Oregon GOP Files Campaign Finance Complaint Against SEIU

Requesting Investigation into $11M of Disclosure Violations

Complaint to AG Rosenblum and SoS Richardson mirrors lawsuit filed by Washington AG against

SEIU’s Washington State Council for failure to report individual member contributions

Wilsonville, OR – Today, Bill Currier, Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, filed a formal complaint with Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, urging both leaders for an investigation into the campaign finance practices of the Oregon Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Oregon Council and its local 503 and 49 affiliates, involving more than $11 million in unreported individual union member contributions:

The complaint mirrors a recent decision by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson to pursue action against Washington’s SEIU State Council for failure to properly report and disclose the campaign finance activity of its membership.  Earlier this month, AG Ferguson’s office filed suit in Thurston County alleging that the SEIU Washington State Council, whose organization’s main source of income is member dues, should have registered a political action committee for any political contributions made on behalf of its members.


Washington’s suit identified nearly $5 million in pass through contributions via SEIU’s state council which AG Ferguson’s office believes should have been properly recorded in a political action committee.  The Oregon GOP complaint points out that even though Oregon has as similar law, since 2006, SEIU’s Oregon affiliate councils have made over $11 million in political contributions with member dues, but have failed to register and report the political spending of its members inside of a members’ political action committee using ORESTAR, the state’s campaign finance reporting system.

“Our complaint exposes that  Oregon’s public employee unions have been playing fast and loose with campaign finance laws by not reporting member contributions being spent directly on political activity,” stated Currier. “Public records appear to show $11 million in local funds being pushed into candidate or ballot measure PACs, plus millions more being routed from out of state SEIU affiliates into Oregon.  It’s time to take the step the Washington Attorney General made and investigate the legality of how SEIU is spending member money on political campaigns.”


The complaint contrasts SEIU’s practices with other groups which follow the law when collecting campaign contributions on behalf of members by properly reporting aggregated membership money for politics in forward-facing political action committees within the public’s view.


“If you’re the Realtors, or an insurance agent PAC, member contributions are recorded in a political action committee,” Currier said.  “SEIU should be held to the same standard as other groups that engage in politics.”

Since  other public unions besides SEIU operate in this fashion, a proactive determination by Oregon’s Attorney General and Secretary of State would help ensure better compliance and enhanced public scrutiny of member-based contributions from all organizations.


“Before the next election cycle begins, it is seems imperative that AG Rosenblum and Secretary Richardson to make a timely determination if this type of political fundraising and contribution-making violates Oregon’s campaign finance law,” add Currier. “Our election system demands that everyone operate inside the law, and on a level playing field.  If the Washington Attorney General’s office believes the issue is worth pursuing, and SEIU operates the same way in Oregon as they do in Washington under similar laws, then we think Oregonians deserve this same kind of representation from our statewide elected officials in this matter.”


The complaint was sent electronically today to both Rosenblum and Richardson, and that the Oregon Republican Party would anticipate a timely response from both offices.


For more information on specific SEIU transactions the Oregon Republican Party believes should be reported as political action committee contributions, please see the attached line-itemed spreadsheet.

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 Republican Party

Communications Director

Kevin Hoar

Website: Oregon.GOP
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oregonrepublicanparty/
Twitter: @Oregon_GOP
XML Feed: https://oregon.gop/rss.xml
Main: (503) 595-8881
Fax: (503) 697-5555
Headquarters: 25375 SW Parkway Ave, Suite 200, Wilsonville, OR 97070

Oregon House Daily Clips





PERS board to vote on downgrading public pension investment assumptions

The Associated Press

“If they’re trying to cover someone politically, stop it,” said Jim Green, deputy executive director of the Oregon School Boards Association. “The system needs to be looked at and reformed, and keeping the assumed rate high, or using rate collars is just allowing policymakers at the state level to say, ‘It’s really not that bad.’ ”



Oregon’s controversial Clean Fuels Program revs its engine

Portland Business Journal

“We have a conversion efficiency of something like 96 percent,” said Ian Hill, who co-founded SeQuential in 2004. “When we started off, we were in the high 80s. What doesn’t become biodiesel is byproducts. There’s virtually no waste. This team at the plant, they’re at the leading edge of what can be done turning low-value waste-stream feedstock materials into biodiesel.”

As SeQuential sees it, this is what Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program — probably known by most Oregonians as a perennial political football — is all about.


Exclusive: Why big oil may support cap and trade in Oregon

Portland Business Journal

Could WSPA end up endorsing cap and trade in Oregon? “I think that will depend on the details of the program,” Reheis-Boyd said. “You can have a well-designed cap-and-trade program and a not well-designed cap-and trade-program — just like with a low-carbon fuel standard.”




New model could lower housing costs

Portland Tribune

The modular co-housing model is “exactly the kind of innovative thinking” about how to lower the cost of housing that Meyer Memorial Trust is seeking to promote, Parkhurst says. But it will only prove itself replicable “if it becomes accepted, and it really works, and is really as inexpensive as they hope.”


AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Assistance on the way, but more must be done

The News Guard

Lincoln City and Lincoln County continue to face an affordable housing challenge.

“We have a sustainable housing issue,” State Rep. David Gomberg (D) said. “People are working here but they can’t afford to live here and we have to find a way to turn that around.”




Numerous Oregon wildfires threatening homes, buildings

The Oregonian

The Bowden Fire was reported Monday about 20 miles outside of Rome. By Wednesday morning, the fire had grown to 17,773 acres. It was contained but threatened residences and other structures, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, which tracks wildfires in the region. The fire’s cause is under investigat


Lightning fades, but fire threat remains high

Mail Tribune

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest District continues to patrol areas where lightning touched down in Jackson County, a majority of which was in the northeastern portion of the county in the Butte Falls and Prospect areas, according ODF public information officer Melissa Cano. Three strikes also touched down near Ashland.


‘Suspicious’ 10,600-acre fire NE of Madras 30 pct. contained


“We have a containment line around it at this point (utilizing) dozer lines and roads, and the firefighters are working vigilantly today to make sure it stays within the boundaries,” Stacy Lacey, a fire prevention specialist for the Ochoco National Forest, said Wednesday.   By midday Wednesday, the fire was reported to be 40 percent contained.




Portland’s largest law firm lays off 17 administrative workers

Portland Business Journal

“This number (of layoffs) represents just 2.1 percent of our workforce, but it nonetheless was a decision we made with great care,” James Torgerson, the firm’s managing partner, said in the release. “Those jobs have been held by our friends and colleagues.” Stoel Rives, which is headquartered in Portland, has 10 locations in several states and Washington, D.C. The firm employs nearly 800 people in all.




How Farming Inside Wildlife Refuges Is Transforming Klamath Basin Agriculture

Oregon Public Broadcasting

This is the final story in a three-part series on the wildlife refuges of the Klamath Basin and water in the arid West. Read part one and part two.




Meet Kate Brown, governor of one of the most anti-Trump states in the union

The Washington Post

But there are still some areas of the nation where the political left can maneuver virtually untouched. Oregon is one of them, and The Fix sat down with the state’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, to talk about how she approaches policy in the Trump era and why Oregon seems to have gone out of its way to make itself one of the most anti-Trump states in the union. You can see the interview in the video above.


Oregon’s Transgender Population Reacts To Trump’s Military Ban

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Basic Rights Oregon calls the move disgraceful.  “Thousands of patriotic transgender Americans already serve in our military and are putting their lives on the line to keep us safe and defend our American values,” Executive Director Nancy Haque said. “There is no place for discrimination in our military,” she said.  “Discharging talented service members simply because of their gender identity is wrong.”


TriMet considers lifetime bans for violent offenders

Portland Tribune

TriMet is poised to increase penalties for people who commit serious acts of violence on the transit system, up to a lifetime ban on its buses, trains and property. The agency’s Board of Directors held its first hearing on an ordinance with the increases on Wednesday. It can be approved at the next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 9, and take effect 30 days after that. “This is a good move to help ensure the safety of our operators, riders and members of the general public,” TriMet Board President Bruce Warner said during the hearing.


Arnie Roblan is the new president of PNW economic region

The World Link

“PNWER has proven itself to be an ideal vehicle for identifying shared regional problems and crafting solutions that serve the people we represent,” Roblan said in a prepared statement. He was inducted Tuesday at the 27th PNWER annual summit.




Editorial: Recreation Not Red-Tape


The act would make it easier for individuals, families and outdoor recreation businesses to get required federal permits; make federal agencies that may not have thought of themselves as being involved in outdoor recreation — such as the Army Corps of Engineers — responsible for it on land and water they oversee; and generally promote outdoor recreation. The RNR Act is a refreshingly civilized, bipartisan attempt to make life easier for Oregonians in a practical way, without spending huge sums of federal money. Others in Congress could learn from this.


Editorial: Regulators toss curve at air rules


The Cleaner Air Oregon proposal appears to have some substantial speed bumps. But that shouldn’t prevent Lebanon residents from being able to access current and accurate information about the air they breathe.



Bonamici: Banning transgender military members is ‘discriminatory and unacceptable’

Portland Tribune

Bonamici referenced Oregonians she had met, including members of the transgender community, who had served in the military. In her statement, Bonamici asked the Defense Department to continue accepting transgender servicemembers. “The President’s decision to deny them the opportunity to serve goes against the values that our military fights to protect,” she said. “Turning our backs on these transgender individuals is discriminatory and unacceptable. We overturned Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell more than five years ago, and military experts have reported no negative effects.”


Sen. Jeff Merkley Will Propose 120 Amendments to Hinder Obamacare Repeal

Willamette Week

Merkley has prepared 120 amendments to the bill being debated in the Senate now, and he plans to propose each of them during the so-called vote-a-rama, when senators are free to propose as many amendments as they want. “The number of people who would be harmed by the dismantling of health care is so long that it would be impossible to list them all—but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try,” Merkley said. “If the GOP is intent on ramming their destructive bill through, they should have to face head-on the disastrous effects it will have for America’s veterans, children, cancer patients, and the peace of mind for every family across this country,” Merkley added.




Multnomah County Likely To Pursue Lawsuit Against Opioid Makers

Oregon Public Broadcasting

By declaring opioids a “public nuisance” Multnomah County is taking the first step in a legal battle to recoup some of those costs from manufacturers. Speaking to OPB on Wednesday, County Chair Deborah Kafoury compared opioid manufactures to Big Tobacco. “They pushed a product on consumers that they knew was harmful, that they knew was destructive, and that they knew could damage people’s lives,” Kafoury said. “And they weren’t open at all about it.”


Council continues discussion of new fees, taxes to improve park system


The council is considering both a construction bond and an operating levy, which require voter approval because they raise property taxes. Other ideas to raise money include a monthly service fee that could be charged on a resident’s utility bill or a restaurant tax.

The earliest councilors could put any tax measure on the ballot would be May.


Another Loss For Governor Kate Brown as Manufacturer Moves Oregon Jobs To China

Oregon GOP Chair Points to Governor’s Unfriendly Business Policies, Obsession with Trump


Wilsonville, OR – Thanks to Democrat Governor Kate Brown’s job-killing policies, manufacturers are leaving Oregon for China, and taking their high-paying jobs with them.  Last week Microsoft announced it will be closing its factory in Wilsonville and laying off over one hundred employees so it can move more production activities to China.

Under Kate Brown, Oregon continues to fall further behind, receiving a bottom ten ranking for business this year as the state hemorrhages the very high-paying jobs she has claimed her policies would attract.

The Oregonian reports:

”The tech giant stamped, ‘Manufactured in Portland, OR, USA’ on each Surface Hub it made there. It invited The New York Times and Fast Company magazine to tour the plant in 2015, then hired more than 100 people to make the enormous, $22,000 touch-screen computer.

But last week Microsoft summoned its Wilsonville employees to an early-morning meeting and announced it will close the factory and lay off 124 employees – nearly everyone at the site – plus dozens of contract workers…

Though workers present say he didn’t disclose the location, Microsoft has previously said it makes its other Surface computers in China.”


Despite appeals from businesses large and small that it’s time for Oregon to dump the unfriendly business policies, increased regulations, and the constant threat of higher taxes, Governor Brown forges ahead with her damaging agenda focused on her ‘War on Trump’,” stated Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier.

“When combined with Kate Brown’s failure to address, much less solve, the big fiscal, educational, and law enforcement issues that our state faces and that voters care about,” said Currier, “It becomes clear that Oregon needs new leadership 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 Republican Party

Communications Director

Kevin Hoar

Website: Oregon.GOP

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oregonrepublicanparty/

Twitter: @Oregon_GOP

XML Feed: https://oregon.gop/rss.xml

Main: (503) 595-8881

Fax: (503) 697-5555

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

Kate Brown Corrupts Application Process for Judicial Appointments

Oregon GOP Chair Rebukes Democrat Governor for Continued Cronyism


Wilsonville, OR – Despite her promises of transparency and accountability, Democrat Governor Kate Brown used her office this past week to secure prominent positions for her friends and allies, especially ones who shell out cash for her campaign.  Brown’s state lawyer, Ben Souede, was allowed to skip the normal application process to get a seat on the bench for the Multnomah County Circuit Court.  Moreover, Souede is a major Democrat donor, and his wife, Jill Souede, donated $1,000 to Brown’s campaign.


The Oregonian reports:

”Gov. Kate Brown’s state lawyer was able to skip the application process followed by other candidates for openings on the Multnomah County Circuit Court, Brown’s staff said late this week.

The governor’s office also allowed a state legislator from Lake Oswego to interview with a special panel of lawyers, separate from the one that reviewed other applicants for a seat on the Clackamas County Circuit Court.

Judicial candidates typically fill out application forms and interview with panels of lawyers selected by the governor’s office before the governor personally interviews finalists.

In the case of Brown’s general counsel Ben Souede, officials in the governor’s office said no additional vetting was necessary. Souede was among three lawyers Brown tapped earlier this week to fill vacancies on the Multnomah County Circuit Court.  Souede was also on the interview panel that met with candidates for the two other openings on the Multnomah County Circuit Court.”


Appointing fair, impartial, and competent judges is a serious matter and not one that should be used to reward the Governor’s political cronies or be doled out to the largest donors,” stated Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier.  “When the vetting of a judicial appointee turns out to be nothing more than a charade for the benefit of public perception and to provide cover for the insider system of political payoffs and patronage, it is easy to see why Kate Brown is so often seen as being ethically-challenged.”

“Brown may think she can fool the people of Oregon into believing all her phony talk about transparency and accountability, but in reality, she’s just another ‘D-machine’ politician willing to use her office to benefit Democrat party insiders,” said Currier.  “Kate Brown is Oregon’s ‘Queen of Cronyism’ and 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 Republican Party

Communications Director

Kevin Hoar

Website: Oregon.GOP

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oregonrepublicanparty/

Twitter: @Oregon_GOP

XML Feed: https://oregon.gop/rss.xml

Main: (503) 595-8881

Fax: (503) 697-5555

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

Oregon House Daily Clips





Birds Take Backseat To Fish, Farms In The Klamath Basin

Oregon Public Broadcasting

There’s always a bird – or 20 –  in sight at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. But really, there should be many, many more.


Low steelhead count expected in Columbia River

The Oregonian

It’s projected that fewer than 131,000 of the fish will come through Bonneville Dam this year, the Yakima Herald-Republic reports. That’s the lowest number in more than three decades and represents a fall of at least 45,000 for the third straight year.




Editorial: Commission on voting is a sham


It is almost as certain where the work of the commission is headed: toward efforts to make it more difficult to register and vote. It’s the wrong answer to the wrong question: We should be working to modernize voting machines and safeguarding election systems against hacking. And any national effort to make it harder to register and vote runs counter to Oregon’s longstanding efforts to clear away obstacles to the franchise. It’s a shame that we’ll spend any time at all trying to restrict something so fundamental to our democracy.


Editorial: A nonexistent threat


But beyond this dog and pony show lies a larger threat. While to date there has been no credible evidence of widespread voter fraud by noncitizens, there have been well-­documented cases of voter suppression, actions aimed at keeping legal voters — often minorities — from casting their votes. Civil libertarians and voter rights groups have grown increasingly concerned that the voter fraud commission will be a vehicle for expanding these efforts.


Letter to the editor: Rallying behind Rep. Williamson

Jessica Haviland, Northwest Portland

I watched the House floor debate for House Bill 3391 this month, extremely proud to be a member of Rep. Jennifer Williamson’s district. She championed the truth: This bill will lead to healthier lives, healthier communities and a healthier Oregon.




Plan will displace hundreds of homeless near Redmond

Bend Bulletin

Hundreds of homeless people could be displaced as the result of a cleanup effort on 2,000 acres of agricultural land east of Redmond. “The goal was a plan to manage the impact on the land,” Deschutes County Property Manager James Lewis said. “It’s not just a homeless problem; it’s true land management. It will make the land safe for legal use of the land, like hiking or biking.”




Jared Kushner says ‘I did not collude’ in statement before closed-door interviews

The Associated Press

“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner said in the prepared remarks in which he also insists that none of the contacts, which include meetings at Trump Tower with the Russian ambassador and a Russian lawyer, was improper.


Despite Republican appeals, Democrats not willing to deal on net neutrality legislation

Washington Examiner

Echoing Thune’s calls is his counterpart in the House, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “I again call on my Democratic colleagues, edge providers, and ISPs, and all those who make up the diverse Internet ecosystem that has flourished under light-touch regulation to come to the table and work with us on bipartisan legislation that preserves an open Internet while not discouraging the investments necessary to fully connect all Americans,” Walden said on the Day of Action. “Too much is at stake to have this issue ping-pong between different FCC commissions and various courts over the next decade.”


Wisconsin company to install rice-sized microchips in employees

USA Today

Three Square Market, a company that provides technology for break-room or micro markets, has over 50 employees who plan to have the devices implanted, KSTP-TV reported. The tiny chip, which uses RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification, can be implanted between the thumb and forefinger “within seconds,” according to a statement from the company. “It’s the next thing that’s inevitably going to happen, and we want to be a part of it,” Three Square Market Chief Executive Officer Todd Westby told the station.




Representative Greg Barreto: End of Session Newsletter



Rep. B speaking on floor

The End of Session Newsletter

July 24, 2017

The last day of the 2017 Oregon legislative session was July 7, 2017.  The session was long, it was tiring, and it was frustrating in the last days, but I remain hopeful that we will be able to turn things around in Oregon with the 2018 elections already rapidly approaching. The only way things change for the better is when we elect those that will challenge the status quo.


Over 130 bills were heard and voted on in the last four days of the session. Below is an overview of some of the more controversial measures, some of which may be challenged in court:


SB 719 was passed by the House Democrats on a 31 to 28 vote. SB 719 allows law enforcement to confiscate guns based on a family member saying someone is mentally unstable and should not retain their firearms.  It also allows a judge to make the decision instead of a qualified medical professional.  This bill challenges “due process” and our 2nd Amendment rights. Our office received over 5,0000 emails from Oregonians who were against this bill and I was proud to stand up for them by casting a no vote on this legislation.


HB 3391 passed without a Republican vote in either the House or the Senate and will cost 10 million dollars for abortion on demand including sex selection abortions, mandating that all health care insurance providers apart from Providence must comply. These abortions are allowed until the child is born, extended to undocumented people in Oregon and without a co-pay or deductible. No provisions were given for those wanting a child and facing infertility.  This was a dark day for Oregon.  Providence protested early, stood their ground and got carved out for religious status.  Would have been nice if they would have stood up for the principle and helped other companies fight against this.


HB 2391, the provider tax bill, will also raise the cost of health care and those that purchase insurance. It establishes a 1.5% tax on health insurance providers to help pay for Obamacare for all who reside in the state.  For my company, that is already looking at a 27% premium increase will now have an additional $6000.00 annually and that does not account for their mark-up on the 1.5 increase.  Insurance premiums will continue to rise with legislation such as this.


The House Democrats passed HB 2060.  A tax bill that would have raised $667 million of new taxes on the backs of the smallest of Oregon small businesses. The qualifications of the tax increase were tied to the number of employees a business has, not to profits or income.  Unbelievable!  And they did this on a simple majority vote, defying the Oregon Constitution and the vote of the people that requires a 3/5 majority to approve revenue raising bills.   Thankfully this measure was killed in the Senate.


There were a lot of good bills introduced and some good bills passed:


SB 106, SB 481, HB 2101 were public records reform bills that will help modernize availability for Oregonians to information and improve transparency of government.


HB 2066 retained the rural medical provider tax as a tool for attracting and retaining medical professionals in rural areas of the state.


SB 1067 was a cost containing bill that prevents the state from doubling up on insurance benefits for households with two public employee incomes.


SB 372, of which I was a sponsor with Sen. Hansell as Chief Sponsor, was signed into law on June 14, 2017.  This law permits the salvaging of game meat for human consumption if it had been killed by a vehicle collision.


SB 373, of which Sen. Hansell and I were Chief Sponsors, directs the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to establish a pilot program to control urban deer populations in cities where deer constitute a public nuisance.  This was signed into law on June 14, 2017.


HB 2382 and its Senate counterpart SB 230, were Bills to increase student achievement, improve college attendance and career placement for students in Ag courses. And compensation for the extensive amount of time that FFA teachers put in through the summer months.  When education in Oregon is lagging behind in national state ranking, FFA programs across the state are a proven bright shining light in building character and leadership qualities in our young people.  Throughout education this program is recognized and should be encouraged and rewarded for the product that FFA puts out.  JD Cant from Imbler was the catalyst for this legislation which Bill Hansell and I fought hard for that would have enhanced and benefitted education and our FFA programs.  This bill or a similar form of it should be introduced in the next long session.


HB 2017 The transportation package that started out at 8.2 billion dollars, a 14-cent gas tax, increased registration fees, employee tax, added fees when purchasing new or used cars, bike tax, gravel tax, tolls on some stretches of road, etc., etc., etc.  We were told that if a legislator wanted projects for their district, those members working on the package wanted a commitment early that the legislator would vote for the package, however it turned out.  I was not on the committee and was unwilling to commit to the tax and fee increases at the start of the package not knowing how much it would end up costing the people of Oregon.  This was a bill that was in a process of continual change and development all the way to the end.  Because I and other legislators would not commit to voting yes early, on a bill that was not fully formed, many of our districts were not awarded projects.  Those on the transportation committee that put in an inordinate amount of time and effort made out very well and some that committed to vote for it brought projects back to their districts and some projects were actually awarded based on cost/benefit. Transportation is vital to Oregon and there is a huge cost to funding and maintain a statewide need.  Republican Rep. Cliff Bentz put his heart and soul into this project and worked diligently, negotiating with a lot of players to see it come about.  Republican Rep. Andy Olson, also on the committee, worked hard and got a measure of accountability into the project also.


In the end, the package was whittled down to a little over 5 billion. Gas tax was lowered to 10 cents over 6 years; it still included the employee tax which I totally disagree with because it has nothing to do with transportation and can be easily raised in the future.  The best part of the bill in my opinion was the funding for counties and cities for infrastructure maintenance.  It was dispersed throughout the state based on a formula based on the number of registered vehicles and miles of road in the counties.  This part of the bill will be a significant help to rural areas.  Most local elected officials responsible for communities were in favor of any package.  A lot of constituents did not want to see gas taxes increased by 20% along with the other fee’s, taxes and the Low Carbon Fuels Tax still subsidizing electric cars.


There was much more that went on in Salem over the last 6 months that I will comment on in future newsletters.  And future responsibilities that will take more of my time.  The budget issues from this session will continue to grow through the next 12 years as PERS costs will continue to rise for the state, counties, cities and schools.  Medicaid costs, individual and business premium costs and availability along with the uncertainty of the health care system in general will be front and center both on a state and national level well into the future.


Thank you for your support, encouragement and even criticisms, knowing that in this business, there are many views on the issues at hand.  Special thanks to the crew and leadership at Barreto mfg. that are doing an outstanding job and allow me to do serve in this capacity.


Fighting for common sense in Oregon,




Rep. Barreto with Pendleton Round Up Court

Rep. Barreto speaking with Senator Hansell



Contacting the Salem Office

Vicki Olson Senior Legislative Assistant

Email: Rep.GregBarreto@oregonlegislature.gov

Office phone: (503) 986-1458


What They Are Saying: 2017 Legislative Session





The Portland Tribune: there are far more agonizing defeats than thrilling victories to tally.” (Editorial: Keep bipartisan PERS bill on track, 7/4/2017)


Daily Astorian on Governor Brown: “…her lack of leadership was evident throughout the session.” (Daily Astorian: Legislators left Salem with unfinished business, 7/11/2017)


The Herald and News: House Republican Leader Mike McLane said he “believed the session was marked by a lack of leadership….He got it right. (Editorial: The Legislature: the good, the bad and the really ugly 7/11/2017)


Senate President Peter Courtney: “At best, our successes are tempered by disappointment.” (News Release: Senate President Peter Courtney’s Statements on the 2017 Session, 7/72017)




The Oregonian: Democrats “failed to find votes to reform Oregon’s tax system and make a serious dent in public pension costs, leaving the toughest decisions to future sessions.” (The Oregonian: Oregon lawmakers hail session of progressive wins, but big budget problems lurk ahead, 7/9/2017)


The Register-Guard: “The structural problem in Oregon’s public accounts can go on unaddressed in the two-year budget period that began July 1, but it can’t go on forever, with double-digit spending increases every two years. The Legislature let slip an opportunity to stop the unsustainable trend on its own terms.” (Editorial: Success and frustration, 7/11/2017)


The Oregonian: “Legislators were able to leave with a balanced budget, thanks to better than expected revenue, the controversial hospital and health-insurance tax and a host of Band-Aids. But their inaction on PERS, spending and revenue means those problems will continue to grow, unchecked.” (Editorial: Inching toward a win, 7/14/2017)


Bend Bulletin: “Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System was the focus of multiple bills this legislative session, but lawmakers failed to make meaningful progress on this critical issue, despite the system’s $22 billion unfunded liability. The tone was set from the top, with House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, and Democratic Gov. Kate Brown saying early in the session that no viable methods existed to curb the crushing budgetary effects of the convoluted PERS system.” (Editorial: PERS demands visionary leadership, 7/12/2017)


Ashland Daily Tidings: “Two key factors lawmakers failed to address this year were the continued increase in Public Employee Retirement System premiums to meet the unfunded liability in the pension system, and health insurance costs for public employees that far outstrip anything most private-sector workers receive. If majority Democrats in the Legislature had taken the tough steps to address those and other costs, they might have attracted enough Republican support to restructure state taxes on corporations, raising more money for colleges and other needs.” (Editorial: Better, but not great, 7/18/2017)




The Oregonian: “When students return to school this fall with fewer teachers, larger class sizes and shorter school years, they should write thank-you notes – on paper donated by parents, of course – to the three people responsible for such cuts: Gov. Kate Brown, Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek.” (Oregon needs leaders now – not in 2019, 6/23/2017)


Jim Green, Oregon School Boards Association Executive Director on K-12 Budget: “This budget, like this entire session, should be filed under ‘missing’ — for missing leadership that led to missed opportunity.” (The Oregonian: Lawmakers reluctantly pass $8.2 billion schools budget they say is not enough, 6/27/2017)


Ed Ray, Oregon State University President: “This has been a session of minimal progress, missed opportunities and unrealized potential.” (The Oregonian: Lawmakers back $100 million for Elliott State Forest, $50 million for UO campus, 7/3/2017)


The Oregonian: “Elected leaders have bemoaned the budget crisis that they faced this legislative session due in part to the new initiatives. But voters – who cast their ballots amid a sustained economic boom that continues to generate record amounts of tax revenue – aren’t to blame. The culprits have been legislators who ignored for years the question of how to pay for Medicaid expansion and who have refused to confront escalating pension and health benefits costs for public employees.” (Editorial: Legislators disregard voters’ will with insufficient education measure funding, 7/8/2017)




The Oregonian: “…House Republicans, with Bentz as their chief negotiator, were able to secure the low-carbon fuels deal. The agreement resulted in changes Republicans had sought when transportation negotiations sputtered in 2015.” (The Oregonian: Oregon lawmakers hail session of progressive wins, but big budget problems lurk ahead, 7/9/2017)


Ontario Argus Observer: “Lawmakers — chiefly Eastern Oregon lawmaker and Ontario Republican Cliff Bentz — put a lot of work into the plan and, instead of wasting time bickering about the proposal, decided to get something done.” (Ontario Argus Observer: Lawmakers deserve praise for transit bill, 7/7/2017)


The Mail Tribune: “Overall, the transportation package is the largest of its kind to pass in years, and it’s an example of how lawmaking is supposed to work: competing interests trade support for things they don’t like in exchange for things they do, some of the most controversial elements are removed along the way and everyone stays focused on the overall goal.” (Editorial: Transportation bill a major accomplishment, 7/13/2017)




Bend Bulletin on Attempts to Manipulate the Ballot: It doesn’t matter if the culprits are Russians, Republicans or Democrats — meddling in Oregon elections is wrong. And there is meddling afoot. The culprits are Democrats in the Oregon Legislature. (Editorial: A new low for Oregon election manipulation, 7/4/2017)


The Register-Guard on Grand Bargain Rollback: Republicans felt betrayed, and for good reason: The bill to limit the tax break passed by a 31-28 vote, with all Republicans and three Democrats voting no. Democrats thereby reneged on the deal agreed to four years ago, making roadkill of the grand bargain. The vote also made roadkill of the three-fifths supermajority required for approval of tax increases…Even if Democrats are on solid legal ground, they appear to be committing the logical fallacy of ambiguity: A curbside sign that says ‘Fine for parking’ doesn’t mean it’s just fine and dandy to park there.” (Editorial: A sausage made of roadkill, 6/28/2017)

Bend Bulletin on Tax Bills Passing Without Supermajorities: Oregon lawmakers, at least some of them, came up with a nifty new trick this legislative session, one that may or may not pass constitutional muster. They’ve approved at least one bill, Senate Bill 28, which raises taxes without having to earn the three-fifths majority in both houses the state constitution requires, and they’ve been working on another…While the Legislature must balance the budget, tippy-toeing across the constitution is not the way to go about it.” (Editorial: Stop trying to fool Oregonians with tax increases, 6/25/2017)




Click here to view this release online.


Oregon House Daily Clips






Sen. Johnson chides progressives on crime bills

The Daily Astorian

“What kind of world are we headed for when district attorneys are expected to act like defense attorneys?” Betsy Johnson said. “Who will stand up for victims? Not Jennifer Williamson and the Oregon Legislature.”




Under industry pressure, state regulators dilute Gov. Kate Brown’s clean air plan

The Oregonian

The latest move carries far more significance than the budget fight in Salem. This industry victory has been authored by a state agency that answers to the governor, an indicator that her commitment to her clean air overhaul may be wavering amid business opposition.




Oregon Promise applicants will learn in August if they qualify under new income requirement

The Oregonian

Thousands of students will learn next month whether they will receive Oregon Promise grants to help reduce the cost of tuition at community college this fall, but hundreds of applicants who would’ve qualified during the program’s first year will receive some bad news. The promise, a last-dollar scholarship program approved by lawmakers in 2015 to great acclaim nationally, is no longer available to any and all qualified Oregonians.




Oregon’s 2018 health insurance rates approved

Bend Bulletin

In releasing the final rates Thursday, insurance regulators with Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services said they serve as further evidence the state’s health insurance market is stabilizing, contrary to claims from President Trump and Republicans in Congress that it’s in a “death spiral.” The past two years have been tumultuous, with double-digit rate hikes and companies pulling out of rural counties or leaving the state’s market altogether. “We are seeing signs of stability,” said DCBS spokesman Jake Sunderland.


State hikes individual, business health premiums

Daily Astorian

On the individual market, the changes announced Thursday range from an average 1.6 percent dip for BridgeSpan Health Company to an average 14.8 percent increase for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest. For small businesses, the average changes range from increases of 3.3 to 10.1 percent.


Mullins: health care tax could have ‘damaging effects’


Larry Mullins, Samaritan’s president and CEO, said tax changes and a capping of state reimbursement for current and retired employees medical care could cost Samaritan as much as $24 million annually. “We are looking at cutting programs, especially those that might not be profitable,” Mullins said. “We have always known that alcohol and drug rehabilitation would not be profitable, but we believe it is needed in our communities. We are still prepared to move forward with it, but we need more solid information at this time.” “This Legislative session has really created some challenges for hospitals,” Mullins said.




Interstate tolls looming for metro area

Portland Tribune

Motorists will face the possibility of tolls on Interstates 5 and 205 in the metropolitan area, but not until 2019 after a study is completed — and only if the Federal Highway Administration says yes.




Washington to kill members of wolf pack that fed on cattle

The Associated Press

“The purpose of this action is to change the pack’s behavior,” said Donny Martorello, a wolf manager for the agency. “That means incrementally removing wolves and assessing the results before taking any further action.”




Growing green: Wholly Hemp Farm brings the hemp industry to Klamath

Herald and News

Looking over their field of 5,000 thriving hemp plants, Marianne and Marvin Yong, the owners of Wholly Hemp Farm, said their mission is to educate the Klamath Falls community about the industrial plant’s potential, ranging from textiles to building material to medicine. “It got kind of lumped in with its crazy, wild sister marijuana,” said Marianne Yong. “That’s what I tell people: Hemp is the boring, smarter cousin of the cannabis family. But it’s really exciting stuff, and really, the potential is limitless at this point.”




Oregon legislators push to allow police to enforce immigration laws

Statesman Journal

Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, and Rep. Greg Barreto, R-Pendleton, certified a ballot title with the Elections Division for Initiative Petition 2018-022, which is proposed for the November 6, 2018 General Election. The trio is hoping voters will support repealing Oregon Statute 181.850, which states law enforcement agencies may not use agency money, equipment or personnel to detect or apprehend people who are only violating federal immigration laws by being foreign citizens in the United States.




Agencies investigate if military training caused Oregon wildfires

The Associated Press

Federal and state agencies are investigating whether there was a link between a series of wildfires in Southeastern Oregon and military training exercises. Officials believe the seven small fires that ignited on July 11 could have been connected because they were all attributed to human activity, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.




Advocacy Group, Oregon Republican Feud Over Health Care Town Hall

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon Republican Rep. Julie Parrish alleges an advocacy group has “taken extreme liberties” in her district to schedule a “fake” town hall purportedly in her name. Our Oregon, the advocacy group organizing the town hall in West Linn for Aug. 1, says they never told people Parrish would attend the town hall. Instead, they say, she was invited to attend and discuss health care issues with her constituents. The group says Parrish declined that invitation. Parrish went on to refer to Our Oregon as “political operatives with a political agenda.” “They’ve perpetrated this ploy not just in my district, but in several others as well,” she wrote.



Editorial: Keep groceries tax free

Bend Bulletin

A gross receipts tax is flawed for a number of reasons. For instance, it taxes businesses even if they don’t make a profit. It’s wrong to tax necessities like food and health care. Proposals in Oregon have aimed to do both. The Democrats who control Oregon government proved this past legislative session that they are not very thoughtful about controlling government spending and are very eager to increase government taxes. Oregonians should send them a message that food should not be taxed.


Editorial: Renters’ bill is blocked in Legislature


Matthew Desmond’s powerful (and remarkably even-handed) book “Evicted” makes a compelling case that a stable residence is an essential part of helping people out of poverty. Working toward a compromise on no-cause evictions could benefit not just tenants and landlords but all Oregonians.



Sean Spicer Resigns As White House Press Secretary

The Associated Press

Spicer’s decision appears linked to the appointment of a new White House communications director, New York financier Anthony Scaramucci. The people with knowledge of the decision spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the personnel matter publicly.


Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces Crackdown on Dark Web Marketplace Implicated in Portland Overdose Death

Willamette Week

Today in a speech, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that law enforcement agencies from across the globe earlier this month shut down AlphaBay, the largest marketplace for illicit substance and services on the dark web.


US to ban Americans from traveling to North Korea

The Associated Press

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had decided to impose “geographical travel restriction” for North Korea, the officials said, which would make it illegal to use U.S. passports to enter the country. They said the restriction would be published in the Federal Register next week and will take effect 30 days after that.



Is there any good news out there?

As a matter of fact…there is!  Here are a few news items you won’t see or hear on the drive-by, lame-stream, fake news, media outlets:


Americans’ Average Credit Scores Reach All-Time High http://www.breitbart.com/economics/2017/07/10/americans-average-credit-scores-reach-time-high/


VA Fires More Than 500 Employees, Suspends 200 for Misconduct http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/10/va-trump-admin-fires-500-employees-suspends-200-misconduct/


Illegal Aliens Self-deporting http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/07/11/illegal-aliens-self-deporting-amid-stricter-enforcement-says-report/


RNC Breaks Another Fundraising Record http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/20/rnc-breaks-another-fundraising-record-raises-record-13-4-million-in-june/


Carry Permits Up…Violent Crime Down http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/20/study-concealed-carry-see-record-surge-led-women-blacks/


Number of Americans Filing for Unemployment Declines http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/14/number-of-americans-filing-for-unemployment-benefits-on-the-decline/


More Christian Refugees Arriving than Muslims http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/07/13/christian-refugees-arriving-trump-muslims/


U.S. Closer to 12-Carrier Navy Goal http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/11/trump-closer-12-carrier-navy-goal-uss-gerald-ford/


Coast Guard repatriates 102 Haitian migrants found at sea http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/07/13/coast-guard-repatriates-121-haitian-migrants-found-at-sea.html


Feds Pounce on Gun, Drug Trafficking Ring http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/13/feds-charge-mexican-guatemalan-citizens-illegal-gun-sales-georgia/


Feds Seize 88 Pounds of Heroin http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/11/feds-seize-88-pounds-heroin-detroit-condo/


ICE to Hire Thousands More Agents to Crack Down on Sanctuary Cities https://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2017/07/19/ice-to-hire-10000-more-agents-many-to-be-deployed-to-sanctuary-cities-n2357206



Americans for Liberty PAC
A Political Action Committee for Conservatives who uphold the US Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers
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Email hilde@eoni.com


Oregon House Daily Clips







Oregon Measure Seeks To Head Off Corporate Tax On Grocery Sales

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The new measure is financed by the Northwest Grocery Association, which launched a website promoting the “Yes! Let’s Keep Our Groceries Tax Free” initiative. Joe Gilliam, the association’s president, said his group wanted to make it clear how far it’s willing to go to avoid a tax on corporate sales.= “We’ve got to shift the Legislature off the discussion that the gross receipts tax is the answer,” said Gilliam.  He argued that grocers operate on a low margin and that such a tax would lead to higher prices.




What is “The Oregon Study?” And How Did We End Up Getting Used to Justify Scrapping Public Insurance?

Willamette Week

It’s possible that medical care in general may be overrated. Still, Medicaid foes seem unwilling to expand their money-saving ideas to their logical end by letting employer-insured conservative pundits join the lucky poor in being spared the indignity of unhelpful, non-life-prolonging health insurance. Go figure.


Lori Conyer Out as Oregon Medicaid Director

The Lund Report

Conyer left voluntarily, the Oregon Health Authority says. Her departure after a year and a half in the job follows heavy criticism of the state’s Medicaid re-enrollment process.




Video: New Oregon bill requires insurers to cover abortions

Fox News


Video: Oregon governor expected to sign abortion funding bill

Fox News




OSU research, extension to lose 17 positions

Capital Press

The equivalent of 17 positions must be cut due to the funding gap, but the university doesn’t expect to lay off researchers or extension agents. Rather, positions will be left vacant as people retire or change jobs, said Dan Arp, dean of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences.

“We will be able to manage this with the normal attrition,” Arp said.




Oregon Is Adding Jobs, Experiencing A Tight Labor Market

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon saw its largest job gains in June 2017 since February 2016. State employment economist Nick Beleiciks said employers are hiring in a variety of sectors. “Oregon’s adding a lot of jobs really fast,” Beleiciks said. “We added 8,500 jobs in June, and it was seen across a lot of different types of industries.”


Microsoft’s Wilsonville jobs are going to China, underscoring travails of domestic tech manufacturing

The Oregonian

But last week Microsoft summoned its Wilsonville employees to an early-morning meeting and announced it will close the factory and lay off 124 employees – nearly everyone at the site – plus dozens of contract workers.


A $64M facility opens, and creates 69 jobs, in Scappoose

Portland Business Journal

The strategy was partially backed by a $500,000 investment from the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund. Cascades also collected $60,000 to renovate its St. Helens plant in 2014. “Oregon is proud to make investments into businesses that show promise to create local jobs, generate sustainable growth, and act as catalysts for future economic development in the region,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, in a release.




Area roads get $1.5 million in state funding

Argus Observer

For counties, $5 million per year will be moved from the state’s most populous counties to the rest of counties, based on a ratio of road miles to population, Bentz said. “This allocation will result in significant increases in road funds available to Baker, Grant, Harney, Lake and Malheur counties,” he said. “It’s great,” County Commissioner Don Hodge said, of the additional funds. “Our roads are atrocious. We need repairs,” he said. “I’m for the transportation package.”


Gorsek snags transportation dollars for Troutdale

Portland Tribune

Gorsek added a $3-million rider to a transportation package that’s worth roughly $5.3 billion. The bill still awaits the signature of Gov. Kate Brown. “We made sure that access to our East County industrial area was made a specific item in the transportation package to stregthen thriving businesses and attract new investment,” Rep. Gorsek said in a text message.




New state laws designed to protect against federal crackdown on marijuana

Portland Tribune

“Changes seem to be occurring on a daily if not an hourly basis on the federal side, and I personally am very concerned that we give as much protection to Oregon citizens to ensure their personal identification information isn’t compromised through some kind of federal subpoena or some other act that a business is not going to have the fortitude or maybe the legal basis that the state would have to fight those type of requests,” said Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, a chief sponsor of Senate Bill 863.




America’s Most and Least Popular Governors — July 2017

Morning Consult

Others who saw among the steepest drops in net approval included Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.), who dropped 9 net points, Gov. Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.) — who has also expressed concerns about the Obamacare repeal effort in Washington — lost 14 net points, and Govs. Kate Brown (D-Ore.), Matt Bevin (R-Ky.) and Greg Abbott (R-Texas) — who each lost 7 net points on their ratings.




Editorial: Stop deny and delay approach to PERS

Bend Bulletin

The PERS board should adopt an assumed rate of return that is not born of myth. And then state leaders should confront that reality with the PERS reforms suggested by state Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, and others.


Guest: We must get off the political treadmill and find solutions for Oregon

Sam Tannahill is chairman of Oregon Business & Industry

By the end of the 2017 session, tensions were high and nerves were frayed. That’s to be expected. Developing effective public policy is difficult, and compromise can be painful. But nothing is as painful as failure. Oregon cannot reach its potential without a healthy business community that generates the jobs and revenue needed to preserve our unique quality of life. And OBI is committed to doing the hard work necessary to get it right.


Guest: House District 22 representative reflects on successes of recent session

Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, D-Woodburn

Finally, I’m proud to say that House Bill 3464, which I co-sponsored with Rep. Diego Hernandez, Governor Kate Brown, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and others, passed through both the House and Senate and is on its way to being signed by the governor. This bill will give school districts and state agencies the clarification they need in dealing with federal authorities, particularly on immigration enforcement. This bill will help protect Oregonians’ privacy in the face of overreach by the federal government. It was an honor serving this district through my first legislative session. Your calls, emails and letters throughout the session were invaluable to my decision-making process, and I look forward to continuing to hear from all of you about your priorities.


Editorial: City leaders must keep their police-accountability promise: Editorial Agenda 2017

The Oregonian

Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill may be 100 percent correct in concluding that a police accountability measure negotiated by the city last year could jeopardize the ability to prosecute police officers who shoot someone. He may be appropriately cautious in advising that internal-affairs investigators hold off on interviewing officers who use deadly force until criminal investigators and a grand jury weigh possible charges in the shooting first.


Editorial: Hurting the hungry

The Register-Guard

Oregon would be particularly hurt by cuts in SNAP funding, for two reasons. First, it is one of 14 states that have a higher level of food insecurity than the national average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Second, anybody who has followed the state’s budgeting process is painfully aware that Oregon cannot replace the proposed cut in federal spending with its own money.


Guest: Change to popular vote wouldn’t benefit Oregon

R.J. Jaffe is co-founder of Protect Your Vote USA

Even the supporters of a national popular vote do not believe this is beneficial to Oregon. If they did they would propose national popular vote legislation without the compact, making this change because it is the best way for Oregon. As supporters of the U.S. Constitution, we believe that if the issue requires further debate it must happen in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment. In doing so, all 50 states would be able to deliberate on the issue in a truly public forum with a fair and binding decision made — as intended by our Founding Fathers.


Guest: Brown not fighting for protections ensured by Endangered Species Act

Noah Greenwald is endangered species program director with the Center for Biological Diversity in Portland.

In short, adoption of the WGA’s proposals would be a deathblow to endangered species. Gov. Kate Brown must stand up for endangered wildlife in Oregon before special-interest groups drive these animals over the edge.