Oregon Secretary of State Asks: Can We Learn from Trump?

By William Street, HD 40 Co-Leader

In what appears to be a clear violation of the standards of the office of secretary of state, the Oregon official charged with overseeing all elections in Oregon, Secretary Richardson has mastered the Trump administration’s “conflict of interest” ethos.

In a newsletter issued November 29, 2017 he writes:

Soon Oregon voters will be considering whether or not to approve tax increases intended to provide additional funding to the OHA. With such abysmal examples of OHA misfeasance and obfuscation, OHA faces tough questions about its credibility and its ability to appropriately spend the money it is provided.

—Dennis Richardson

This is clearly an appeal to voters to vote NO on Measure 101, a bipartisan health care bill designed to protect more than 60,000 Oregon children and stabilize insurance markets for millions more. Continue reading

Can We Learn from North Dakota the Value of a Public Bank?

This is the second in a series of article exploring issues that were identified by County Democratic Precinct Persons at the County Platform meeting

There is a publicly owned bank in North Dakota, has been for decades. It did not need a bailout during the 2008 crash because it had not engaged in reckless speculation.

If North Dakota, perhaps one of the more conservative places in the US, can have a public bank, should we? What would it or could it do? And why would we want one?

Apparently there is a national movement to protect public monies from the abuses of Wall St. Remember the Libor scandal or the housing bubble of 2008  to mention just two recent scandals that defrauded billions of dollars in fees from public accounts, including our own local and county governments. Continue reading

My View: Gun Control Laws Do Make a Difference

By Paul Kemp
(reprinted by permission of the author)

There is no denying that gun violence is a complex problem. But as a founding board member of Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership, I know there are some evidence-based steps that Oregon’s leaders can take to help the roughly 450 Oregonians who die every year from gun violence.

On the evening of Dec. 11, 2012, I planned to meet my brother-in-law, Steve Forsyth, at the Clackamas Town Center mall. That afternoon, I received a frantic call from my sister; there had been a shooting at the mall.

When I arrived on the scene, I stood alongside my sister and niece for hours before learning that Steve had been shot and killed with a stolen, unlocked assault rifle. Steve was shot while on the phone with his father. Continue reading

Clackamas County Economic Development Caught in a Time Warp?

(This begins a series of articles on public actions on the economy and focuses first on the concept of industrial planning and job creation.)

Employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill

When Clackamas County Democratic Precinct Persons met last week to begin developing our county and state issue platform, one idea gaining surprising support was creation of publicly owned banks. This is not a new idea, but one whose time has come as we look to new ways for our community to thrive and prosper. And, no, it is not the same as credit unions, already a step in the right direction.

This notion is a good example of looking at old problems with a fresh perspective. In many ways, that is a good function of lay people with a broad interest in improving their own way of life but also the lives of those around them of all stripes and economic positions. Continue reading