By John A. Charles, Jr.
The Portland City Council has approved a plan for the Housing Bureau to lease industrial land in North Portland for $10,000 per month, beginning October 7. The site is to be used for the construction of a large homeless shelter that potentially could serve up to 1,400 people. This idea, pushed by developer Homer Williams, was rushed through with virtually no due diligence.
Before additional money is spent, the City Council should carefully analyze what went wrong in two previous construction projects. First was the $58-million Wapato Jail built by Multnomah County in 2004, but never operated. With 525 beds in pristine condition, one would think there is potential for this site to temporarily house at least a few people now living under bridges. Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
Donald Trump is not doing well in polling against Hillary Clinton.
On Thursday former George W. Bush White House press secretary and Fox News political commentator Dana Perino wrote “about the state of the GOP Presidential race: it is not good.”
She wrote about being burned by not believing the polling in the 2012 presidential election showing an Obama victory over Romney. She notes “polling involved specifically in presidential elections has been accurate since 1952.”
Perino goes on to write “No candidate has been this behind in August and gone on to win. But I recognize that Trump is unlike any candidate America has ever seen. Yet if the size of one’s rallies translated into votes, Bernie Sanders would be the Democratic nominee right now. Continue reading
Taxpayer Association of Oregon,
It has made the news that Our Oregon paid a signature gathering company to steer away from gathering signatures for a ballot measure, the No Fake Emergency petition, they opposed (Initiative backers accuse Our Oregon of violating election law, Our Oregon accused of election law violations). This same tactic was used in Colorado this year. According to the Colorado Gazette Editorial Board:
“Knowing 139 was likely to pass, Big Marijuana sued to keep it off the ballot. The suit stalled efforts to raise money and recruit voluntary signature gatherers. When the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in defense of letting voters decide, Big Marijuana’s anti-139 campaign paid Colorado’s major signature firms to avoid gathering signatures for the pro-139 campaign.
“They were offering $75,000 to $200,0000, depending on size of each company, to get contracts that say they will not gather signatures for this ballot measure,” said attorney and former Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty, passing along information an anti-139 consultant shared with him. Continue reading
by Rep. Mike Nearman
We’re going to play a little game show here called “Detect that Bias”. The way it works, is that I get an enquiry from Oregonian reporter Dana Tims, asking me the following:
- Have you endorsed or will you endorse Donald Trump?
- If not, whom are you voting for instead?
To me, this looks like it might be a biased, “gotcha” hit-job, so I asked back:
Hi, I have a response prepared for your questions, but first, I have a couple of simple questions for you:
- Are you asking the same of the Oregon Democratic Candidates?
- I looked you up in the voter file and it looks like you are registered as a Democrat. Can you explain to me why I would expect to be treated fairly by you?
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon
1. It is a hidden sales tax
Measure 97 is a gross receipts tax. It increases the business minimum tax to $30,000 plus 2.5% of gross sales on larger businesses where sales (not profits) exceed $25 million. Unlike a retail sales tax that consumers see when they make a purchase, Measure 97 would be like a hidden sales tax. A former state economist said it is like “a sales tax on steroids”
2. Oregon consumers bear the burden for Measure 97
Oregon estimates that more than two-thirds of the tax would be passed on to Oregon consumers in higher prices for everyday essentials like utilities, groceries, prescriptions, phones, insurance and medical care. Continue reading
by Sen. Doug Whitsett
The ability of American workers to learn a trade, or develop a set of skills they can sell either to employers or directly to consumers, is a central tenant of free market capitalism. However, occupational licensure practices originally intended to preserve public health and safety have evolved over the years to provide a form of protectionism for existing businesses. Too often, they now serve to deny and deprive opportunities to would-be entrepreneurs.
Occupational licensure requirements for all 50 states were compared side-by-side in this 2012 report entitled “License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing.” The 200 page report was published by the Institute for Justice, a non-profit public interest law firm based in Arlington, Virginia.
The Institute for Justice report states only one in 20 U.S. workers were required to obtain the government’s permission to pursue their chosen occupation in the 1950s. Today, nearly one in three are required to obtain some form of occupational license. Continue reading
By Steve Buckstein
National Employee Freedom Week (NEFW, August 14-20, 2016), aims to educate union members across the country about their rights to opt out of union membership and stop paying some or all of their dues and fees to unions they do not support. NEFW has conducted various surveys of union members and union households over the last several years. One of this year’s significant findings is that a strong majority of union members nationwide agree that if members opt out of paying all union dues and fees they should represent themselves in negotiations with their employer.
Over two-thirds of union members nationwide agree. By the same margin, 66.9% to 33.1%, Oregonian union members agree with this proposition. This would end the so-called free-rider problem unions hide behind (really a forced-rider problem), arguing that labor laws require them to continue representing workers even after they stop paying all dues and fees. Oregon labor law is similar to that of many states that don’t allow individual workers to represent themselves if a union has organized their workplace. Continue reading