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

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

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

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

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

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

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
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kotek, Bynum, and Read should Know Better than to Solicit Campaign Donations from City Governments

Editor Note: McHaddad’s opinion on Oregon politics was first run on Right Now Oregon on April 18, 2024

I recently ended my tenure as the City Administrator/Recorder of Sodaville, Oregon, a position that saw frequent interactions with political leaders. Governor Tina Kotek, obviously, steered clear of our community during her “One Oregon Tour” (which I called the “Some Oregon” Tour) in which certain communities were visited or at least contacted by the Governor’s office to learn about local issues and others were not.

One of the more annoying types of communication streams from politicians was the unsolicited inclusion of the City’s official email in campaign mailing list. Representative Janelle Bynum and State Treasurer Tobias Read, both seeking higher office, added the City’s email and proceeded with a discourteous barrage of fundraising solicitations.

This lovely donation request to the City arrived in the inbox March 12:

Hi team – It’s Governor Tina Kotek here.

This November, Oregon’s Fifth Congressional District’s voters will have the opportunity to choose a new, brighter future for their community. That’s why I’m reaching out on behalf of my good friend, Janelle Bynum, who is running for Congress to give OR-05 a true champion in Congress. I’ll explain more in a minute, but can I count on you to join me in supporting her campaign by making a contribution today?

Governor Tina Kotek

Coincidentally, Treasurer Read’s campaign manager sent a solicitation email to the City that same day.

Tobias is one of the smartest and hardest working people I know, and he has what it takes to restore trust and accountability in state government.

The strategy of adding municipal government emails to donation solicitation emails may have made sense to whichever out of state consultants who devised it. At worst, all these campaigns are doing is clogging up the City’s email inbox. What dismays me is how carelessly they cast aside community concerns in favor of seeking campaign donations.

Governor Kotek did not connect with Sodaville during the “One Oregon” Tour, continuing the pattern of choosing winners and losers among rural communities honed during her ghastly tenure as Speaker. Treasurer Read is running a tight ship at the Treasury that maintains excellent services for local governments, but never reached out to discuss what he could offer the community by holding Oregon’s second highest office.

Representative Bynum incurred the brunt of my acrimony, frequently railing about a fictitious version of Congresswoman Lori Chavez-DeRemer’s abortion stance while never once reaching out to Sodaville to uncover the brutal extent of Santiam River dam drawdowns on the community. Congresswoman Chavez-DeRemer, on the other hand, put her staff on the case during a crisis and maintained excellent communications. But please, Rep. Bynum, tell me more about how I should give money to someone who does not care about the true issues her community faces.



Focusing on fundraising instead of problem-solving in a community ravaged by a federally-instigated ecological catastrophe gives exactly nobody in the 5th Congressional District confidence that Rep. Bynum will arrive in Washington prepared to help. Former Santa Clara, CA City Councilor Jamie McLeod-Skinner, the other Democratic CD5 candidate, never reached out about the dam drawdown issue but neither did she take the bizarre step of soliciting funds from a city that spent an unbudgeted $100k on dealing with the 2023 Santiam River dam drawdowns.

I fully expect mainline Oregon Democratic candidates to treat rural communities as punching bags until they are no longer in power. Whoever assembled the mailing lists for Treasurer Read and Rep. Bynum apparently operated under the errant notion that rural municipalities are piggy banks for Democratic political campaigns rather than valued constituencies who can help elected officials make smart policy benefiting all of Oregon. This intentionally callous pattern of indifference outside of begging is what keeps me from taking the leadership of the Democratic Party of Oregon seriously.

--Alex McHaddad

Post Date: 2024-04-22 18:40:06Last Update: 2024-04-22 19:22:03

Will the Real ‘Oregon Gun Rights’ Please Stand Up
Stand off on gun rights in Oregon Senate District 2

It's campaign season, the time when politicians try and make voters forget their mistakes and make new promises they have no plans to keep. Voters expect some level of truth.

Christine Goodwin has exposed herself to criticism with her mailer sent to Oregon Senate District 2. The mailer is titled, “Solid Record of Protecting Gun Rights.” Goodwin calls herself, “A Friend to Gun Owners & Strong Defender of the Second Amendment”. Next to that she writes “Voted no on making law abiding gun owners into criminals (HB 2005,2023)”.

In the middle is a statement, “The only Candidate Endorsed By Oregon Gun Rights.” This statement received the backlash from the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF) Director Kevin Starrett. He says he has never seen or heard of anyone claiming that name speak or submit testimony on any gun bill. “After almost 30 years as advocates for Second Amendment rights, we can tell you we have no idea who “Oregon Gun Rights” is. They are not listed as a business by the Secretary of State. They are not a political action committee.”

“Oregongunrights.com” is the URL for the law firm of Gilroy, Napoli, Short. Their website lists OFF as an “affiliate or partner” but Starrett claims no affiliation with them exists. However, “Oregon Gun Rights” is a website address, not a company or organization. So exactly who or what “endorsed” Goodwin?

Goodwin is running for the seat that will be open due to Art Robinson being denied reelection for standing up for principles that caused Senators to walk out in 2023. Senator Robinson has been a committed defender of Second Amendment rights, and son Noah, who has worked beside Art throughout his tenure in the Senate, has filed to run for Senate District 2. Goodwin’s challenge to reach gun owners seems to be to eliminate any lost votes over gun issues.

Starrett points out that the reason Art Robinson is being denied to run for reelection, the House Republicans could have walked out and killed HB 2005 along with HB 2002 and saved our kids at no risk to their status, but they refused. By showing up for the vote was a vote for the bill because they knew it would pass even if they voted no.

Goodwin even posed on the Capitol steps with other Oregon Republicans with a giant fake check for a social media photo about a lawsuit they never filed and will no longer discuss. All of this stretches what her mailer claims and puts in question her claim of being a “friend of gun owners” or a “strong defender of the Second Amendment.”

Currently Goodwin is involved in a controversy regarding whether she actually lives in the Senate District whose seat she is seeking. The group of Josephine County voters dropped their lawsuit, but will refile if Goodwin wins the primary.

--Dollie Banner

Post Date: 2024-04-21 16:00:59Last Update: 2024-04-21 16:01:23

Governor Kotek Signs $30 Million Bill for Summer Learning
Parents and taxpayers want to see results

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek hosted a signing ceremony for House Bill 4082, which legislators passed and the Governor signed this year to provide $30 million in state funding for summer learning opportunities across Oregon. Parents and taxpayers have a right to question what they can expect.

In 2016, voters passed Measure 99 establishing the “Outdoor School Education Fund” sourced from state lottery proceeds to support outdoor school programs. The fund supports outdoor school programs, focusing on the environment, natural resources, economic development, and related careers.

In 2021, Governor Brown announced $250 million federal funds for a Summer Learning and Child Care Package to address the education gap they experienced from the pandemic.

In 2022, the Biden administration made summer learning a top strategy for school districts. Oregon received $680 million through the Coronavirus Local Recovery Fund from the $1.1 billion total received from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. The Future Ed analysis found that summer learning and afterschool programs make up nearly a quarter of the academic recovery investments. President Biden instructed schools to use the $122 billion in ARP funds to provide high-quality tutoring, summer learning and enrichment, and afterschool programs that are proven pathways to helping students make up for lost learning time and succeed in school and in life.

HB 4082 adds another $30 million to summer programs that, so far, haven’t produced academic results. The funding means an estimated 48,000 students out of 574,799 students across Oregon will benefit from this summer learning program.

The bill also creates a workgroup to develop recommendations for sustainable long-term funding for summer. What about developing a program with accountability that produces results? What better use for the lottery funds already approved?

Governor Kotek said, “Our goals must be student-centered to reduce opportunity gaps for historically underserved students and raise the bar on outcomes for all students. And we have to help families know their children have a safe, welcoming place to learn during the summer months and after school.”

“In Oregon, summer is another season for learning,” said Dr. Charlene Williams, director of the Oregon Department of Education. “This summer, students should grab their notebooks, pens, curiosity and hiking shoes and get ready for a summer of learning and adventure. Summer learning is not summer school. In Oregon, it's a season of creative thinking, problem solving and engaging, hands-on learning.”



Additionally, Governor Kotek gave an update on the commitment she made to address core issues that educators have raised about the funding necessary to improve outcomes for students across Oregon. Governor Kotek said her office and the Oregon Department of Education are working on: “Our basic approach to funding K-12 education is more than 30 years old,” Governor Kotek said. “It’s time to review and update.” Is she trying to get ahead of the school choice popularity? Parents and taxpayers want to see results and funding isn't the issue.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-19 22:38:37Last Update: 2024-04-19 23:03:00

Oregon CHIPS Act is Silicon Forest’s Latest Sugar Daddy
Oregon CHIPS Act is costing taxpayers $212.5 million

No matter which way you look at it, the Oregon CHIPS Act is costing taxpayer millions. The Act was passed in 2023 with a $210 million price tag. House Bill 4098, specifically provided that $190 million be allocated for grants and loans to semiconductor companies, $10 million for research at universities and $10 million to help with land development costs. But before it could be spent, Governor Kotek has robbed the fund of $5 million to help fund the new Oregon CHIPS Child Care Fund. So, which fund is she robing in Senate Bill 4 (2023)?

SB 4 authorizes the Governor to make final decisions allowing grants to exceed the $25 million limit and to give preference to disadvantaged individuals. House Bill 4098 allocates $2.5 million, plus the Governor's new exercise of power brings the total starting capacity of the fund to $7.5 million.

Governor Kotek said, “Every family should have access to affordable, quality child care options when they need them. With the Oregon CHIPS Child Care Fund, Oregon is taking up the call from the Biden-Harris Administration to set a plan in place to address child care supply and affordability for apprentices and journey workers in the semiconductor supply chain. This initial investment expedites the opportunity to support working families in Oregon.”

What seems to be a generous grant to allow parents to retrain in an up-and-coming industry that needs workers, it creates questions of constitutionality and government picking winners and losers. Testimony brought out “entitlement” and socialism shifting taxpayer funds from needed services to growing government. Others think it’s another step towards putting all pre-school children under government control. “Any time responsibility is abrogated, there is a price attached.”

“Access to affordable, high-quality child care is crucial for fostering workforce diversity and ensuring equal opportunities in emerging industries,” Labor Commissioner Christina Stephenson said. “We’re so excited to build on the established program housed at the Bureau of Labor and Industries to provide child care support to even more members of the building and construction trades. The CHIPS Child Care fund will not only help more Oregonians enter the building and construction trades by providing subsidies for child care during apprenticeship, but also help those same working families stay in the trade by continuing to provide support after recent graduation.”



“A skilled workforce is the backbone of a business, and Oregonians with families cannot thrive without having safe, local, child care options they can afford,” Business Oregon Director Sophorn Cheang said. “This program plays a big part in addressing this need within the semiconductor sector and can serve as a model for other industries in years to come.”

The Oregon CHIPS Child Care Fund directs Business Oregon to work with the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) to build off of the agency’s existing successful Apprenticeship-Related Child Care (ARCC) program to help fund child care for workers in the semiconductor supply chain. House Bill 4098 also directs funding to the existing Business Oregon Child Care Infrastructure Program to help support critical child care investments in regions where CHIPS Act investments are being made.

Business Oregon will enter into an interagency agreement with BOLI to develop and administer the Oregon CHIPS Child Care Fund. Business Oregon will also establish a work group to adopt recommendations for requiring certain businesses to make a financial contribution to the CHIPS Child Care Fund. The work group will report to the committees of the Legislative Assembly related to child care and workforce development by November 15, 2024.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-18 20:13:54Last Update: 2024-04-18 20:47:14

GOP Women Legislators Write to OSAA to Protect Women in Sports
Transgender athlete competes in Sherwood meet

The women of the House and Senate Republican Caucuses sent a letter to OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber urging the OSAA Board of Directors to take immediate action to protect equal rights of women in high school sports by only allowing biological women to competing in girls’ sports.

According to its website, The Oregon School Activities Association is a non-profit, board-governed organization comprised of its member schools, both private and public. The OSAA is dedicated to ensuring equitable competition for Oregon high school students through OSAA-sponsored events. The foundation for that goal lies in a belief that no school, team or individual should be treated as any more or less than another.

An Oregon high school, McDaniel High, came under fire when Aayden Gallagher, a 10th-grader transgender athlete was able to compete against girls at a meet in Sherwood. Gallagher was seen in one clip blowing away the competition in a heat for the 200-meter, sparking outrage on social media. Aayden Gallagher finished as high as second place in the event.



Legislators write to Weber:

We write to you today as women who have had the honor of making significant achievements in our respective lives and who use those achievements to serve the people of Oregon. We have worked to live up to the examples of the women who came before, and we strive to be an example to the young girls who will be here after us.

It is in this context that we bring to your attention the unfortunate situation that transpired at McDaniel High School in Sherwood this past weekend. Ayden Gallagher, a male student, competed in the Sherwood Need for Speed Classic in the girls’ division, placing top ten in three competitions.

Policy 38, “Gender Identity Participation” (Page 80) of the 2023-2024 OSAA Handbook says that your gender identity rule “promotes harmony and fair competition among member schools”.

Sadly, this policy has precisely the opposite of its stated effect. Instead of promoting harmony, it has sparked outrage. Instead of ensuring fair competition, a biological male has found a place in the female sports record books. Any girls’ title held by a male is not a girls’ title at all.

This policy leads us to conclude that the OSAA and the State of Oregon do not deem girls and girls’ sports worthy of protecting and that the records they set are not meaningful. Additionally, this policy creates opportunities for male students who are unable to compete at the highest levels against their male peers to compete instead in female sports and break records that are rightfully held by girls. We hope that you can provide a solution to the families seeking answers about why the OSAA doesn’t feel girls’ sports should be a safe space for biological females to compete and succeed.

In the meantime, we are left with no choice but to pursue the following actions:
  1. Seek a statutory change via legislation in the 2025 Session to remove all records set by male students allowed to compete in girls’ sports and award those achievements to the biological female student(s) who should have received the record or award. This will include a special report OSAA will be required to issue recognizing these corrected achievements.
  2. Encourage parents and girls in Oregon to stand up to your miscarriage of duty by withdrawing from competitions in which male athletes are allowed to participate until such time as the OSAA rescinds its unfair “gender identity” policy.
It brings us significant pain to see girls’ achievements go unrecognized because of your policy. We hope that you will not only join us in finding a solution to this matter, but also see the need to protect girls’ spaces and accomplishments.

Signers included: Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer), Senator Suzanne Weber (R-Tillamook), Representative Christine Goodwin (R-Canyonville), Representative Anna Scharf (R-Amity), Representative Bobby Levy (R-Echo), Representative Emily McIntire (R-Eagle Point), Representative Kim Wallan (R-Medford), Representative Lucetta Elmer (R-McMinnville), Representative Jami Cate (R-Lebanon), Representative Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany), Representative Tracy Cramer (R-Gervais), Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville)

The Sherwood meet is not the only public high school permitting transgenders to compete against girls. Transgenders have been allowed to compete in girl's high school basketball for several years. Biological differences may not be as apparent in the score, but in a competitive game, what coach wouldn't play their strongest players.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-04-18 11:33:47Last Update: 2024-04-22 12:18:36

Oregon Ranks 42nd in Economic Outlook
Performance variables are highly influenced by state policy

Committee to Unleash Prosperity released the 17th edition of “Rich States, Poor States”. The Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index is a comprehensive report that ranks the economic competitiveness of states using 15 equally weighted policy variables. The American Legislative Exchange Council Chief Economist and Executive VP, Jonathan Williams points out that the bluest and highest tax states are consistently the worst economic performers.

Oregon is currently ranked 42nd in the United States for its economic outlook, moving up one from the last report. This is a forward-looking forecast based on the state’s standing (equal-weighted average) in 15 important state policy variables. Data reflects state and local rates and revenues and any effect of federal deductibility. Oregon's worst and best: The top-heavy government employment is reflected in and the primary cause for the high tax rate.



Oregon is currently ranked 13th in the United States for its economic performance. The state ranks 25th in debt service as a share of tax revenue. The economic performance rank is a backward-looking measure based on the state’s performance (equal-weighted average) in three important performance variables shown below. These variables are highly influenced by state policy. The 15 rankings are equally weighted policy variables to determine economic outlook scores. These have been carefully selected as the most important markers of financial stability.

Oregon’s stability policies seem to be tied to rebalancing productivity gains or losses to offset and keep inflation in check. There seems to be no movement to change legislative policies that keep Oregon in the bottom 10.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-14 22:16:13Last Update: 2024-04-14 23:26:14

Who Really Owns the Land?
U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument case

Oregon has a history of trying policies that have failed in other states, never giving up on a failing project, or doing them bigger and more costly than required, and the forest industry is a prime example. The forest industry and rural communities in Oregon have been jolted by the decision made by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Board to pass the State Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The plan was developed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as a tool to “protect the interests of private landowners while encouraging management activities that benefit listed and other at-risk species.”

But, ODF has taken an optional tool that has nothing to do with the amount of timber harvested and used it to significantly reduce state forest timber harvests by upwards to 50 percent. ODF has developed a HCP with a 70-year plan, reducing revenues needed by over 30%, costing rural counties roughly $18 million per year, and exceeds habitat acres needed by 150% according to Oregon Forests Forever. It is also the reason OSU rejected managing the Elliott Research Forest.

While battling the ODF board, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it had rejected a consolidated case involving the Bureau of Land Management’s 2016 Resource Management Plans for Western Oregon O&C lands and the 2017 expansion of the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument.

Clark Judge, founder of the White House Writers Group political consultancy firm, credits the Oregon case, which would nearly double the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon, as a milestone in making the Supreme court aware of the problems associated with executive abuses of power, even though the court refused to hear the case.

The timber industry lawsuit argued environmental restrictions associated with the national monument unlawfully prohibited most logging on federal forestland, which had been dedicated to “sustained yield” timber production.

Tim Bishop, the AFRC’s attorney, said of the setback, “Those appellate decisions reinforce the BLM’s tendency to treat its forestlands as being meant for multiple use even though timber harvest is supposed to be the dominant use by law. As a result, BLM can reclassify at any time as not timberland and place a greater emphasis on recreation and environmental protection on 2.5 million acres of BLM forestland in Oregon that should be devoted to logging.”

How did the federal government get so much power when it is limited by the U.S. Constitution on the land it can own? The National Center for Constitutional Studies writes, “With the power of private property firmly in mind the Founders clearly set forth necessary limitations in the Constitution so that the national government will not accumulate much property itself. The thought was to leave it to the people who will use, care for, develop, subdue, and gain dominion over it in a manner which will bless the lives of all the people and lead to greater and greater permanent prosperity."

There were, however, a few reasons to have the national government own property: for a seat of government, for military uses, and for needful buildings. This is the very limited power given to Congress in the Constitution: To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings. (Art I, Sect. 8, Clause 17) It would also appear that this provision gives each state the right to assume title to all lands within its boundaries which the federal government is not using for the purposes specified in this section.

When Ohio was admitted into the Union in 1903, the government retained title to all of the public lands but assured the people that Ohio would acquire jurisdiction as soon as these lands could be sold to private individuals to help pay off the national debt. This, then, became the established policy for new states.

However, when the territory of the western states was acquired from Mexico, Congress radically digressed from the Constitution by virtually eliminating the sale or disposal of federal lands. The general policy was to permanently retain major portions of each of the western states for purposes not listed in the Constitution. This policy resulted in the government becoming the permanent owner and manager of an average of 35 percent of the landmass with Oregon being at 52%. Vast areas within these states are permanently designated as federal domain for national forests, national parks, national monuments, coal and oil reserves, lands leased for profit to ranchers or farmers, and huge tracts of land with valuable resources completely locked up as “wilderness areas.”



The National Center for Constitutional Studies states that the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that it isn’t the federal government's decision whether or not trees should be thinned out, whether or not ground cover should be periodically burned off, whether or not timber should be cut and replanted. These discussions do not belong in the federal sphere at all. They belong with people who will own and care for their own land, knowing they will be held responsible for any damage they might cause to a neighbor by mismanaging their land.

Along came Biden’s “30 by 30” initiative, which aims to impose conservation measures on 30% of American lands by 2030. “Given that the federal government already controls so much land in Western states, it’s expected to pursue that goal by using the Antiquities Act to create and expand more national monuments,” said Clark Judge. While the Act was passed to protect mostly prehistoric Native American ruins and artifacts, it was been abused by nearly every president.

The case filed in the Supreme Court convinced a federal judge that the Obama administration had misused its authority under the Antiquities Act to increase the national monument’s size. Judge said, “If the 30 by 30 initiative is a bomb of sorts, the Antiquities Act is its fuse, and I think it’s time to stop it before it goes off.”

The constitutional answer then is to turn the land back to the states and to millions of people. Studies have always shown that privately and state held land always had fewer fires, is cleaner, and produces more revenue than the land held by the federal government.

Judge said, “This is not the end. It is just the beginning.”

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-12 16:21:57Last Update: 2024-04-12 18:37:59

Griffin-Valade Releases Voting Engagement Toolkit
“These concerns have not diminished, and we anticipate they will continue to increase”

Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade (D-Portland) has released a civic engagement toolkit, aimed at helping organizations do voter registration and voter turnout work in the 2024 elections. According to a press release from her office, the tools included in the 2024 toolkit are official, non-partisan, research-backed and free to use with or without attribution to our office. Though they are described as non-partisan, most experts agree that increased turnout helps Democrats.

In a letter included with the toolkit, Griffin-Valade says, "Our hope is that this toolkit will make it easy for everyone to participate in civic engagement. The tools below are official, non-partisan, research-backed and free to use with or without attribution to our office.

"In this toolkit, you’ll find social media assets, sample emails, scripts and other tools to help you reach voters in Oregon. Many of you may have the ability to create materials of your own, and we welcome that. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office if you have any questions or need additional assistance with your own communications."



Part of the toolkit is some information to counteract what has been labeled "misinformation."

"False information about elections has led to increased threats and harassment targeting elections officials, culminating in the death of 7 people during and after the events of January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol. These concerns have not diminished, and we anticipate they will continue to increase during the 2024 election.

"Research shows the best way to prevent the spread of false information is to proactively reach people with accurate information, inoculating them against false information they may be exposed to later. This is referred to as “pre-bunking.”

The toolkit can be downbloaded from the Secretary of State's website.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-04-12 13:02:10Last Update: 2024-04-11 11:37:31

David Brock Smith’s Rise to Power
More selected than elected

Oregon State Senator David Brock Smith has wound his way to his current position and while his path is not unique, to some it is surprising. It's at least interesting.

David Brock Smith was elected as a Curry County Commissioner in 2012. Just six months later, Smith and David Itzen were faced with a recall effort. According to the article by Jane Stebbins in the Curry Coastal Pilot, the petitioners were “a dozen or so residents pursuing the recall because of their dissatisfaction with the county commission for trying to implement taxes, their alleged treatment of citizens at meetings and the “flip-flopping” -- notably pre-campaign promises not to tax people...”

A follow-up article called “Drive to Recall Petitioners gets Ugly”, reported that “Port Orford resident Paul Mohlin plans to file paperwork to get a restraining order against County Commissioner David Brock Smith, alleging that the elected official is harassing him and his son by spreading rumors about them.” Smith denied the allegation.

The article went on to describe Smith’s reaction to the petitions to recall him. “The commissioner recently asked Wedderburn Store owner Tori Belangie to remove recall petitions from her establishment, which she refused. ‘He didn't say, 'Take them out, or I'll kill you,' Belangie said. ‘He just said take them out.’ I don't intimidate well. I feel I'm doing a community service. We have the Constitutional right to do what we're doing; that's why we don't shoot each other anymore.”

"I was upset about it," said a man who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. "He wasn't so much threatening her as pressuring her. It infuriates me that someone would try to infringe upon the citizen's right to petition the government."

Smith said he merely mentioned his concerns to Belangie because, as a fellow business owner, any kind of petition or even election sign can affect one's business. He also noted that posting petitions without having someone there to verify each signature is illegal. "Circulators must witness the signing of signature by each individual and believe each individual is an elector," Smith said. "I didn't want her to get in trouble."



The recall effort which started out with a lot of support eventually failed due to a lack of signatures.

Election to the House of Representatives

David Brock Smith was again running for the office of Curry County Commissioner four years later in 2016, until the last moments before the filing deadline. Then, Smith electronically filed for the District 1 State Representative position at 4:44 p.m. and 21 seconds on March 8 and withdrew his candidacy from the county commissioner's position seconds after at 4:45 p.m.

In an article written by Devan Patel; “Filing mishap won't disqualify David Brock Smith from state race”, published in “The World” newspaper from Gold Beach, Smith stated; ”I took the SEL 150 to our district attorney's office, where he witnessed me signing it, and I asked him to file it for me ,… "I called him up at 4:30 p.m. and told him I needed to get it in before I filed. I stayed on the phone the entire time.”

Under ORS 249.170, if a person files for more than one lucrative office position without submitting a withdrawal first, all filings by the person would be invalid. In this case the officials allowed David Brock Smith to continue even though the withdrawal seemed to have been filed second.

State Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach, withdrew his candidacy the following day, leaving Smith as the only filed candidate whose name would appear on the Republican primary ballot. Smith said he was aware of Krieger's intention to resign before he submitted his candidate filing.

The article, “Krieger produces vote for Kaufman”, also published in “The World”, continues the story. An unnamed source stated, “… I am so dismayed and disappointed to see him [Wayne Krieger] engage in political dirty tricks and shenanigans by announcing his retirement as a representative at such a late date that only someone (David Brock Smith) with inside knowledge of the imminent retirement was able to file in a timely manner to get his name on the primary ballot. Since when is picking your own successor and depriving the voting populace that right a fair and noble act? Shame on you, Wayne!”



The article continues; “Tami Kaufman told me months ago that she was interested in running for Wayne's seat in the House of Representatives when he retired. She told me that out of respect she would never consider challenging him while he was still in office. She too praised the job he had done and expressed her respect for him. Because of the dirty politics played by Messrs. Krieger and Smith, Tami Kaufman was unable to file in time to have her name on the May primary ballot. She is now faced with the uphill battle of waging a write-in campaign.” Brock Smith won the race.

Appointment to State Senate in 2023

David Brock Smith again profited from an early retirement when Senator Dallas Heard resigned mid-term and endorsed Smith as his replacement. Dallas Heard’s resignation was effective January 1st, 2023, Smith was one of 5 nominee’s chosen at a Special Election just days later, and was then appointed by the Douglas, Coos and Curry County Commissioners on January 11th. That Special Election and Appointment process was riddled with anomalies introduced by the Secretary of States Office over disqualifications of candidates due to redistricting.

Court Boise, second cousin of Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice, filled the vacancy created by Smith’s advancement. Again, a vote by the people was circumvented.

Election to State Senate in 2024

Radio Host Rob Taylor’s contract with Bi-Coastal Media was canceled after an interview with Brock Smith that Smith did not like. Another guest in that interview, Diane Rich, had her newsletter advertisers advised by the Coos County Republican Chair that they should quit advertising in her newsletter.



David Brock Smith sent a message to the Vice Chair of the Douglas County Republican Party, Michaela Hammerson, that advised her and her associates, that if she or other members of her board got caught up with “misinformation” from the Rob Taylor Show, there could be legal repercussions.

Republican Party Board members that have insisted on the need to vet David Brock Smith are feeling the heat with dismissals of 2 committee chair positions and the pending recalls of 6 Board members scheduled for April 18th.

David Brock Smith has recently issued Cease and Desist letters to his political opponent Todd Vaughn, podcast owner Rob Taylor and RUCPAC’s Ben Edtl.

--Terry Noonkester

Post Date: 2024-04-11 10:43:13Last Update: 2024-04-11 11:37:59

State Land Board Approves Elliott Management Structure
A billion-dollar asset management plan won’t break even

OSU formed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of State Lands (DSL) and then spent 5 years and millions of dollars, and put hundreds out of work to come up with a 640 page student-type project for the Elliott Research Forest. OSU bailed from the agreement with DSL, so DSL decided to take over management itself. They inherited a committee that includes three lawyers to forge a way to spend $5 million that was allocated for DSL. They have now presented to the State Land Board a plan rewritten by the lawyers scrapping the plan written by the academics at OSU. It shows a lack of input from stakeholders and experienced people in forest management.

At one point the Elliott Forest was worth a billion dollars in timber and Bob Zybach Ph.D, Environmental Scientist, says it could easily be worth that again with the right forest management plan. In 1962 they logged 50 million feet a year for 30 years and at the end of that time the trees were 30 years older and had a lot more volume than when they started. When the environmentalist took over, they recommended 17 million feet a year, but when it grows 75 million feet, it’s a recipe for more forest fires. Having more growth doesn’t mean the forest will get huge and beautiful – they just get old, diseased, taken out by landslides and fires or die.

Environmentalist want to set up a 70-year plan that supposedly saves a bird that lives in the ocean because they want to save old growth trees. However, what they claim is not factual. There are very few old growth trees in the Elliott Forest, says Zybach. It isn’t critical habitat for spotted owls or marbled murrelets, they are making that up because the law allows them to do so, and they have three lawyers willing to fool the public.

The Elliott has been in decline for 30 years, so we are at a critical point where we have to start managing it again or it’s going to burn.

The proposed plan will only make enough to cover costs for basic maintenance when combined with selling carbon credits. OSU backed out of the management because of the carbon credit scheme. Selling carbon credits will allow the buyer to spew additional carbon into the environment over their carbon limit based on the amount of credits purchased. It does nothing to reduce carbon in the environment, and when the trees burn or die, all that carbon is released anyway. Where logging seals the carbon in the wood and could provide affordable housing.

Every time you cut a million board feet of trees, the standard is it creates 8.8 jobs, and if you cut 50 million board feet, it would be 440 jobs in some of our smallest communities that are really hurting for jobs.

The State Land Board meeting April 9 considered for about 10 minutes, the Elliott State Research Oversight Structure framing the operation for management by the Department of State Lands. The actual plan for management is still in the working stage.

Dr. Zybach testified that the operations of HCP that continues is a catastrophe pointing to the drawbacks of having the state manage the forest.

Two legislators testified that the board should take time to review alternative plans before making a decision.



Representative Court Boice (R-South Coast, home of the Elliott Forest) testified regarding the devastation to his district from fires and damage to the recovery of fish populations. He presented five requests written in detail:
  1. Clear under brush and ladder fuels.
  2. Sell 50 million feet of 50-60-year-old plantations immediately.
  3. Document rhetorical 550 miles of roads and trails.
  4. Take additional time to design and develop a productive partnerships.
  5. Take a reasonable portion of the 90,000 acres and make a state park that is funded by the harvest.
In the end, it was obvious the board had already decided to approve the framing structure, which puts DSL as manager. There were 23 written responses including 6 legislators, Oregon Advocates for School Trust Lands, Oregon Grange, Oregon Natural Resource Industries, Oregon Websites & Watersheds Project, Inc., and 13 individuals. All opposed having DSL continue with the framework they presented.

Governor Kotek closed the 3-0 vote by stating she isn’t a scientist and trust that the process will select an advisory committee with experts. Where is the science behind this vote?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-11 09:27:29Last Update: 2024-04-11 11:37:10

Governor Kotek Issues Notice of Potential Vetoes
Rural water treatment targeted

Oregon's Governor issued notice to cut budget items in Senate Bill 1530 and Senate Bill 5701 pursuant to Article V, section 15b, of the Oregon Constitution. Governor Tina Kotek has the option to provide notice to the Legislature that she is considering line-item vetoes for budget allocations from the 2024 legislative session.

The potential vetoes primarily relate to a series of one-time funding allocations in Section 9 of Senate Bill 1530, pending the receipt of additional information regarding new housing production resulting from the direct appropriations and related infrastructure projects.

“The legislative intent of this funding is to support shovel-ready projects that are essential for new housing production,” Governor Kotek said. “After the legislative session, my office began a review of each of the projects to confirm project scope, cost, timeline, feasibility, and the nexus to housing production and affordability.

“Before making final decisions, I am giving cities and districts the opportunity to provide more information to my office to confirm whether these funding allocations will result in the production of new housing within an acceptable timeline. This is part of my ongoing commitment to transparency, accountability, and outcomes with public funds, including direct appropriations.”

The Governor’s Office has identified seven projects where more information is needed to confirm a direct nexus to specific housing development sites or projects, in order for the projects to be supported moving forward.

The following funding allocations, totaling $14 million, are being considered for potential line-item vetoes. The Governor couldn't be more obvious on how she views rural Oregonians basic needs and preparedness. The homelessness that has previously congregated in metro areas has been spreading out into smaller communities that are not equipped to handle them. How can these areas be shovel-ready without adequate water treatment infrastructure? Besides homeless making an unsightly mess, the major stress on infrastructure is the use of water treatment. Governor Kotek proposes to cripple the ability these rural areas to comply with her "emergency" in SB 1530. The bill appropriates moneys to and modifies expenditure limitations for the Housing and Community Services Department, Oregon Health Authority ($33.5 million), Department of Human Services ($2 million), State Department of Energy ($4 million), Oregon Business Development Department ($575,500), Department of Transportation ($4 million), Water Resources Department ($3 million), and Oregon Department of Administrative Services for various programs. If Kotek wants to cut funding for some unknown reason, she has plenty of agencies that are less related to being shovel-ready to pick from, so why rural water? Will she stop busing illegal migrants into rural areas that impacts the infrastructure?



Additionally, Governor Kotek provided notice of a potential line-item veto of Section 499 of Senate Bill 5701. The section of the bill allocated $2 million to the Old Town Community Association to support the Made in Old Town development project.

“I appreciate the intent of this project to help revitalize the Old Town neighborhood in Downtown Portland,” Governor Kotek said. “My office is awaiting more information from the development group about the viability of financing for the entire project before I make my decision.”

Governor Kotek will announce her final decision on these vetoes by April 17. Share your opinion with the Governor.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-08 15:35:26Last Update: 2024-04-08 17:21:13

Battery Energy Storage Bill Becomes Law
“What will be done with massive batteries after their lifespan?”

As legislators and government regulators create more requirements for electric transportation, examples of enthusiasm outpacing reality are beginning to pile up and manifest in situations that pit one environmentalist value against another. One such example is the Thacker Pass lithium mine on the Nevada-Oregon border which is expected to provide much needed lithium for batteries to please one faction of environmentalists, yet is alleged by another faction of environmentalists to be disruptive to the environment.

The latest in questionable energy policy is HB 4015 which permits a developer of a facility or the governing body of a local government after consulting with the developer to elect to defer regulatory authority to the Energy Facility Siting Council for the siting of a battery energy storage system. According to analysts, this would make it easier to site battery energy storage systems. It was passed by the legislature last session and recently signed into law by Governor Kotek. HB 4015 has no sponsor, but identifies at the request of Representative Pam Marsh (D-Ashland).

Unlike dams, the efficiency of windmills and solar installations fluctuates greatly depending on the weather. They require massive storage batteries to compensate for times when the output cannot meet the need. According to experts, industrial batteries are highly toxic and vulnerable to leakage. The bill allows local communities to give up their authority for approving locations, allowing the Oregon Energy Siting Council to rubber stamp locations. Some opponents say that the Council has a questionable history of project approvals in recent years.



According to legislative watchdog Les Poole, "There are many assumptions and unanswered questions regarding the viability and safety of placing toxic batteries on our lands. The Siting Council has a history of approving large projects that have underperformed and/or created unacceptable environmental impacts. Approval of HB 4015 would invite both practical and legal battles." He cites 1000 Friends of Oregon vs Jackson County as an example.

Poole continued, "The promoters of this legislation and the Siting Council apparently believe the need for this legislation is justified because solar facilities will be approved on thousands of acres of farmland, much which is zoned EFU. It's a legally flawed concept that defies the spirit and purpose of the Oregon Land Use Plan." Poole cited another current legal battle taking place in Umatilla County at the Nolan Hills Transmission Project.

"What will be done with massive batteries after their lifespan?" Poole asks, rhetorically. "Where will they be stored, and what risks are there in transporting them? Will another situation occur where there's a lack of a permanent storage facility, reminiscent of the Umatilla Ordinance Depot and Yucca Mountain/Hanford nuclear waste depositories?

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-04-07 19:40:35Last Update: 2024-04-07 21:34:08

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