Author Archives: admin

Intraparty Differences over Clean Air Funding

By William Street

There is a deep historic division in Oregon Democratic circles most commonly referred to as “Jobs versus Environment.” This split crosses industrial lines: workers in extractive industries, such as forestry, are often pitted against workers in less polluting industries. It crosses rural/urban lines since many workers in extractive industries live in rural portions of Oregon.

This historic division appeared again last week when House Democrats refused to fund the governor’s Cleaner Air Oregon initiative. The sum: $1 million to be paid by polluters. Continue reading

Clackamas Projects Omitted in Major Legislation as Transportation Package Gets Fast Green Light

Though seriously lacking in projects for Clackamas County, passage of a $3.8 billion transportation package in the Legislature July 6 should be considered a coup for Governor Kate Brown and Democratic leadership.

HB 2017, which originally contained $5.1 billion in projects, passed the House 39-20 with 36 required in the 60-member House due to the so-called three-fifths rule on revenue (tax) measures. Continue reading

NPV Bill Is Killed Again By Senate President, Despite Support from Clackamas, Many Others

Courtney Kills NVP Again

The National Popular Vote bill, which would have done an end run on the Electoral College and made our national election decided by popular vote, is dead in the Oregon Legislature effective July 6, 2017.

Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat, and Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, who represents part of westernmost Clackamas County, announced the death of HB 2927 in a quietly happy moment for Courtney, of West Salem. Continue reading

Announcing the Jill Thorn Grant

Jill Thorn

The Jill Thorn Grant is awarded by the Democratic Party of Clackamas County (DPCC) to a woman Democrat who is preparing to run for public office for the first time. The recipient may use the $500 award at her discretion for training, preparation for a campaign, or any other campaign-related expenses.

This award commemorates the legacy of Jill Thorn‘s public service and the example her life provides to other women seeking to serve the community by serving in public office. Continue reading

INSIDE COUNTY POLITICS: Clackamas Could Create the Decider

By Peter Toll

This year’s legislature is still in hand-to-hand combat, politically speaking, as legislators jostle and flay to pass their favorite bills before July 6 adjournment while also positioning themselves for next year’s elections.

Lacking the three-fifths majority required to pass tax bills, House Republicans are holding hostage our schools, our roads, and our ability to invest in our future. The 60-member House needs one more Democratic vote to reach the three-fifths requirement to raise the revenues required to fund infrastructure improvements, improve education, fund single payer health care, and fulfill our obligation to retirees. When Republicans were in control a few years ago they were thinking of moments just like this when they dropped the traditional majority rules rule – except for tax bills.

True to form, House Republicans are voting (or not) as a bloc to exacerbate Oregon’s fiscal problems by refusing to modernize an outdated tax system that favors big business. Just one more vote is needed. Continue reading

A Tale of Two States: Too Much Spending or Too Much Taxation?

Does having a $1 billion-plus shortfall in the state budget sound familiar?

Oregon is not alone in facing budget troubles during this extended national economic expansion. Oregon Republicans claim the problem isn’t that state government lacks revenues; no, they claim there is too much spending. When is enough enough? Both cutting and taxing?

One look at the ready-made model of Kansas tells us state economic austerity is the path to economic development. (Kansas has 2,929,909 residents compared to Oregon’s 4,144,527.) Continue reading