hyper-partisan debate in our nation’s capital certainly isn’t helping the problem. It’s honestly refreshing to see our governor bringing together business and labor leaders and politicians from both sides of the aisle to solve a problem and make things better for everyone.

 

Guest: Southern Oregon wildfires — the rhetoric and the reality

Luke Ruediger, Applegate Neighborhood Network

For decades, aggressive fire suppression was an unquestioned paradigm with mounting costs to society. Fire-dependent ecosystems such as the forests of Southern Oregon were starved of fire, while at the same time our forests were being logged at an ever-quickening pace. Forests composed of large, fire-resistant trees were replaced with highly flammable plantation stands and logging slash. The effect of logging on the forests of Southern Oregon has been as pronounced as fire suppression, and the compounding effect of both logging and fire suppression has got us where we are today.

 

Guest: ‘Let it burn’ approach to wildfires creating a disaster for our forests

Sen. Dennis Linthicum

The overall solution is not complicated — in fact it’s simple. Let’s allow balanced human wisdom, ingenuity, and expertise a voice at the table to bring common sense and local control back to our forest management.

RSVP: OHA accomplices invited to testify at investigative hearings

from the 

SENATE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

 

 

SALEM, Ore.-Two Republican lawmakers outraged over the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) scandal, which involved the planned systemic targeting of HIV patients and the unacceptable targeting of a health care provider named FamilyCare Health, today wrote invitations to BethAnne Darby and Courtney Warner, accomplices in the crafting of the highly controversial plan, to come testify at the upcoming investigative hearings.

 

“As OHA staff at the time the PR plan was promulgated, it is vital that you appear to answer the committee’s questions on this concerning matter,” wrote state Sens. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, and Alan DeBoer, R-Ashland, in their letters. “Oregonians deserve to know whether these startling allegations are in-fact true and, if so, why the PR plan was conceived in the first place.”

 

Republicans tried to send the letter to Lynne Saxton, who the governor axed over the plan, but no one could provide an email address for her including the governor’s office when initially requested. The Senate watchdog committee’s hearing into OHA over their demonization and targeting of FamilyCare is scheduled for Mon., Sept. 18, at 2:00 PM in HR A at the Oregon Statehouse.

 

What some may not know is that Darby was once a Big Union lobbyist. And as the agency’s chief spokeswoman, Darby makes a whopping $154,000 a year, compared to $114,000 for her predecessor, Patty Wentz. The average Oregon household income is $54,148, meaning Darby got paid out about 280 percent of the income of the average Oregon household to craft “pr hit jobs.”  And that Crowell, is a Democrat political insider and worked for Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and former Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Instead of getting busted though, Crowell got a big promotion and now works as a “regional solutions” coordinator for Gov. Kate Brown and rakes in about 100 grand a year. People are onto the government.

 

As interim director Patrick Allen prepares to helm the state agency to stiller seas, a torrent of resignations threatens his success. The agency’s Medicaid director and chief medical officer resigned and now the chief health systems officer and state Medicaid operations director resigned too. Dr. Chauhan Varsha, said about her resignation that there will be a “smooth transition.”

 

The Lund Report also learned Darby may be leaving the agency as well, but didn’t respond to comment. Darby came on board in Nov. 2015, and worked very closely with Saxton.

 

According to The Lund Report, Darby also intervened during the legislative session to thwart a bill sponsored by FamilyCare that dealt with rate reimbursement. The highly controversial “communications” plan, was released in response to a public records appeal by the Portland Tribune.

 

According to the Portland Tribune’s Nick Budnick, the plan was forwarded between OHA’s head of lobbying, Darby, Saxton and others in January as a means to manipulate the 2017 legislative session.

Darby has said that the salacious plan’s “goal will be to create enough information buzz that it causes the Legislature to question what (FamilyCare) is trying to sell.”

 

Republicans have been working hard to counter the Union-Dem axis of control over the state that has dominated public policy decisions for decades at the detriment of real people.

 

Thatcher first issued out a statement,”Brown administration sought to exploit HIV patient to aid in takedown of non-profit ‘FamilyCare,'” regarding her concern over OHA planning to systematically target HIV patients in hopes of exploiting one to smear FamilyCare Health, one of the state’s 16 health care providers for the most vulnerable of Oregonians, these type of providers are called coordinated care organizations (CCOs). Following Thatcher’s statement, mass outrage ensued from both sides the aisle and the media, erupting with anger, until Saxton was axed. Saxton has consistently come under fire from both sides of the aisle for perpetual failure and abuse of the state agency.

 

Thatcher, who sits on the watchdog Senate General Government and Accountability Committee, first advocated to the committee’s chairman state Sen. Chuck Riley, D-Hillsboro, that they should enact a legislative inquiry to gain much-needed information on OHA’s culture of abuse.

 

“Right now we know what happened – OHA abused taxpayer dollars to create a smear campaign against a health care provider for the most vulnerable and planned to systematically target HIV patients. But what we do not yet know is why this was allowed to happen in the first place. We need to gain a fuller scope of the background on this horrific action. We cannot allow state agencies to use the force of government to target perceived political enemies,” said Thatcher when requesting the legislative inquiries.

 

“It is chilling how much unchecked power exists within certain powerful agencies in our state government,” said Thatcher when she first learned of OHA’s salacious plan. “When a few people in charge don’t like a person, or a business, or a non-profit, they can use the might of the 800-pound gorilla government to pound them down and ride roughshod over them.”

 

“It is highly irregular that a state agency would plan to engage in any kind of campaign to attack another entity,” Riley said in a press release announcing his agreement with Thatcher’s request. “It is incumbent upon the Legislature to ensure that state agencies are accountable for their actions. The Committee on General Government and Accountability is the best group to begin delving into this issue and asking questions that Oregonians deserve to have answered.”

 

OHA refused last month to let the public see the strategic plan developed to attack the health care provider, manipulate the press and manipulate lawmakers. The Brown administration intentionally, and “overwhelmingly,” blacked out 26 pages of emails involving its FamilyCare takedown-plan, blacking out all mention of the hit, citing “pending litigation.”

 

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For follow-up commentary please contact Senate Minority Spokesman Jonathan Lockwood at 971-645-2140.

 

INVITATION

 

The Senate Interim Committee on General Government and Accountability requests your appearance as a witness to answer questions regarding the unfolding OHA-FamilyCare matter.

 

Startling claims have been raised regarding the Oregon Health Authority (OHA)’s treatment of the nonprofit Coordinated Care Organization FamilyCare. OHA reportedly sought to target FamilyCare with a public relations (PR) plan for the purpose of demeaning the low-income health care provider in the eyes of the public. If true, OHA’s actions raise serious concerns which must be addressed.

 

As OHA staff at the time the PR plan was promulgated, it is vital that you appear to answer the committee’s questions on this concerning matter. Oregonians deserve to know whether these startling allegations are in-fact true and, if so, why the PR plan was conceived in the first place.

 

The committee expects your presence as well as your openness at the upcoming hearing. The committee will meet at 2:00 PM on Monday September 18, 2017, in HR A at the State Capitol.

 

THATCHER’S ORIGINAL LETTER REQUESTING INVESTIGATIVE HEARINGS

 

from the office of

SEN. KIM THATCHER

 

Sen. Chuck Riley,

 

Our roles on the Senate General Government and Accountability Committee are ones we both take seriously. We are the watchdog for state agencies. I think we agree that Oregonians deserve to know why the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) maliciously targeted private entities and abused taxpayer dollars. We should take the opportunity to address Oregonians concerns regarding the flailing agency.

 

This week, following a statement my office released, OHA came under sustained, heavy fire from both sides of the aisle and the media for planning to systematically target HIV patients and FamilyCare Health, one of the state’s 16 coordinated care organizations (CCOs), with a detailed and malicious public relations (PR) plan. We have been told the plan didn’t happen, but can we be sure? How many HIV patients were subjected to OHA’s “PR” plan? What was the director’s involvement in the development of the plan? When was the governor’s office informed of the plan? Who directed the development of the plan? These are serious questions and they are just the beginning.

 

We know the PR plan’s purpose was to discredit and defame the health care provider in the eyes of the public and to manipulate lawmakers into killing FamilyCare backed legislation to make health care reimbursement rate-setting more transparent. When the PR “hit job” was uncovered, and media reports highlighted the disgraceful use of taxpayer’s dollars and the abuse of government power, OHA Director Lynne Saxton resigned.

 

The FamilyCare matter was not the first of its kind. Last April, a Linn County Circuit Court judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking OHA, DEQ, and Oregon OSHA from implementing a similar PR plan. In that instance, OHA sought to discredit and defame Entek International, a Lebanon based manufacturer, because Entek – though it was in compliance with all existing environmental standards – may have been emitting at levels that could exceed DEQ standards the agency was lobbying to enact. In other words, they were trying to nail Entek for violations of yet to be promulgated future rules. Ironically, Entek was strongly opposed to the gross receipts tax aggressively pursued throughout the session by the Democrat majority.

 

OHA’s pernicious PR plans cannot be discussed without mentioning that OHA has made nearly $200 million in unlawful Medicaid payments to approximately 37,00 individuals. This is egregious especially given the $600 million in new taxes the Legislature just adopted to fund the program. It appears, agency officials are more interested in wielding their power to punish perceived enemies than to effectively and efficiently deliver vital health care services to Oregonians.

 

OHA is an agency in crisis. A public inquiry into these so-called “communications” plans should be conducted. Sen. Chuck Riley, D-Hillsboro, chairman of the Senate Committee on General Government and Accountability, is uniquely positioned to address such violations of the public trust. It is extremely vital former Director Saxton as well as other agency staff, are forced to answer questions explaining the plan’s development. Oregonians deserve to know the details surrounding these plans, so the legislature can ensure no further abuses of power can occur.

 

Oregonians deserve a state government that is efficient, effective, and accountable; not one that wastes taxpayer dollars and uses its regulatory power to punish its perceived political enemies. Chair Riley cannot let these abuses go unaddressed.

 

With great concern,

 

Sen. Kim Thatcher

 

 

Good News Update

NEWS YOU WON’T SEE IN THE LEFT-COAST, LAME-STREAM MEDIA (on the Communist News Network-CNN or MSLSD-MSNBC)

 

Strong Revision Upgrades US Economic Growth to 3% in Second Quarter: http://www.breitbart.com/news/us-economy-grew-3-in-second-quarter-commerce-dept/

 

Trump Ends Obama Effort to Waive Work Requirements for Welfare: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/30/donald-trump-ends-obama-effort-to-waive-work-requirements-for-welfare/

 

Trump Slashes Obamacare Outreach Funding by 90 Percent: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/31/donald-trump-slashes-obamacare-outreach-funding-by-90-percent/

 

American Manufacturing Expanded in August at Fastest Pace in Six Years: http://www.breitbart.com/economics/2017/09/01/boom-american-manufacturing-expanded-in-august-at-fastest-pace-in-six-years/

 

Jeff Sessions Announces DACA Demise: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/09/05/jeff-sessions-announces-daca-demise/

 

DHS Repatriating More DACA Amnesty Criminals: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/29/dhs-repatriating-daca-amnesty-criminals/

 

Concrete Border Wall Prototype Contractors Announced: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/31/concrete-border-wall-prototype-contractors-announced/

 

Illegal Immigrant MS-13 Members Arrested in Ohio, Georgia: http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/09/07/three-illegal-immigrant-ms-13-members-arrested-ohio-georgia/

 

Job Creators Network Applauds Trump’s Tax Cut Plan: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/31/job-creators-network-applauds-trumps-tax-cut-plan/

 

Federal Government Jobs Down 11,000 in 2017: https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/federal-govt-jobs-down-11000-2017-state-govt-jobs-down-2000-local

Monthly Refugee Admissions Lowest in 15 Years; Percentage of Muslims Declining: https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/refugee-admissions-drop-below-1000-proportion-muslims-keeps

Americans for Liberty PAC

A Political Action Committee for Conservatives who uphold the US Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers

Lanny Hildebrandt MBA CPA

1615 4th Street

La Grande OR  97850

(541) 963-7930

Fax (541) 963-7750

Email hilde@eoni.com

 

Labor Reform: Anne Marie Gurney, Oregon Director of the Freedom Foundation, speaks at UCRCC meeting

Anne Marie Gurney shared the following information with us.

From the Freedom Foundation:

 

Most Americans don’t like being told what to do. Yet many government employees are forced, as a condition of working, to pay dues to union organizations. These union monopolies overcharge workers and spend huge sums of money on political campaigns and lobbying. And, since union power comes from government, union lobbyists always push for bigger and more powerful government. …

 

The Freedom Foundation is working to reverse the stranglehold public-sector unions have on our government. We are fighting to make collective bargaining more transparent, give government employees a choice to join an employees union or not, and prohibit taxpayer’s money from being unwillingly used to influence the political system. Our plan includes: lobbying the legislature for these changes, communicating stories about how government unions use their power to influence policies, ​engaging citizens to make these changes in their local governments, and suing government unions for these abuses.

  

Rayfield’s partisan attacks on SOS audit alert don’t hold up

 

OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

  

EDITORIAL: Richardson’s audit alert was a bullseye

The Bend Bulletin

 

“The health plan is expensive, and its cost will only grow in the years ahead as federal payments for Medicaid decline. Assuring that everyone who is on the Oregon Health Plan is entitled to be there is critical. And had it not been for Secretary of State Richardson and his audit alert, Oregonians might never have become aware of how far away from being able to make that assurance the OHA really was.”

 

FLASHBACK: Rep. Rayfield calls SOS audit alert a “politically motivated attempt to grab headlines”

Oregon House Floor: May 17, 2017

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HApQ8WVpcNQ

 

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Please join Malheur County for their Republican Dinner!

REPUBLICAN DINNER

Invited Guest Speaker

DENNIS RICHARDSON

SECRETARY OF STATE

Monday Sept. 25, 2017

6:30 Social      7:00 Dinner
Auction Live and Silent
Vale Christian Church
450 A Street W.
Vale, Oregon

Salmon and Prime Rib

      $25.00 per Person   $45.00 per Couple

For More Information Call Lee at 541.709.8174

Cheryl at 541.889.3747 or 541.881.6168

Shameful partisanship in health care tax fight

 

OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE  

 

Editorial: Shameful partisanship in health care tax fight

The Bend Bulletin Editorial Board

The Legislature’s committee to write up the ballot information for a challenge to a health care tax was a blatant partisan creation from the beginning. It was created by Democrats and pushed the limits of what legislators can do to tilt the outcome of a vote.

House Speaker Tina Kotek, a Democrat, just tilted it a bit more by making appointments to the committee without consulting with the minority party as required by House rules.

The fight is at its heart a dispute over how to pay for health care. The state’s Medicaid program had a funding problem.

Democrats funded it in part with House Bill 2391 and its new 1.5 percent premium tax on health plans. But it was not a 1.5 percent premium tax on all health plans. The bill picks and chooses. People who buy their coverage on the health exchange pay the tax. Some state employees pay the tax. Employees who get insurance through self-insured companies don’t pay. How is that fair?

The bill’s passage was a squeaker. House Democrats needed one Republican vote to get the three-fifths supermajority required for new taxes. Republican Rep. Sal Esquivel of Medford complied. Some Republicans began working on a challenge to HB 2391 at the ballot.

Democrats weren’t done. They turned their attention to making it harder for that ballot challenge to succeed. Senate Bill 229 was originally a series of technical fixes to state election law. Democrats added on a provision aimed at controlling information. Normally, when there is a ballot measure, a balanced committee is formed to write the ballot title and explanatory statements. Democrats wrote in language that enabled them to stack the committee for this ballot measure with four Democrats and two Republicans.

Then on Monday, Kotek added another dose of partisanship. She failed to follow the appointment process outlined in House Rule 8.05 (3) when making appointments to the committee. The rule requires the House Speaker to consult in good faith with elected leaders of each caucus when making appointments to committees. She did not bother to consult with Republicans.

It’s shameful that Democrats in the Legislature would create such lopsided taxes and a lopsided committee. Kotek made it worse.

###

 

House Republicans respond to latest tax and fee hike proposals from Governor Brown’s PERS task force

OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

 

House Republicans respond to latest tax and fee hike proposals from Governor Brown’s PERS task force

 

Salem, Ore. – House Republicans issued the following statement in response to the latest proposals brought forward by Governor Kate Brown’s PERS task force. OPB reported Monday afternoon the proposals floated included a 10% surcharge on fees, including hunting licenses and vehicle registrations, higher beer and wine taxes, and other ideas that “could hit Oregonians in their bank accounts.”

 

Statement from House GOP spokesman Preston Mann:

 

“It’s unfortunate that Governor Brown’s PERS task force has adopted the myth perpetuated by Democratic leadership that the most effective way to address our unfunded pension liability is through higher taxes and fees. That simply is not true. The best way to reduce our pension deficit is to require current employees to contribute their fair share toward their retirement accounts. This isn’t rocket science.”

 

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McLane rebukes Kotek for Violating House Rules, Committee Appointment Process

 

OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

 

Salem, Ore. – House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) today issued a rebuke of House Speaker Tina Kotek for her failure to follow the committee appointment process outlined in House Rule 8.05 (3). The rule requires the Speaker to consult in good faith with elected leaders of each caucus when making appointments to committees. No such consultation took place prior to Speaker Kotek’s appointment of members to the Joint Interim Committee on Referendum 301.

 

“I have been an outspoken critic of the committee appointment process because I believe it puts too much power in the hands of a partisan politician without any kind of check or balance,” said Rep. McLane. “In response to my criticisms prior to the 2017 session, the House approved a rule change that required the Speaker to consult with other caucus leaders before making appointments. I did not believe that change went far enough, but I expected the Speaker to honor the letter and spirit of the change adopted by the House. Her actions today violated that rule change because she failed to work with, let alone consult, the House Republican leadership on what member would serve on the Joint Interim Committee on Referendum 301.

 

House Rule 8.5 (3) reads:

 

In determining committee appointments, the Speaker shall consult in good faith with the elected leader of each caucus.

 

The Joint Interim Committee on Referendum 301 is the committee charged with drafting the ballot title for a citizen referendum related to the referral of HB 2391, otherwise known as the “healthcare provider tax.”

 

“I’m very disappointed that Speaker Kotek would choose to violate House Rules on an issue as important as this one,” concluded Rep. McLane.

 

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Click here to view this release online.