After state Rep. Sal Esquivel votes to refer hospital provider tax, Brown takes back money for projects in his district.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s Veto Punishes Republican: No Pork for You

After state Rep. Sal Esquivel votes to refer hospital provider tax, Brown takes back money for projects in his district



By Nigel Jaquiss |

Published August 8 at 5:47 PM

Updated August 8 at 5:59 PM


Gov. Kate Brown unsheathed her veto pen today, showing she’s capable of playing hardball.

In the recent legislative session, Democrats desperately needed a Republican vote to pass the $670 million hospital provider tax. State Rep. Sal Esquivel (R-Medford) agreed to vote with Democrats in exchange for nearly $4 million worth of goodies in his district—including a $1.9 million irrigation project, a $1 million theater renovation, and a $750,000 baseball field. His vote provided the three-fifths majority the measure needed.

But after the bill passed, Esquivel joined other GOP House members in referring the tax increase to voters. He says he was unhappy that some of the new revenues would be spent providing insurance to undocumented immigrants and also for publicly-funded abortions.

So today, along with vetoing two other bills entirely, Brown used a line-item veto to excise Esquivel’s rewards from House Bill 5006.

Esquivel is angry. He says the deal was for his vote and made no reference to a referral. “She reneged,” he says.

Brown disagrees. “The cornerstone of all negotiations whether they occur in a public or private arena, is the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” the governor said in a statement.




Vicki Olson

Senior Legislative Assistant

Rep. Greg Barreto

HD 58





Timeline for January 23, 2018 Special Election


Secretary of State


The State of Oregon

900 Court Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97310  –


Timeline for January 23, 2018 Special Election

The Oregon Constitution requires that after the Legislature passes a tax increase, the people shall have the power to veto it through the referendum process. This referendum process enables the people to overrule politicians in Salem. The referendum is the “people’s veto” and gives Oregonians, who can collect enough signatures within 90 days, the opportunity to have such tax increases placed on the ballot for a democratic vote. This right of referendum was adopted by the voters in 1902 and is essential to our democracy. This year, and back in 2009, the legislature passed laws to circumvent the time-tested referendum process.

On July 6, 2017 the legislature passed Senate Bill 229. This bill avoids the existing referendum process in the following important ways:

First, it moved the referendum date from the November 2018 general election to a special election on January 23, 2018; second, it removed the Attorney General’s authority to write the ballot title and gave that authority to a partisan legislative committee; third, it removed the authority to write an explanatory statement from a balanced, nonpartisan committee and gave that authority to a partisan legislative committee; and forth, it instructed the Secretary of State to create a timeline for the special referendum process.

In accordance with the Secretary of State’s responsibilities under Senate Bill 229, the Elections Division announced today the special election timeline which (unlike the 2009 referendum timeline which gave only 33 hours for public comment), provides sufficient time for both public input and judicial review.

In short, today’s proposed special election timeline attempts to follow the time-tested election process, while ensuring ample time for public comment, legislative drafting, and Supreme Court review.

The Secretary of State’s ultimate obligation is to you, the people of Oregon, and is dedicated to ensuring a fair referendum election. This timeline aligns as closely as possible with the established statutory process as if the Attorney General were drafting the ballot title. The timeline below gives the partisan legislative committee two and a half weeks to draft a ballot title. This is even longer than the Attorney General normally has to draft a ballot title. The proposed timeline also aligns with the Attorney General’s customary process of providing the important opportunity for the public to comment on the draft before it is finalized. After the period for public comment is past, the partisan legislative committee then has two weeks to review public comments, respond to criticism for partisan drafting, make necessary improvements to the language, and certify a final ballot title. Under today’s timeline, the Oregon Supreme Court has only five weeks for judicial review—a process which normally requires months.

Back in 2009, the legislature circumvented the customary process for writing the ballot titles for Measures 66 and 67. For those Measures, only 33 hours were provided for public comment, then, 20 hours later the final ballot titles were passed. Then, only a few weeks were allowed for Supreme Court review. This was insufficient time. It was a charade that violated the fundamental fairness of the democratic process. Today’s timeline corrects the 2009 inadequacies by providing adequate time for public participation and Supreme Court review.

The calendar below sets forth the timeline. If you believe the timeline is appropriate to enable adequate time for public involvement and Supreme Court review, please email us at If you have comments or suggestions to improve this timeline, our Elections Division would also like to hear from you at


Dennis Richardson

Oregon House Daily Clips





Multiple blazes keep firefighters busy


“We expected gusty east winds today,” Amy Hendricks, a spokeswoman for the Willamette National Forest, said Sunday. “They didn’t happen.” Hendricks said she didn’t have the fire figures for Sunday yet, but the latest figures from Saturday night showed that the Whitewater Fire had grown to 5,421 acres. The steadily advancing fire has forced the closure of additional access to recreation areas near Detroit Lake because the fire “poses a risk to firefighters and public safety,” according to a news release from the Willamette National Forest.


Cinder Butte Fire Threatens Tribal Archaeological Sites

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The fire is threatening archeological sites with strong cultural and historical significance to the Burns Paiute and Klamath tribes. “We’re working with our partners to identify those and be very respectful while working to contain the fire in those areas,” said Nick Cronquist, a public information officer with Northwest Incident Management Team No. 10.


Crater Lake issues ‘Be Ready’ for potential evacuation of Rim Village, Park Headquarters

Herald and News

Current or projected threats from the approaching fire indicate that there may be a need to evacuate in the future. Mazama Village and other areas in the park are not affected by this Level 1 notice.




Oregon receives high marks on 2017 Economic Recovery Scorecard

Portland Business Journal

Oregon’s unemployment rate is back to pre-Great Recession peak rates, but many 18 to 34 year-olds still live at home.“During expansions it is usually that the good news outweighs the bad and vice versus during recessions,” he said. “Today the good news continues to outweigh the bad news, which is, well, good news.”


Portland, Multnomah County back big PGE renewable energy buy

Portland Business Journal

In a letter filed with the PUC on Friday, Mayor Ted Wheeler and County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson acknowledged the disagreements, but said their constituents want aggressive climate action. “New technologies may arise which would serve customers more efficiently and effectively, but there are also risks in not acting, including failing to make progress on our community’s renewable energy commitments, as well as the increased risk of the consequences of climate change,” the leaders wrote.




Why a Portland psych hospital can now take Medicaid — but probably won’t

Portland Business Journal

“We would fully like to enter into contracts with Health Share and FamilyCare, and we actually even tried to do so in late 2016 because of the rule change at the federal level. They seemed interested at first, but due to some communication from the state, they pulled back.” FamilyCare Health declined to comment for this story. A Health Share of Oregon spokeswoman said the CCO has no immediate plans to contract with Cedar Hills because the CCO’s current network for adult mental health services is adequate, not because of any communication from the Oregon Health Authority. The OHA oversees the state’s coordinated care organizations.


Fighting heroin with heroin

Bend Bulletin

Doctors in Canada are now prescribing pharmaceutical-grade heroin and other prescription opioids to patients with addictions so severe that society had written them off as impossible to treat. While providing heroin to heroin addicts may seem counterintuitive, the practice has helped stabilize patients, reduce their illegal drug use and offer them a path to overcoming their addiction. “Not everything will work for everybody, and some people need more intensive care,” said Dr. Scott MacDonald, lead physician at Providence Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia. “We need every tool in the toolbox to rise to the challenge the opioid epidemic presents.”




Farmers excited about program

La Grande Observer

“What is cool about this particular program is that there is a lot of interest from farmers and ranchers wanting to conserve their land,” Ackley said. “This law will help us be more successful in helping them.”  The law allocates funding to support the efforts of Oregon’s land trusts to help farmers and ranchers with succession planning and conservation easements. The state funding can be used to leverage federal money authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill and made available through the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.




Tackling a crisis


In the just-concluded full session the Legislature added a major piece of legislation, SB 1051, that addresses affordability criteria, density, accessory dwelling units, the review period for development applications and the standards municipalities use when considering housing development. “We wanted to find something to deal with the affordable housing crisis that is happening right now,” said Andy Olson, Republican state representative for District 15. “We know that a total of 110,000 market rate units need to be built. That’s how dire our crisis is right now.”




Human trafficking expected during solar eclipse

Bend Bulletin

The eclipse, which is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of people to Central Oregon, could result in more cases of people being bought or sold for sex, said Nita Belles, executive director of the anti-trafficking organization In Our Backyard. “We know with the increase in population and the party atmosphere surrounding the eclipse, there will be an increase in human trafficking,” Belles said.


Three arrested during Sunday’s clashing rallies

Portland Tribune

The arrests came as a few hundred people gathered in two groups in the park, one for a Patriot Prayer “March for Freedom,” and a counter-protest organized by Portland Stands United Against Hate, a coalition of anti-hate groups.




Editorial: Buehler’s challenges


A moderate Republican who makes it to the general election ballot has a chance in the Oregon governor’s race. In four of the past nine elections, the Democrat has won with less than 50 percent of the vote. Dudley came within 22,000 votes of defeating Kitz­haber in 2010. Presuming Buehler can present himself as a plausible leader — a presentation Democrats will work to prevent, emphasizing the more conservative aspects of the Republican’s record and ensuring that no one forgets an Oregon Government Ethics Commission’s finding that he failed to disclose income — the question will be whether he can whet Oregonians’ appetite for change.


Editorial: Zinke should leave Cascade-Siskiyou protections in place

The Oregonian

Zinke suspended the groups’ activities in early May and canceled their scheduled summer meetings. He should reinstate these important and effective groups, and the Southwest Oregon council should help shape the bureau’s management plan for the expanded monument. Together Oregonians can best balance the monument’s ecological needs along with some of the uses landowners within the new boundary have long relied.


Editorial Agenda 2017: Proposal for neutered citizens’ commission would betray police-reform promises

The Oregonian

The problem is that the DOJ, under the Trump Administration, has been directed to review such police-reform agreements and consent decrees with an eye toward emphasizing local control and boosting officer safety and morale. “It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies,” the memo from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions states. That’s hardly a call for aggressive accountability. If City Council can’t find the courage to stick to their original pledge, then the public should take their case to Judge Simon. Approving changes to the settlement is fortunately still a power that he wields.




Wyden defends support of Israel boycott proposal: ‘no one has gone to jail’

Portland Tribune

However, Sen. Wyden has a different take on the proposal. “As we have read the bill, it means that anybody in this audience can boycott Israeli products or say they intend to boycott Israeli products. The bill doesn’t prevent or punish anybody who makes those choices,” he said. He said, as the son of a journalist, he has continually fought for First Amendment rights.


Wyden on what’s next for health care and his fix for the exchanges

Portland Business Journal

“The president has been pouring gasoline on the fires of uncertainty of the marketplace,” Wyden, said in an interview with Portland Business Journal reporters on Friday. “The president putting in a lot of effort to undermine the law, talking about imploding the system. He’s willing to hurt people to get leverage for what he wants.”



Obama Holdover US Attorney Calls Kate Brown Sanctuary Policy Illegal, Unsafe

Oregon GOP Chair Scolds Democrat Governor for Playing Politics with Public Safety



Wilsonville, OR – With Democrat Governor Kate Brown indicating that she will not veto a new bill passed by her allies in the state legislature to strengthen Oregon’s reckless “sanctuary” state status, Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams recently published an op-ed in The Oregonian warning that Oregon’s “sanctuary” status “directly contravenes federal immigration law and threatens public safety:”



”A narrow reading of what Oregon state law permits – especially as it pertains to information sharing – has proliferated among jurisdictions throughout the state amidst the heightened political climate surrounding immigration issues.



Some sheriffs suggest that, short of ICE agents obtaining a federal criminal arrest warrant, they do not have any legal obligation to share information or hold an individual in custody who is subject to a detainer. This requirement is inherently unreasonable as illegal aliens are frequently held for only a matter of hours. Furthermore, it is nearly impossible to obtain a federal criminal arrest warrant without basic identifying information.



Simply put, Oregon’s sanctuary status declaration directly contravenes federal immigration law and threatens public safety. This has put many sheriffs in the position of choosing whether to violate state or federal law. It’s an untenable position. The Department of Justice takes this issue very seriously and has begun to take steps to correct it.”




“Democratic Obama Appointee Williams has dispelled the fiction that Oregon’s ‘Sanctuary State’ policies rely on and made it utterly clear that local and state officials are breaking federal law,” stated Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier.  “It can no longer be denied that Kate Brown’s reckless sanctuary policies continue to put Oregon citizens at risk to criminal illegal aliens.”



Governor Brown publicly testified in favor of House Bill 3464 in June.  But even after the disturbing news last month of a vicious assault in Oregon by a criminal illegal alien who had been shielded from federal authorities by the state’s “sanctuary” status, Brown does not appear to have had a change of heart.




“Kate Brown needs to stop playing politics with Oregonians’ safety and start protecting the people of her state by complying with federal immigration law,” said Currier.  “Kate Brown’s negligent disregard for the safety and security of our state’s citizens is yet another reason why Oregonians are ready for a change in 2018.”




Link to Online Posting:





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



Oregon House Daily Clips







State sought to plant negative stories about nonprofit

Portland Tribune

Oregon Health Authority planned to use media to dissuade lawmakers from passing legislation sought by Portland-area FamilyCare over health care rate dispute.




Cinder Butte fire up to 56,000 acres

Bend Bulletin

The fuel source — mixed with hot weather and light wind ­— allowed the fire to quickly run and by 10 a.m. Thursday it had reached 56,000 acres. The fire is burning mostly on Bureau of Land Management land, but has moved onto private land.


Wildfires jump lines in wind, record heat

Mail Tribune

Record dry heat and stiff winds helped two wildfires in northeast Jackson County each grow by more than 1,000 acres as flames jumped trails and fire lines, forcing firefighters to pull back from direct attacks. The Blanket Creek fire in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest nearly doubled in size from Wednesday and was listed Thursday morning at 2,432 acres and just 7 percent contained.


Jefferson fire triples, adding to valley smoke


The Whitewater Fire in the Cascade Range, which is producing much of the smoke visible in Eugene-Springfield, had swelled to 4,579 acres on Thursday, authorities said, sharply up from Wednesday’s estimate of 1,500 acres. A total of 202 fire personnel are battling the Whitewater blaze, using five helicopters, five “masticators,” one engine, three water tenders and six bulldozers. The Willamette National Forest has closed numerous trails and sections of trails in the area.


Wildfire in Jefferson Wilderness spurs road closures, hiker evacuations

The Oregonian

A growing wildfire in the Jefferson Wilderness is prompting road closures and hiker evacuations, officials said Thursday night. Beginning Friday morning, Linn County search and rescue teams will evacuate hikers and campers who are not aware of closures in the area, Linn County sheriff’s officials said.




4 Big Questions That Loom Over The 2018 Oregon Governor’s Race

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon Rep. Knute Buehler of Bend on Thursday became the first major candidate to officially announce his candidacy for governor. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is widely expected to run again, but she’s turned aside questions about her political plans for 2018. Here are four big questions to keep in mind as we enter the early stages of next year’s campaign for governor.


Brown calls Buehler, other opponents ‘Trumps-in-training’

Bend Bulletin

But the Kate Brown Committee, the governor’s ongoing campaign arm, sent out an email from “Team Kate” before noon alerting supporters to Buehler’s announcement and asking for contributions. “We won’t lie, 2016 was a tough year for Democrats across the country,” the message read. “But Oregonians stood up to the hatred and regressive policies of the Trumps-in-training in our state and elected Kate governor.” “Team Kate” says a Republican governor could veto “expanding access to health care, smart environmental policies and women’s reproductive rights.” After naming Buehler in black bold-face letters, the pitch tells supporters their contributions are “critical.”


Republican Knute Buehler faces uphill campaign trail for Oregon governor in 2018

The Oregonian

A Republican has not occupied the governor’s mansion since 1987, however, and Democrats hold a significant advantage in registered voters. Republican ex-Blazer Chris Dudley, who came within a percentage point of beating John Kitzhaber in 2010, had name recognition beyond many politicians’ dreams. “The biggest issue is people simply do not know who (Buehler) is,” said Jim Moore, director of the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation at Pacific University. ”


Knute Buehler ready for rematch with Brown for governor’s post

Portland Tribune

Jeanne Atkins, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Oregon and former secretary of state, said in a statement that Buehler “represents everything we are trying to change in state government.” “Gov. Kate Brown beat him before and she will beat him again,” Atkins said. “…Despite his claims of moderation and ‘going down the middle,’ his actions and votes show he has the interests of a wealthy businessman and is aligned with the core conservatives of the Republican party.”


Rep. Knute Buehler seeks governorship

East Oregonian

Buehler said he intended to pursue public pension reform, “restore fiscal sanity to Oregon’s budget,” and work to boost the state’s economy by emphasizing job training and holding back on “excessive, job-killing” regulations.




Oregon wildlife officials to kill 2 wolves at the request of ranchers

The Associated Press

Oregon wildlife officials will kill two adult wolves in northeast Oregon at the request of ranchers who say animals in their pack have preyed on cattle for more than a year. Officials will remove two adult uncollared animals in the Harl Butte pack sometime in the next two weeks.




Solar farm near Estacada wins approval

Portland Tribune

Oregon’s largest solar farm west of the Cascades has won approval on a split vote by Clackamas County commissioners. Pacific Northwest Solar LLC plans to put up 35,000 photovoltaic cells on 6-foot-high racks that will convert sunlight into 10 megawatts of power to the Portland General Electric substation in Estacada about two miles away.




State of Oregon now covering health care for undocumented children

Portland Tribune

“We have a moral obligation to support Oregonians who face disparities accessing health care,” said Huffman, speaking at the Capitol in July. His district includes The Dalles. “Children rise to the top of that list.” Moreno praised the bipartisan support for the bill. “We’re proud of Oregon,” Moreno said. “We’re proud of these legislators.” Other supporters of the bill included Northwest Permanente, Providence Health & Services, and Children First for Oregon. “Oregon is stronger when every child in our state has the opportunity to grow up healthy,” said Dave Underriner, Providence chief executive officer, speaking in July.




Editorial: Unaffiliated voters should get voting in primaries

Bend Bulletin

A primary can be the political womb of a future leader or his or her tomb. Unaffiliated voters in Oregon should rattle the system and throw their weight around by registering to vote in a party primary.


Editorial: Hungry kids can’t learn


Making sure that children have proper nutrition — school district menus include items such as whole-grain oatmeal or pancakes and fresh fruit — is an investment in the future. These children are the next generation of workers, taxpayers, voters and volunteers. Education is the key that unlocks the doors for them, whether they go immediately into the workforce after high school or continue with their education. Making sure that they have the nutrition they need to learn should be a community-wide concern.


Guest: If hotels allow one kind of smoke, they have to allow all of it

Representative Bill Post (R-25)

Ironically many of us in the Oregon Legislature eagerly sought to create a way for a “winery tasting” type setting for legal marijuana calling them “cannabis cafes” and we had at least two bills that I know of that would have allowed “cannabis hotels/bed and breakfast” locations.

We ran into one major roadblock: the anti smoking crowd. They see “smoke is smoke is smoke” and rightly so, based on our “Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act.”


Guest: Rep. Reschke recaps 2017 session

Representative E. Werner Reschke (R-56)

Fortunately, I went to Salem with two important tools: principles and courage. I cast 249 No votes on the House Floor (second most) and never missed a floor vote. I was one of only two legislators out of 90 in the House and Senate, who made this accomplishment. It is an important job, that requires an incredible amount of time, energy and mindshare — a job which I take very seriously. Below is a brief summary of the session.



Portland Water Bills Swell to Cover $500M Treatment Plant

The Associated Press

Portland homeowners are expected to pay about $10 more per month for water throughout the next 16 years to cover the cost of a new filtration treatment plant approved unanimously by the City Council. The action taken by City Council on Wednesday was the most expensive option presented to the council to fix the problem. The total cost of the facility is predicted at $350 million to $500 million. Construction will take at least a decade.




Senator Wyden is asking for a wildfire funding fix to cover flooding and natural disasters


Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are asking for a wildfire funding fix to address costs for flooding events and other natural disasters that ensue on burn scared land.


Rep. Schrader: Small bipartisan fixes on health care are achievable

Portland Tribune

“There does seem to be a movement of members to come together,” said Schrader, who has actively promoted bipartisan cooperation. “We showed our leaders there are members on both sides who actually want to get something done.” Schrader spoke about health care, and more, to a town hall meeting attended by about 150 people Tuesday night (Aug. 1) at the Milwaukie Center. Schrader is part of a group of about 40 members, equally split between Democrats and Republicans, trying to put forward proposals less controversial than outright repeal, which has mustered little public support.




US Economy Adds 209,000 Jobs In July; Unemployment Dips To 4.3 Percent

National Public Radio

NPR’s Chris Arnold says “this latest report suggests that the U.S. economy is in pretty good shape.” Food services, drinking places, professional and business services and health care all saw gains. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours. Average hourly wages rose by 9 cents, to $26.36. “Wage growth remains sluggish,” NPR’s Arnold says. “Average hourly earnings were up 2.5 percent from a year ago. And most economists would like to see wages rising more quickly.”


Leak probes triple under Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says

The Washington Post

Sessions said in the first six months of this year, the Department of Justice had received nearly as many criminal referrals involving unauthorized disclosures of classified information than it had received in the past three years combined. Though he did not say if it resulted in a criminal referral, Sessions cited in particular a recent disclosure to The Washington Post of transcripts of President Donald Trump’s conversations with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “This culture of leaking must stop,” Sessions said.


State bureaucrats sought to plant negative stories about healthcare nonprofit

View this story online here:


State sought to plant negative stories about nonprofit


Oregon Health Authority planned to use media to dissuade lawmakers from passing legislation sought by Portland-area FamilyCare over health care rate dispute.


The government-funded public relations plan to demean a Portland-area healthcare nonprofit sounds like a toned-down mish mash of the TV series “House of Cards” and “Mad Men,” but with an Oregon twist.


Among the plan’s elements: Find an HIV patient to complain about lack of care at the nonprofit FamilyCare, Inc., and connect them off-the-record with a reporter, perhaps at Willamette Week. Get reporters to write about FamilyCare and “look for opportunities to hurt their credibility in the news.” Portray the nonprofit as “more concerned with the bottom line and increasing revenues than the health of Oregonians.”


And the spin doctors tasked with doing all this? State communications staff at the Oregon Health Authority.


The communications plan, released in response to public records appeal by the Portland Tribune, was forwarded between OHA’s head of lobbying, BethAnne Darby, director Lynne Saxton and others in January as a means to influence the 2017 Oregon Legislature.


It was prepared as FamilyCare and the state were doing battle in court over whether OHA is giving FamilyCare a fair rate of reimbursement for its care of low-income Medicaid patients. FamilyCare is one of 16 coordinated care organizations, or CCOs, set up by state reforms to act much like insurance plans or HMOs to provide low-income patients with health care under the Oregon Health Plan. FamilyCare been the most vocal one, often accusing state officials of incompetence, including in the ongoing case. The company’s critics call it excessively combative.


Asked about the plan and related documents, Oregon Health Authority spokesman Robb Cowie wrote in an email that they were intended to “sketch out a range of outreach options and messages we explored to counter FamilyCare’s aggressive and often incorrect public statements. They were never formally reviewed or approved, or fully implemented.”


State approach unusual


Even if the plan was not fully implemented, setting out detailed plans to plant negative stories about FamilyCare is highly unusual behavior, according to several current and former government communications staff interviewed by the Portland Tribune. It puts the state of Oregon and Gov. Kate Brown’s administration in a role of trying to demean a contractor that OHA is supposed to be cooperating with to help low-income people.


Prepared in response to the litigation, the plan was intended to influence and persuade lawmakers to stay out of the legal dispute and not pass any bills supported by FamilyCare to seek modifications of the state rate process, the documents show. OHA succeeded in this regard, and a FamilyCare bill died in committee.


But not everyone thinks disparaging FamilyCare was a productive approach. For instance, the state communications plan plan talks about working with lobbyists from other groups to spread negative stories — while, in contrast, praising Health Share of Oregon, another organization that, like FamilyCare, is part of the Oregon Health Plan and covers the greater Portland region as FamilyCare does.


But if the state had come to Health Share with this plan the CCO would have declined to collaborate in “disparaging” FamilyCare, said Janet Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of Health Share. She said “job one” in health care is taking care of patients, and demeaning those doing it “is not helpful.”


The plan was initially withheld by the Oregon Health Authority, but the Tribune in early July disclosed an email from January of this year talking about the plan — which was to “create enough information buzz” in the Legislature to dissuade lawmakers from supporting FamilyCare legislation, wrote Darby, OHA’s director of external relations. The Tribune article in early July, included the response of Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, who called OHA’s approach “totally out of line.”


Concern was “reputation”


The Senator’s comment alluded to the fact that lawmakers in Oregon typically expect agencies to be neutral parties that do not try to manipulate the Legislature, and instead provide unbiased information.


The plan and related documents talk about the high stakes involved for OHA leaders: the need for OHA to “maintain” its “reputation,” which otherwise would be “at risk” if FamilyCare succeeded in passing legislation.


The documents also show how OHA planned to hide its efforts to disparage FamilyCare using third parties to maintain an appearance of neutrality.


The plan said to “identify key legislators to target and get background information and data to them as soon as possible. then use those legislators and/or other lobbyist to pitch stories to news media if possible so that OHA can staff neutral.” By “staff” OHA seems to have meant “stay.”


The documents show that OHA called for portraying in negative light how FamilyCare pays primary care physicians more than required by law.


FamilyCare has used the higher reimbursements to ensure patients can get appointments — a common issue for Medicaid patients.


Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, told the Tribune in June that the FamilyCare approach is “a great idea,” but “they keep getting penalized for it” by OHA. Added Greenlick of FamilyCare, “I think they had some valid complaints.”


Tactics display ignorance


The OHA tactics were either misleading or based on ignorance in another aspect as well, interviews and records show.


Though OHA’s document calls for portraying FamilyCare as an “outlier” in its profits and reserves, the widely known reality is that pretty much all the CCOs enjoyed massive profits in the first couple of years of Oregon’s Medicaid reforms, according to current and former healthcare officials not affiliated with FamilyCare.


The main difference between FamilyCare and other CCOs is that FamilyCare has a relatively simple corporate structure, making its margins easy to discern. In contrast, profits at other CCOs are not as visible because of how payments are moved around between different subsidiaries.


That said, FamilyCare has an unusually healthy population of members, including many children, which has led to lower healthcare costs and caused the CCO to receive a lower reimbursement rate from the state. It’s that rate that FamilyCare is complaining about in court.


While the Oregon Health Authority’s Darby claims the document was merely a draft and a “brain dump” and was not implemented, in reality the agency has released statements portraying FamilyCare as prioritizing profits over people.


Following the Tribune’s successful records appeal of OHA’s earlier refusal to release the documents, the OHA communications plan has been shared with other media outlets. The Lund Report on Wednesday reported other aspects of the state’s communications plan, saying “The Portland Business Journal, Willamette Week, Portland Tribune, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregonian and The Lund Report have all received targeted press releases aimed at bolstering the state’s case, as well as personalized emails to journalists and other outreach.”


FamilyCare CEO Jeff Heatherington called the documents obtained by the Tribune “outrageous” and said the firm is exploring its legal options.


(You won’t hear this real good news on the fake news channels)


Food Stamp Use Falls to Lowest Level in Seven Years:


President Trump Eliminates 860 Obama-Era Federal Regulations:


Trump Welcomes Navy’s Newest Aircraft Carrier:


Trump Announces Ban on Transgender People in the U.S. Military:


Number of Registered Lobbyists Falls 14% in 2017: to Fill 50,000 Jobs:

Foxconn Plant In Wisconsin Will Create Thousands Of Jobs:

Trump Salary Donation Funds STEM Camp at Department of Education:

RNC’s Fundraising Totals Put the DNC’s to Shame:

West Virginia Democratic Governor to Flip to Republican Party at Trump Rally:


Trump Is Taking Back America’s Culture:




It is way past time to replace the career establishment politicians in the US Senate (2018 is the perfect opportunity):


The US Senate let the American people down.  It is time to throw the bums out:


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



On Fox News: Oregon GOP Chair Bill Currier Blasts Kate Brown’s Sanctuary City Policies

Wilsonville, OR – Yesterday, Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bill Currier appeared on Fox & Friends to respond to the arrest of an illegal immigrant apprehended for committing a vicious assault in Portland, Oregon, who had been deported twenty times before, but had been shielded from federal authorities by “sanctuary” policies under Democrat Governor Kate Brown.  Currier highlighted Brown’s unjust actions — harboring criminal illegal aliens while holding legal citizens to a different standard.  The full interview can be viewed here:


Oregon GOP Chair Bill Currier Shreds Kate Brown For Supporting Sanctuary Cities


PETE HEGSETH: “So you’re saying basically the laws apply to legal immigrants – to citizens – but not to illegals so they’re set free to commit more crimes?”.

BILL CURRIER: “Yep, they are now a protected class in Oregon and that is being honored, that special protected class is being promoted by Governor Kate Brown and in this case Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, it’s based on Oregon Statute 181A.820 that basically says that state and now local resources, law enforcement resources cannot be used to apprehend or detect someone whose only violation is their illegal presence in the country. They are actually misapplying this law because when someone has committed a crime, then they are supposed to cooperate with ICE and even if they hadn’t committed a crime it’s actually a violation of federal law for them to not cooperate on these ICE detainers because they’re harboring a criminal.”


“Kate Brown and the Democrat Party’s lawless criminal chaos is now gaining national attention as the rest of nation can plainly see what her policies and that of other open border, criminal sanctuary politicians really mean for actual citizens,” stated Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier.

“Bottom line:  Their dangerous, far left political agenda matters more than the safety of citizens,” added Currier.  “For Kate Brown, the REAL protected class includes criminal illegal aliens, leaving citizens as the new ‘unprotected class.’”

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


Oregon House Daily Clips






Former lawmaker challenges Monroe for Senate seat

Portland Tribune

“The housing shortage has become a crisis that the Legislature needed to deal with this year, and I watched from the sidelines the Legislature and Sen. Monroe drop the ball,” Fagan said in a phone interview Monday. “If a legislator is unwilling to listen to people who have an absolutely basic need for housing, then it’s probably time to move on from being a legislator.”  Housing advocates began trying to recruit Fagan to run against Monroe in June and asked her to be “a champion for housing protection,” Fagan said. “I spent a couple of months mulling it over and decided to do it.”


Former Rep. Shemia Fagan Will Challenge Oregon Sen. Rod Monroe

Willamette Week

Monroe’s opposition to tenant protections sparked a challenge from within his own party. Fagan already has significant endorsements.”When families are facing the worst housing crisis of our time, we need leaders like Shemia Fagan,” Kafoury said, in a statement for the official announcement. “Shemia has a proven record as a fighter for everyday working people and we clearly need a peoples’ champion in the legislature.”


Portland Sen. Rod Monroe faces primary challenge from former Rep. Shemia Fagan

The Oregonian

Former state representative Shemia Fagan announced Monday she will run against Sen. Rod Monroe, D-Portland, in the 2018 primary election. In response, Monroe vowed to mount a “well-run well-funded campaign” against Fagan.


Capitol roundup: 2018 vote edition

Bend Bulletin

It’s about eight months until the May 2018 primary election. For the third time in a little over four years, Oregon voters will be asked to pick candidates for governor. The names will be very familiar, particularly to those casting ballots in Central Oregon.


Longest-serving state Senate president considers retirement

The Associated Press

Whether he decides to retire or not, it’s clear Courtney has struggled for years with his eventual political exit. “The hardest thing for me to do is to leave politics because I am afraid of retirement,” he said in a 2015 commencement address to Western Oregon University graduates. “You know, there’s gotta be that time in life you say, ‘I’ve done all I can do, I can’t do anymore.’ I know they’ve got these cool phrases, ‘You’ve gotta move on, you’ve gotta let go.’

“I’m too old to know those words. So I’ll put it in my words. You gotta say, ‘I’ve done all I can do. Peter, you gotta go, you gotta mosey.’”




Crews prepare for record heat as wildfires burn

Mail Tribune

As the fire danger level clocks over to “extreme” for southwest Oregon, wildland firefighters are already working to snuff several blazes across the region. Triple-digit high temperatures won’t help. “That’s going to be the story for everyone: the heat,” said Melissa Cano, Oregon Department of Forestry public information officer.




Tsunami Zone Update Gets Pushback From Oregon Coast Legislators

Northwest News Network

Structural engineer Jeff Soulages joined Wilson at a meeting of Oregon earthquake safety advisors. They’re upset at the state Department of Geology and Mineral Industries for delaying the adoption into statute of the new, higher tsunami flood line to regulate vulnerable new construction. “I cannot understand for the life of me why you would wait when you already you have these maps,” Soulages said. “They’ve been in your hands for four years.” 
 “There’s going to be a lot more heartburn if we have that tsunami and we’ve continued to move forward with the status quo,” Wilson added.




Bend’s Beer Boom Puts A Squeeze On Water Infrastructure

Oregon Public Broadcasting

An average brewery uses seven gallons of water for every one gallon of beer brewed. Most of that water goes down the drain, into the sewer system and on to the wastewater treatment plant. The waste makes up a significant part of Bend’s wastewater — 5 to 10 percent at the treatment plant. “[The breweries] do take up a lot of space,” said Kelly Graham, Bend’s industrial pre-treatment program manager. “But that’s also what Bend is about anymore, the breweries. That’s why people come here.”




Deadlines for affordable housing initiatives shift

Portland Tribune

As rents continue to rise in Portland, deadlines to finalize two initiatives to increase the supply of affordable housing have been pushed back with little public notice. The committee is charged with drafting a framework for spending the $258.4 million in bond funds approved by Portland voters at the November 2016 election. It currently is considering specific production, location and community goals for bond-funded projects. The council is expected to take up the proposed framework this fall.




Department of Justice confirms open investigation into Portland Marathon

The Oregonian

The Oregon Department of Justice said Monday that they have an open investigation into conflicts of interest between the Portland Marathon and two for-profit companies, as well as the corporate structure of the marathon. The DOJ’s other concern is that the marathon’s 990 tax forms show the Portland Marathon has had two board members since 2011: Smith and Wheeler. Oregon law requires nonprofits to have at least three board members.




Your Voice, Your Vote: Lawmakers offer fresh perspective on 2017 legislative session


In this weekend’s edition of “Your Voice, Your Vote,’ we talk with Rep. Janelle Bynum and Rep. Richard Vial to get a fresh perspective on the 2017 session.


Portland’s sanctuary policies to blame for horrific rapes, says GOP leader

Fox News

State GOP chairman Bill Currier told “Fox & Friends” that Sergio Martinez, who was last detained in December but promptly released, should not have been in the country a week ago when he allegedly attacked a pair of women. The horrific attacks shocked the city and stoked fresh criticism of the pro-illegal immigrant policies. “He was given preferential treatment,” said Currier. “Essentially in Oregon, our governor and the mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, have created a protected class for illegal aliens that commit serious crimes.”




Editorial: Oregon continues to be unrealistic about PERS

Bend Bulletin

Gov. Kate Brown has been downright ostrich-like about the problem, and her refusal to consider pension reform as part of the solution has only encouraged the Legislature’s Democratic leadership to copy her approach. While the state Supreme Court has limited some approaches to structural reform, it has never said nothing can be done. Others, including Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, believe they have ideas that will pass judicial muster, and they should be given a try.

We cannot keep being unrealistic about Oregon’s PERS problem.


Editorial: Oregon not careful enough with health care money

Bend Bulletin

Instead of grand plans, Oregon needs to get the basics right. State government has shown a frustrating pattern of not being able to use health care dollars well.


Editorial: Bill protects Section 8 fund


To stop abuse, Kotek introduced House Bill 2944 this year. The bill, approved by both House and Senate nearly unanimously and signed by the governor, requires that landlords have to actually prove the damages in court before collecting money from the fund. While it’s unfortunate that the bill was needed, Kotek deserves the thanks of more than 30,000 Oregon households who rely on Section 8 vouchers as well as Oregon taxpayers.




Anthony Scaramucci ousted from White House job, with President Donald Trump saying, ‘No WH chaos’

The Oregonian

“No WH chaos!” President Donald Trump tweeted Monday morning. That statement now can be interpreted as foreshadowing, for just hours later Anthony Scaramucci was suddenly ousted as White House communications director. Reported the New York Times: “Mr. Scaramucci’s abrupt removal came just 10 days after the wealthy New York financier was brought on to the West Wing staff, a move that convulsed an already chaotic White House and led to the departures of Sean Spicer, the former press secretary, and Reince Priebus, the president’s first chief of staff.”


Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer

The Washington Post

Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared a story, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.” The claims were later shown to be misleading.



Welcoming Interior Secretary Zinke back to southern Oregon

News from Representative Walden

Recently, I had the pleasure of welcoming Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke back to southern Oregon. As a fellow Oregon Duck, Secretary Zinke knows this region well and loves the beauty of our public lands — he even chose to hang a painting of Crater Lake behind his desk back in the Department of the Interior.

Secretary Zinke spent two days getting a firsthand look at the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and the recent expansion. Secretary Zinke is taking a personal approach to his review of Cascade-Siskiyou. Rather than looking at the monument on a map in Washington D.C., he came here to see what’s on the ground and meet with passionate folks on all sides of this issue.

Click here or on the image above to view a recap video of Secretary Zinke’s tour of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

During our visit, we saw some of the traditional uses, landscape, and features we love about our public lands in southern Oregon. We can all agree that there are values worth protecting and that we can achieve a balance. That is certainly a goal of mine, and I know it is a goal of Secretary Zinke’s as he conducts his review of Cascade-Siskiyou.

Local ranchers discuss range management with Secretary Zinke and I during our tour of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

Secretary Zinke and I took a few questions from the local press at the conclusion of our tour.

As a lifelong Oregonian, protecting our environment and the natural treasures in our state is an important and personal issue for me. That is why I’ve worked on legislation in the past to protect areas like Soda Mountain and Steens Mountain. These efforts work best, however, from the ground up with local input from all sides.

The Secretary and I heard from proponents of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument at the BLM office in Medford recently.

Following the expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument by President Obama, I heard from county commissioners, ranchers, foresters and private property owners who had concerns with the expansion and felt ignored during the process. More than a third of the newly designated area is private land and a large amount of public lands are governed by the O&C Act which prescribes active timber management with considerable proceeds going to fund local services. Under the 1906 Antiquities Act, the President has sole discretion when determining how much land is designated and how it will be managed. Some Presidents have had thorough, local vetting processes and others have chosen to designate areas with no opportunity for local input. I think there’s a better way. That’s why I’ve introduced the Public Input for National Monuments Act, to require these designations to go through the National Environmental Policy Act, and formally gather public input like is required on other public land management decisions.

Secretary Zinke and I met with local officials to discuss the impact of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument on local counties and timber lands.

President Obama’s expansion of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was like a bad sequel. Ignoring concerns from opponents has once again left a patchwork of public and private land and uses within the monument creating conflicts much like  the challenges after the original designation by President Clinton.  Of the 80,000 acres within the expansion boundary, 38 percent is private land. Nearly 90 percent of the BLM land is timberland that was designated by Congress for permanent timber production and revenue to fund our counties under the O&C Act of 1937. During our tour, Secretary Zinke and I visited a rancher whose grazing allotment had been cut in half by the expansion, inhibiting a cooperative grazing program developed between the rancher, BLM and Forest Service to improve management of the range. We also saw irrigation canals, electric transmission lines, and a buried natural gas pipeline that cross this landscape–that’s far from being an untouched wilderness.

Photo by Mateusz Perkowski of the Capital Press Agriculture Weekly. Click here or on the image above to read the Capital Press article about Secretary Zinke’s tour of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

In southern Oregon, we’ve seen the problems left behind when land management decisions are made without meaningful public input. Secretary Zinke’s visit represents another productive step forward to rebuild public trust in the management of our federal lands. I know he will strongly consider the concerns and input — from all sides — as he completes his review of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. His report to the President is due by August 24.

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

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

Best regards,

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

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