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On this day, December 8, 2005, federal prosecutors announced six arrests of eco-sabotage suspects following a nine-year investigation in four arson cases in Oregon dating to 1998 and 2001 and a toppled power line in Bend, Oregon in 1999.

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Wes Knodel Gun Show
Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 10:00 am
Wes Knodel Guns Show
December 9th-10th
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center 3800 SW Airport Wy Redmond, Oregon

Washington County GOP 3rd Annual Christmas Party
Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 6:00 pm
Washington County GOP 3rd Annual Christmas Party The deadline to purchase tickets is 12/6!!
King City, OR

Christmas Day
Monday, December 25, 2023 at 11:59 pm
Christmas Day
Merry Christmas Oregon

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Monday, January 1, 2024 at 12:00 am
New Year's Day

Oregon Legislative Committee Days
Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at 8:00 am
Oregon Legislative Committee Days January 10th-12th
Salem, Oregon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, January 15, 2024 at 12:00 am
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Federal holiday

WLN's Fourteenth Annual "TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!" Leadership and Activist Training Conference
Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 9:00 am
"TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!" Leadership and Activist Training Conference
Portland, Oregon

Oregon 2024 Legislative Short Session
Monday, February 5, 2024 at 8:00 am
Oregon 2024 Legislative Short Session February 5th-March 11th, 2024
Salem, OR

Oregon March for Life
Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 9:00 am
Oregon March for Life
Salem, OR

Portland International Auto Show
Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 10:00 am
Portland International Auto Show February 22nd-25th
Portland, OR

Oregon Festivals & Events Association Annual Conference
Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 10:00 am
Oregon Festivals & Events Association Annual Conference
February 29 - March 2, 2024
Seaside, OR

ORTL Together We Advocate Conference
Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
ORTL Together We Advocate Conference
Tualatin, OR

Last day for major party or nonpartisan candidate to file declaration of candidacy or nominating petition.
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Last day for major party or nonpartisan candidate to file declaration of candidacy or nominating petition

Dorchester Conference 2024
Friday, April 26, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Dorchester Conference 2024 April 26th-28th
Welches, Oregon

Memorial Day
Monday, May 27, 2024 at 11:00 am
Memorial Day
A federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who died while serving.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am
Celebrated on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when in the wake of the American Civil War, Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.

Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day

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Governor Kotek’s Budget Priorities for 2024 Session
Housing production takes the biggest chunk

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek laid out some of her budget priorities during a press conference looking forward to the February legislative short session. In a short 35-days, they are expected to take up legislation on housing, homelessness, addiction and public safety as top priorities.

Governor Kotek continues making affordable housing and homelessness the biggest spending program in known history. After Governors Brown and Kotek spent $1.3 billion since COVID on homeless programs, Oregon’s homeless increased 22% compare to a .3% national increase. In 2022 there were 17,959 homeless according to the 2023 US Department of Housing and Urban Development report. Oregon is now ranked fourth in the nation for homelessness, and recognized for free handouts and subsidies that draws the homeless from other states.

What started as $200 million this biennium has grown to over $450 million for the housing and homeless program. Now the Governor is requesting another $600 million tied to housing production. She set a goal of building 36,000 homes each year, nearly double the average number of homes built in Oregon in recent years. The state reports a need to build more than 550,000 homes in the next 20 years to make up for years of underbuilding and keep pace with population growth. However, Oregon’s population is shrinking at a rate of -0.38% growth rate due to outmigration of families and businesses, and deaths out rank births. That could have a dramatic effect on the economy.

The revenue forecast gave the Legislature $218 million more to spend, but according to the state economist, there is a short-term uncertain future of the nationwide economic expansion, which will derail expected tax collections in Oregon. But, never mind the details, Governor Kotek goes full steam ahead requesting legislation for more than $847.2 million that includes:



In addition, Governor Kotek issued new remission orders that remove existing fines for more than 10,000 additional Oregonians who were omitted from Governor Brown’s 2022 remission orders. According to DMV Public Information Officer, the 2022 remissions order totaled $6 million from circuit court cases in Oregon. The total amount of unpaid fines and fees that was remitted from cases in Oregon municipal and justice courts is unknown because neither DMV nor Oregon Judicial Department has access to this information. These Oregonians now have no consequences for their misbehavior and what about the responsible citizens that paid their fines? To cover costs, will fees and fines be raised for those that do pay? How many won't pay in the future waiting for another remission order?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-12-07 10:40:53Last Update: 2023-12-06 18:01:55

Oregon State Police Investigating Vehicle Shootings in Linn County
Seeking public assistance to locate shooter

There is nothing more alarming than a shooting spree that has no reason for the acts. Over the last month, that appears to be happening in Linn County. Could it be in protest against Judge Robert Raschio ruling declaring Measure 114 “facially unconstitutional by a finding of clear and convincing evidence…”

On Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, the Oregon State Police (OSP), Albany Area Command, received a report of a vehicle struck by a bullet. On Tues., Dec. 5, 2023, OSP (Albany) received a second report in a similar area to the Dec. 1 incident. OSP Major Crimes Section detectives immediately began investigating these as possibly connected incidents and now have enough information to believe these shooting incidents are likely connected.

The investigation revealed two other incidents reported to the Albany Police Department and the OSP Salem Area Command prior to Dec. 6. This morning, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office cross-reported another incident in the area of Highway 20 and Highway 226.

The Oregon State Police is actively investigating these random acts of shooting at moving vehicles. All of the victims were driving along highways at the time of the incidents and some reported hearing a “pop.” The dates, times, and locations of each incident are: At this time, no victims have been injured. However, investigators have confirmed the damage to vehicles was caused by a firearm.

The Oregon State Police is adding extra patrols in the area of these incidents to enhance public safety.



OSP is seeking public assistance in identifying potential suspects or suspect vehicles; including any unreported incidents. If you have any information related to these incidents, please contact the Oregon State Police immediately at 1-800-442-2068 or *OSP (*677) on a mobile device.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-12-06 10:53:41Last Update: 2023-12-06 16:38:37

Kotek Forgives Fines and Fees for Traffic Offenders
“Debt-based driver’s license suspensions disproportionately impact rural and low-income Oregonians”

Governor Tina Kotek has issued new remission orders forgiving unpaid traffic fines and fees to include individuals who were inadvertently omitted in the previous 2022 remissions orders.

Governor Kotek’s new remission orders remove existing fines for more than 10,000 additional Oregonians who should have been included in the 2022 remission orders. These Oregonians now have their fines and fees forgiven and have the opportunity to restore their licenses.

“Debt-based driver’s license suspensions disproportionately impact rural and low-income Oregonians,” Governor Kotek said. “For families who are already struggling to make ends meet, these orders seek to remove one more barrier to financial stability.”

Prior to the 2020 passage of HB 4210, driver’s licenses could be suspended if a person was unable to pay the fine they received because of a minor traffic violation. The new law prohibited most license suspensions for nonpayment of traffic fines going forward, but individuals with debt-based license suspensions already on their record could not reinstate their driver’s licenses.

In December 2022, former Governor Kate Brown remitted the fines and fees associated with years-old traffic violations imposed on Oregonians who were unable to pay their fines or did not appear in court to remedy their fines, thus causing the suspension of their driver’s licenses. The initial orders impacted approximately 7,000 people.

Over the last year, Oregon’s Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) discovered that not all individuals who met the criteria in the original 2022 remission orders were included in the released lists.

Governor Kotek’s orders do not alter the original criteria from the 2022 remission orders. Her orders instead ensure that those who met the original criteria are identified. The remission orders forgive fines and fees related only to traffic violations. The orders do not forgive fines and fees related to traffic crimes, such as misdemeanors and felonies, or public safety-related sanctions, like other criminal convictions. Much of the debt forgiven by the Governor’s remission orders has remained unpaid for three or more years and, as a result, is considered uncollectible.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-12-05 14:56:58Last Update: 2023-12-05 16:07:02

BLM Asks for Help in Assessing Removal of Dead Douglas Firs
Treatment aimed at areas having the biggest impact on public and firefighter safety

The Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is preparing an Environmental Assessment of Strategic Operations for Safety – Salvage and Removal of Dead and Dying Conifers (SOS EA). BLM is soliciting input on the potential issues, impacts, and the alternatives they should address in their environmental assessment.

As part of a public scoping process, BLM wants input to assist in developing proposed actions and draw attention to issues or information that may indicate a potential for significant effects. People place a wide range of values on various resource uses of public lands they want to assess. The BLM is mandated by federal law to manage the lands it administers in the planning area according to the current Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the area and the O&C Act of 1937.

This environmental assessment will not amend or modify any current RMPs. Opinions agreeing or disagreeing with current laws, policies, or decisions already established in land use plans do not help in refining actions or analysis for this environmental assessment. In addition to the input requested, the BLM is interested in responses to the following questions: Depending on public response and interest, the BLM may hold public meetings, field trips, and/or provide additional public comment opportunities prior to releasing a decision on the proposed actions.



Kyle Sullivan, the BLM public affairs specialist, told Channel 12 Newswatch, “We want to make sure that we're doing treatments and locations where they're going to have the biggest impact on public and firefighter safety. So, we want to know what roads are you seeing a lot of dying trees on.”

For more information concerning the Strategic Operations for Safety – Salvage and Removal of Dead and Dying Conifers Project, you may contact personnel on their website, or submit written comments to email: BLM_OR_MD_Safety_EA @blm.gov. Input will be accepted through Sunday, January 7, 2024.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-12-05 09:39:15Last Update: 2023-12-05 01:55:02

Republicans Blast M110 Committee
“Drug addiction thrives in an environment with no obstacles”

House Republicans Rep. Kevin Mannix (R-Salem) Rep. Christine Goodwin (R-Canyonville) and Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River) issued a statement critical of today’s meeting of the Joint Interim Committee on Addiction and Community Safety Response on Measure 110. Mannix and Goodwin serve on the committee.

“What has become abundantly clear is that Measure 110 needs dramatic revisions. On the one hand, people need to be held accountable for their abuse of street drugs, which leads so many of them to commit crimes to feed their addictions. On the other hand, we need to dramatically reform our drug rehabilitation delivery system so that those who are addicted can promptly receive comprehensive treatment which will put them on the road to recovery,” said Mannix.

“Drug addiction thrives in an environment with no obstacles. M110 has decriminalized all dangerous drugs and in so doing has exacerbated a growing drug addiction epidemic in our state. Too many dangerous drugs remain legal, cheap and plentiful on our streets. We need a fresh start to build back bridges to recovery,” said Goodwin. “We need to return the tools to law enforcement to support recovery and build out evidence-based treatment facilities. The state investments in treatment programs need to be accountable for success in ending the suffering of drug addiction. We have chaos in our communities and the public is fed up!”

"Today, we heard more of the same from radical special interests who benefit from the status quo. We also heard heartbreaking stories from people living with the consequences of Measure 110's failure, and they are begging for change. The majority party only wants to talk; Republicans want action. Our caucus has put forward ideas to get addiction, homelessness, and crime under control, and we urge the majority to work with us to implement these solutions in the next session,” said Helfrich.

House Republicans have offered solutions to the failures of Measure 110 that include repealing failed and ineffective aspects of the law and instituting actions widely supported by the people of Oregon, including banning the public use of hard drugs, instituting penalties for those who possess deadly drugs like fentanyl, making treatment mandatory for those arrested on drug-related crimes in order to avoid jail, and directing resources to the county level so local entities can better address areas of acute need.

Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) said, “There are two stories about Measure 110 on the ground. The one in our communities and filling up legislative inboxes is a demand for repealing and replacing this failed ballot measure. The version presented in committee today was primarily special interest activists defending the measure they funded with the goal of spreading this disaster to every state in the nation. At the end of the day, Oregon voters know that they were sold a bill of goods with Measure 110. They know that we need to start fresh, and we had better do it now.

“Senate Republicans have asked Democrats for a special session on Measure 110. We are disappointed in their slow response given the magnitude of the situation.

“In the upcoming session, we have got to recriminalize dealing, possessing, and publicly using deadly drugs, give law enforcement the tools they need to provide accountability that will require treatment for addiction, and allow counties to address needs at the local level. Anything short of that would be failure.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-12-04 14:24:15Last Update: 2023-12-04 16:31:35

OHA Proceed with Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program
Seeking committee members to develop administrative rules

The Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 889 (2019 Laws) and House Bill 2081 (2021 Laws) establishing the Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program within the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) that would apply to insurance companies, hospitals and health care providers, so that health care costs do not outpace wages or the state’s economy.

In 2022, Oregon voters were convinced to make healthcare a human right. The Ballot Measure 111 was and remains to be controversial over increasing payroll and personal income taxes to implement “socialized medicine.” Now the Oregon government website admits to what voters were warned about. “The cost of health care in Oregon has grown and is projected to grow faster than both the state economy and Oregonians’ wages.”

Under Oregon’s proposed plan, every person who lives in Oregon, as well as many of those who work in the state but live elsewhere, would be eligible for comprehensive healthcare coverage without having to make a contribution to the cost of care, at the time of treatment regardless of pre-existing conditions. Patients may also choose any state certified practitioner or specialist without going through a primary care provider.

At the time of voting, it was about providing healthcare for 423,000 Oregonians lacking health insurance of which 70,000 were children. This was after a survey in 2017 indicated many of the uninsured were eligible for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Twenty-one percent choose not to enroll over concerns about quality of care. Currently, about 243,000 remain uninsured. If 80 percent of those who lack health coverage made use of OHP or the subsidies available through the marketplace, the number of Oregonians who are uninsured would drop to 34,000. That would boost Oregon’s health coverage rate to 99 percent (excluding adults ineligible due to undocumented immigration status). “The survey reveals positive progress, but more work is needed to address issues like the number of people who are underinsured,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner.

OHA continues to rely on data from the 2017 survey to determine gaps in coverage and impact on the Oregon’s health system reforms. If the state hasn’t progressed since 2017, was Measure 111 fairly presented as transparent information. If OHA has made an effort to reduce uninsured to one percent, what point is there for Oregonians to be swept into a universal socialized plan that appears to be unpopular.

OHA is to identify opportunities to reduce waste and inefficiency, resulting in better care at a lower cost. The health care cost growth target is a target for the annual per capita rate of growth of total health care spending in the state. Cost increases of health insurance companies and health care provider organizations will be compared to the growth target each year. The program evaluates and annually reports on cost increases and drivers of health care costs. In 2023, HB 2045 already started to break down what constitutes reasonable factors by specifying that a provider [organization] shall not be accountable for cost growth resulting from total compensation provided to frontline workers.



OHA adopted a statistical testing method used to assess health insurers and provider organizations against the health care cost growth target of 3.4 percent. How reasonable is the “reasonableness” process when conversations and data are selective and goals are not obtainable, which may be why the controversy continues over funding. On a per person per year basis, total health care expenditures increased 3.5% between 2020-2021. This points towards controlled utilization since cost growth for the commercial market was 12.1%, compared to 6.5% for Medicare and -2.1% for Medicaid. The plan is reported to increase premiums by $4,800 a year for a lower-middle class family. As reference, in 2021 total health care spending in Oregon totaled $31.07 billion dollars.

Timelines and Rulemaking have been rescheduled, and after consideration of macro-economic factors including inflation and labor market trends the Performance Improvement Plans (accountability) was delayed for one year.

OHA is taking applications for a Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) for the Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program starting in January 2024. They are extending an opportunity to be a RAC member to develop administrative rules that govern the program. A flyer outlines the time commitment and meeting goals. RAC Member Application Form can be downloaded and submit it to HealthCare.CostTarget@oha.oregon.gov by December 29, 2023.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-12-04 10:10:21Last Update: 2023-12-04 01:09:19

Auto Dealers Protest Electric Vehicle Mandate
Request time for demand to catch up with supply

Forty-eight Oregon auto dealers joined 3,882 dealerships across the United State call on the President to tap the brakes on the proposed Electric Vehicle Mandate. Despite all the tens of billions of dollars of bribes/enticements the government is dangling in front of car buyers, millions are saying “no thanks” to EVs.

A reason for consumer avoidance is reflected in the Consumer Reports’ newly released annual car reliability survey. The survey reveals that, on average, EVs from the past three model years had 79 percent more problems than conventional cars. Based on 330,000 vehicles, owners responding covers 20 potential problem areas, including engine, transmission, electric motors, leaks, and infotainment systems.

Now EVs are piling up on dealer lots and auto dealers around the country are revolting, urging the Biden administration to stop forcing EVs on them, which they can’t sell. The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) claims their rules aren't a mandate even though it is in the title. They don't force anyone to sell or buy an EV, but the agency didn't specify what automakers and dealers need to do to satisfy the EPA. Under the regulations proposed, the majority of new vehicle purchases are to be electric within a decade.



Below is the letter and the list of dealerships that signed is available for download.

Dear Mr. President,

We are auto dealers from across the country who collectively sell every major brand in the U.S. We are small businesses employing thousands of Americans. We are deeply committed to the customers we serve and the communities where we operate, which is why we are asking you to slow down your proposed regulations mandating battery electric vehicle (BEV) production and distribution.

Your Administration has proposed regulations that would essentially mandate a dramatic shift to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), increasing year after year until 2032, when two out of every three vehicles sold in America would have to be battery electric.

Currently, there are many excellent battery electric vehicles available for consumers to purchase. These vehicles are ideal for many people, and we believe their appeal will grow over time. The reality, however, is that electric vehicle demand today is not keeping up with the large influx of BEVs arriving at our dealerships prompted by the current regulations. BEVs are stacking up on our lots.

Last year, there was a lot of hope and hype about EVs. Early adopters formed an initial line and were ready to buy these vehicles as soon as we had them to sell. But that enthusiasm has stalled. Today, the supply of unsold BEVs is surging, as they are not selling nearly as fast as they are arriving at our dealerships -- even with deep price cuts, manufacturer incentives, and generous government incentives.

While the goals of the regulations are admirable, they require consumer acceptance to become a reality. With each passing day, it becomes more apparent that this attempted electric vehicle mandate is unrealistic based on current and forecasted customer demand. Already, electric vehicles are stacking up on our lots which is our best indicator of customer demand in the marketplace.

Mr. President, no government agency, no think tank, and no polling firm knows more about the automobile customer than us. We talk to customers every day. As retail automotive dealerships, we are agnostic as to what we sell. Our business is to provide customers with vehicles that meet the needs of their budgets and lifestyles.

Some customers are in the market for electric vehicles, and we are thrilled to sell them. But the majority of customers are simply not ready to make the change. They are concerned about BEVs being unaffordable. Many do not have garages for home charging or easy access to public charging stations. Customers are also concerned about the loss of driving range in cold or hot weather. Some have long daily commutes and don’t have the extra time to charge the battery. Truck buyers are especially put off by the dramatic loss of range when towing. Today’s current technology is not adequate to support the needs of the majority of our consumers.

Many of these challenges can and will be addressed by our manufacturers, but many of these challenges are outside of their control. Reliable charging networks, electric grid stability, sourcing of materials, and many other issues need time to resolve. And finally, many people just want to make their own choice about what vehicle is right for them.

Mr. President, it is time to tap the brakes on the unrealistic government electric vehicle mandate. Allow time for the battery technology to advance. Allow time to make BEVs more affordable. Allow time to develop domestic sources for the minerals to make batteries. Allow time for the charging infrastructure to be built and prove reliable. And most of all, allow time for the American consumer to get comfortable with the technology and make the choice to buy an electric vehicle.

Sincerely, Supporting Dealerships

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-12-02 10:25:40Last Update: 2023-12-01 17:16:40

Oregon Statewide Report Card Released
Clearly the results show we have more work to do to set Oregon’s students up for success.

The 2022-23 edition of the Oregon Statewide Report Card is now available on the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) website. This annual look at Oregon’s kindergarten through grade 12 education system includes key data on students, teachers and schools.

“Academic excellence for students in Oregon remains the top priority for our agency. I took this role to make a difference, and we need to see what the data are telling us and be responsive to that,” Oregon Department of Education Director Dr. Charlene Williams said. “Clearly the results show we have more work to do to set Oregon’s students up for success. I care deeply about helping each and every scholar, and know that through centering their needs, aspirations and talents, we can prepare every student for their future.”

“Learning from this report helps us build a stronger education system that serves every student. Moving forward I’m focused on three areas that are central to student success: The Oregon Statewide Report Card includes new and returning data, most of which has already been released in the last year. Take aways from the report: Probably the most disturbing numbers are for high school. These students have less time to make up where Oregon has previously failed them, and they will soon be competing in the world market for higher education or employment.



Oregon has some of the most demanding graduation requirements in the country, as measured by course credit requirements. The subject-area credit requirements are listed on the Oregon Diploma webpage. The passage of Senate Bill 744 (2021) suspended the Assessment of Essential Skills policy through the 2023-24 school year. Oregon continues to administer statewide summative tests; however, these tests are not designed to determine if a student should graduate from high school.

ODE has not eliminated state tests of proficiency for Oregon students. Oregon’s state summative tests in language arts, mathematics, and science are required by both state and federal law. Students are expected to take Oregon’s state summative tests. The only change made thus far is to eliminate a duplicative testing requirement, which evidence has shown was not working. The Assessment of Essential Skills policy suspension was recently extended through the 2027-28 school year by the Oregon State Board of Education; however, the nine essential skills have not been eliminated. Students continue to receive instruction and are assessed on these essential skills in classrooms, including those who graduated in 2023.

The report clearly points towards the need for middle school reforms. ODE changes over the past few years have impacted middle schoolers the most, and perhaps the failure of those changes should be analyzed for a more successful high school experience.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-12-01 10:38:43Last Update: 2023-12-01 17:18:17

Trump Will Appear on Primary Ballot
The Secretary lacks the authority to disqualify a candidate

Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade has announced she will follow the usual procedure for Oregon presidential primaries and not remove Donald Trump from the ballot for the Oregon Republican Party primary. The former President’s qualification has been a major topic in national media, and the Secretary’s office has received significant voter contact on this issue.

In a letter from the Oregon Department of Justice, she was warned, "In recent months, scholars and advocates have argued that, as a result of his role in the January 6 insurrection, Donald Trump is barred from serving as President under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In light of this controversy, you ask whether you should omit him from the upcoming presidential primary ballot. We conclude that Oregon law does not charge the Secretary of State with determining whether a major party candidate in a residential primary election will be qualified to serve as President if ultimately elected."

“Oregon law does not give me the authority to determine the qualifications of candidates in a presidential primary,” said Secretary Griffin-Valade. “I will follow our usual process and expect to put Donald Trump on the primary ballot unless a court directs me otherwise.”

State law treats presidential primary elections differently than other elections where the Secretary has the authority to disqualify a candidate. In a presidential primary, voters are not deciding who will hold office or even who will go on the general election ballot. Instead, they are communicating their preference to party delegates who choose a nominee at the party’s nominating convention.



Legal advice from the Oregon Department of Justice concluded the Secretary lacks the authority to disqualify a candidate in a presidential primary election because there is no set of qualifications for who can be considered at a party nominating convention.

The Secretary’s decision applies only to the primary election, not the November general election.

“I understand that people want to skip to the end of this story. But right now, we don’t even know who the nominee will be,” said Secretary Griffin-Valade. “When the general election comes, we’ll follow the law and be completely transparent with our reasoning.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-11-30 17:36:41Last Update: 2023-11-30 17:45:38

Oregon Joint Committee Responds to the Drug Crisis
Hearing will give Oregonians an opportunity to comment

The Joint Interim Committee on Addiction and Community Safety Response announced the agenda for its third meeting scheduled for December 4th at 9:00 AM.

Since Governor Tina Kotek has indicated she rejects Oregonians desire to repeal M110, she is standing firm in her decision and ignoring reports that thousands of Oregonians are losing their lives to drug addiction every day. She openly admits that she doesn’t think that a full repeal is the answer and that she would rather continue exploring avenues that hasn't proven to help young lives at risk.

Lawmakers continue to hold hearings on effective ways to treat drug addiction and build on drug treatment programs inside and outside of jails. However, this does not address the availability of lethal drugs and how they are entering the state.

The committee's meeting December 4 will allow public comments on solutions to solve the drug crisis Oregonians want to see the state pursue in their communities. Legislators say they will carefully consider these ideas as they continue their work to build a response to the drug crisis attempting to save lives and keep our streets clean and communities safe.

You can register to give public comments scheduled for 11am to 1pm online or call 833-588-4500.



During the committee’s first two meetings in October and November, legislators dug into the current public health and public safety responses to the drug crisis, hearing from treatment providers, law enforcement experts, and more about programs that are working and problems that need to be solved.

The Joint Interim Committee on Addiction and Community Safety Response is co-chaired by Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber (D – Beaverton & SW Portland) and Representative Jason Kropf (D – Bend). The joint committee serves as the legislative hub for the coordination of an urgent public health and safety response to the drug crisis. Through the 2024 session and beyond, this bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators will provide oversight of state programs and funding, while seeking short and long-term solutions to the drug crisis.

Oregon Push Back has put forth the need to again fund the $21 million passed in 2021 in SB 893 that has closed down illegal pot farms, stopped illegal drugs and slave trafficking. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called the proliferation of cannabis growing operations run by foreign cartels a humanitarian, environmental and public safety crisis. Without a repeal, this funding gets to the source of Measure 110.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-11-30 11:42:48Last Update: 2023-11-30 16:34:56

Governor Kotek Establishes Oregon State Government AI Advisory Council
The Council will develop a framework for use of AI

In response to the growing role that generative artificial intelligence is playing in society, Governor Tina Kotek issued Executive Order 23-26, which creates the Oregon State Government AI Advisory Council to develop recommendations for its utilization across state government.

“Artificial intelligence is an important new frontier, bringing the potential for substantial benefits to our society, as well as risks we must prepare for,” Governor Kotek said. “This rapidly developing technological landscape leads to questions that we must take head on, including concerns regarding ethics, privacy, equity, security, and social change. It has never been more essential to ensure the safe and beneficial use of artificial intelligence – and I look forward to seeing the work this council produces. We want to continue to foster an environment for innovation while also protecting individual and civil rights.”

The Council will provide a recommended action plan framework to the Governor’s Office no later than six months from the date of its first convening and a final recommended action plan no later than 12 months from its first convening.

The action plan will aim to maximize potential benefits of ethical and effective artificial intelligence implementation and adoption, along with thoughtful governance and standards to mitigate risk and address privacy, ethics, and equity. The goal will be to ensure Oregon has clear usage policies that outline the acceptable use of AI tools, providing transparency, uplifting diversity, equity, and inclusion, and protecting personally identifiable information and other sensitive information.

The Council will consist of no more than 15 members, all of whom must have a commitment to data ethics and data equity. Council structure seems to be aimed at promoting the majority party’s agenda with members from the Oregon State Chief Information Officer (who will chair the council), the Oregon State Chief Data Officer, a representative from the Governor’s Racial Justice Council, the Department of Administrative Services Cultural Change Officer, and an additional agency representative to be appointed by the Governor.

Governor Kotek will also appoint up to eight additional members, which may include community organizations with demonstrated expertise in data justice, artificial intelligence experts from Oregon universities, and representatives from local governments. Additionally, the President of the Senate shall appoint one member of the Oregon State Senate and the Speaker of the House shall appoint one member of the Oregon House of Representatives.



Last year, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy published the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights. The document is a non-binding ‘white paper’ intended to support the development of policies and practices that protect civil rights and promote democratic values in the building, deployment, and governance of automated systems. It lays out five principles centered on the need for ethical and equitable principles that should guide the design, use, and deployment of automated systems to protect the American public in the age of artificial intelligence.

While the Governor and the ‘white paper’ both lay out specific data privacy practices, it seems contrary to the Secretary of State’s pilot project gathering information and the plans to develop spying software.

Full membership and meeting times will be announced at a later date.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-11-30 10:19:31Last Update: 2023-11-30 00:37:41

Lathrop Files for Attorney General
Rosenblum will not seek re-election in 2024

Newberg human rights attorney, Will Lathrop (R-Newberg), has filed to become Oregon’s next Attorney General. Lathrop began campaigning on January 2nd of this year. Lathrop has raised $300,000, campaigned in 25 of Oregon’s 36 counties, and earned endorsements from over 70 elected leaders and law enforcement members from every corner of the state. The current Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D-Portland) has said that she will not seek re-election.

“I am running for attorney general because I have the vision and experience to lead our state towards a future with safe, healthy, and thriving communities,” said Lathrop. “It’s painful for me to watch the state that I love suffer. Oregon is a wounded beauty – a beautiful state marred by crime and addiction. I represent a dawn of new leadership that will bring lasting change and ensure a safer, healthier future for Oregonians.”

According to a statement from his campaign, Lathrop is a sixth generation Oregonian who has spent his career fighting for victims of crime and abuse, rebuilding criminal justice systems, and taking on corrupt politicians and governments. As a prosecutor in Yamhill County and child-abuse prosecutor in Marion County, Lathrop worked on protecting victims from violence. In Northern Uganda, Lathrop fought violent land grabbers and returned land to widows and orphans after a 21 year civil war in the region. In Ghana, Lathrop rescued victims of child trafficking and forced labor, and successfully prosecuted slave traders and masters in his project area.

“As Oregon’s next attorney general I’ll focus on reducing crime and restoring safety in our communities, limit harmful government overreach by ensuring state agencies follow the law, and restore trust in our government institutions by enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for public corruption,” added Lathrop.



Notable supporters include U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) and 2022 Republican nominee for Governor, Christine Drazan.

“I’m proud to endorse Will Lathrop to be Oregon’s next attorney general, who I trust to combat drug trafficking, stand up for crime victims, and restore peace and safety in our communities. Will’s vast experience, from his work protecting victims at the county level in Oregon to the world stage as a human rights attorney, makes him uniquely qualified to serve Oregonians as our next attorney general,” said Rep. Chavez De Remer.

“Oregon needs new and inspiring public safety leadership that isn’t driven by political agendas and partisan politics. Salem politicians have failed to repeal Measure 110 and have sided with defund-the-police radicals over the men and women in law enforcement,” said Drazan. “Will Lathrop is an experienced public servant who Oregonians can trust to stand up for victims of crime, work with law enforcement to protect our neighborhoods, and hold agencies and public officials accountable to the law.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-11-29 10:53:18Last Update: 2023-11-29 11:14:18

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