Justice Committee Focuses on Minimum Sentencing Laws, Family Camp Timber Sale at January Meeting

Present:  Mike Kohlhoff (Chair), Michael Dewitt, Greg Hunt, Klaus and Cornelia Gibson, Don Klosterman, Connie Lee, Mary Post and Pacific Stensels

Cornelia reported on recent action by the Oregon Chapter of the grassroots group, Moms Demand Action, which supports a bill requiring the owner or possessor of firearms to secure them with a trigger- or cable-lock or in locked container. HB 2505 failed to pass in the 2019 legislative session but will be introduced when the 2020 session begins.

From the Racial Justice Sub-Committee  

Connie announced she plans to pursue information about the program known as CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance: Helping Out on the Streets), which is now being used in Eugene and Portland.

From the Social Justice Sub-Committee

Mandatory minimum sentencing laws, which force a judge to hand down a minimum prison

sentence based on the charges a prosecutor brings against a defendant that result in a conviction — usually a guilty plea — unfairly target women of color. Eliminating mandatory minimums would also be cost effective.  Greg will work on a resolution recommending that Clackamas County eliminate mandatory minimums.

Oregon Civil Defense Force currently excludes individuals with disabilities. Mike pointed to

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Lake Oswego Mayoral Candidate’s Personal, Poignant Protest Caught on Video

With one memorable exception, virtually all major policies imposed by the Trump administration have caused division among party lines. That exception, of course, was the immigration strategy enforced in early May that separated children from their parents after they crossed the Southern U.S. border. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned at the time, “If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. … If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

As a result, nearly 3,000 children, including scores under the age of five, were removed from their parents and placed first in Customs and Border Protection facilities, then in shelters provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Continue reading

Trumps M.O is Mob-Boss 101

By Norm Tarowsky

I hate to admit it but my initial feeling that Trump was just a con man (a P.T. Barnum showman, a charlatan, a snake oil salesman) fighting mental demons (malignant narcissistic disorder and a sociopathic personality) was only partially right. Since taking over as President we have been able to see him in action, and as his ex-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen told us in his testimony he is also operating as a crime boss running his family syndicate.

 What is the crime Boss M.O. (modus operandi) or operating style? It has the following characteristics:

 1)            The Boss demands absolute loyalty and fealty; it is above all else, including  family, country, religious beliefs, and self. Anything else makes one a traitor and the enemy, someone who must be denounced and destroyed.

2)            The only thing important to the boss is himself and his immediate family and, of course, the satisfaction of his ego and accumulation of more wealth and power.

 3)            The Boss is to be treated as royalty and publicly praised and fawned over, with pure sycophantic groveling and obedience. This chain of command is rigid and must be followed.

 4)          The Boss makes all the decisions. and the organization exists to carry them out.  To freelance is very dangerous and seen as insubordination and will be dealt with.

 5)            The Boss must be protected at all costs; like the secret service, underlings are expected to take a bullet to save him.


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Pot O’ Gold Dinner coming March 22nd!


Please mark your calendar for the Clackamas County Democrats’ Pot O’ Gold Dinner scheduled for Sunday evening March 22nd at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas. The casual dinner is a fun opportunity to support the Clackamas Democrats as we begin the 2020 election year. Tickets may be purchased here (www.clackamasdems.org) in mid-February. 

Double-Dipping? Maybe. Ethical? Hardly.

When Courtney Neron upset incumbent Republican Richard Vial for the seat in Oregon House District 26 last year, most folks figured that Vial, who lives in western Washington County, would just go back to his law practice full time.

But Vial had other ideas.  Yes, he’s back to his law practice. But in addition he has a very lucrative, public-funded job in the Secretary of State’s office.  He claims he’s working “24-7,” but his appointment calendars, obtained by The Oregonian via a public records request, come up empty for two days per work week. (See The Oregonian‘s report.)

If Vial’s moonlighting is not quite double dipping, it’s certainly not appropriate. 

Environmental Score Card for Clackamas Legislators

by Peter Toll

Democratic legislators in Clackamas County got high marks from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters for their 2019 votes on 14 pieces of legislation.  

And there’s a new wrinkle this year as OLCV gave an “incomplete” grade to Republicans  who walked out on a key climate change bill rather than vote against it.

On the Senate side, Lake Oswego’s Rob Wagner tied with Happy Valley’s Shemia Fagan with 94 percent.  Kathleen Taylor, of SE Portland, came in with 88 per cent. All three Republicans fared poorly, earning incompletes.  

A hint of their performance can be gained in looking at the 2017 session.  Alan Olsen, of Canby, didn’t vote appropriately on even one bill. He got a goose egg.  Chuck Thomsen, of Hood River, earned 29 percent then, and Kim Thatcher, of Keizer, who represents Wilsonville in the State Senate, had just 33 per cent two years ago.

Over in the House, newcomer Rachel Prusak, of West Linn, voted perfectly—100 percent.  Other high performing Democrats included:


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