By Kathryn Hickok
Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the southeastern United States, displacing more than 372,000 school-aged children. Today, New Orleans’ school population has returned to more than two-thirds its pre-storm level, but a lot has changed for the better in the public school district.
Before Katrina, a Louisiana state legislator called New Orleans “one of the worst-run public school systems in America.” Almost two-thirds of students attended a “failing school.” After Katrina, the state legislature transferred more than 100 low-performing Orleans Parish schools to the Recovery School District. Now, the district has 57 charter schools operating under nonprofit charter management organizations. Continue reading
National Foundation for Women Legislators
(Alexandria, VA) – The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) announced their 2015 Elected Women of Excellence Award Winners.
The award was established in 2013 as part of NFWL’s 75th Anniversary Celebration in order to honor the hard work and dedication of women leaders from across the country.
The 2015 Women of Excellence winners will be presented with an award at the Toast to the Women of Excellence ceremony at the Petroleum Club on Monday, September 14th, during the 2015 Annual Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Continue reading
Independent Party of Oregon (IPO)
The IPO has just sent out a press release saying State Lottery Commissioner Chris Telfer has announced her Independent Party bid for State Treasurer.
“We are thrilled to have someone as well-respected and highly qualified as Chris Telfer as our first announced candidate, said party secretary, Sal Peralta.
“She has a strong record in public service. With her experience as a successful small business owner, a CPA, state lottery commissioner, Bend city councilor and state senator, she is certainly the most qualified of the announced candidates for state treasurer. We look forward to supporting her efforts throughout the campaign.”
by Dan Lucas
Republicans have their work cut out for them in Oregon’s 2016 races.
After the November 2014 election, Democrats returned to super-majority status in the Oregon Senate – an advantage they’ve enjoyed for 3 of the past 5 election cycles. They hold 18 seats to Republicans’ 12 seats. In the Oregon House, Democrats are within one seat of super-majority status. Democrats hold 35 seats to Republicans’ 25 seats.
In the past 20 years, every Oregon governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state treasurer has been a Democrat. Continue reading
by Sen. Doug Whitsett
One reason Democrats continue to politically dominate Oregon is the strength of organizations such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). That public employees’ union represents local, state and federal employees throughout the country. It has been one of the most powerful political entities in this state for the past few decades.
SEIU’s impressive machinery is dependent upon a handful of factors. Perhaps the most important is the nonstop growth and expansion of government, including the number of public employees.
Good economic times are used as an excuse to create new programs. Conversely, bad times are argued by proponents of big government to demonstrate the public’s further need for services. Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
The State of Oregon’s September 2015 Economic and Revenue Forecast was released today. The personal ‘kicker’ will be $402 million.
The Oregonian reported “Oregon taxpayers will receive a smaller-than-expected ‘kicker’ tax rebate,” with a “median payout of $124″ – “The May forecast had predicted a $473 million kicker with a median payout of $144.” The Portland Tribune reports that State Economist Mark McMullen “said tax collections dipped more than anticipated in late spring and the result is the smaller amount.”
The Salem Statesman Journal reported “Oregonians last received kicker rebates in 2007, when $1.1 billion was returned to taxpayers.” Continue reading
Right From the Start
The August 21, 2015 edition of the Wall Street Journal carried a “squib note:”
“A federal appeals court on Thursday declined to allow former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to remain free while he appeals his public-corruption convictions to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The decision means Mr. McDonnell will probably have to report to prison within the next weeks.
“Mr. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted of doing favors for a wealthy businessman in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans.
“The former governor was sentenced to two years in prison; his wife to one year and one day. They have remained free on bond while they pursued separate appeals in the Fourth U.S, Circuit Court of Appeals.”
Mr. McDonnell was a Republican. His indictment and conviction were secured under the Democrat administration of President Barack Obama and the highly partisan former Attorney General Eric Holder (D). I do not point this out to suggest that Mr. McDonnell was anything but guilty but rather to contrast it with what follows. Continue reading