What is the most pressing issue facing Oregon today?
Economy
Homelessness
Transportation infrastructure
Crime
Big government
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Name:
Email:
Search Articles
       






On this day, January 28, 2003, Oregon voters defeated a proposed three-year income tax hike designed to forestall $310 million in cuts to schools and social services.




Post an Event


Western Liberty Network Leadership and Activist Training Conference
Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 9:00 am
The year's premiere grassroots activist and leadership conference! Get what you need to be successful in 2023!
Portland Airport Embassy Suites Hotel 7900 NE 82nd Avenue



The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 7:00 pm
First of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem



The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Second of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem



The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Third of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem



We Are Stronger Together
Monday, March 27, 2023 at 10:00 am
Oregon's Natural Resources & Industries (ONRI) is sponsoring the rally to meet legislators and influencers to bring light on legislation affecting natural resource industries, their families, and their communities. https://onri.us/events
Rally at the State Capitol, Salem.


View All Calendar Events


Ethics Complaint Filed Against Senator Lawrence Spence
“I find it hard to imagine she wouldn’t put in for the state money”

During the 2022 Legislative Session, the Legislature passed SB 1579 which directs the Oregon Business Development Department to develop and implement Economic Equity Investment Program to award grants to organizations that provide culturally responsive services to support economic stability, self-sufficiency, wealth building and economic equity among disadvantaged individuals, families, businesses and communities in Oregon.

An ethics complaint has been filed against Senator Akasha Lawrence Spence (D-Portland) by Gary Hughes and Gabriel Buehler both of Tigard. According to the complaint, "Lawrence Spence is the Founder and Principal of Fifth Element LLC. According to business filings with the Secretary of State, Fifth Element's primary business activity is "conscientious real estate development." Fifth Element's website provides more information about what that means with statements like, "We provide the vehicle for these small business owners to diversify their businesses and build wealth through commercial property ownership," "Helping small businesses achieve ownership is only the first step," and "fortifying small businesses through property ownership."

The complaint continues, "As we read SB 1579, under the Economic Equity Investment Program, taxpayer dollars will now be distributed to organizations to improve "economic equity." Section 2(3) defines measurements of "economic equity," the first being the ownership of real property. This is an explicit business activity of Fifth Element. It appears that Senator Lawrence Spence’s business, Fifth Element, would be eligible for grant money through the Economic Equity Investment Program and, if awarded, she would receive pecuniary benefits from the passage of SB 1579."

In a hearing before the Oregon Senate Committee on Conduct, Legislative Counsel weighed in, saying "we believe it is more likely than not that Senator Lawrence Spence violated ORS 244.120 and Senate Rule 3.33 by failing to declare a potential conflict of interest before voting on SB 1579. Lawrence Spence not only voted for the bill on the Senate Floor, but was a chief sponsor of the bill.

Through her attorney, Clifford S. Davidson with Portland-based law firm Snell & Wilmer, Senator Lawrence Spence responded to the committee. According to testimony, "Prior to voting, and when she voted, on SB 1579, Senator Lawrence Spence had no intention of applying for a grant created by SB 1579."

One staffer who is familiar with the case said, "I find it hard to imagine she wouldn't put in for the state money that her bill provided."

The Senate Committee on Conduct was deadlocked 2-2 on a motion that Senator Lawrence Spence violated ORS 244.120 and Senate Rule 3.33, and then voted to take no further action. The vote was a clean party-line split with Senators Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River) and Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) voting yes and Senators Fred Girod (R-Stayton) and Kathleen Taylor (D-Portland) voting no.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-08-30 10:38:56Last Update: 2022-08-30 11:53:41



Shooting in Bend Safeway Leaves Three Dead
Surrett engaged with the shooter and attempted to disarm him

At approximately 7:04 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28, Bend Police responded to multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired at the Forum Shopping Center in northeast Bend. Those calls included information that at least one person was shooting in the parking lot of Costco and Big Lots before entering the west entrance of Safeway. The shooter has been identified as Ethan Blair Miller of Bend.

Bend Police officers arrived on scene within two to three minutes of the dispatched call. They could hear gunfire coming from the Safeway. Officers simultaneously entered the store from different entrances, running toward the shooter as shots were still being fired. Four minutes elapsed from the time of the first dispatch until officers reported to dispatch that the suspected shooter was down.

One person, identified as 84-year-old Glenn Edward Bennett, a former medic in the Korean War, was shot inside the west entrance. Officers and medics with Bend Fire & Rescue rendered aid at the scene. Medics transported Bennett, but he did not survive his injuries.

The shooter continued firing as he moved through the store before encountering Safeway employee and Army Veteran Donald Ray Surrett, Jr., a 66-year-old Bend resident, in the produce section of the store. Police believe Surrett engaged with the shooter and attempted to disarm him, potentially helping to save additional lives. Surrett was shot and died from his injuries at the scene.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The shooter was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene. Bend Police did not fire any shots. Police also received reports of at least two people who sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued a statement, saying “Last night’s shooting was one of several in Oregon just this weekend. The families of these victims will forever be impacted by these senseless acts. All Oregonians deserve to be safe from gun violence.”

The Bend City Council also spoke. “We are devastated that Bend has become the latest community to experience a mass shooting aimed at causing fear. As leaders at the local level, we pledge to do everything in our power to advocate for the policies we need as a state and a country to curb gun violence and end the epidemic of mass shootings that plagues our communities. Everyone deserves to feel safe from gun violence in our community."

Law enforcement teams continue to investigate information the shooter may have posted online, which Bend Police learned about after the shooting took place. The shooter had no criminal history in the area and Bend Police have no evidence of prior threats from him. Bend Police are partnering with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine how the shooter accessed the firearms used in the shooting.

The families of the victims have asked for privacy at this time. We ask that you honor their request.

Bend Police have set up a tip line. If you have any information you believe investigators should know about this incident, please call 541-322-6380. We also have officers at Micks Drive in the shopping center to allow people to collect property and vehicles left at the scene. Mental health counselors will also be at that location.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-08-30 10:23:36Last Update: 2022-08-30 11:43:49



Meet the 2022 Candidates for Oregon Congressional District 6
The race for CD6 is Mike Erickson v Andrea Salinas

Editor's note: Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project equips voters with information on how candidates stand on issues through a questionnaire process featured in comparison guides.

Mike Erickson (R-Tigard) and Representative Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswgo) are competing for the new Congressional District 6. The district is carved out of the mid-valley. The district comprises Yamhill and Polk Counties, the western part of Marion County, including Salem and the I- 5 corridor and reaches up into the Southwest Portland area. It also includes parts of Clackamas and Washington counties.

Salinas was the Chair of the House Special Committee On Congressional Redistricting that drew the lines for the new district, which conveniently carved out the predominantly Democrat area in Southwest Portland that might give her an edge. The polls are currently telling a different outcome and has the attention of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Prior to serving in the legislature, Salinas worked as a lobbyist for the government employee union SEIU Local 503 where she says that she worked to "help provide Oregon families with a fair shot by increasing the minimum wage, fighting climate change, and providing comprehensive reproductive health care coverage to all Oregon women." She served as House Majority Whip while representing House District 38. She has a BA in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

While Salinas’ career has been focused on spending taxpayer money, Erickson assists companies and organizations on how to save money as Founder and CEO of AFMS. They help companies of all sizes with supply chain solutions. Erickson has been involved in the transportation- logistics industry for over three decades. His work was recognized by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) as a voice for small businesses. Erickson graduated from Portland State University in business.

Erickson has had a lot to say about the newly passed Inflation Reduction Act – it will do nothing to reduce inflation, but it will grow government. “The Act is absolutely counter to what people say they want from their lawmakers,” Erickson said. “The bill does nothing to help financially struggling Americans or protect our communities. Even the United States Committee on Finance, chaired by Oregon’s Ron Wyden, published a news release stating that citizens making under $400,000 a year would experience tax hikes… What is supposed to relieve the financial pressure on Americans has become a way to push through costly tax measures inconsistent with the title of the new law.”

Salinas sees inflation through the equity lens. In Congress, she intends to fight for a $15 minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, and an even bigger social safety net for our communities. She will also work to win overtime pay for workers that aren’t currently eligible under the Fair Labor Standards Act and will be focused on creating a path to citizenship. She wants to ensure that marginalized communities are provided with opportunities to prosper in a new, clean energy economy by taking bold steps, and not further harm or marginalize by the impacts of climate change.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Contrary to Salinas, Erickson sees energy independence as a way to make everyone thrive and grow the economy. He refers to a recent report that found Oregon gas prices remain almost $1 per gallon above the national average. “We must focus on infrastructure development and improving job opportunities and growth for Oregonians,” Erickson said.

Erickson is critical of the Biden administration and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ decision to lift Title 42 restrictions on immigration due to health concerns. He sees securing the border to stop illegal immigration going hand-in-hand with fighting crime to increase public safety. He added that he has no confidence in Secretary Mayorkas and will be an ardent supporter of border security and common-sense immigration policies.

Erickson wants to see Oregon’s Ballot Measure 110 reversed – it has backfired on Oregonians. He makes the point on Facebook that “the radical left must be held accountable for the decriminalization of hard drugs that has allowed crime to run rampant through our communities… I know that if we’re going to make Oregon safe, our brave police officers need to be invigorated, supported, and provided with all necessary resources!”

Erickson believes we need a new approach to improve education – one that prepares students for the jobs of today, not for whatever racial standards politicians approve of at any given moment.

Salinas reiterates the Democrat agenda to pass what she calls common sense gun legislation like implementing universal background checks on gun sales, enacting a red flag law, disarming domestic abusers, reducing police violence, focusing on decreasing city gun violence, and holding the gun lobby accountable. Additionally, she supports Medicare for all and a single-payer system, she is an abortion and reproductive rights champion, and wants to take her bill that recognized racism as a public health crisis to congress.

Salinas says she will focus on our democratic institutions to ensure that we continue to build a diverse, inclusive and representative democracy, and proud to be endorsed by organization aimed at building a democracy that is inclusive of all people. She says she is ready to head to Congress to fight for all people and provide progressive representation. What will her answer be if she is to take the oath of office to our Republic Constitution?

Salinas and Erickson are joined by Larry McFarland, the Constitution Party nominee. McFarland is a retired contractor and project manager for 41 years. He served in the Navy six years and received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Chemeketa Community College.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-08-29 18:53:42Last Update: 2022-08-29 19:25:56



Kate Brown Declares State of Emergency Due to Wildfires
“Be prepared for the ones we can’t prevent”

Oregon's Governor Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency due to the imminent threat of wildfire across Oregon. Much of the state continues to experience high temperatures, wind, storms with dry lightning, and persistent drought. With the extended forecast in Oregon calling for continued warm and dry conditions—and with many parts of the state in drought emergencies—the threat of wildfire in Oregon is imminent.

"With wildfire behavior increasing across the state, and with the threat of fire not likely to recede in the near future, it is imperative that we act now to prevent further loss—of life, property, business, and our natural resources," said Governor Kate Brown. "I issued this emergency declaration to ensure every resource is made available for firefighting efforts and to the crews striving to protect our state.

"It is equally important that each of us do our part to prevent wildfires and to be prepared for the ones we can’t prevent. I am urging Oregonians to take charge in preventing human-caused fires by being safe, responsible, and aware. I am also encouraging individuals and families to be prepared by making an emergency plan and to follow all evacuation orders should they occur in areas of active wildfire."

Pursuant to ORS 401.165 et seq, Governor Brown determined that a threat to life, safety, and property exists due to the imminent threat of wildfire.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The Governor's declaration authorizes the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Office of the State Fire Marshal, in coordination with the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, to utilize personnel, equipment, and facilities from other state agencies in order to respond to or mitigate the effects of the wildfire emergency.

This emergency declaration allows state agencies to temporarily suspend any rules that impair the response to wildfires, if needed, and also allows the state to request assistance from other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact if necessary.

The emergency declaration is focused on helping to ensure that the state is prepared to marshal all available and necessary resources as quickly as possible as wildfires arise throughout this season. When state and national resources are limited, the Oregon National Guard will deploy firefighting resources in accordance with Operations Plan Smokey 2022.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2022-08-28 18:13:12Last Update: 2022-08-28 18:26:00



Meet the 2022 Candidates for Oregon Congressional District 5
Where do they stand on the issues?

Editor’s note: Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project equips voters with information on how candidates stand on issues through a questionnaire process featured in comparison guides.

Two Candidates are competing for Oregon's 5th Congressional District, Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer and Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Congressional District 5 may be the most nonsensical and carved out district in the shape of a person holding a firearm. The gerrymandering of the newly created district was criticized by many.

Lori Chavez-DeRemer served as the mayor of Happy Valley, Oregon from 2010 to 2018, after serving on the Happy Valley City Council. Her mayoral election was historic, as she became the first female and first Latina elected to this office. Lori and her husband founded Anesthesia Associates Northwest, and today run several medical clinics throughout the Pacific Northwest. Lori received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration Management from California State University, Fresno.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner lives with her wife in Central Oregon where they raise dogs, goats, and chickens. She claims to be a small business owner and emergency response coordinator that supposedly focuses on communities and protecting natural resources.

McLeod-Skinner is a former union member, she says that she is an outspoken advocate for Oregon’s working people and farm workers.

McLeod-Skinner began her public service managing the repairs of schools and hospitals in Bosnia and Kosovo before returning to the U.S. to manage refugee resettlement programs, work in city and regional planning, and serve on a city council. Jamie holds a Master’s in Regional Planning, and a law degree with a focus on Natural Resources Law.

Chavez-DeRemer sees the homeless crisis affecting cities, towns and communities which she points out raises safety concerns for families and businesses.

Drugs pouring across our southern border are impacting homelessness. Chavez-DeRemer declares, “We must secure the border to stop the influx of crime and drugs.” She sees inflation as a contributor. “With inflation hitting a 40 year high, it has gotten progressively harder to financially get by. This is why we must stand up against the Left’s agenda with Conservative leadership to get our economy back on track and make our country affordable again.”

She continues, “Congress has spent our country into oblivion with record deficit spending. As your Congresswoman, I will always support lower taxes and reigning in spending.”

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

McLeod-Skinner follows in the footsteps of the rest of the Democrat Party, making the climate crisis, environment, families and democracy her priorities. “We must set policies and create incentives to change this trajectory as well as improve our responses to the resulting disasters.” As for families and economic recovery, she says, “People are struggling with both a health pandemic and an inequity pandemic. We need a responsive government that provides critical physical AND social infrastructure.”

McLeod-Skinner proposes spending more taxpayer dollars in affordable housing, healthcare, homecare, childcare, special and early childhood education, debt-free community college and trade program.

Oregon kids are struggling to catch up from school closures and are now divisive and politically charged issues are being forced into the classroom. Lori Chavez-DeRemer firmly believes Oregon Parents deserve a say in what their children are taught, which is why she supports a Parental Bill of Rights that ensures transparency for school curriculums and protects the rights of parents.

Chavez-DeRemer says, “We must ban the teaching of critical race theory in our schools. Our students should not be learning regressive ideologies that discourage achievements and divides.”

Jamie McLeod-Skinner says that she believes in investing public money.

Investing in protecting our democracy is how we invest in our future and in future generations. She said, congress must step up to protect women’s rights where the Supreme Court has failed. “When in Congress, I will work to codify and protect a woman’s right to choose.”

Chavez-DeRemer stands for protecting the unborn, She states, “A vast majority of Americans want restrictions on abortion and I would be in favor of passing legislation like the heartbeat bill.”

There is a clear difference between these two candidates, and most notable is their understanding of the Constitution. Chavez-DeRemer seems to affirm our Republic form of government in the U.S. Constitution, the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights. McLeod-Skinner describes “protecting our democracy” as wealth redistribution, stating “our fundamental decency is rightfully questioned when we leave this undone and leave people behind.”


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-08-27 12:14:10Last Update: 2022-08-27 12:40:49



Klamath Dam Removal Project Moves Forward
FERC is likely to make a final decision later this fall

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released a Final Environmental Impact Statement that recommends approval to remove four dams on the Klamath River. The recommendation by FERC staff is another key milestone in progress toward restoring the Klamath to its former free-flowing condition, work that has been undertaken collectively by PacifiCorp, which owns the dams, Oregon, California and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation. FERC is likely to make a final decision later this fall.

"This is an encouraging step forward. DEQ appreciates the thorough and comprehensive review by FERC staff," said Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Richard Whitman. "Along with significant federal funding for agricultural infrastructure and habitat improvement provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the recent Inflation Reduction Act, these actions set the stage for addressing many of the underlying causes of conflict over water, water quality, and fisheries in the Klamath. We look forward to working with all of our partners to help put resource management back on a sustainable footing."

The Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement between PacifiCorp and the federal government was signed in 2010. The report focuses on events that occurred June 1, 2014 through June 30, 2018.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-08-26 14:27:35Last Update: 2022-08-26 17:04:05



Democrat Leaders Express Support for Abortion
“Oregon will always be a safe and welcoming place for all people seeking an abortion”

Governor Kate Brown, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-Portland), and State Representative Andrea Valderrama (D-Portland) visited an abortion facility operated by Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette as the state of Idaho’s trigger law banning abortion has taken effect. Abortion remains legal in the state of Oregon at all stages of fetal development. Governor Brown, Congresswoman Bonamici, and Representative Valderrama discussed their commitment to ensuring that all patients seeking abortions in Oregon have access, regardless of where they come from.

In the 2022 Session, Section 368 of HB 5202 allocated an extra $15 million "for distribution to Seeding Justice for advancing reproductive health equity." This was done to provide funding to women from other states seeking abortions in Oregon -- mostly expected from Idaho.

“Oregon will always be a safe and welcoming place for all people seeking reproductive care, and for all people seeking an abortion,” said Governor Brown. “Oregon has joined Washington and California to form the West Coast Offense, to protect abortion access on the West Coast, protect people seeking an abortion in our states, and to protect providers from prosecution in other states for providing medical care. I’d like to thank the health care workers of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, who are on the front lines of providing patient care to everyone who comes through their doors.”

“We will never stop fighting to protect, restore, and expand access to abortion care,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “We must stand together in opposition to the recent attacks on reproductive rights, including the trigger law going into place in our neighboring state, Idaho. Here in Oregon we are committed to providing the care people need, whether they are Oregonians or traveling from nearby states. I am deeply grateful for the Planned Parenthood staff we met with today who are providing needed care, and to the many reproductive health care workers throughout our state.”

“Reproductive justice is racial justice. This means if we aren’t addressing health disparities that continue to impact Black and Brown communities, we aren’t going far enough,” said Representative Andrea Valderrama. “While the right to abortion is protected under Oregon law and we’ve worked hard to expand access, we know that coverage and access gaps persist. That’s why I support the Hillman Clinic and efforts to address and eliminate barriers in the 2023 session."

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

“Idaho’s abortion ban is devastating and cruel, and it puts physicians in an impossible position: having to choose between upholding their oath, or risk criminalization and jail time,” said Anne Udall, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette. “The chaos, confusion and devastation we are now seeing on the ground is exactly the environment politicians opposed to reproductive rights have worked for decades to create. Banning abortion does not stop people from needing abortions. It only puts more people’s lives in danger.

“Here in Oregon and Southwest Washington, where our health centers are located, our doors are open and we will do what we can to connect people who come to us seeking abortions with the care they need — regardless of where they live.”

“Anti-abortion politicians have been systematically stripping access to abortion one state at a time. Against the will of the American people, the Supreme Court handed away our bodily autonomy and removed the bulwark against politicians having free rein in our personal medical decisions,” said An Do, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. “I am proud to live in a state with leadership that believes abortion is health care and that health care is a human right.

“We are so grateful for the leadership of Governor Brown, Congresswoman Bonamici and Representative Valderrama for taking bold and necessary action in recent months to try to protect abortion access. We need everyone -- at every level of government -- to continue using every tool in their toolboxes to protect access to abortion.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-08-26 11:23:25Last Update: 2022-08-26 14:27:35



Independent Redistricting Initiative Proposed
“Oregonians deserve to have their districts decided by citizens, not political partisans”

People Not Politicians announced that they have filed with the Oregon Secretary of State a proposed initiative petition for the November 2024 ballot to reform Oregon’s redistricting process -- which some have called dysfunctional and partisan -- and to replace it with an independent citizens’ commission. The initiative has been filed by Gary Wilhelms of Portland, Eric Richardson of Eugene, and Chris Telfer, Bend.

Currently, Oregon legislators are incentivized to gerrymander voting districts to re-elect incumbents in safe districts, thereby reducing political competition. This results in incumbents who are not accountable to voters. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave the 2021 congressional map, passed by the Oregon legislature along party-line majority, an “F” grade for its lack of competitive races.

“Oregonians deserve to have their legislative and congressional districts decided by citizens, not political partisans who are all too often beholden to monied interests. Our state and our nation are already far too divided, and intense partisanship around these boundary lines is a major factor in making this situation even worse. Let’s give some power back to the people,” said Phil Keisling, former Oregon Secretary of State.

The March 2022 voter registration report of the Secretary of State shows that, for the first time in state history, the largest single group of Oregon voters is not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties – yet that group of non-affiliated voters are mostly shut out of the redistricting process.

Creating an independent redistricting commission has been a consistent goal of reform-minded organizations who stand by the principle that legislators have a direct conflict of interest in drawing electoral lines that benefit incumbents.

The PNP coalition filed its previous initiative measure (IP 34) in April 2021 in the hopes of making the November 2022 election. However, legal challenges from allies of the elected officials of the state’s majority party kept the initiative tied up in court until it was too late for this year.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Supporters are more energized than ever. “The fact that certain interests went to great lengths to stop Oregonians from having a say in this fundamental democratic process is just another sign that partisan politics have gotten way off track. Let's come together and do what's right for the people of Oregon,” said Eric Richardson, former Executive Director of the Eugene Springfield National Association For the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and one of the initiative's three chief petitioners.

People Not Politicians filed Petition 2024-013 to amend the Oregon Constitution repealing sections 6 and 7, Article IV, and adopting a new section 6 and 7 establishing the Citizens Redistricting Commission of twelve members. It authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt rules to facilitate the maximum degree of correctness, impartiality and efficiency in selection of members. Secretary of State randomly selects by lot, six member commissioners meeting a criterion. Those six shall review the remaining names in the sub-pool and select the remaining six commissioners. It creates a Review Panel reflecting the diversity of this state consisting of administrative law judges or tribal court judges. Commissioners will hold at least 10 public hearings and approval final maps. The Oregon Supreme Court will review redistricting maps if any registered voter files a petition for review.

Petitioners anticipate that the initial qualification process could be completed as soon as January. The campaign can then begin in earnest to gather some 150,000 required valid voter signatures. They will have nearly a year and a half to accomplish this signature-gathering phase of the campaign.

People Not Politicians is a diverse coalition that has included the League of Women Voters of Oregon, Common Cause Oregon, Oregon State Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Farm Bureau, Independent Party of Oregon, OSPIRG, NAACP, Oregon Home Builders Association, Oregon Association of Nurseries, and The Klamath Tribal Council.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-08-25 11:35:55Last Update: 2022-08-25 12:08:57



Constitution Party Holds Second Convention
Donice Smith adds her name to four other women running for governor

A complaint resulted in Secretary of State Shemia Fagan rejecting the Constitution Party nominees. Paul Romero, Jr. was hoping to take advantage of a second convention and add a male to the governor’s race. However, the support wasn’t there, and after the proper 10-day notice, the Constitution Party re-nominated its slate of candidates and added two more for a total of nine candidates. Donice Smith adds her name to four other women running for governor. Three have legislative backgrounds, which could give her a few votes considering the climate of distrust of government. Smith has a background that more than qualifies her.

Smith earned several secondary degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts in History and the Constitution from Eastern Oregon University and continued to advance her education taking courses where ever she went.

Smith isn’t just educated -- her experience matches her training. She attained the rank of Master Sergeant (E8) over thirty-five years in the military, ten active. During her service, she earned multiple medals. She was also a teacher, a published journalist for forty-six years in and out of the military, an author, and a talk show host for twenty-six years.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Smith says her top priorities for Oregon will be to fix our broken election process, eliminate medical tyranny and limit the scope of government overreach. She wants to restore small and family-owned businesses. Parents, not government, know what is best for their families in education, and strongly opposes critical race theory, and supports alternatives to the public school system.

As governor, Smith says she will appoint leaders who are committed to reducing the power of government to its prescribed limits. Her biggest challenge will be competing with women who have millions to make themselves visible.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-08-24 15:48:34Last Update: 2022-08-24 15:56:36



Oregon Moms Union to Host Parents Matter Summit
Parents are waking up to the problems associated with our public schools’ curriculum

On Friday September 16 and Saturday September 17, The Oregon Moms Union will be hosting their First Annual Parents Matter Summit, a two-day educational event with prominent school choice and parental rights advocates including Rebecca Freidrichs, Dr. Carol Swain, Lance Izumi, Corey DeAngelis, Marcus Brandon, and Mark Siegel.

“We are so proud of the progress that Oregon Moms Union has made over the last year and the impact it has made on parents and children throughout the state,” said MacKensey Pulliam, President of the Oregon Mom’s Union. “This event is a testament to how much progress we have made through our grassroots efforts in the school choice and parents’ rights movement in a state that is severely lacking in academic performance in the public school system. Parents are waking up to the problems associated with our public schools’ curriculum and are looking for solutions, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The Parents Matter Summit is going to be a critically important event that will shed light on the issues that are students continue to face and the solutions we can adapt to initiate the change we need to positively shape our children’s future.” Pulliam added.

The two-day event will consist of: Members of the press interested in attending can sign up using the form on the website.

Oregon Moms Union, formed in early 2021 in the wake of COVID-19 school shutdowns and distance learning, seeks to empower parents to advocate for a student-first K-12 education system. It currently has more than 90 volunteer School District Captains serving in more than 75 school districts.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-08-24 11:37:14Last Update: 2022-08-24 12:11:06



Draft Ballot Title for Tolling Measure Prepared
ODOT has already begun the process

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has prepared a draft ballot title for Initiative Petition 4 and is inviting public comment on it. Comments are due bu September 6 and they can be submitted via email to irrlistnotifier.sos@sos.oregon.gov or mailed to the Secretary of State at 255 Capitol St NE Ste 126, Salem OR 97310.

Comments should be regarding the legality or constitutionality of the title, and not on the content of the proposed ballot measure. A "title" contains four parts: A caption, Result of a Yes vote, Result of a No vote, and a Summary.

Caption:
Amends Constitution: Prohibits “highway” (defined) fees/tolls after December 31, 2017, unless voters in nearby counties approve

Result of “Yes” Vote:
“Yes” vote amends constitution. After 2017, new “highway” (defined) fees/tolls require voter approval in counties within 15 miles, including planned tolls on I-5, I-205.

Result of “No” Vote:
“No” vote retains current law allowing public bodies to collect fees/tolls without voter approval, including planned tolls on I-5, I-205.

Summary:
Amends Constitution. Currently, public bodies may collect fees and tolls without voter approval; current law requires tolls be collected on certain sections of I-205 and I-5 in Portland metro area. Measure prohibits public bodies from assessing “any fee or charge for the use of a highway,” unless referred for approval or rejection to the electors in each county with a border within a 15-mile radius of any section of “highway” proposed to be tolled and approved by majority of votes cast. Definition of “highway” includes “every public way, road, street, thoroughfare and place, including bridges, viaducts and other structures.” “Vehicles” include devices propelled/powered by any means, including bicycles. Measure applies to tolls established after December 31, 2017, including forthcoming I-205 and 1-5 tolls.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has already begun the process of developing a tolling system and has received approval to toll from the Oregon Legislature in 2017 through HB 2017


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-08-23 15:04:46Last Update: 2022-08-23 15:36:55



Johnson Campaign Delivers Signatures to Qualify for Ballot
“I hope to be your next governor”

The Betsy Johnson campaign has delivered signature sheets to the office of the Secretary of State in order to have her name placed on the November ballot for the office of Governor as a non-affiliated candidate. She is required to turn in 23,744 valid signatures to qualify.

According to Johnson, "Today, we made history. Together with Betsy Brigade members, I delivered 48,214 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office, more than double the number of signatures that I need to qualify for the ballot in November. By delivering more than twice the number of signatures needed to qualify, we’ve made it very difficult for the political establishment to imagine ways to keep me off the ballot. I will be on the ballot in November, and I hope to be your next governor."

According to the State Candidates Manual on the Secretary of State's website, "Candidates who are not members of any political party may file for partisan office in a general or special election in two ways: (1) by submitting a completed Individual Electors nominating petition containing the required number of valid signatures, or (2) by holding an Assembly of Electors and filing the assembly minutes that contain the required number of valid signatures of active Oregon voters. Nonaffiliated candidates for partisan office do not appear on the primary election ballot.

"The name of a candidate nominated to the ballot through either the Individual Electors or Assembly of Electors process will appear on the general or special election ballot with the designation of nonaffiliated."

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Johnson characterized her achievement, "Coming onto the ballot through the power of people’s signatures is one of the most meaningful -- and foundational -- elements of my campaign. As I’ve been traveling the state talking to Oregonians, it has been very clear that they are ready for a real change, and there’s no bigger change than electing an independent governor loyal only to the people of Oregon."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-08-23 12:52:48Last Update: 2022-08-23 15:36:01



Read More Articles