Author Archives: Diane Jukofsky

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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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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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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Dems Determined to Try Again to Pass a Cap-and-Trade Bill

You’ll remember all the drama during the last session of the Oregon Legislature when Senate Republicans fled Oregon to avoid voting on legislation that would limit greenhouse gas emissions state-wide.  In the House, 9 out of 12 Clackamas County representatives voted for House Bill 2020 – those 9 being our Democratic Reps.  A Clackamas County Republican representative from Canby led the walkout and then was elected Minority Leader, though she is only in her first term. Gov. Kate Brown and other state Democrats have pledged their support for cap-and-trade legislation to be introduced during the 2020 session. But will Republicans show up for work?  

Read this Oregon Capital Insider report on the Dem’s strategy to get this important legislation passed: “Democrats rev up plan for new carbon-reduction bill”

Draft Resolutions for Criminal Justice and a State Bank Considered at October’s Justice Committee Meeting

Present: Mike Kohlhoff (chair), Ron Carl, Cornelia Gibson, Peter Norbye, Michael DeWitt, Jason Pierson, Connie Lee, and Mary Post (secretary).

Mike presented two draft resolutions: one addressing Criminal Justice and the other, a proposed State Bank.  Jason will make changes to the first, and both will be forwarded to the Platform and Resolution Committee for consideration.

A tentative resolution, “Clackamas County Changing Energy Sources,” was discussed and will be further considered at our next meeting. 

From the Racial Justice Sub-Committee 

We continued our discussion of the health threats posed by racism.  Connie outlined several paths to explore.  Peter requested that we address racism in our own Democratic Party. 

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