What will the 2024 presidential ballot look like?
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Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
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Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.cooscountyfair.com
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds



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



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



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



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



TRUMP TRAIN RALLY
Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 12:00 pm
ALL ABOARD THE LINN COUNTY TRUMP TRAIN! Tail gate BBQ / Guest Speakers / Meet and Greet This is a non-partisan event. All Trump Supporters are welcome THE RIDE STARTS approximately 1:30PM ROUTE: to be determined Presented with local sponsorship by Linn County Conservative Alliance Trump, patriot, Americana, caps,flags, t-shirts and other merchandise available on-site. Profits support conservative and traditional values candidates. https://indd.adobe.com/view/902ce3bb-72b5-4f03-9c74-b71fcdbb6aad
Location: Linn County Fair / Expo parking lot. 3700 Knox Butte Road E. Albany, OR 97322



TRUMP TRAIN RALLY
Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 12:00 pm
ALL ABOARD THE LINN COUNTY TRUMP TRAIN! Tail gate BBQ / Guest Speakers / Meet and Greet This is a non-partisan event. All Trump Supporters are welcome THE RIDE STARTS approximately 1:30PM ROUTE: to be determined Presented with local sponsorship by Linn County Conservative Alliance Trump, patriot, Americana, caps,flags, t-shirts and other merchandise available on-site. Profits support conservative and traditional values candidates. https://indd.adobe.com/view/902ce3bb-72b5-4f03-9c74-b71fcdbb6aad
Location: Linn County Fair / Expo parking lot. 3700 Knox Butte Road E. Albany, OR 97322



Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://clatsopcofair.com/
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo



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



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



Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://expo.deschutes.org/
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center



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



Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.co.yamhill.or.us/fair
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.klamathcountyfair.com/
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair



Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://co.wallowa.or.us/community-services/county-fair/
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds



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



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



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



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



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



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



Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.josephinecountyfairgrounds.com/
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center



Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.polk.or.us/fair
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds



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



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



Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.wheelercountyoregon.com/fair-board
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds



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



Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.morrow.or.us/fair
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds



Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.wascocountyfair.com
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds



Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
http://www.co.gilliam.or.us/government/fairgrounds
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds



Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.lakecountyor.org/government/fair_grounds.php
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds



Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.oregonstateexpo.org
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


New Emails Reveal Hoyle Planned and Orchestrated Illegal Grant
U.S. Attorney’s office has confirmed that Hoyle is under investigation

Oregon Fourth Congressional District Candidate Monique DeSpain (R-Eugene) reacted to a story published by the national news outlet The Daily Beast stating that the U.S. Attorney’s office has confirmed Val Hoyle (D-Eugene) is now under federal investigation and, according to newly publicized emails, Hoyle: “Today, we learned that Val Hoyle directly planned and orchestrated the agenda and decision-making process of the Apprenticeship Council, to the point of coaching La Mota’s people via text message from her personal cell phone during the meetings in which the decision to issue the illegal grant was being considered -- while she chaired the meeting,” said Monique DeSpain. “The evidence is clear: Val Hoyle has disqualified herself from being a Member of Congress.”

In mid-February, Willamette Week reported that Federal Investigators have expanded their current investigation into La Mota and ex-Secretary of State Shemia Fagan to include Congresswoman Val Hoyle’s $500,000 grant to La Mota’s non-profit while leading BOLI. A subpoena was issued just five days after DeSpain’s January 24th press conference launching WhatsValHiding.com and her letter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Natalie K. Wight, calling on Ms. Wight to expand her investigation to include Hoyle and her activities. DeSpain has taken credit for drawing public and law enforcement attention to the glaring pattern of corruption exhibited by Hoyle’s words and actions by urging the U.S. Attorney to investigate Hoyle, saying:

“I sounded the alarm on this in my January 24th letter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, Natalie K. Wight. Just five days later, on January 29th, investigators issued a subpoena for BOLI to ‘provide all records’ related to Hoyle’s illegal grant,” stated DeSpain, adding, “Our campaign is about ending the reign of career politicians in Washington -- the same politicians, who like Val Hoyle, serve their own interests above those of the voters. That is why I am running for Congress, and this investigation proves that the stakes couldn’t be higher.”



--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-04-04 21:09:16Last Update: 2024-04-04 22:22:38



YamCo Commissioner Candidate Hit with Complaint
“Bubba” King Alleged to Have Concealed Donor Identity

Two election law violation complaints have been filed by a voter in Yamhill County regarding attempts to conceal a donation by Oregon Taproot PAC (formerly Save Yamhill County PAC) to "Bubba" King for Oregon PAC. King is currently running to unseat Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer who serves as the Chair of the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners.

The complaints allege that Oregon Taproot PAC and its director Lynnette Shaw, as well as Bubba for Oregon PAC, intentionally tried to conceal a political donation from Oregon Taproot PAC to Bubba King by unlawfully filing the transaction as a personal cash contribution from Lynnette Shaw. Shaw was able to make such a large personal contribution after filing for “reimbursement” from the PAC she controls. As it turns out, Shaw had no reimbursements due to her, and taking money out of a PAC for personal use (in this case campaign contributions) is against Oregon law. The complaint alleges that Bubba for Oregon PAC then recorded a personal “cash contribution” from Shaw instead of recording it as coming from Oregon Taproot PAC (formerly Save Yamhill County PAC).

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The complaints also allege that Shaw failed to report all of the money. The transaction in Oregon Taproot PAC shows that Shaw gave Bubba for Oregon a total of $3,468.00. However, in the Bubba for Oregon PAC, it only shows a cash contribution of $3,018.00. The complaint alleges that the missing $450 has not been reported or recorded anywhere in either PAC.

Oregon Statute 260.402, which covers campaign finance transactions, states that: “It is a criminal offense to make a contribution or donation or to directly or indirectly reimburse a person for making a contribution or donation relating to a candidate, measure, political committee, or petition committee in any name other than the person that provides the contribution (i.e., a contribution in a false name). Likewise, it is illegal to knowingly receive a contribution or donation in a false name or enter it into a committee’s account. Making a contribution or donation in a false name is a class C felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or a $125,000 fine.”

Save Yamhill County is a familiar name in Yamhill County’s political arena. In 2021, the group attempted to recall sitting Commissioner Chair Lindsay Berschauer and failed to qualify the necessary number of signatures needed, despite hiring a professional signature gathering firm to collect them. The group, many of whom are also members of Progressive Yamhill, tried again and gained the necessary number of signatures. The special election occurred on March 22, 2022, and Commissioner Berschauer defeated the recall attempt by earning more votes than she previously did in her original run for office in 2020.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-04-04 13:57:25Last Update: 2024-04-04 14:38:11



Oregon Gets ‘Historic’ Campaign Finance Reform
Is HB 4024 the kind of reform voters were hoping for?

On April 3, Democrats and Republicans gathered in glee to watch Governor Tina Kotek sign House Bill 4024, which establishes campaign contribution limits.

“Often, the word ‘historic’ can feel overused. But I know for a fact that there were many people – including myself at times – who thought getting campaign contribution limits through the legislature would never happen,” Governor Kotek said. “But, we are here today to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts that have led to House Bill 4024 in this year’s legislative session, bringing Oregon into the company of 45 other states that have campaign contribution limits.”

House Speaker Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) stated, “We set out to find a compromise because the alternative was an expensive and potentially confusing fight at the ballot--as well as years of legal challenges. Thankfully, everyone involved came to the table in good faith, and I'm grateful for their hard work. HB 4024 truly represents the Oregon Way of getting things done.”

The bill passed with very little bipartisan support from Republicans. "HB 4024 is a phony campaign reform conducted by corporate interests and unions as an end run against a ballot measure," said Senator Brian Boquist (R-Polk). "If the People want reform they must do it themselves."

This bipartisan effort was led by then-House Majority Leader Julie Fahey and House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich in partnership with a variety of stakeholders. House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River) stated, “Oregonians expect fairness and transparency in their elections. This bipartisan bill takes great strides to achieve more of both. Republicans remain committed to uncoupling power from insiders and returning it to the people of our great state."

Forty submitted testimony in support from mostly unions, and 190 opposed from such organizations as Voters of Oregon, Consolidated Oregon Indivisible Network, Common Cause Oregon, Philanthropy Roundtable, Alliance for Democracy, League of Women Voters of Oregon, and even the Pacific Green Party acknowledged large loopholes leading to dishonest elections calling it smoke and mirrors.

David Wall, known as Mr. Oregon in writing testimonies wrote, “HB 4024 is an unregulated quagmire, a warren of legal complexities forcing astute candidates for office to hire an Attorney(s). This alone stamps out democracy."

Wall points out that "In-Kind Donations" in the bill can be easily corrupted and a good way to "launder money". For example, a contributor to a campaign could say their "In Kind Donation" to their candidate of choice was worth $2000.00 when in fact the "In-Kind Contribution" has a value of, $10.00. Who at the Secretary of State will be the wiser?

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Senator Brian Boquist (R-Polk) warned in testimony of the unions backroom secret meetings and said those dealings need to be made public. He wrote in testimony, “Corporate Union Feudalism has been gradually taking over the entire country over the past two decades, It is obvious most elected legislators, both state and federal, think you or we are part of the future ruling class. Be warned, as history records, we legislators will be peasants and serfs not rulers of anything very shortly. All of us regardless of caucuses or parties or even independents.

“The effort in this bill to make citizen campaign participation meaningless while empowering the corporations with their union backers is a clear effort to keep the police state oligarchs in power. The Oregon Supreme Court made it clear in Elkhorn (2020) we are a police state. The court's exact words. We legislators would be making a serious mistake to assume millennials and younger will simply sit by while we continue their indenturement. We have become used to the sheep classes of older people which is a mistake. The silence in the Capitol halls as citizens abandon participation, the lack of emails, the lack of telephone calls, is not acceptance at all. It is the beginning of a Millennial Revolution.”

What the supporting Republican legislators failed to recognize is why Democrats allowed this bill to pass. HB 4024 takes away the method Republicans had to raise funds and kept how Democrats raise funds, and leaves unions unchecked with unlimited campaign funding. The way around this law is how Democrats have been operating for years establishing thousands of political action committees to raise funds. Now Republicans have to start from a disadvantage to set up a system of thousands of political action committees in order to be competitive with Democrats. Is HB 4024 the kind of reform voters were hoping for?

State agencies overseeing elections and campaign finance in Oregon will now work to implement the law so that it can go into effect smoothly in 2027.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-04 13:24:52Last Update: 2024-04-04 00:36:21



Recriminalizing Hard Drugs Provides Focus on Treatment
HB 4002 has been signed by Governor Kotek

Oregon Governor Kotek signed into law HB 4002, a bill reversing much of Oregon’s drug decriminalization experiment in response to a deadly addiction crisis plaguing major cities, suburban neighborhoods, and rural communities across the state. The bipartisan proposal cleared the Oregon Senate with overwhelming support exactly one month ago.

A key priority for the Senate Republican Caucus last session was to address drug addiction, homelessness, and crime. Recriminalizing possession of small amounts of hard drugs was at the top of the list. It is widely supported by Oregon voters.

Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) responded to the Governor's signing: “Now that the Governor has given the recriminalization bill her stamp of approval, we can finally end the chapter on Oregon’s experiment with decriminalizing hard drugs. HB 4002 is not a perfect solution; legislators will undoubtedly have much more work to do in upcoming sessions. But it sets a standard for how the state should approach the drug addiction crisis: by empowering law enforcement and our behavioral health systems to work together to help Oregonians struggling with chronic addiction seek life-saving treatment.”

House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River) offered the following statement: "Republicans stood united and forced Democrats to do what Oregonians demanded: recriminalize drugs. Make no mistake, this bill is not enough to undo the disaster of Measure 110. House Republicans are ready to continue the work we started and bring real change to Salem in the next session."

Representative Kevin Mannix (R-Keizer/North Salem) serves on the Joint Committee on Addiction and Community Safety. He comments, "I am delighted that the Governor has now signed House Bill 4002. This was a major bipartisan effort to get Oregon back on track in dealing with hard drugs and their terrible impact on our communities. We have now made it clear that possession of such drugs is a crime, but we have coupled this with comprehensive treatment approaches to help people end their addictions. We will all need to work together to build up our treatment programs and to support law enforcement as they deal with the new unclassified misdemeanor of possession of hard drugs. We have much more to do. I will be presenting proposals to our Joint Committee on Addiction and Community Safety. These include identification and expansion of treatment facilities, recruitment of treatment providers, and support for law enforcement activities."

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Kelsi Manley, MD, FACP; and Jenny Silberger, MD, FACP; testified on behalf of the Oregon Chapter of the American College of Physicians. "We commend the legislature's efforts to recognize SUD as a public health issue and improve access to treatment. Substance use disorders are chronic medical conditions, akin to other chronic illnesses, and acknowledging them as such is vital for crafting effective, evidence-based solutions. As healthcare workers, we witness the suffering that addiction causes, but we also witness how treatment can result in remission, improved quality of life, and recovery for our patients and communities."

Concerns are in recriminalizing drugs that may inflict more government harm and violence on Black and brown communities. HB 4002 calls for the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to conduct a study to determine best practices for deflection programs and make recommendations for funding, for standards and best practices for the state. "Deflection program" is defined to mean a collaborative program between law enforcement agencies and behavioral health entities that assists individuals who may have substance use disorder, another behavioral health disorder or co-occurring disorders, to create community-based pathways to treatment, recovery support services, housing, case management or other services.

Testimony focused on getting to the source and not exasperate the mistakes of liberal policies. "Drug dealing of any amount of hard drugs needs to be at the very least a class B felony. We need to go back to a zero tolerance approach with no more of these social experiments in the name of humanity and reductions of incarcerated populations. End this travesty now. No more studying bad choices of the Oregon government. The time for action is now."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-04-03 11:17:29Last Update: 2024-04-04 13:57:25



Oregon Properties Forfeited in Connection to Interstate Marijuana Trafficking Organization
14 properties ceased valued at $5.7 million

The same day Oregon Governor Kotek signed into law HB 4002, recriminalizing much of Oregon’s drug laws, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced that it has forfeited on behalf of the United States 14 real properties located in Oregon—together worth more than $5.7 million—that were used by an interstate drug trafficking organization to illegally grow marijuana for redistribution and sale in other states. The owner of a 15th property agreed to pay the government $400,000 in lieu of having their property forfeited.

The properties, located in Clatsop, Columbia, Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties, were used until September 2021 as illegal marijuana grow houses by an interstate drug trafficking organization led by Fayao “Paul” Rong, 53, of Houston, Texas. On July 19, 2023, after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, Rong was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

In early September 2021, a coordinated law enforcement operation led by DEA and OSP targeted Rong’s organization. Federal, state, and local law enforcement partners executed search warrants on 25 Oregon residences and Rong’s home in Houston. During the precipitating investigation and ensuing search warrants, investigators seized nearly 33,000 marijuana plants, 1,800 pounds of packaged marijuana, 23 firearms, nine vehicles, $20,000 in money orders, and more than $591,000 in cash.

According to court documents, Rong purchased numerous residential houses in Oregon using several different identities and, with others in his organization, used them to grow and process marijuana and prepare it for transport to states where its use remains illegal. In a 12-month period beginning August 2020, Rong’s organization trafficked more than $13.2 million dollars in black market marijuana.

The Rong organization takedown followed a 14-month investigation initiated by OSP after the agency learned of excessive electricity use at the various properties, which, in several instances, resulted in transformer explosions. Multiple citizen complaints corroborated law enforcement’s belief that Rong was leading a large black market marijuana operation. With the assistance of the Columbia and Polk County Sheriff’s Offices, OSP found associated marijuana grows in Clatsop, Columbia, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, and Polk Counties. On February 18, 2022, Rong was arrested by DEA agents in Houston.

“This prosecution and yearslong effort to forfeit properties used by the Rong organization to grow and process thousands of pounds of marijuana demonstrate the long reach of our commitment to holding drug traffickers accountable and mitigating the damage these criminal organizations inflict on neighborhoods and communities,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

This case was investigated by DEA, OSP, and the U.S. Marshals Service with assistance from the FBI; Homeland Security Investigations; Oregon Department of Justice; Portland Police Bureau; the Yamhill, Clatsop, Marion, Multnomah, Columbia, and Polk County Sheriff’s Offices; Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team; and Linn Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team. This prosecution is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon. Forfeiture proceedings were handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Division.

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“The Oregon State Police is committed to disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations operating within our state. Our priorities include safeguarding Oregon’s natural resources and mitigating the impact illicit marijuana has on them,” said Tyler Bechtel, Oregon State Police (OSP) Lieutenant. “This case is a great example of the results that can be achieved when all levels of law enforcement work together toward our common goals.”

The proceeds of forfeited assets are deposited in the Justice Department’s Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF) and used to restore funds to crime victims and for a variety of other law enforcement purposes. To learn more about the AFF, please visit here.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-02 12:23:32Last Update: 2024-04-02 01:18:12



School Choice Leads to Higher Graduation Rates
Education Freedom, a series on “Why School Choice”

Editors note: This is the fourth in a five-part series on School Choice Initiatives aimed for the November 2024 election ballot.

Oregon’s 2024 Legislature passed nine education bills and dropped the most controversial bill of the session that would have taken decisions on curriculum materials away from school districts and parents.

Representative Ed Diehl (R-Santiam) sponsored a school choice bill, HB 4161, which mirrors IP 29 and IP 30. HB 4161 was the first school choice bill to receive a curtesy hearing, but leadership never intended for it to move forward. He is also tabling IP 29 and IP 30 for more work. It should give parents new inspiration to help pass the school choice initiatives, IP 5 and IP 6.

If school choice initiatives, IP5 and IP6, were to pass, parents will have options against the legislature passing undesirable bills that affect the public school system. Legislation is a one-size-fits-all solution, and school choice allows a parent to at the minimum select the "one-size" option that fits their student's needs.

The 2024 legislature’s idea of boosting the education and graduation rate seems to be a strategy with little valuable action. Three bills that passed involving students are: Oregon has struggled with education. As early as 2013, Oregon's graduation rate was the lowest of any state in the nation at 68.7 percent, meaning a poor education system can't be blamed on the pandemic. By 2019 it started to rise ranking the fourth lowest, but slow growth was blamed on low graduation rates and poor funding. However, since the pandemic, it has plateaued at 81.3% in 2022 and 2023. The state makes the case that minorities and low-income have a harder time and depress the graduation rates, so they have overwhelmed schools with equality policies.

The Oregon Department of Education said they don’t have stats on private schools because they don’t have authority to require them to register, but pointed to the National Center for Education Statistics. The data for private schools shows a graduation rate average of 96% with an increase in graduations the larger the school to 99.4% for schools 500-749. Beyond 750 the rate was 97%. Graduation rates also improved for nonsectarian schools with Catholic private schools graduating 99.1%.

Students participating in school choice programs are significantly more likely to graduate from high school. The Heritage Foundation reported that education researcher Greg Forster, PhD, conducted an analysis of all existing empirical evaluations of school choice programs to date. According to Forster, 11 out of 12 random assignment studies found that choice improved the academic outcomes of participants; not a single evaluation found that school choice had a negative impact on academic outcomes.

Students participating in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which helps low-income students attend private schools of their choice, experienced a 21 percent increase in graduation rates.

Forster also examined the evidence on the impact of school choice on students who remained in nearby public schools. Of the 23 studies conducted, 22 observed that school choice improves outcomes at public schools as well. A study in Florida also showed that school choice improved test scores of students in public schools that risked losing students. “In other words, it occurs from the threat of competition alone.”

It was also established in Florida that significant increases were found in the test scores of students with disabilities who remained in the public system as more private schools entered their voucher program, suggesting “that schools were serving those students better when they faced more competition.… Vouchers do not drain public schools of their ability to serve disabled students; instead, schools are pushed to serve those students better.” Oregon’s IP6 replaces a voucher program so the funding follows every student.

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School choice creates greater opportunities for all children to have access to education that instills democratic values. One concrete example comes from New York, where low-income and minority students were more likely to register to vote and turn out in elections.

A study in Milwaukee showed an increase in students graduating subsequently increased enrollment in college by four to seven percent.

Donna Kreitzberg, sponsor of IP5 and IP6, says, “IP5 and IP6 are not intended to replace public schools, but it is the hope of petitioners that public schools will respond favorably and upgrade education practices for students in their care. School choice gives students the opportunity to pick their own public school, charter school, private school, online learning option, private tutoring, or homeschooling option, and make the state responsible for equity in funding."

For more information, Education Freedom for Oregon website has information about the petitions, events on gathering signatures, and print and mail petitions.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-01 19:41:08Last Update: 2024-04-01 16:35:41



Oregon Funds More Reproductive Health Programming
U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments to roll back access to abortion pills

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the first abortion-related case the court has taken since the court struck down the Roe vs Wade in 2022. The current case would limit access to the abortion pill mifepristone, a FDA-approved drug. Mifepristone, also known as RU 486, is a synthetic steroid used to terminate pregnancies up to week 10 of pregnancy.

While Oregon Democrats would have you believe that this is all about a doctors ability to assist patients seeking reproductive health care, it is a play on words. While nationwide access to abortion could be curtailed again, the judges appeared not to be impressed.

Still, Oregon Democrats used the occasion to highlight grants issued last week as a result of their work to ensure that access to care in Oregon is protected and strengthened across the state.

Representative Andrea Valderrama (D-Outer East Portland) led the efforts for grant funding said, “When there’s no silver lining in the headlines coming out of D.C. today, we have a lot to be proud of here in Oregon as the work we did is going out into communities to increase access to abortion care across our state. These grants show a commitment to ensuring longer-term, systemic investments to protect and increase access to abortion care for all Oregonians.”

They neglect to mention the nearly 1,000 aborted lives every month. How many lives are taxpayers ending by awarding 23 organizations $8.5 million to fund abortion healthcare access and affordability barriers faced by marginalized Oregon communities.

Democrats worked to approve funding for the Reproductive Health Equity Fund for projects, programs, and organizations focused on expanding reproductive health equity through: 1) provider workforce and other care investments; 2) direct support for people seeking abortion and other reproductive services; 3) community-based outreach and education; and 4) research.

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The Reproductive Health Equity Fund began in March 2022 with a $15 million allocation from the Oregon Legislature to address gaps in Oregon’s reproductive healthcare infrastructure and expand access for the state’s most vulnerable populations.

“Money and distance should never stand between an Oregonian and the basic health care they deserve – no exceptions. I’m proud that our state is doing what’s right for our people and their health,” said Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber (D-Beaverton & SW Portland).

“As Democrats, we will always work to protect access to abortion care in Oregon no matter what The Supreme Court decides,” said House Majority Leader Ben Bowman (D-Tigard, Metzger, & S. Beaverton).

It appears the Majority Leaders are following in their predecessor’s footsteps.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-31 20:39:39Last Update: 2024-03-30 22:40:50



Salem Police File Charges of Mail Theft
Individuals can now check for missing documents

Salem Police patrol officers arrested Ross Benjamin Sierzega, a 33-year-old Salem man, without incident on multiple warrants stemming from a nearly two-year investigation by Felony Crimes Unit detectives into incidents of mail theft and related crimes in the Salem area. The Salem Felony Crimes Unit detectives finished sorting through all the documents seized as part of a lengthy mail theft investigation.

Following the arrest, a search warrant was served in partnership with the United States Postal Inspection Service at Sierzega’s apartment in the 3300 block of Crawford ST SE. The search of the dwelling resulted in the seizure of two lock cores from community mailboxes, several counterfeit mailbox keys and tools to manufacture the counterfeit keys, multiple checks, bank cards, and financial documents not in Sierzega’s name, and approximately 30 pounds of mail. In addition to the evidence collected, detectives seized a short-barreled shotgun and home-made body armor.

To help expedite the return of hundreds of personal documents to their rightful owners, a webpage with information has been created. Residents who suspect they may have lost documents through theft can determine if they are on the list of individuals who can recover their property.

Things to know: All residents should note, any unopened mail collected as part of this investigation will be returned by the US Postmaster.

Any Salem residents who have been a victim of mail theft but have not yet reported it, should do so at salempd.info/online-report. Theft of mail should also be reported to the US Postal Inspection Service online or by calling 1-877-876-2455.

Detectives urge any victims of identity theft to visit the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft website, for helpful information and recommend an identity theft alert be registered with the three major consumer reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

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Sierzega is currently in custody of the US Marshals Service on federal charges related to this investigation. In addition to 11 outstanding Oregon warrants, Sierzega was charged with the following: Sierzega will make his initial appearance in federal court March 26, on a federal warrant, which was based on charges of mail theft, aggravated identity theft, and bank fraud. Under US Code, manufacture of a counterfeit mail key carries a maximum sentence of 10 years upon conviction.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-28 18:51:25Last Update: 2024-03-29 00:00:46



School Choice, a Way Out of Systemic Racism
Education Freedom, a series on “Why School Choice”

Editors note: This is the third in a five-part series on School Choice Initiatives aimed for the November 2024 election ballot.

School choice may answer a catalog of ways that schools are systematically structured so as to foster racism. The monopoly of a public school system creates an inability to find a market solution to discrimination, and all the answers evolve around funding, which goes to the district and not to students.

Oregon is considered to be a high spending school system, but ranks as one of the worst five states for student to teacher ratio contributing to a low quality of education. Teacher salaries are above average, still teacher unions blame low results on underpaid teachers. The state makes the case that minorities and low-income have a harder time and depress the graduation rates, so they have overwhelmed schools with equality policies.

What did Oregon do? They passed a Corporate Access Tax (CAT), implemented equity standards, instituted confusing gender identity into all curriculum, and dropped graduation standards. In 2023 Oregon was added to the list of states identified as “dumbing down education.” For the past decade, Oregon legislation has focused on boosting education for minorities until it is approaching reverse discrimination. Equity standards focus on the lowest denominator, which translates as no standards. No standards have been shown to foster meritocracy, and meritocracy is colorblind.

Oregon's response included a costly Student Success Act, initially funded with $2 billion by the Corporate Access Tax (CAT), which should have improved Oregon’s ranking since it was passed in May 2019, in time to combat the pandemic. The biennium funding from CAT has grown to $2.8 billion for 2023-25. Fifty percent was proposed to go directly to school districts for top local priorities in specific areas, distributed through grant requests.

Twenty percent goes towards early learning, and House Bill 2025 extended the pre-school age range to include prenatal through age three services using $193.5 million to fund a $365.4 million budget. Some question whether prenatal is a qualified expenditure that actually should be supported by the Oregon Health Authority. It is close to the amount needed to initially implement school choice.

Thirty percent is dedicated to creating new programs and expanding existing programs that serve African American/Black Students, LGBTQ2SIA+ and now includes five different Student Success Plans for the underserved. It also funds the High School Success program to help students stay on track through high school and graduate on time. Putting $840 million into the underserved seems to be funding an empire of programs that miss the mark parents and voters were promised for the cost of CAT. The commitment to improving equity by increasing access and opportunities for historically marginalized students is a major deception of the education system for which school choice presents parents a way out.

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Those who say school choice has racist roots are implying that parents, especially lower-income, black parents, should stay trapped in public schools that have failed their children for decades. School choice was originally brought about to support freed blacks. The federal government provided support for freed blacks through the Freedmen’s Bureau building all-black public schools, and converting black independent schools into public schools. History tells a story of how socialism removed school choice and segregated public education, which made it impossible for them to flee discrimination.

Oregon’s equity policy is aimed at the underserved, which is code for minorities, low-income families, and documented or undocumented residence. School choice breaks the arbitrary link between a child’s housing situation and the school they can attend. This means the price of home a family can afford no longer determines their child’s access to a quality education. School choice equalizes access to a quality education for all races and nationalities. Why then does Oregon leadership oppose school choice when they claim to be the guardians of the underserved?

School choice, IP 5 and IP 6, presents a way out of systemic racism by allowing students (of all colors and nationalities) who want to leave their assigned government school, to find an alternative, and still improve education for students who remain in their assigned public school.

For more information, Education Freedom for Oregon website has information about the petitions, events on gathering signatures, and print and mail petitions.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-26 12:50:38Last Update: 2024-03-26 23:11:25



Is Oregon Headed For the First State Property Tax?
We made progress towards a state property tax

Oregon voters escaped a battle when House Joint Resolution 201 was left in committee on adjournment. Representative Paul Evans (D-Salem, Independence) crafted and requested the bill’s introduction. The Act would put in the constitution a state tax on property to fund public safety.

Rep. Evans writes, “Even though we did not pass House Joint Resolution 201, we made progress because it forced advocates to show up. For too long cities and counties have tried to publicly deny the necessity of real property tax reforms. Since 1991, the State of Oregon has paid an exponentially increased amount of “traditional local government services” that has led to disinvestment in traditionally state-funded enterprises – colleges, universities, and state police have suffered because of the necessary backfilling required to keep public schools open and local governments functioning."

The delusion of support comes from Rep. Evans own testimony and two others testifying in support and 17 in opposition. There are 1,458 written opposition, and 8 in support, but 4 are identical written by Evans.

One of the supporters wrote, “I want to encourage you to pass this insane bill. I hope you will mislead the voters about how much it will eventually cost, make sure the implementation requires as many new government employees as possible and further increase the tax bill for Oregonians so that we can leave no doubt where we rank on a national level for tax burden. Making any connection between the liberal approach to homelessness and the subsequent resulting need for further safety related expenses should of course be avoided.”

Rep. Evans wants to call it reform while passing a new tax that increases taxation. "HJR 201 put forward a new approach to funding necessary services through reforming property tax methodology. The reaction to the measure demonstrated the need for something like it – we simply do not have the resources available to fund statewide emergency services – and it is time to find a solution.”

Kevin Chambers is running against Evans for House District 20. As a business owner and advocate for public safety, he says, "We should be utilizing our resources via productive managed logging and management of our forests to drive more revenue. Simply put, Rep. Evans continues to utilize people and their wallets as a resource and mismanaging our tax dollars, instead of using our natural resources like timber. To many Oregonians are playing bill roulette as it is, yet Rep. Evans wants to make them pay more even though Oregonians already have less."

The Oregon State Fire Fighters Council saw dollar signs and testified regarding the need for fire districts. Lane County Intergovernmental Relations Manager, Alex Cuyler, wrote on the ice storm damage experienced in Lane County and said that federal emergency Public Assistance funds only paid for 75% of the costs. He supports this “modest, shared by all” tax that HJR 201 would generate even though it isn't an emergency fund.

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Taxpayers Association of Oregon published an alert to voters and taxpayers: This was not Rep. Evans first attempt and he made it clear that he will be back with another bill next session, if reelected. His plan would add $100 in property taxes to a modest valued home, but once passed, the legislature could increase the rate with a majority vote because it wouldn’t be a new tax.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-22 12:50:53Last Update: 2024-03-22 20:00:50



School Choice Initiatives Promote Student Safety and Parent Involvement
Education Freedom, a series on “Why School Choice”

Editors note: This is the second in a five-part series on School Choice Initiatives aimed for the November 2024 election ballot.

School choice isn't a Republican vs. Democrat battle. IP 5 and IP 6 is a "parents know their children and know which learning environment their children need," according to chief petitioner Donna Kreitzberg.

School choice increases parents’ involvement in their children’s education, according to an AEI Research report. In an evaluation of the D.C.’s school choice, Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), researchers detailed dramatic increases in parental involvement. They reported, “Our research suggests that one of the most positive consequences of the OSP is that parental involvement with their child’s education has increased. Parents of high school, middle school and elementary students across both cohorts in the first and second year of the OSP emphatically stated that their parental involvement had dramatically increased when their children entered the OSP program.” This especially held true for low-income families that did not own a home or car. “This realization suggested that most OSP parents were essentially moving from the margins to the center of their children’s academic development.”

Chief petitioner Kreitzberg, lists some of the reasons parents have for wanting education options: School choice is not a private vs public school issue either. One parent expressed satisfaction with his son’s public school, until the lockdown came. His son did not do well with a self-discipline internet program and quickly fell behind. To keep up he learned how to game the program. Recognizing his son wasn’t learning anything, he was financially able to enroll him in private school where he is excelling. But not every one was financially able to take their child out of a failing situation and reeducation has contributed to behavioral problems.

Another parent’s son dropped out of high school in fear of all the violence allowed to take place without consequences. He was fortunate to find a private high school with an opening where his son could finish and graduate.

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The Heritage Foundation reported that school choice options can help students escape communities where bullying, gang related violence, or other school violence is common. This was proven in research that found school choice participants were half as likely to commit felonies and misdemeanors as those who went to their local public school.

Abigail Shrier, researcher and best-selling author warns parents that current school policies are not your friend. In an interview with Glen Beck she says when they tell a parent to have the mental health expert talk to your kid, they aren’t your friend either. The last epidemic was encouraged by school counselors. That’s what they are told to do, affirm a child transgender identity and deceive parents. The school policy was, and still is in many places, to lie to the parents. Contributing is the social-emotional learning exercise that refers to parents as caregivers and outsiders and the trusted adults are the teachers and counselors. The effort to undermine parent-child relationships is real. Australia and UK peer review research studies both proved that the coping techniques taught the student to dwell from their negative self, which for a child revolves around the person responsible for them – their parent becomes the focus of their trauma. The study showed it made them sadder, more anxious, and more alienated from their parents.

Kreitzberg says, “With a robust school choice program, public schools have the opportunity and incentive to respond--many begin to listen more to parents' concerns at school board meetings and deliver a product that serves the students better. Just like in any industry, public schools will adapt and compete for students. Public schools can choose to shape their school culture or personality to what appeals to parents and students in their area--STEM, music, technology, outdoorsy, etc.”

For more information, Education Freedom for Oregon website has information about the petitions, events on gathering signatures, and print and mail petitions.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-21 13:23:01Last Update: 2024-03-20 22:19:50



Governor Kotek Asked to Veto Medical Interpreter Bill
Healthcare bill gives big union financial and political kickbacks

Oregon Governor Kotek has until April 17 to sign, veto or pass without a signature Senate Bill 1578. SB 1578 will force a government-run healthcare interpreter scheduling system while providing major financial and political kickbacks to AFSCME and well-known Democrat activist organization Unite Oregon.

Republican Legislators write Governor Kotek to veto SB 1578. "At best, SB 1578 is a costly solution in search of a problem. At worst, it is a bill that creates a redundant and inferior state-run healthcare interpreter scheduling system – with unknown costs - for the express purpose of helping a labor union achieve its objective of organizing the interpreter workforce and funneling state money to politically connected non-profits that also act as activists for the Democrat party."

This bill was at the request of Lamar Wise, AFSCME. Wise is the statewide political director for the Oregon chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Patients and healthcare professionals did not ask for this bill. This bill was strictly pushed by Wise seeking to embed this program deeper into union operations, which will result in: Willamette Week reported that Senator Cedric Hayden (R-Roseburg), noted the bill described the desired nonprofit’s attributes precisely—it “works with certified and qualified health care interpreters and individuals from immigrant, refugee, low-income and rural communities.” That describes Portland-based nonprofit Unite Oregon.

When Hayden asked Wise if AFSCME had “hand-picked” a likely nonprofit, he responded, “We know there are a few organizations that fit that description. We have also been working closely with Unite Oregon.” He added that his union nevertheless expected a competitive bidding process.

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Another controversy is over Senator Kayse Jama (D-East Portland, Clackamas) involvement being the founder of Unite Oregon. The letter points out political favors for AFSCME and Unite Oregon as intended beneficiaries of this bill. “Both entities were lobbying side-by-side. The flow of money from this bill is articulated by the recent Willamette Week article. Replace “Unite Oregon” with “Oregon Right to Life” and tell us how you would analyze this bill. The obvious expenditure of taxpayer resources to favored political organizations is becoming more prevalent and needs to stop. It is akin to political money laundering. It is well known that Unite Oregon performed canvassing activities for many Democrats in the legislature and was openly hostile to Republican legislators during the deliberations on HB 4002 this session. The fact that Unite Oregon was already awarded $3 million in SB 1530 to purchase a property on East Burnside to develop affordable housing – well beyond the scope of their mission statement and core competency, is equally dubious.”

Jama founded the Center for Intercultural Organizing in 2002, which later became Unite Oregon in 2016 after merging with Oregon Action. Jama stepped down as Executive Director after his appointment to serve as Senator for District 24. The question is whether Jama has a potential conflict of interest from his relationship with Unite Oregon as founder and his leverage for their financial gain received under SB 1530 and potential financial gain under SB 1578. He did not declare a conflict of interest for either bill.

Residents can request the Governor to veto the legislation here.


--Dollie Banner

Post Date: 2024-03-20 12:31:34Last Update: 2024-03-20 00:27:58



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