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GOP War on the Arts Bad for Culture and County Ecomonics

Modern Day Community Crafted Totem at West Linn Public Library

The Clackamas tribe of the Chinook and their forebearers have occupied this county for at least 11,000 years and perhaps more than 20,000. What remains of their lives are their myths, their art, and their diet.

This is not unusual. Most cultures are remembered by their art, from the earliest cave painting in El Castillo in northern Spain dated at over 48,000 years old, to totem poles and canoes from Pacific Northwest tribes such as the Clackamas. Likewise, our lives and our place in history will be remembered by our contribution to art — be it creation myths, physical manifestations, or a view of our place in the world.

That’s the standard liberal take on the arts. Here’s a different approach. Continue reading

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Around the County

Marchers, Anti-Marchers In Lake Oswego

By Peter Toll

What do peace, love, inclusiveness, and camaraderie have in common? They were all on the streets of Lake Oswego Saturday when some 700-800 folks came forth to make their views known about Donald Trump and his terrible deportation policies.

They outnumbered the March 4 Trump event across busy State Street and their message was loud and clear. In fact, when the pro-Trump march took place on that Saturday, the pro-inclusiveness marchers outnumber the Trumpers about 5-1.

More than 1,000 folks took to Lake Oswego’s main thoroughfare, State Street, in what has to be a first for that community of otherwise staid, quiet, but majority Democratic voters. They braved temperatures in the 30’s, spitting rain, hail, and sleet, to express their views. Continue reading

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Fischer Takes Oath as Appointed Clackamas County Commissioner

Commissioner Sonya Fischer

Just a few months ago, Clackamas County had three Republican County Commissioners and two Democrats. Today there are four Democrats and one Republican. But only two seats changed in the last election.

It works like this: Jim Bernard was in the middle of a four-year term when he ran successfully against Tea Party exponent John Ludlow for the chairmanship. Ludlow’s term was over. Literally. Continue reading

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From the Chair

By Peter Nordbye

They Will Never Come for Me

We know it is happening even here. The federal government is using its entire repressive apparatus to detain U.S. and Clackamas County residents without due process and without just cause. The level of fear in many of our agricultural communities across the county is palpable.

Children are being withheld from school.

Crimes are not being reported. Continue reading

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Equal Voice Voting — Another Alternative to the Electoral College

Clackamas Democrats last month endorsed the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would make the Electoral College powerless, as embodied in Oregon House Bill 2731. However, one of our members, Jerry Spriggs, of West Linn, was unable to attend. This is unfortunate because five years ago he wrote a book on an alternative method of electing a president called Equal Voice Voting. In the interest of full exchange of ideas, we are carrying an essay he wrote on the alternative method. Note: This is for discussion purposes only as the Central Committee has already taken a position and conveyed that to the media and appropriate legislators. –Ed.

Equal Voice Voting

By Jerry Spriggs

The recent election has caused many to criticize the Electoral College and to entertain thoughts about how it could be replaced or modified. Some say it is antiquated. The recent results seem to prove that it does not reflect the will of the people since Trump won the election without winning the popular vote. But is that all that matters? Continue reading

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Clackamas County Is a Sanctuary County (By Court Order)

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts

Clackamas County is an unwilling “sanctuary county.” The Sheriff’s Office will not honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests without additional probable cause, because it is under a court order not to.

Here’s the story: “A federal magistrate judge in Oregon concluded that county officials violated a woman’s Fourth Amendment rights when they kept her in custody solely on the basis of an immigration detainer.” Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County, No. 3:12-cv-02317-ST, slip op. (D. Or. April 11, 2014) (Stewart, Magistrate Judge) Continue reading

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We Know We Tax Business Much Too Low; How About Some Solid, Sensible Solutions?

County citizens and other Oregonians pay about three times as much in individual state taxes as they did 25 years ago. Business pays one-third of it. Back then business paid two-thirds. Now it’s upside-down.

In fact, only two states tax businesses less than Oregon — Alaska and Maryland. That’s the news legislators learned this week from a non-partisan study.

Legislators are wrestling with a $1.8 billion shortfall this year, which would’ve been met had Measure 97 passed in November. It would’ve practically reversed the business vs. citizen tax ratio.

Here’s the full story with charts and the whole works from Oregon Live. And some responsible solutions from the Oregon Center for Public Policy.

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Clackamas Democrats Support the National Popular Vote Compact

On Thursday Feb. 16, the Clackamas County Democratic Party Central Committee approved the attached resolution, which supports Representative Brian Clem’s bill HB 2731: “Enacts Interstate Compact for Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.”

You can track the progress of HB 2731 here.

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