Oregon Catalyst: Daily Update

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CBS pollster gives GOP hope for 2018

Posted: 21 Aug 2018 08:02 AM PDT

By NW Spotlight,

CBS pollster, Anthony Salvanto, was one of the few to see the closeness of the 2016 election results because of his reliance on tracking polling. Here is what he said to expect for 2018:

Salvanto’s polling currently indicates that few House seats will change hands in November — and that the GOP could very well hold its majority in the House. “In this era, a district’s voting patterns from the past tend to stay that way,” Salvanto said. “Not as many partisans today are willing to cross party lines.” Of the nation’s 435 House districts, fully 85 percent will almost certainly stick with its current party affiliation come November, Salvanto projects….

“Right now I think this election looks like a toss-up,” Salvanto said. “We see a Democrat pickup in the House of Representatives in the 20-odd seat range, but Republicans could certainly hold on to the House.” The GOP holds a slim 43-seat House majority, with six vacancies. “Even though Republicans have not fared well in special elections so far this cycle, it does look like they will be turning out for the midterms,” Salvanto said. “So far we do not see a large number of Republicans saying they will flip and vote for a Democrat.” GOP voters in the past have been much more likely than Democrats to turn up and cast ballots in midterm elections, regardless of each party’s enthusiasm level ahead of Election Day.

How Knute Buehler Wins Portland: Law and Order

Posted: 20 Aug 2018 07:49 PM PDT

By Alex Titus

The Democratic Party of Oregon should be sounding the alarm bell if it hasn’t already. Of the two major polls conducted on the governor’s race, the results show Republican candidate Knute Buehler running neck and neck against Democratic incumbent Kate Brown.

However, Buehler still has a tough path ahead. He still must accomplish the long thought impossible task of winning over moderate and independent voters in the Portland metro area. To win these voters, he must take a page out of the playbook that has delivered results for so many Republicans in toss-up and blue states.

Buehler should make crystal clear to Portland voters that he’ll be the candidate to uphold the rule of law and restore order in a city plagued by chaos.

Portland has long been a Democratic stronghold. GOP candidates have struggled for decades to break the liberal grip on Multnomah County which has crashed the hopes of Republicans from Dudley to Richardson.

But this election is different: thanks to the disastrous policies of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Kate Brown, Republicans have a unique chance to make inroads with this key voting bloc.

To say conditions in downtown Portland have deteriorated is a dramatic understatement. Which was once a clean and beautiful city, has turned into a haven for lawlessness, anarchy, and filth.

Used drug needles litter the streets. Small businesses have been forced to close or relocate due to aggressive vagrants. Tent cities continue to expand across the city. Literal anarchy broke out as Portland police officers were ordered by city hall to stand down when protestors harassed employees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Disorder and lawlessness have taken over. Yet Brown and Wheeler are under the façade that the situation is under control. Even as people literally fear for their lives downtown, it’s all going to be A-Okay!

This naivety gives Buehler a chance to appeal to disgruntled Portland liberals and independents who are normally squared away in the Democratic camp.

Tough on crime politics is a time-tested strategy for Republicans. From Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, numerous GOP candidates have been able to successfully capitalize on Democrat’s failure to enforce basic public safety and sanitation measures.

Ronald Reagan decried California’s violent student protestors which helped propel him to the governor’s chair. Richard Nixon promised to crack down on criminals through harsher sentencing during his historic 1968 victory.

Rudy Giuliani promised the people of New York City to restore the rule of law and implemented the highly-successfully “Broken Windows” policy agenda. Donald Trump’s vow to get tough on crime and upend the Obama administration’s weak policies.

The electoral and policy results speak for themselves.

Thankfully, Buehler has already shown a prowess to stand up for the rule of law. He condemned Brown’s disastrous sanctuary city policy and vowed to repeal it.

Sanctuary cities are little more than refuge sites for potential criminals. Buehler is right to oppose such a misguided policy.

You can also bet our men and women in uniform won’t be undermined or scrutinized for doing their jobs if Buehler is elected governor.

Still, he can go further. Buehler should outline a 100-day action plan that offers solutions to quell the current crisis in Portland.

These solutions could include: a plan to rid the trash, feces, and used drug needles plaguing Portland’s streets, a larger budget for more law enforcement officers which is an absolute necessity, and an alternative housing option to the tent cities that are overwhelming downtown.

Fixes like the ones above are not only good policy but also electoral. Families want solutions to the Brown and Wheeler’s mess.

To be clear: basic public safety is not a partisan issue. Ensuring streets are clean so children don’t step on used Heroin needles is not a partisan issue. Not having streets riddled with feces and trash is not a partisan issue.

While no one thinks the status quo is okay, Wheeler and Brown seem to have put their fingers in their ears and hands over their eyes.

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that this governor race is neck and neck. Kate Brown has failed and voters are hungry for change.

Buehler has a strong shot this November, and if he is willing to own the law and order mantle, he just may be able to make a big play for Multnomah County.

Alex Titus is a Public Interest Fellow and conservative political activist based out of Washington, DC, and Portland. You can follow him on Twitter @atitus7.

August 20, 2018 Daily Clips



Editorial: PERS is no ordinary 401(k)

The Bend Bulletin

Yes, new PERS members have a 401(k), but that isn’t all. Not only will public employees in the newest tier, Tier 3, receive a defined-contribution plan akin to a 401(k), but they also will receive a defined-benefit retirement plan. The defined-contribution component is funded by a mandatory contribution amounting to 6 percent of an employee’s earnings. This money, as in a 401(k), is invested and grows during an employee’s working life and is paid out in retirement. There’s a catch, however. For some 60 to 65 percent of Oregon’s public employees, that 6 percent contribution actually is paid by their employers — taxpayers.


Slow down! 3 flaggers hurt or killed in 4 days, ODOT says

Portland Tribune

“We have a simple message: When you see orange signs, barrels, cones, and barricades, slow down and watch for road construction workers,” ODOT said in a news release encouraging drivers to take their foot off the gas.


N.Y. lawmaker proposes making 911 calls on law-abiding black people a hate crime

The Washington Post

“This pattern of calling the police on black people going about their business and participating in the life of our country has to stop,” he said in a statement. “From a student taking a break at Yale, to a student eating lunch at Smith College, to a child selling lemonade, to a person having a barbecue in Oakland, to an Oregon state legislator knocking on doors – the list goes on and on.” “That’s gonna be a hate crime,” Mr. Hamilton said.




Local business group discusses upcoming legislative session

Portland Tribune

The two things guaranteed to be discussed during the 2019 Oregon legislative session will cap-and-trade and the state budget — at least according to the policy experts who met with East Multnomah County business leaders and elected officials Thursday afternoon, Aug. 9. Another topic expected to be debated in 2019 by Oregon politicians is a potential 60-hour cap on the work week for manufacturing businesses.


Findley to take lawmakers on local tour

The Argus Observer

Rep. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, will be taking two Oregon lawmakers from the other side of the state on a tour of House District 60, which he serves. This includes Malheur, Baker, Grant and Harney counties, as well as part of Lake County. Reps. Margaret Doherty, D-District 35, and Andrea Salinas, D-District 38, will be making their way from Portland and Lake Oswego, respectively, to tour Findley’s district from Monday to Wednesday.




Wyden, Blumenauer call for paper ballots nationwide

Portland Tribune

It may be an age of apps and emails, but Oregon lawmakers say only one technology can truly keep U.S. elections safe and secure: paper. The Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act was introduced by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, among others Democrats, in June. It would require every state to use printed ballots and conduct rigorous audits from a smaller sample after each vote. The bill would require “hand-to-eye” recounts of every vote cast if the audit finds anything fishy. That includes human error and sloppy recordkeeping — though the legislators clearly have their eyes peeled for threats of foreign interference.




Election 2018: Kate Brown and Knute Buehler on guns


Brown said in an opinion article on InStyle.com earlier this year that she supports a ban on “military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.” However, when asked for details about her position, Brown said she’s looking to Washington to pass the ban. “If Congress doesn’t take action, then Oregon does, it needs to,” Brown said. She would not say how long she’s willing to wait. So, if lawmakers were to pass an assault weapons sales ban in 2019 that mirrors this year’s failed initiative, would Brown sign it into law? “I’d have to review the language but probably I would, yes,” Brown said.




Central Oregon schools using ‘secure lobbies’ for student safety

The Bend Bulletin

When a visitor walks in the main door, the only part of the school they have access to is the front office. Anywhere beyond that is protected by a second, locked doorway. To get past that second doorway, a front office receptionist will have to buzz the visitor in. At the beginning and end of the school day, the doors will be unlocked so students can easily enter and leave.“It’s just an additional layer of security,” Bend-La Pine Schools Safety Coordinator Scott Bojanowski said of the lobbies. “It doesn’t allow unfettered access into the building by people just walking in any entrance.”


PPS wants to exempt half its high schoolers from full-day school rule

Portland Tribune

In a long-running controversy involving several current school board members, Portland Public Schools’ board voted Tuesday night to ask the state to exempt more than 7,200 high school students from new instructional hour requirements. The rule required that by 2018-19, 92 percent of district students — and at least 80 percent at each school — receive the minimum instructional hours. For grades 9-11, that’s 990 hours. For seniors, it’s 966 hours. That’s already lower than most other states. Three of the proposed exemptions to the rule target high-achieving students, such as those taking Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes; other unique instructional situations, such as college credits and apprenticeships; and most high school seniors. The fourth exemption would be for the 15 percent of district students who are in alternative education programs, such as Alliance High School or Metropolitan Learning Center.




Walmart And Others Offer Workers Payday Loan Alternative

Oregon Public Broadcasting

His PayActiv company lets workers get access to that money they’ve already earned. So at many companies now – including Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken and the country’s biggest private-sector employer Walmart — workers download an app to their phone. It’s linked to PayActiv and to the payroll system of the employer. “So let’s say they’ve already earned $900” by earning $100 a day for nine days, says Shah. But payroll is still five days away and they need the money right away. Shaw says they open the app and “they will see a number which is half of the amount they have earned that is accessible to them.”




Oregon wage earners could face bigger income tax bills

The Bend Bulletin

Because of the federal 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, there is now a larger difference between withholding calculations for federal and Oregon income tax. What’s more, Oregon depends on the federal form to determine state withholding, so taxpayers might not be holding back enough taxes to cover their state income tax liability, the department said.




Wait for citizenship is longer than ever

The Bend Bulletin

Under two administrations, Trump’s and Obama’s, citizenship applications have piled up, creating a massive backlog. Since President Donald Trump announced his candidacy by denouncing illegal immigration and vowing to close off the southern border, there’s been a sharp spike in the number of permanent U.S. residents applying for naturalization. But application forms doubled in length during President Barack Obama’s tenure, with dozens of new questions about “good moral character,” and the Trump administration has been scrutinizing those documents more closely, advocates say. The result is a growing backlog of citizenship applications at a time when Trump’s immigration crackdown has made even permanent residents feel like they may be at risk.




70 percent of Oregon in ‘severe drought’; local lakes dropping fast

Mail Tribune

Drought, hot summer weather and continued draw-down for irrigation needs have Emigrant, Hyatt and Howard Prairie lakes headed toward their lowest levels since 2014, leading to recreation closures and threatening to inflict future water headaches. Emigrant and Hyatt lakes — which like Howard Prairie are actually reservoirs — are forecast to drop below 10 percent of capacity by the time the Talent Irrigation District halts its irrigation season in mid September. That’s at least two weeks earlier than a normal water year, TID Manager Jim Pendleton said.

“If we get any significant rainfall, that might push it out a week, but anything past Sept. 15 will be a gift for us,” Pendleton said.


Merged 120,000-acre wildfire splits battle into two fronts

Mail Tribune

Two massive wildfires that merged west of Grants Pass have been split into two management zones – one to protect inland towns like Merlin, Grants Pass and Cave Junction, and the other to slow the spread of the fires toward the Oregon coast.




Twitter Locks County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson Out of an Account

Willamette Week

Twitter has been famously trying to clean hate speech and abuse its accounts, dumping bots and white supremacists. One week ago, for instance, the social-media giant suspended the accounts of dozens of people affiliated with the Proud Boys. It also locked down a seemingly uncontroversial account from East Portland—@eastpdx.Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson tweeted the news out on Thursday. “It wasn’t technical—I was barred for 12 hours, but I haven’t the faintest as to what the reason could be,” emails Vega Pederson. “Too many cute pictures? East Portland bias? Your guess is as good as mine.”


Metro weighs opening more land for homes amid housing crunch


Mary Kyle McCurdy, the group’s deputy director, said Metro’s report emphasizes a need for neighborhoods with services in centrally located areas, not on the region’s fringe. “No matter what we do with the urban growth boundary, the real way we address affordability for middle- and low-income people is through the existing urban growth boundary, and how we use the land within the urban growth boundary more efficiently.”


Company says rival emits unnecessarily high amounts of mercury into Columbia River Gorge air

Portland Tribune

Two competing companies that handle hazardous waste are arguing over how much toxic pollution is being dumped into the Columbia River Gorge’s air by a hazardous waste operation in Eastern Oregon. One of the companies, TDX, claims that the other company, Chemical Waste Management of the Northwest Inc., is emitting more than 2 tons of mercury per year into the air from its operations in Arlington, Ore., some 50 miles east of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.




PERS debate an essential ingredient in race for governor

The Register-Guard

One thing is clear, however: without PERS reform, public services in the state will continue to spiral downwards, in the classrooms, on the streets, in the parks, as tax dollars continue to be channeled into PERS when they could be better spent hiring more teachers and police. GOP gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler has already issued an ambitious PERS reform plan. Incumbent Gov. Kate Brown has, predictably, pooh-poohed it. Her own PERS plans amount to minor tweaks.


Editorial: Gubernatorial race may not hinge on economic issues

Corvallis Gazette-Times

Oregon’s economy, the department reported, is growing faster than previously thought: In June and July, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment rose by 12,000 jobs. Employment is up 2.4 percent in the last 12 months. Brown has other advantages as well as she seeks re-election. The biggest one: She’s a Democrat in a state where Democrats holds a substantial advantage in registered voters. So, you would think, the conventional wisdom would have her hitting the campaign trail after Labor Day with a substantial lead over her Republican opponent, Knute Buehler, and the Independent Party nominee, Patrick Starnes. But that’s not what some of the early polls suggest.


Readers respond: Measure 104 keeps funding decisions from becoming back-room deals


More than 20 years ago, Oregonians passed an amendment to the state constitution to prevent politicians from raising revenue without support from a three-fifths supermajority, as opposed to a simple majority. The intent was to prevent either party from passing highly partisan back-room deals by razor-thin margins. This seemed like plain language to voters, but then politicians and lawyers got involved and began parsing terms and weakening the will of the people. Now, politicians in Salem are working to raise taxes by taking away important deductions — and doing it without the three-fifths supermajority that Oregon voters enacted.  Measure 104 would clarify – once again – that politicians can’t raise revenue without a supermajority vote. So, in addition to raising tax rates, they also can’t eliminate tax deductions or create and increase fees and assessments without demonstrating broad support. This will ensure that balanced, bipartisan agreements are struck before struggling Oregonians are asked to pay more, particularly at a time when our state is becoming less affordable.


MY VOICE: ‘Ignoring Oregonians’ does not describe Walden or Barreto

The La Grande Observer

Comments that Republicans are not willing to discuss issues are laughable. All legislators should follow their sworn duty to vote independently on what is good for the country, not just listen to their party leader. “Ignoring Oregonians” does not describe our representative Greg Walden or our state representative Greg Barreto. Please get informed.


Time to take action to limit summer fires

Jamie McLeod-Skinner

Wildfires are part of nature. What’s unnatural is our increasing wildfire season. Our congressional representative, Greg Walden, has developed a recent fascination with these fires. A little over a month ago, he ran radio ads essentially declaring “Mission Accomplished” on wildfires. His solution has been to promote clearcutting and limit our public review process. But anything less than a comprehensive solution is just blowing smoke. Representative Walden blames red tape, litigation, and outside interest groups for Oregon’s fires. But the Endangered Species Act didn’t cause beetle infestation or the invasion of highly combustible grass species. Judges didn’t raise average summer temperatures. And conservation groups didn’t extend the average fire season from 30 to 60 days.

Knute Buehler to Unite Rural and Urban Oregon


The reform-minded candidate says urban-rural divide is artificial result of political decisions made in Salem, outlines eight-point plan to achieve greater unity and shared prosperity across the state.


Coos Bay – With the unemployment rate in Oregon’s rural counties well above that in urban areas, and the $7.5 billion Jordan Cove Energy Project awaiting governmental support for the necessary permits from the State Capitol only 180 miles to the north, gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler announced today his eight big important goals to bridge Oregon’s rural-urban divide. He pledges to “close the achievement and opportunity gaps between rural and urban” and  be “a governor for all of Oregon, not a single region, political party or ideology.”


“As Governor, I will lead on issues critical to urban Oregonians while making a special effort to listen, learn and lead on issues critical to rural Oregonians. Our goal should be shared prosperity no matter who you are or where you live in our wonderful state,” said Buehler.


The Roseburg native’s plan includes support for the Jordan Cove Energy Project, which will generate hundreds of good-paying jobs on the South Coast and badly needed tax revenues for local towns and schools.


“I don’t believe that Oregon’s so-called rural-urban divide is an immovable feature of our natural landscape – like a mountain or a lake,” said Buehler. “This divide is a choice. It’s an artificial political divide made better, or worse each day by elected leaders in Salem. With each choice, divisions are healed or made deeper.”


Highlights from Buehler’s “One Oregon: Bridging Oregon’s Rural/Urban Divide” plan include:


A Governor Accessible to All:  Hold Town Hall style meetings in each of Oregon’s 36 counties, every year. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden pioneered this practice and it should apply to a Governor as well.


Ensure Geographic Diversity:  Ensure geographic diversity in both professional and volunteer policy-making appointments in state government. Direct state agencies to perform rigorous economic impact analyses of major new rules to ensure they do not unfairly burden rural communities.


Promote Rural Job Growth:  Support the $7.5 billion Jordan Cove Energy Project in Coos County. The project will transform the South Coast and restore hope and opportunities across the region. It will create hundreds of good-paying jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars in revenues for local schools and other services.


Defend Free Trade:  Oregon is a trade-dependent state. Defend trade and open markets for Oregon products no matter what President or Party controls the White House or Congress. Trade wars threaten 500,000 Oregon jobs.


Support High-speed Internet:  In today’s economy, high-speed broadband access isn’t a luxury – it is a necessity. Unfortunately, many rural Oregonians are still waiting for easy access to fast Internet service. State government should champion high-speed broadband deployment as an economic development imperative for rural communities.


Ensure Rural Career Education Equity:  Fully fund Ballot Measure 98, and ensure rural communities receive their fair share of career and technical education funding. Career education is especially important in rural communities to create economic pathways to success.


Champion Sustainable Forestry Jobs:  Oregon’s forest products and timber industries have a proud history and dynamic future. Champion forest workers, and state and federal policies to actively manage our forests to reduce fire risks and promote innovative wood products.


Support Water Projects:  As Oregon’s population has grown, investment in critical water infrastructure has not kept up. Streamline permitting for water projects, and use state bonding capacity to invest in facilities to better utilize and conserve water resources.


Click here for Buehler’s “One Oregon” plan.



August 16, 2018 Daily Clips



Oregon Senate Republican Leader Jackie Winters responds to fair housing lawsuit


“I want to assure my constituents that I have always done my utmost to look after vulnerable populations throughout my legislative and administrative careers, and for now I will have to allow my voting record and public service to speak for itself,” Winters continued. “I want to assure those of you who know me and whom I have proudly served that I take this issue very seriously and I will continue to work for a safe resolution.”


Josi endorses Republican candidate Lower in state representative race

Tillamook Headlight Herald

“From Astoria to Banks on down to Tillamook, the voters in House District 32 have always been willing to look beyond party labels to support candidates who will do the most good for our communities. Vineeta’s experience as a teacher, her background in the transportation sector and her commitment to putting the priorities of neighbors ahead of partisan politics makes her the most qualified candidate in this race,” said Josi, who sought the Democratic nomination for HD 32 in the May primary election. “I urge all my friends and neighbors to join me in supporting Vineeta Lower for State Representative.”




Kate Brown Campaign Is Largest Donor To Group Attacking Republican Rival

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Defend Oregon’s Values reported receiving $100,000 from Brown’s campaign, according to a disclosure record newly filed with the Oregon Elections Division. Besides Brown, the two main contributors to Defend Oregon’s Values revealed so far are mainstays of democratic campaigns. The Oregon Education Association is the state’s largest teacher’s union. Lemelson is a philanthropist and winemaker from Dayton who is the primary funder of the Oregon Climate PAC.




Bleak new estimates in drug epidemic: A record 72,000 overdose deaths in 2017

Portland Business Journal

Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, a record number that reflects a rise of around 10 percent, according to new preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control. The death toll is higher than the peak yearly death totals from HIV, car crashes or gun deaths. Analysts pointed to two major reasons for the increase: A growing number of Americans are using opioids, and drugs are becoming more deadly. It is the second factor that most likely explains the bulk of the increased number of overdoses last year.




Oregon wildfire: More firefighters arrive to battle 59,000-acre Klondike Fire

Statesman Journal

More firefighters are arriving to battle the 59,000-acre Klondike Fire burning southwest of Grants Pass. The Klondike is now the largest of the wildfires burning in Southern Oregon and demands the most firefighting attention. As of Thursday morning, the fire was 15 percent contained. Fire spokesman Sam Harrel said they had a surge Wednesday of hot shot crews arriving to assist in firefighting efforts. “These guys are trained and fit to work in this rugged terrain out here,” he said. Crews are working to strengthen the containment line between the fire and the communities of Selma, Wonder and Wilderville. “Our ultimate goal is protecting the property and people out here,” Harrel said. “That’s what comes first.”


We’re Putting More Homes On Wild Lands And In The Path Of Wildfires

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Fire destroyed an average of 3,000 homes in the wildland-urban interface annually over the last decade, according the Federal Emergency Management Administration. And with hotter, drier summers and a longer fire season, experts predict that number to rise. Despite the risk, across much of the rural West, local governments and planning departments are hesitant to prevent or hamper development. “I’m not real big on over-regulating people,” said Andy Hover, an Okanogan County commissioner who lives near Pine Forest in the Methow Valley. “You would hope that people, when they buy a piece of property, that they understand what they’re doing when they buy that property.” Hover said it’s the responsibility of each individual homeowner, not the entire community, to protect his or her property from fire risk. And it’s not necessarily the job of the county to tell people where and how they develop their property, in light of that risk.




Mayor: Outside investigator may review Portland police crowd control tactics


The so-called “less-lethal” devices seriously injured several counter-demonstrators at a recent rally organized by right-wing demonstrators from Washington State. They and fellow protesters have charged that police used unnecessary force against them and fired flash bangs unprovoked.


Affordable housing measure debated at Chamber meeting

Portland Tribune

The supporters all said the funds are needed to fight the affordable housing crisis, which they characterized as the most critical issue facing the region today. Bernard even said the county was ready to begin work on several projects as soon as the money becomes available. “There is no neighborhood in the region where the average full time wage earner can afford a modest two-bedroom home,” Peterson said. But Duyck — who admitted his opposition was politically unpopular — repeatedly argued that raising taxes is the wrong way to fund affordable housing. Although it would only cost the average homeowner in the region $60 a year, Duyck said taxes add up and some homeowners and renters living on the edge could lose their homes if it passes.


Salem has almost twice as many sex crimes reported per capita as Portland

Statesman Journal

Salem has almost twice as many sex crimes reported per capita as the Portland metro area. And of Oregon’s five largest counties, Marion ranks second for sex offenses per 100,000 people, just below Lane, state data analyzed by the Statesman Journal show. “It does seem like we have a lot here,” said Scotty Nowning, a Salem Police detective. “It’s a super complicated issue. … There’s not a black and white answer.”




Editorial: Rising above the toxic rhetoric

Oregonian Editorial Board

Hundreds of editorial boards from news outlets across the country are joining forces today to call out the importance of our free press amidst regular attacks on the media’s credibility. These attacks come from all political levels, all political stripes. Really, it comes from any rank or sector in which a journalist’s work shines a bright light on an issue that others would prefer stay in the dark. Always have. That’s a part of what we do. Most reporters and editors consider it a success when a published piece causes both sides to pause and reflect. Unlike newsrooms, editorial boards have the freedom – in fact, the mission — to call out politicians when necessary. Yet we must be careful about drawing lines that pit “us” versus “them.” We risk playing into the very narrative that we are “enemies of the people” working together against one political viewpoint.


Editorial: Housing is key to ending homelessness

The Bulletin Editorial Board

In the end, both candidates seek to address homelessness with lots of money and some services. Their plans, if they can actually find money for them, would improve the situation for the unsheltered homeless, though it wouldn’t do as much for those still struggling to keep a roof over their heads. It’s a start, but that’s all.

Kate Brown Using Dirty Tricks To Hide Her Negative Campaign

Oregon GOP Calls Governor Desperate As Race Moves Towards Buehler

Wilsonville, OR – With billions in tax hikes and her failure to fix education, homelessness, the PERS crisis, etc., Kate Brown has no record to run on.  Now Brown is reportedly resorting to dirty tricks to run her negative campaign, falsely attacking Knute Buehler in a desperate attempt to hold on to power as her polling numbers flop.

A new investigative report from Oregon Public Broadcasting reveals that Kate Brown’s campaign is the “largest donor” to Defend Oregon’s Values, the “candidate-controlled committee” attacking Knute Buehler with false advertisements that mischaracterize his record.  “Defend Oregon’s Values reported receiving $100,000 from Brown’s campaign,” reports OPB.

“This is just another unethical action from Kate Brown, who has made undermining transparency a hallmark of her time in office,” stated Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bill Currier.  “From holding PERS discussions in ‘complete secrecy’ to flouting public records laws and even trying to block some very legitimate FOIA requests, Kate Brown always tries to hide from public scrutiny.”

Recent polling has exposed Kate Brown as a vulnerable candidate in a tightening race and, neutral political forecasting experts are now lining up behind the notion that Oregon’s Governor race may be an “upset” in the making by the GOP.

“Kate Brown’s efforts to conceal her negative campaign are just the latest of these dirty tricks,” added Currier.  “Clearly, the Governor is increasingly desperate to salvage her floundering re-election campaign, but Oregonians are on to her tricks, wise to her failures, and ready to replace her this November with a sincere, effective leader in Knute Buehler.”

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.


Community Leaders and Concerned Citizens Meet to Discuss Wildfire Smoke

Community Leaders and Concerned Citizens Meet to Discuss Wildfire Smoke

Southern Oregon concerned citizens, small business owners, and local leaders discuss the impact of wildfire smoke on public health and on our economy

Year after year, people in the West are suffering from the effects of catastrophic wildfires and the smoke that comes with it. People end up having to wear masks, stay inside, and events are canceled. As a life-long Oregonian, I know summers weren’t like this in the past.  For those who say this is “the new normal,” I say “baloney.”

This spring, I helped secure some of the most significant reforms to federal forest policy in over a decade, including a fix to make sure the Forest Service doesn’t have to rob forest prevention accounts to pay for firefighting costs.

Now, we have an opportunity to do even more. I worked to secure additional changes in the Farm Bill that passed the House recently, such as:

  • Harvesting the burned dead trees (where appropriate) after a fire and using the proceeds to plant a new forest for the next generation;
  • Expediting response to insect and disease infestation, watershed protection, hazardous fuels reduction, and forest restoration; and
  • Streamlining collaborative projects in the forests.

While the Senate failed to include these provisions in their version of the Farm Bill, it’s not too late for them to agree to all or some of these common-sense reforms in the final package. We especially need help from east coast Senators who ignore our problems all too often.

To read more about my efforts to improve forest management to prevent catastrophic wildfires, please click here.

Concerned citizens pass smoke solutions to Congressman Walden

 Southern Oregon citizens fed up with the smoke have formed a committee and U.S. Congressman Greg Walden was in town to listen.

The group, representing a wide range of industries including logging, tourism, and real estate shared their ideas and concerns with the Congressman.

Click here to read more from KOBI 5 TV.

Walden Announces Hearing to Examine Health Impact of Wildfire Smoke

As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I announced a hearing in September to look at the horrible health consequences of the smoke from these catastrophic wildfires. Click here to view my announcement. 

Southern Oregon shouldn’t suffer from some of the worst air quality in the world. People should not have to wear masks to go outside, or to breathe inside their own homes. Families shouldn’t feel like they are “hostages” in their own homes, as a mother from Medford recently described how her family is coping with hazardous air quality yet again this summer. Yet we are living through all of that as Oregonians, and the consequences are serious.

In an effort to build support across the country for the changes in forest management and firefighting that are needed, I will use my position as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee to examine the air quality impacts of wildfire smoke. This hearing will call attention to the negative effects wildfires have on our airsheds, environment, and the health of our communities.

We will also address the underlying causes of these unnaturally catastrophic wildfires, and the need to reduce the fuels that have built up in our forests for decades. Recent studies have shown that active management of fire fuels can reduce the size and intensity of wildfires by up to 70 percent and the carbon emissions of wildfires by up to 85 percent. That is something we can all get behind. Who wants to live through more summers with smoke suffocating our communities?

To read more about our upcoming hearing, please click here.

Greg Walden Announces Hearing To Examine Air Quality Impacts Of Wildfire Smoke

During a meeting with local business owners and community leaders in Medford today, Representative Greg Walden (R — Hood River) announced that the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing to examine the air quality impacts of wildfire smoke. 

Click here to read more from Klamath Falls News.

Walden Hears from Klamath County Veterans, Gives Update on Increased Help from Congress

It is always an honor to sit down with those who have worn our nation’s uniform. In Klamath Falls, I met with a group of veterans to discuss how we can make sure they are receiving the care and support they’ve earned and deserve from the VA.  Last year alone, my office helped 578 Second District veterans with issues regarding disability pay, benefits, and health care.

The House also provided 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 landmark reforms through the VA MISSION Act, which strengthens the VA and improves care for our veterans. Importantly, this law includes a provision I authored to bring medical scribes into the VA system. In the private health care sector medical scribes take the notes while the medical provider remains focused on the patient. It has resulted in a 59% increase in the number of patients doctors can see per hour in the private sector, and we want to bring that success to our veterans and the VA system.

Thank you to the veterans who joined the roundtable in Klamath Falls for taking the time to meet with me, and for your service to our country.

At a meeting organized by the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, we discussed the positive impacts the tax cuts and regulatory reductions are having on small businesses. Having owned and operated a business from more than 20 years in our district, I know firsthand what it’s like to comply with government regulations, pay taxes, and grow jobs.

As with other meetings, this one quickly focused on the horrible impacts of smoke from the wildfires.


Walden talks poor air quality, extreme wildfire season during latest visit

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., went right into air quality talks during his latest stop in Klamath Falls, saying that current levels are “probably worse than Beijing.”

“You can’t even go outside,” said Walden, who had also just come from a meeting with business leaders in Medford.

Click here to read more from the Herald & News.

Ranchers Meet in Lakeview to Discuss Upcoming Farm Bill and Regulatory Reform

Lake County farmers, ranchers, and community leaders discussed grazing, forestry and firefighting issues, among other topics during a meeting in Lakeview. 

The groundbreaking last month of the $320 million Redrock Biofuels facility means we’ll have a market for the woody biomass from the surrounding forests.  And with the change in the law allowing for 20-year stewardship contracts, biomass users will have an increased level of supply certainty. This and other changes we’re working on will help grow jobs in our rural communities, provide alternative fuel and energy sources, and clean up the woods.

On the ranching front, we have much more work ahead to make needed reforms to the Equal Access to Justice Act to bring transparency and reduce frivolous lawsuits that impact our way of life in the West. We’re also working on federal management plans — from one end of this giant district to the other — to make sure ranchers have access to grazing allotments.

Medical Providers, Law Enforcement Gather in Bend to Discuss Combating the Opioid Crisis with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

Thank you to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb (to my left at head of table) for joining me in Bend for a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement and medical providers to discuss efforts to combat the opioid crisis. We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to win this fight.

Combating the opioid crisis that is killing 115 Americans every day is going to require a full-team effort from all of us. That’s why I brought FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to Bend to meet with local law enforcement officers and medical providers to hear firsthand how Oregonians are working together to stem the tide and save lives.

In June, the House passed my legislation — the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act — to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect our communities, and bolster our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. This bipartisan legislation passed the House by a vote of 396-14, and represents the largest Congressional effort to address a single drug crisis in history.

But our efforts do not stop there. Recently, I pressed the nation’s top opioid makers about their potential role in the crisis. I will continue listening to and working with those most involved in our communities to find solutions to end this scourge.

To read more about the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, please click here.

Walden holds Bend roundtable on opioid epidemic

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., held a roundtable Tuesday morning in Bend with law enforcement and medical professionals to discuss the opioid abuse crisis and ways to tackle the problem.

Doctors from Mosaic Medical expressed an interest in expanding prescription drug “take-back” programs across the state, drawing nods of agreement from Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson and Bend Police Chief Jim Porter.

Click here to read more from News Channel 21.

FDA Commissioner Talks Food Safety with Farmers in Central Oregon

Following our opioid roundtable in Bend, I organized an on-the-farm tour and discussion with Commissioner Gottlieb and local farmers to discuss the FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Having grown up on a cherry orchard in The Dalles, I learned the importance of food safety and good farm practices at an early age. When central Oregon brewers ran into Washington, D.C. bureaucrats a few years back regarding feeding spent grains to cows, I got involved and helped solve the problem.  As a result, the spent grain from beer making provides healthy feed for cows which in turn provides beef products to local restaurants.

FDA chief reassures Oregon growers over FSMA concerns

Oregon fresh produce growers got some reassuring words from U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb during a stop Tuesday near Bend, Ore.

Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act has loomed over the fresh produce industry since the law was signed by former President Barack Obama more than seven years ago.

Click here to read more from the Capital Press.

Top Department of Interior Water Official Visits Central Oregon Canals

Alan Mikkelsen (center-right in green hat) visits central Oregon irrigation projects.

Last week, I brought the top water official with the Department of the Interior to central Oregon to get a firsthand look at the innovative water projects in central Oregon and to hear from local irrigators. We visited several sites in the Bend area, including a newly piped project that saves water for fish while providing a new recreation path for walkers and bikers.  Alan Mikkelsen is a familiar face on the ground in Oregon as we work together on challenging water issues in both the Klamath and the Deschutes basins. I appreciate his engagement on matters of such importance to our communities.

Irrigators in central Oregon are leaders in creative and collaborative solutions that ensure water for farms, fish, and spotted frogs. Central Oregon’s canal piping projects help our local irrigators conserve water and protect fish and wildlife.

Federal Officials Tour Bend Canal Piping Project

The canal piping project near Bends’ Brookswood neighborhood is now in the beautification stage. Federal officials toured the site Wednesday, along with representatives from the Central Oregon Irrigation District. 

COID has finished piping a 3,000-linear foot section of its main canal, in a joint three-month project with the Department of Reclamation. Parks and Recreation will soon develop biking and recreational trails in the area. During Wednesday’s tour, Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Department of the Interior Senior Advisor Alan Mikkelsen learned about the project and the effort to conserve water. “From fish and frogs to farmers and recreators, it all comes together right here in these types of projects,” said Walden. 

Click here to read more from KBND Radio.

That’s all for this update. Remember, you can always keep in touch with me via emailFacebookTwitter, 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

August 13, 2018 Daily Clips



Guest: Oregon wheat and the work toward world peace

Sen. Jeff Merkley and GOP Leader Mike McLane

Oregon’s bountiful agriculture is no secret. As a cornerstone of our economy, Oregon’s farmers and food producers have developed a growing international reputation as an innovative food capital. However, what many people do not know is that Oregon’s agriculture is also a significant contributor to our country’s ability to alleviate humanitarian suffering and lay the foundation for “winning the peace” around the world.


Oregon Governor Moves to Lean Democratic

Cook Political report

There have been two polls released that show the race well within the margin of error. The contest may not be tied, but both parties acknowledge that private polling points to a close race and that Brown’s job approval numbers are upside down.


Oregon’s Hard Road for a Moderate Republican

The Atlantic

Knute Buehler, a rare GOP moderate, thinks he can knock off Kate Brown, Oregon’s not-so-popular Democratic governor. But the Trump winds could make it a hard year for ticket splitting in a blue state.


Short slate of hot-button issues on Nov. ballot

Bend Bulletin

Abortion, immigration, taxes and housing are the hot-button issues that will go before voters as ballot measures in the Nov. 6 general election.


Oregon lawmakers to hire outside lawyer for sexual harassment case

The Oregonian

A committee of lawmakers is planning to meet Monday morning in Salem, to hire an outside lawyer to respond to Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s complaint that legislative leaders covered up a culture of sexual harassment in the Capitol.




Anti-abortion rally at the Oregon State Capitol held Saturday

Statesman Journal

More than a dozen Oregonians attended a Justice 4 Life rally at the Oregon State Capitol Saturday in support of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The rally in Salem was part of a series of rallies around the country hosted by Students for Life of America, a youth organization dedicated to abolishing abortion in their lifetime. The organization, which considers themselves a “post-Roe organization,” also provides education on abortion and promotes student leadership at a local and national level. Rallies around the nation were either organized by a regional coordinator or student leaders.


Democratic Nominee Christy Inskip Launches Campaign For Oregon House District 7


Legislative candidate Christy Inskip launched her campaign for Oregon’s 7th District today. KLCC’s Alec Cowan caught up with the Democratic nominee to hear more about her campaign.




The 5 hottest Julys in Southern Oregon have happened since 2013, fueling wildfires

Statesman Journal

Oregon Rep. Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass) said legislative action has to be taken to reduce excess fuels that dry out and create tinderbox conditions. “I’ve been a member of the fire caucus in the Oregon legislature and we’ve talked about a lot of the things that need to happen, but ultimately almost everything points to the U.S. Congress,” Wilson told the Statesman Journal last week. “The Oregon delegation has to be the adults in the room and get us toward doing something about the excess fuels that cause these fires – that’s where the action is.”




State Representative Gary Leif visited the South Umpqua fires recently and said crews there told him it made a difference on the Snowshoe Fire as well. “That was because in May they did these prescribed burns,” Leif said. “Any time that you can get rid of the fuel and the undergrowth, or cut the fuel out, as in thinning practices, you’re going to basically create fire resiliency.”


For-Profit Firefighters Find  Business In An  At-Risk Oregon Community

Oregon Public Broadcasting

In Josephine County, Rural/Metro is the largest of two for-profit fire departments serving a geographic area more than twice the size of Portland. When wildland fire threatens homes covered by private crews, they’re out there risking their lives right alongside public agencies and the contractors they bring in. But without recognition through state law, Turnbull said this cooperation happens informally, almost “on the sly.”




Tolling Twist: Oregon Might Toll All Portland Area Freeways

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon transportation officials confirmed Thursday that they will abide by a committee’s recommendation and not immediately pursue tolling on Interstates 5 and 205 from the Washington border. But they will consider imposing tolls on all Portland-area freeways.




Gov. Brown touts housing investments during Eugene visit


Knute Buehler, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, said in a statement Friday that homelessness has worsened under Brown’s leadership and reiterated his own plan to provide 8,000 more shelter beds statewide, provide $50 million in rental assistance and fast-track construction of 20,000 more housing units.




Portland’s new school estimates push $1 billion and everyone is asking why

Portland Tribune

The math just isn’t adding up. In recently released materials, Portland Public Schools administrators now say they are nearly $200 million short on the projects they proposed to voters just a year ago. The district says it would need closer to $980 million to rebuild Madison, Lincoln and Benson Polytechnic high schools, as well as other upgrades. The district — which has seen massive leadership change in the year since it asked voters for $790 million — still doesn’t have a clear answer on why the projects are coming in so much more expensive than it calculated. Harry Esteve, the district spokesperson, said he couldn’t clarify the current estimates of the Madison and Benson Tech projects before Monday.


Problems at Peavy: Faulty timber panels raise stakes for promising new Oregon market

The Oregonian

The Peavy problem comes after years of efforts by state officials to promote a technology they view as an economic engine for rural Oregon. The state’s timber employment has fallen 62 percent since its 1980s heyday, from about 80,000 to 30,000.  In 2015, the state deemed the development of cross-laminated timber buildings “essential” to the state’s economic interests.


OSU-Cascades wants to produce as much energy as it uses

Bend Bulletin

Having an entire college campus produce as much energy as it uses may sound like a Herculean task, but engineers and design experts at Oregon State University-Cascades have a detailed plan of how to meet that goal. The university is calling its plan Net Zero, and it will affect every construction project on the OSU-Cascades campus, as well as the school’s current buildings.




Big data: Amazon’s footprint expands in Eastern Oregon

East Oregonian

Though the tech giant has been firmly planted in the area since 2010, it was a while before anyone said the name “Amazon” out loud. The electronic commerce enterprise operates several data centers at the ports of Umatilla and Morrow under the name Vadata, Inc., and is constructing others in Umatilla County. But it has been mum on most of the details of its operations in the area, even as its footprint continues to expand.



Oregon’s confidential disciplining of teachers needs sunshine


Parents and their children have a keen interest in the conduct of educators in the public school system, but finding out about rule violations or other misconduct by teachers and administrators can be difficult if not impossible given Oregon’s public records laws.


Editorial: Examining the ebb tide in initiatives

Corvallis Gazette-Times

And, truth be told, many of the more complicated matters that used to be presented as ballot measures should be the province of legislators, who have the time and resources to more carefully examine complex issues during their sessions in Salem. But there’s a flip side to that: If the Legislature fails to act on the vital questions facing Oregon, this current ebb tide in statewide ballot measures likely will be short-lived.


Editorial: Bottle Bill rate increase paying dividends

Daily Astorian

So whether you return your cans and bottles yourself, donate them to a charity or give them to a neighbor kid looking to make a few bucks, the daily effect of the bottle bill is what you don’t see — litter and waste in our state.



The Myth of the Moderate Democrat

In my lifetime, there actually used to be some conservative Democrat legislators down south that voted with Republicans.  Now, the news media mouthpieces talk about moderate Democrats in congress.  There is no such person.  It is a myth.  Glance through the American Conservative Union ratings and see if you find a “moderate” Democrathttp://acuratings.conservative.org/acu-federal-legislative-ratings/?year1=2017&chamber=11&state1=0&sortable=1  Unfortunately, there are plenty of moderate and even liberal Republicans.  It is discouraging but we can never give up.  Our freedom and liberty is too important!


LOSER: Fortunately, most voters in the USA do not have a favorable view toward Socialism: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2018/08/08/total-loser-all-the-candidates-socialist-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-endorsed-in-ye-n2507842


WINNER: We must continue to elect Republicans who support the TRUMP agenda of a strong economy, a strong military, stronger border enforcement and protection of religious liberty:  https://www.breitbart.com/2018-elections/2018/08/08/donald-trump-5-for-5-midterm-special-elections-9152053/


TRUMP will continue to undo the horrible OBAMA legacy: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/05/12 and continue to expose the Democrat’s agenda: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/08/03


I lived in Venezuela for two years.  Socialism does NOT work: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/07/05


We have an election coming up in November…we can’t afford to be complacent.  Contact your local Republican party and volunteer! http://ucrcc.org/


Republicans Make America Great Again!


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

Record High Jobs, Low Unemployment, Doom Trump

Record High Jobs, Low Unemployment, Doom Trump

(2018-08-03) — The Commerce Department reported today that more Americans than ever went to work in July, and that unemployment hit an historic low. The latest jobs report virtually dooms President Trump’s Republicans in the 2018 mid-term elections, because Trump’s son, Donald Jr., met with Russians, his former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, bought an ostrich coat, and the president won’t apologize to CNN reporter Jim Acosta for calling the news media “the enemy of the people.”

The Federal Reserve this week upgraded its assessment of the economy from “solid” to “strong”, which means time’s running out for Trump-backed GOP candidates to explain why First Lady Melania isn’t always with her husband, and why his daughter, Ivanka, sometimes disagrees with her father.

Hispanic unemployment also hit a new record low, and Black joblessness remains near its new historic bottom, signaling that Republican candidates must distance themselves from Trump because everything the president has done so far constitutes impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The disastrous jobs report comes on the heels of the Commerce Department’s foreboding announcement last week that GDP growth hit a four-year high, at 4.1 percent.

Minutes after the latest report, worried political consultants gathered behind closed doors inside the beltway to strategize how to rescue the GOP by engaging voters, who now have less time to watch political talkshows because they’re at work.