What will the 2024 presidential ballot look like?
Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Search Articles

Post an Event

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.

Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds

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

Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center

Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo

Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds

Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center

Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons

Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds

Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach

Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds

Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex

Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 24-28
Lane Events Center

Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo

Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center

Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds

Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center

Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds

Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds

Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair

Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds

Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds

Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds

Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds

Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds

Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex

Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds

Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center

Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds

Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds

Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds

Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds

Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center

Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds

Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds

Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds

Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds

Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center

Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR

View All Calendar Events

Sales Tax Bill is Dead
It must be an election year

Public voices rang out in the capitol yesterday. HB 4079, Oregon’s first sales tax bill was scheduled for a hearing at 1 PM. Just hours prior to the hearing, the House Committee on Human Services Chair, Anna Williams (D-Hood River) suddenly took the bill off the agenda and removed it from the committee along with hundreds of testimonies that had been submitted.

Representative E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls) said, “the only explanation is you spoke up. You said no. You made the difference.”

Choosing HB 4079 as Oregon's first ever identifiable sales tax that didn’t address safety or educational issues that are at the top of everyone’s minds may have doomed it before it received a hearing. The purpose of the sales tax was to fund $750 monthly debit cards to the homeless and people under the poverty level.

Oregonians have voted down a sales tax six times, but more than saying no to a sales tax, is the current distrust of government. Even if they had proposed an offset in income taxes, the economic environment is not in favor for the Democrat leadership to advance a new tax.

Oregonians who signed up to testify or submitted testimony, can pat themselves on the back, and stay involved. There are election bills, gun bills and education bills flying through the system that still need your voices.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-02-10 22:35:15Last Update: 2022-02-10 22:44:38

Minority Kids Given More Voice
Creates a collaborative from 15% of the population to meet an equity criterion

The last three Oregon legislative sessions have been a concentrated effort to change laws from “equality” to “equity,” contrary to the Oregon and U.S. Constitutions. Governor Brown has made it a priority for the legislative majority party. To help, minorities have been appointed to replace legislators who leave. There is now 30% of the majority party representing 15% of the minority population.

The march towards equity for racial, ethnic, underrepresented or underserved, sexual identity, English language learners, disabled minorities and poverty communities is being prioritized in every aspect of our lives and is seen in almost every legislative proposal. Our schools aren’t exempt.

HB 4099 was initially introduced in 2021 as HB 3363 with a proposed $1 million price tag, but left blank. Representative Andrea Valderrama (D-Portland) re-introduced the bill as primary sponsor of HB 4099. What is so desirable to resurrect this bill is the establishment of the Racial Equity and Justice Youth Collaborative. The formation of the collaborative isn’t simple, but has the potential of impacting the whole education system.

This bill creates a state-level student collaborative drawing members from 15% of the population to meet an equity criterion. The selection of members is done by a work group of racial, ethnic, underrepresented or underserved, sexual identity, English language learners, disabled minorities and poverty communities that will determine the criteria for selecting members for the collaborative, recommend names to Governor, and mentor youth members in the collaborative.



The same membership criteria applies to the collaborative as used for the work group. The purpose of the collaborative is to serve at the will of the Governor to make recommendations on educational policy, and consider racial equity and justice and align with other statewide efforts for racial equity and justice when developing goals and criteria for making recommendations. They will identify best practices for reporting racist incidents or hate or bias crime. This amounts to giving 15% of students a say over the remaining 85% of the students.

What does this mean to school districts? School districts are to provide the collaborative members with counseling support, mental health support, tutoring, an adult mentor, and an opportunity to provide peer support or be a youth mentor. Individual schools, school districts, alternative education programs, or ESDs have no local control. All control is exercised by the Department of Education, whom are requesting $372,412 per biennium to administer and determine the training that may be required.

Who will do this administration and training? Since July 2018, Carmen Xiomara Urbina has been the Oregon Department of Education Deputy Director and works with agencies, executive leadership team, directors and principals regarding equity, diversity and inclusion helping to guide their approach.

Urbina also owns Oregon Center for Educational Equity (OCEE), trainers in equity and inclusion since December 2017. The license lapse, but was reinstated August 16, 2018, a month after she was hired by ODE, to do business with multiple public agencies and organizations in Oregon. It remains active through 2021.

Urbina’s dual activities were challenged when they overlapped in August 2020, promoting her own company to school superintendents to meet state requirements in equity and inclusion. More evidence is being pursued.

Besides the fox in the hen house, the Racial Equity and Justice Youth Collaborative is pacific to a group exclusive of others that teaches segregation, by its structure, as their norm. And, teaching them how to discriminate and be discriminated against. No equity agenda can force unity when the criteria segregates.

HB 4099 captures vulnerable youth in the quicksand of government, programming them to believe that government provides the only solution to racial, cultural, and ethnic conflicts.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-02-10 17:37:20Last Update: 2022-02-10 22:35:15

The Masks are Off
“The hypocrisy is unbelievable”

Oregon State Senator Dallas Heard (R-Roseburg) released the following statement regarding masks.

“The assault on freedom by the radical left against all Oregonians is simply wrong. This clear attempt to enslave all Oregonians, especially our children must be stopped. It is alarming to see how many elitist officials have been uncovered using COVID as a political weapon, a trojan horse to secretly steal the government and our freedoms away from ‘We The People’. Yesterday was no exception. When I attempted to speak out and peacefully protest their immoral mandates against our children and the people of Oregon, the Senate Democrats directly infringed on my constitutionally protected speech yet again and refused to allow me to exercise that right.

“On Tuesday of this week, in a small school district in the greater Roseburg area, 50+ middle and high school students were suspended and sent home from school for refusing to wear masks. They were temporarily expelled, just as all of the citizens of Oregon were expelled from their own capitol building during the 2021 legislative session. Enough! It is time to stand up to this tyranny against our children! Yesterday, the hypocrisy of Democrat Senate President Peter Courtney was exposed as I revealed a photograph of him blatantly unmasked on the Senate floor while mandating all others be masked. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

“Instead of admitting that these mandates have been a political science experiment and allowing me to continue speaking, he turned my microphone off and told me that I was required to leave the Senate floor unless I submitted and donned a mask. All this as I was standing next to a picture of him unmasked in that same room. I decided to leave the floor…for now. The unparalleled hypocrisy of Oregon’s most powerful Democrat government officials is now complete. Kate Brown, Tina Kotek, and now Peter Courtney have all been exposed for not adhering to their own tyrannical rules being forced upon the children and people of Oregon.

“How many Oregonians have lost their jobs? How many have lost their homes or education because of those elected officials? How many in Oregon have been fined, discriminated against, had their schools shut down, or experienced deep depression because of the isolation we have all had to endure at their command?

“I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans of the legislative assembly to bring forward a bill that will strip the office of the Governor of these easily abused and manipulated emergency powers. The madness must end.

“To my fellow Republican House and Senate members, please join me in refusing to wear masks on the House and Senate floors going forward.

“To the people of Oregon, we cannot do this alone.

“This radical hypocrisy and oppression cannot continue to be submitted to!”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-10 17:03:36Last Update: 2022-02-10 17:37:20

House Republicans Propose the Oregon Solution to Agriculture Overtime
“Let’s learn from what other states have done”

Oregon House Republican members of the House Committee on Business and Labor announced an Oregon solution for mandatory agriculture overtime pay to benefit both employees and farms.

A February 8 public hearing held by the House Committee on Business and Labor received testimony from more than 100 individuals with comments or concerns about a proposal mandating overtime pay in agriculture. More than 70 Oregonians and farmers from across the state spoke to the uniqueness of agriculture in Oregon and the need for fixes to the agriculture overtime proposal. Around 20 labor union representatives and their allies supported the proposal without changes.

Republican members of the committee, led by Representative Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany) introduced a amendment to HB 4002 with three elements for an agriculture overtime proposal. These changes incorporate a year of comments from a diverse range of Oregonians and reflects Oregon’s unique agriculture industry: “These are three elements to a proposal to create an Oregon solution for agriculture overtime,” said Representative Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles) who serves as co vice-chair. “Let’s learn from what other states have done and incorporate feedback we’ve received from Oregonians. We have an opportunity to make this a workable solution for our state that benefits both employees and farms. Without these changes we will only cause harm to both by reducing employee hours and increasing labor costs.”

“We need this Oregon solution that reflects our unique state and the unpredictability of agriculture,” added Representative Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany). “These fixes are carefully crafted to avoid unintended consequences for Oregon’s farmworkers and our family farms and ranches. We invite our colleagues to join us by passing an Oregon version of agriculture overtime that supports jobs and preserves family farms.”

“An overtime threshold that ignores the complexities of Oregon agriculture and fails both our farms and employees is not the solution Oregonians deserve,” said Representative Jami Cate (R-Lebanon). “We need to truly heed the testimony of those directly responsible for implementing this policy on our farms and pass the solution Oregonians expect - balancing the needs of our farms and employees. Anything less is a disgrace to the confidence voters put in this Legislative body.”

“These fixes reflect input from Oregonians as well as the complex and unique nature of our state’s agriculture,” added Representative Jessica George (R-St. Paul). “Oregon agriculture requires an Oregon solution that protects employee salaries and farms. That’s what this amendment represents.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-10 09:38:07Last Update: 2022-02-10 17:03:36

School Based Health Centers Flourish in Lebanon
Using healthcare to undermine parental authority

Across the country, parents are beginning to step-up and demand answers about what is going on in their public schools. Concerned parents and taxpayers in rural Lebanon, Oregon have recently been forced into the fray by a progressive school superintendent Bo Yates, attempting an end-run around parents, taxpayers and the school board to install a school-based health clinic (SBHC) in Lebanon’s high school under the direction of Principal Craig Swanson. According to Lindsey Perhson, a nurse and local parent activated by school concerns,

“No one will argue that healthcare for our children is incredibly important, that’s not the issue. The good news is, every child in Lebanon already has a fully-funded means to acquire health care and also has access to medical care. In Lebanon, a free clinic, birth control clinic, mental health clinic, two urgent care centers, the hospital campus and provider clinics are just blocks from the high school—easy walking distance. There is no need to duplicate these services in the high-school”.

Many Lebanon parents and taxpayers are wondering, “What is this really all about?”

SBHCs are not just about “free” medical care, strep throat and sprained ankles. They also have an ominous side, especially with the legal synchrony provided by Oregon’s minor consent laws, the most liberal in the nation. These laws actually transfer the God-given parent-child primacy right to the state. Oregon’s minor consent laws can drive a wedge between parent and child just when they need each other most.

In Oregon, a child any age can access birth control services, testing, invasive examinations, hormone treatments and abortion referral without parental notification or consent (ORS 109.610, ORS 109.640).

A child 14 or older may access mental health, chemical or alcohol treatment without parental consent (ORS 109.675). Children 15 or older can consent to any medical, surgical, dental, or other procedure they wish without consent. Remember, these are sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grade children. They cannot get a driver’s license, purchase a car, give informed consent, work a full-time job or be held accountable for many criminal offenses because, well, they’re children after all.

According to science, the brain and emotional state are not developed sufficiently to make such complex decisions. According to Oregon law they can decide to begin transitioning to the opposite sex, be provided psychotropic medications, terminate a pregnancy, have a surgical procedure and still catch the bus home without their parent’s knowledge or consent. Let’s be clear, there is still an adult involved—it may be the state sponsored adult; just not you, the parent.

To ensure the parental shut-out is complete, Oregon law shields SBHC clinics and providers from civil liability for treatment or procedures provided at SBHCs. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects privacy of educational and school nurse information but must be provided to parents upon written request. Conversely, SBHC medical services fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and will not be disclosed to the parent. That is, unless the child provides the parent with a written permission slip. This is not a joke.

An angry parent’s call to the SBHC to find out why their daughter has shut herself into her bedroom crying for the last two days could easily get a response like this, “We’re sure sorry, but under state law we can neither confirm nor deny your daughter was even seen or referred by the clinic”. The school administration, in turn, will tell you the SBHC is run by a private medical agency that they have no control over. Do you see how this system can be used to undermine parental authority and a critical need to know? If parents have private health insurance, that will be billed—they just won’t know about it unless their child thinks they should know. Taxpayers fund the rest through Medicaid, reproductive health access funds and other tax funded billing mechanisms—the same billing process used in all Lebanon’s community clinics—it is not unique to SBHCs. Providers and administrators are highly paid and every visit gets billed. Taxpayers are on the hook for everything else.



Additionally, according to the SBHC Status Report 2021, three out of 10 SBHC visits are not children. SBHC’s often open the clinic to homeless, drug addicts, indigent persons and illegal immigrants all on school grounds during school hours—what could go wrong?

Since the dawn of humanity, many young adults go through phases where they “hate” their parents, some may go so far as to say this out loud in an SBHC councilors office. This could easily earn the parents a visit from a sheriff or social worker, asking nosy questions, removing guns and creating government chaos for a situation that typically blows over in days. As you can imagine, SBHCs provide endless possibilities for government intervention and control over family life using children as the lever. After all, that may well be the point. Missie Carra a nurse from Ft Worth, Texas did her own investigative work into SBHC development and political underpinnings and outlined her findings in an eye-opening lecture given at the NW Safe Schools Summit called “The Playbook”.

Meanwhile, back in Lebanon, data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that Lebanon High School ranks 229th out of 266 high schools in Oregon, 77% of 11th graders are well below grade level in math and science and the drop-out rate is approaching 30%. That’s not a medical issue. That’s an academic failure of leadership. Many parents want their school to focus on reading, writing, mathematics, civics, history, science and mostly critical thinking. If the school does its job, then Lebanon’s children will have the necessary skill to walk the 500 yards from the high school to the medical clinic. Better yet, maybe their parents will go with them.

--Clarke Vesper

Post Date: 2022-02-10 00:45:55Last Update: 2022-02-10 10:05:00

Forecast Calls For More Spending
“We have a windfall of one-time resources this year”

Last year 11 states reduced their individual income tax rates including top marginal rates. Five states reduced their corporate income tax rates and the number of tax brackets. Many reductions are paired with other pro-growth reforms, including helping low-income workers.

But Oregon legislature leadership with Governor Brown’s direction, can’t seem to get their focus off of the dollar signs. Introduced bills were already chipping away at the billion-dollar slush fund that built up letting federal handouts fill-in the budget.

Governor Kate Brown statement on the February revenue forecast revibrates legislature’s majority leadership statements. “Our latest state revenue projections present an opportunity to make investments that spur a strong economic recovery and support working families, especially those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic, wildfires, and the unprecedented challenges Oregonians have faced in the last two years.”

Governor Brown continues, “This is a pivotal moment for Oregon. We have a windfall of one-time resources this year, and we have the opportunity to make big investments—and to do the big and bold work to help our working families and businesses thrive. We cannot miss this moment.”

In case you missed her intention to spend the windfall on you, she repeats, “While I am pleased to see growth in wages for Oregonians, there is more work we need to do to grow, develop, and support our workforce. Now is the time to make critical investments in housing, child care, workers, and businesses to help jumpstart growth and keep our economy moving.”



“And as we work to help Oregon families succeed, with these additional resources at the midpoint of session, we also have an opportunity to ensure that every Oregonian feels safe in their community. I will continue to work with legislators to address community safety, and I encourage members of both parties to bring forward their ideas for evidence-based community violence prevention and intervention. When we invest in and create opportunities for Oregonians and their families, we create safer, healthier communities.”

Gov. Brown drilled down on her State of the State address where she focused on budget priorities directing millions to affordable housing then turned around and said “we have invested more in affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and rental assistance in my tenure as Governor than any other administration.” Taxpayers should ask, why don’t we see some improvement?

One thing she didn’t mention, nor did the majority party leadership, was a reduction in income taxes that would stimulate the economy.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-02-10 00:35:12Last Update: 2022-02-10 00:45:55

Economic Outlook Draws Mixed Reactions
Booming state revenues, but inflation and continued supply chain problems

The Oregon Economic Forecast for March has a mixed bag of prognostications. According to the Office of Economic Analysis which produces the forecast, "As the inflationary boom persists, all of Oregon’s primary state revenue instruments continue to outperform pre-pandemic expectations. With the consensus of economic forecasters now expecting that there is more to come, the revenue outlook has been revised upward." The state has over $900 million in extra revenue.

On the other hand, it predicts challenges for the economy. "The biggest economic challenge remains the supply side of the economy. Supply chains are not broken but are overloaded due to strong consumer demand. Given that labor runs through everything, it is the single biggest constraint on the economy today. Labor supply is increasing. Oregon added a record number of jobs last year."

“More money for the state is not the same thing as good news for Oregonians,” said Oregon House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville). “People are struggling to make ends meet while the state is swimming in tax revenue. Years of Democrats’ failed leadership have resulted in tax and fee increases. This has brought the state more money than ever at a time when inflation is hurting individuals, families and small businesses by raising prices and diluting salaries. Now should be the time to eliminate financial burdens. Instead, Democrats have floated ideas like a new sales tax. Oregonians deserve better.”

The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Small Business Optimism Index recently reported that the number of small business owners raising average selling prices increased by the highest amount since the fourth quarter of 1974.

Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) said that “After two incredibly difficult years, today’s news means we can make critical investments in our schools, working families, and small business. “We need to seize this opportunity to invest in our schools, particularly given the burnout many frontline workers in education are feeling.

Speaker Rayfield continued, “We need to support working families and small businesses by investing in skills training and helping people start and expand small businesses. “We need to do whatever we can to bring down the cost of living for hardworking Oregonians, particularly individuals and families in need of affordable housing. That means making smart investments to help Oregonians cover everyday necessities like rent, mortgage payments, prescriptions and childcare.”

“Crime is on the rise,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “The Governor continues to double down on letting criminals out of prison, while several bills are working through the legislature that will make our communities more dangerous. We must invest in public safety.

Governor Kate Brown took to the defensive on crime. “As we work to help Oregon families succeed, with these additional resources at the midpoint of session, we also have an opportunity to ensure that every Oregonian feels safe in their community. I will continue to work with legislators to address community safety, and I encourage members of both parties to bring forward their ideas for evidence-based community violence prevention and intervention. When we invest in and create opportunities for Oregonians and their families, we create safer, healthier communities.”



With the excess revenue, Republicans will also pursue a $50 million appropriation to fund forest thinning operations around the state. “Decades of forest mismanagement has left our forests overstocked ready to explode with a single spark,” Senator Knopp continued. “We must act in a bold way to ensure Oregonians are protected from devastating wildfire.”

“We must also be responsible with this money. We need to reserve more funds for the next downturn. We also need to look seriously at giving Oregonians a tax break. The government has buckets of money, but inflation is pinching the pockets of working Oregonians. As Democrats introduce bills to increase taxes, Republicans are looking at ways to cut them,” said Senator Knopp.

“Wow... That is a lot of money. We can build big projects across the state. We can get the homeless off the street. We can do year-round schools. And we can better recruit, train and evaluate police. Much work to do in a very short period,” said Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem).

Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) said, “Today’s forecast is a green light for immediate investments to help kids succeed in school, get people into housing and make sure working families and small businesses are benefitting from our recovery. We must make sure that every community in Oregon shares these strong economic gains.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-09 14:13:42Last Update: 2022-02-09 14:39:32

Linthicum Blows Whistle on Dangerous Soft on Crime Bills
Bills are soft on crime, escalate police encounters, and let criminals out of prison early

Oregon Legislative Democrats have passed SB 1510 out of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- Chaired by Sentator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) -- along party-lines. The public hearing for SB 1568 also tees up more bad policy by making it easier for criminals to get out of jail, making life more dangerous for other Oregonians.

SB 1510 would ban police from enforcing common-sense traffic safety measures like functional headlights and taillights, during a period of unprecedented increases in traffic fatalities in Oregon.

“Properly functioning vehicle lighting is essential for traffic safety,” said Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls). “Tying law enforcements’ hands in situations where other motorists’ safety is being threatened is reckless and dangerous public policy.”

In addition, SB 1510 would escalate encounters with the public, as they would be required to seek consent to a search of a vehicle. Yet, the bill does not change statutes that allow police officers to search a vehicle under probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

“Not only does this bill fail to address any safety problems, but it will require police officers to give false hope to drivers, only to search their vehicle regardless of their consent. That is a recipe to escalate interactions with police,” Linthicum added. “This is a perfect example of how good intentions can have deadly consequences.”

Finally, the bill appropriates millions in funding for grants to the Justice Reinvestment Equity Program which has an express purpose of “promot[ing] racial equity [and] reduc[ing] racial disparities.”



A Legislative Counsel opinion found that the language in the bill may allow for racial discrimination. While the bill does not explicitly mention race-based discrimination, the opinion discussed the use of the term “culturally responsive organizations” which could be interpreted as a proxy for race:

“[C]ulturally specific organization by definition “serves a particular cultural community [and] is primarily staffed and led by members of that community.” “Cultural community” is not synonymous with race. However, coupled with the Justice Reinvestment Equity Program’s express purpose of “promot[ing] racial equity [and] reduc[ing] racial disparities,” it is possible that in the implementation of the program, “cultural community” could be interpreted as a proxy for a specific racial group, and the program could provide grant funds to an organization based on the organization’s explicit categorization of persons it has served or will serve based on race.”

Therefore it could be found unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. The 14th amendment was passed in the wake of the Civil War to prohibit racial discrimination in the states. It also could run afoul of Article I, Section 20 of the Oregon Constitution, which states, "No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens"

“This bill is chocked full of terrible provisions that will further degrade Oregonians’ safety,” Linthicum said. “But this section is perhaps the most sinister. Democrats have written this bill with crafty language in hopes of skirting the Constitution. Oregon has already been admonished by the courts over this kind of racial discrimination. There is broad bipartisan agreement, with constitutional support, that racial discrimination is flat-out wrong. I am shocked to see this kind of provision making its way through the legislature.”

SB 1510 will now go to the Ways & Means Committee.

SB 1568 would create a new unelected, unaccountable board to consider the release of criminals from prison. Board members will be appointed by the Governor, without any input or confirmation from the Senate.

The board will not include any representatives from law enforcement or victim advocates. The bill gives the board power to grant criminals a “get-out-of-jail-early-cards” when the Governor declares a state of emergency, like she did when she shut down businesses and required healthy Oregonians to stay home.

“Supporters of this bill want Oregonians to believe that letting unaccountable bureaucrats release criminals from prison is compassionate. It is not compassionate to crime victims or our system of justice. There is no other way to characterize these bills than being pro-criminal.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-08 16:11:38Last Update: 2022-02-08 17:00:49

Currie to Run for Douglas County Commissioner
Steps Down as County GOP Chair

Valynn Currie has announced her candidacy for County Commissioner Position 2 challenging incumbent Tim Freeman. At the same time, Currie announced her resignation as Chair of the Douglas County Republican Central Committee effective February 7th. Vice Chair Patrick Lewandowski will be acting Chair until an election for a new Chair occurs. Douglas County has three Commissioners, each serving four year terms and each is up for re-election in 2022. It is one of the few Oregon Counties with more Republican voters than any other registration.

Currie was raised in Douglas County, is a small business owner, a philanthropist and has served in numerous community organizations. County Commissioners oversee a $103 million annual budget in a county of 83,000 people that stretches from the crest of the Cascades to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Tim Freeman was a State Representative prior to becoming a County Commissioner. He is president of the Association of O&C Counties. He is an appointed Director on the Board of the Association of Oregon Counties. Recently he took on new duties joining the Western Interstate Region Board of Directors, a subset of the National Association of Counties.

Each of the three commissioners has challengers in the 2022 election. The incumbents are all Republicans living in Roseburg. Challengers are either Republicans or Nonpartisans. Valynn Currie has a Facebook page – ValynnCurrieForDouglasCounty. She is listed as the principal broker at Currieco Real estate. She espouses family values, individual sovereignty and Constitutionally limited government.

--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2022-02-08 14:21:05Last Update: 2022-02-08 16:11:38

Mask Mandates To Be Lifted Soon?
Governor hangs a carrot

The same day that the Oregon Health Authority files the permanent rules on mask mandates, Dr. Dean Sidelinger said in an interview with KGW8 that those mandates would be lifted on March 31, or sooner if statewide hospitalizations reach 400 people.

However, mandates in healthcare settings won’t be lifted.

As he puts it, this will allow business and governing entities time to prepare. What he is suggesting is that entities may want to continue requiring masks, and this gives time for them to plan.

It appears Governor Brown doesn’t want to get shown up by other Democrat Governors announcing an end to mask mandates.

Illinois will end their mandate by April 1, New Jersey is set to end their mandate on March 9, and Pennsylvania also says they will end the mask mandates.

Fifteen Republican led states have already dropped mask mandates and two others are scheduled to end mask mandates.

Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), Deputy Republican Leader commented, “The Governor knew it was safe to be indoors without a mask weeks ago when she was partying with DC elites. This is long overdue.”



“These metrics should have been put forward months ago,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend), “Democrats in the legislature have been silent in the face of the Governor’s overreach, while Republicans have consistently pushed for checks and balances."

“Democrats are finally realizing that mandates are not an effective way to govern,” Knopp continued. “Transparency, accountability, and checks and balances preserve faith in our public health system."

“As we have seen, the Governor can reverse course at any time. Oregonians are demanding accountability," Said the Senate Minority Leader Knopp. "Republicans stand ready to reform the executive branch’s emergency powers to prevent this overreach from happening again.”

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-02-08 12:27:20Last Update: 2022-02-08 12:40:06

Tying Hands of Police
The right to refuse consent to search

The December 2021 Oregon Legislative Special Session brought attention to the illegal cannabis growing in southern Oregon.

Governor Kate Brown had even sent the Oregon National Guard to assist in enforcement. Senate President Courtney and House Speaker Kotek were quick to appropriate funding to help with enforcement.

It seems Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) has a hard time connecting the dots. He chaired the Senate Interim Committee On Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation, which has introduced SB 1510.

The bill was slated for a work session, but was delayed for an amendment, which the public won’t have an opportunity to comment on.

SB 1510 prohibits a police officer from initiating a traffic stop for failure to use lights or operation without required lighting equipment, and requires the officer to inform a person of their right to refuse consent to search, which has to be documented.

An amendment will exclude implied consent to person’s breath or blood test to determine the alcoholic content if driving under the influence of intoxicants. This bill will place a damper on stopping illegal drug movement.

Recently, Oregon State Police reported a traffic violation stop in Marion County leading to the seizing of 9.9 pounds of methamphetamine, 19 suspected fentanyl pills, a digital scale, packaging materials, and drug paraphernalia. That’s enough to kill three people or about 5 people if injected or cause extreme harm to nine people smoking it. Troopers also located and seized a loaded Beretta 9mm handgun, with armor-piercing ammunition, which was concealed under the driver’s seat. The driver, identified as Enrique Santos Gamboa-Martinez, age 19, from, Tehachapi, California was arrested and lodged on Federal Drug and Weapons charges. If he had been told his right to refuse a search, where would these drugs be now?

Even a vehicle operating without any headlights or brake lights after dark is a safety hazard. Generally other traffic will alert the driver, but lack of response may indicate the driver has issues. The issues may be health related. A friendly stop may determine help is needed. SB 1510 doesn’t make anyone feel safer except criminal elements.

SB 1510 also moves $10 million from Oregon Criminal Justice Commission for a Transforming Justice Initiative to support the Northwest Health Foundation Fund II for the "Justice Reinvestment Equity Program," to use as subgrants and technical assistance for culturally specific organizations and culturally responsive service providers.



The purpose of the Justice Reinvestment Equity Program is to promote racial equity, reduce racial disparities, reduce recidivism and decrease a county’s utilization of imprisonment in a Department of Corrections institution, all while protecting public safety and holding offenders accountable.

The Northwest Health Foundation home page expresses their vision for restoring voting rights is “eliminating laws rooted in white supremacy." “To achieve equity, our foundation gives our time, money and other resources to those who are furthest from power but closest to solutions.”

This organization is expected to go outside of its mission and experience, but SB 1510 covers that by appropriating $200,000 to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to monitor the program and convene a stakeholder group for evaluation. It also modifies the commission’s priorities to give culturally specific organizations and culturally responsive service top priority.

This legislation moves Oregon away from democracy, decreases public safety, and the most-impacted are the very citizens these initiatives purport to serve.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-02-08 12:14:48Last Update: 2022-02-08 12:27:20

Sales Tax Comes Out of Hiding
Intended to fund debit cards to the homeless

Oregonians have voted down a sales tax six times, but it has not deterred the Democrat leadership. Over the years this leadership has successfully disguised sales taxes to hit almost every aspect of our lives.

From energy to phones to grocery bags, and they keep looking. The biggest impact has been the passing of the Corporate Activities Tax (CAT) that initially hit most supply chains, but is hidden from customers.

Representative Brad Witt (D), isn’t so deceitful in introducing HB 4079, which will create Oregon's first ever identifiable sales tax. The purpose of the sales tax is to fund $750 monthly debit cards to the homeless and people under the poverty level. This tax will not go to making our communities safer, our elections more secure or improving our education system. It also comes at a time when the state has record revenues.

Proponents of HB 4079 say the tax is a “luxury” sales tax because at first it only applies to particular products over a certain price. But once passed into law, which requires a 60% vote in both Houses, it only requires a 50% vote to lower the price caps and add more goods and services. It creates a “bait and switch,” which is a scam on Oregonians.

The Oregon Freedom Pilot Program, offering monthly $750 debit cards, isn’t really a pilot once the program is implemented. The $750 debit cards go to homeless and below poverty people, attracting people from out of state, just like other welfare benefits have done. The Atlantic Magazine called Oregon a “Welfare Utopia”. We are famous nationwide for our welfare benefits. This is overwhelming our social services, charities, and local governments and is forcing government to raise taxes even higher. HB 4079 will not reduce or help pay for these welfare benefits, and has no limitation on what it can be spent on.



Oregon State Government is already the 4th fattest and 4th biggest state spending state government in America as measured by per- person spending. Why now when the state has record revenues of billions in surplus stashed into a slush fund last year that could be used? The House Committee Members on Human Services need to hear YOUR VOICE on whether a sales tax is a good idea for Oregon. A public hearing on HB 4079 is scheduled for this Tuesday (Feb. 8th) starting at 1:00pm. You can sign up to testify remotely. Most likely each person will get 2-3 minutes to testify. Or, submit written testimony using OLIS.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-02-07 15:04:40Last Update: 2022-02-07 15:14:01

Read More Articles