Happy Presidents’ Day

Posted by at 10:47 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Giant Property Tax Increase (SJR 3) Advancing

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

A hearing on SJR 3 — a massive property tax increase is expected Tuesday February 21st at 8:30 in the Senate Finance Committee in the Salem State Capitol.  Homeowners are encouraged to testify against SJR 3– agenda here.

Senate Joint Resolution 3 would dismantle the protections homeowners have on the rate of increase of their property taxes on their home. Currently those taxes based on the assessed value of your home are capped at 3%. This 3% limit was enacted by voters in 1997 (Measure 50) and placed into the Oregon constitution. SJR 3 aims to remove it — which could hit homeowners with thousands in higher property tax bills. Continue reading

Posted by at 07:06 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Car Ownership Is Not a Crime

By John A. Charles, Jr.

A bill has been introduced in the state legislature that would impose a $1,000 ownership tax every five years on automobiles more than 20 years old.

Fortunately, leaders of the Republican Party quickly denounced it; and without bipartisan support the bill has no chance of passage. The chair of the House Revenue Committee, Rep. Phil Barnhart of Eugene, has announced that the bill is dead.

The fact that this legislation was even introduced points to a conceptual problem shared by many lawmakers: They think that owning a vehicle is undesirable and should be taxed.

But owning a car imposes no cost on the public; it’s the use of the vehicle that we should be concerned with.

As one legislator told me many years ago, “I own four cars—but I only drive one at a time!” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Navy Seal superstar Congressman Taylor speaking 2/25

Former tough guy and Navy Seal, Congressman Scott Taylor will be a keynote speaker at Oregon’s Liberty Rally this Saturday February 25th. Congressman Taylor served as a SEAL sniper and served in Iraq, Yemen as well as in Central and South America. Taylor is a Congressman representing the second congressional district in Virginia. Continue reading

Posted by at 12:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LIVE: HD 18 Nominating Convention

We’re covering the Oregon Republican House District 18 Nominating Convention happening right now in Donald, Oregon. Follow Oregon Catalyst on Twitter to follow along live.

Posted by at 09:45 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OPB: Oregon Republican Activists Have Mixed Views On Trump, But Hope Triumphs Over Fear

Oregon Catalyst contributor Jacob Vandever and former Editor Dan Lucas gave their thoughts on Trump along with a number of other well-spoken, Oregon conservative activists in an article by Jeff Mapes for OPB.

Posted by at 01:44 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Book to Improve Your Political Communication


By Eric Shierman

Derek Thompson will be presenting his book Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction at Powell’s Books next Wednesday. I’ve long been a fan of Thompson’s writing from the days when he was the Atlantic’s economics writer. This book explores the rules by which number one songs, blockbuster movies, virial memes and ubiquitous apps become a hit. I think the principles he highlights can also improve the ordinary messaging of the many political operatives that read the Oregon Catalyst on a regular basis.


This book defies summary. You’ll have to read it in its entirety to fully grasp the lessons Thompson offers his readers, but here are some key concepts.

Thompson disposes of the idea he’s writing about something new to the age of social media when he picks as his first example Johannes Brahm’s Wiegenlied, the now world-wide baby lullaby.

Thompson points out that this lullaby “was an instant success not because it was incomparably original, but because it offered a familiar melody in an original setting.” He goes on to generalize this point.

Most consumers are simultaneously neophilic— curious to discover new things— and deeply neophobic— afraid of anything that’s too new. The best hit makers are gifted at creating moments of meaning by marrying new and old, anxiety and understanding. They are architects of familiar surprises.

Thompson calls another important principle the “exposure effect.” The more people see something the more they will be disposed to like it. This is how the unfamiliar can become familiar.

Thompson rejects the notion that simply making the perfect product will make its spread inevitable. The quality of your message is only a necessary condition. A good plan for disseminating it is the sufficient condition for success.

Maybe you’ve not had the time to read the history behind George Lucas’ creation of Star Wars. I’m not talking about the production of the movie; I mean the conception of the themes and story arch. Many books have been written about the most successful movie franchise of all time, but Thompson’s book contains a chapter summarizing the prevailing literature on what can be learned from Lucas’ creative process. For any Star Wars fan, that’s well worth buying the book, but for anyone interested in learning these lessons for general application, this chapter is priceless.

Elections are ultimately the result of the social vectoring of ideas. If you want to get your ideas out there, this is a must read book. Perhaps I’ll see some of you at Powell’s Books next week.

Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of a Brief History of Political Cultural Change.


Posted by at 10:45 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tax Increases: My Line In The Sand

By Jacob Vandever

I am a movement conservative.  While I have never been shy about voicing the disagreements I’ve had with other conservatives, at the end of the day if you believe in limited government, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility, and individual liberty, then we are on the same team and I will work with you.  In the past, I have been very uncomfortable with Republicans primarying other sitting Republicans because here in Oregon we have a tendency to eat our own.  That being said, at some point you have to draw a firm line in the sand.

So in my humble opinion and with all due respect to our wonderful Republican elected officials, if any legislator breaks with conservatives and votes with Democrats on a tax increase that is not coupled with serious spending cuts and/or substantial PERS reforms, they should be primaried in 2018.

For those of you who do not know, to pass a tax increase in Oregon it requires a three-fifths majority vote in both chambers. That means 36 votes are required in the House and 18 votes in the Senate. Currently, there are 35 Democratic State Representatives and 17 Democratic Senators.  Should all the Democratic legislators get together on a tax measure (which frankly is probably unlikely) it would only require the vote of one Republican in each chamber to push through a new tax. Continue reading

Posted by at 10:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oregon among the broadband boondoggles

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon,

As many probably remember, the Taxpayer Association of Oregon was instrumental in defeating a proposal by the City of Lake Oswego to put taxpayers on the hook for $32 million fiber optic network. Government-owned broadband networks have proven a disaster for taxpayers in communities across America. Continue reading

Posted by at 07:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Filibuster and Its Abuse by Senate Slackers

Right From the Start

The “filibuster” is the least understood and most abused parliamentary maneuver in the United States Senate.  It has a rich historical pedigree that dates back to ancient Rome where Cato the Younger, a Roman senator, was said to have used it to resist the emperor, Julius Caesar.  Sen. John Calhoun D-SC first introduced it in the United States Senate in 1841.  It is famously depicted in the Jimmy Stewart movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  The filibuster was used notably by Democrats to resist abolition of slavery and thereafter to resist the Civil Rights Act.

Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Filibuster, Government Abuse, Leadership, U.S. Senate | Leave a comment

Lawmakers’ double property tax!

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon,

Among the first bills introduced this year is HJR 1 which raises two different property taxes on your property! Continue reading

Posted by at 11:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gov. Kate Brown’s transparency pledges clouded by how she governs

Jayne Carroll, Host
Jayne Carroll Show, KUIK AM 1360,
M-F 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Portland, Oregon Metropolitan area

Is “transparency” just the latest evasive “shell game” being played by Oregon Governor Kate Brown to mask her slight of hand and persistent delays in adhering to a potentially embarrassing public information request from Oregon Capital Watch, a government spending watchdog group?

Brown, who became Oregon’s governor in 2015 when her fellow Democrat John Kitzhaber was forced to resign due to allegations of influence peddling, openly blasted Kitzhaber in the Oregonian for being slow to respond to open record laws. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:05 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life in a post Trump election world

By Dan Lucas

I was not a supporter of Donald Trump in the Republican primaries, and I had enough misgivings about him that I didn’t vote for him in the general election. I would have voted for him if I lived in a battleground state, but I don’t – I live in deep blue Oregon.

Despite that, when it began to look like he’d win on election night I was as excited as if my team was winning the Super Bowl! Now in fairness, I can only imagine what that feels like, since I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)