Time to “Uberize” the Transportation Economy

CascadeNewLogoBy John A. Charles, Jr.

We are now two weeks into a 120-day “pilot project” by the City of Portland to allow private car-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft to legally compete with cab companies. Given the consumer demand for such services, there is little doubt that the Portland experiment will become permanent.

Cab services have long been heavily regulated. Detailed rules governed every facet of operation, including rates, dispatching, and―most importantly―the number of cabs allowed in the city. Although justified as “protecting the public interest,” the system was really designed to protect cab companies from new competition. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Employment, Government Regulation, Individual Responsiblity, Portland, Portland Politics, Transportation | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

A Generational Mistake

CascadeNewLogoBy Steve Buckstein

The Oregon Supreme Court last week struck down key 2013 legislative reforms to the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) that would have saved taxpayers billions of dollars.

The Court in effect added some $5 billion back to the unfunded liability of the PERS system, which will now stand at over $14 billion. If not offset by new taxes or spending reductions elsewhere, public bodies such as school districts and state agencies will have to allocate even more of their budgets to pay for worker retirement benefits. Continue reading

Posted by at 04:30 | Posted in Economy, Government reform, Oregon Government, PERS, Public Employee Unions, Public Employees Retirement System, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Why is Senator Floyd Prozanski protecting rapists?

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

by NW Spotlight

Rape victim working to change Oregon statute of limitations for rapists

Danielle Tudor was only 17 when she was beaten and raped by Portland’s “jogger rapist,” Richard Gilmore. Last week KOIN reported “Seven years later, Gillmore was captured by police. But because the six year statute of limitations had run out, Tudor couldn’t press charges against him.” According to an article from last summer, “Police estimate that this brutal man may have been responsible for as many as 100 rapes around the city.”

In the current Oregon legislative session, Danielle Tudor has been working to change that statute of limitations for rapists. KOIN reported back in March “The six years statute of limitations for rape in Oregon is one of the shortest time limits for prosecution in the country. Brenda Tracy and Danielle Tudor want that changed. The women are working with lawmakers to change Oregon’s 6-year statute of limitations to 20 years.” Danielle told KOIN “Over half of the states in the country don’t have any statute of limitations.” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Crime & Sentencing, OR 78th Legislative Session | 6 Comments

PERS decision will cost Oregon more than $1 billion

Sen Doug Whitsett

by Sen. Doug Whitsett

Cost of Oregon Supreme Court reversal of 2013 PERS reforms will be well more than $1 billion – “Not a single one of those dollars will go towards hiring teachers, police officers, librarians, paving roads or paying for any other public service. None of the money will make its way into the classrooms or towards the improvement of needed services at the local level.”

Much of my decade of service in the Oregon Senate has been as a member of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. In that time, I’ve developed a good understanding of the state’s budgeting processes and the ways in which the delivery of public services are funded and carried out. Continue reading

Posted by at 07:15 | Posted in Oregon Supreme Court, PERS, Public Employee Unions, Public Employees Retirement System | 22 Comments

Progressive Policies Lead to a Lousy Economy

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

The state of the economy is, in a word, LOUSY. The friends of President Barack Obama – the bankers and moneychangers on Wall Street – are doing just fine. They have improved their wealth – without contributing to the expansion of the economy – by leaps and bounds. So much so that in a June 4, 2013 tongue-in-cheek column I wrote that I had decided to become an Obama liberal:

“I could live with all of that, but a recent squib in the Wall Street Journal finally showed me the error of my ways. Michael Derby reports:

‘Americans have recovered only 45% of the wealth they lost during the recession, adjusted for inflation, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis estimated. . .‘. . . The bank said data that shows a near complete recovery in total aggregate wealth is misleading. The analysts argue aggregate household net-worth data aren’t adjusted for inflation, population growth or the nature of wealth. They note a lot of the recovery in net worth has been tied to the stock market, thus is concentrated in holdings of wealthy families.’

“Bingo!! There it is. While the recession may have begun under President George W. Bush, the “recovery” is all Mr. Obama’s. All of the major stock market indices have recovered and/or surpassed their pre-recession highs. Wall Street moneychangers and investors like me have increased our net-worths beyond pre-recession levels even when adjusted for inflation. Thank you very much Mr. Obama – the overwhelming campaign contributions given to you have paid off handsomely. (Well, the money changers’ campaign contributions, not mine – there are some things not even a pig will do.)”

Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Employment, Government Regulation, Hillary Clinton, Oregon Government, PERS, Preident Bill Clinton, President Obama, Public Employee Unions | 21 Comments

Anti-gun bill SB 941 passed in the Oregon House


by NW Spotlight

The anti-gun bill SB 941, “universal” background checks, passed the Oregon House 32-28 yesterday afternoon after a lengthy floor debate. SB 941 was already passed by the Oregon Senate back in mid-April. The bill now moves to Gov. Kate Brown (D), who has indicated she will sign it.

Senate Bill 941 is the bill that unnecessarily expands background checks to almost all sales and transfers of guns by private individuals. Continue reading

Posted by at 07:00 | Posted in 2nd Amendment, Gov. Kate Brown, Gun Control, OR 78th Legislative Session, Oregon House, Oregon Senate | 4 Comments

Exec. Club 5/6: Kevin Starrett, Recall petition, Gun bill

strett-kevinExecutive Club Meeting
7:00 pm • Wed. May 6th
Portland Airport Shilo Inn

Our speaker, Kevin Starrett of the Oregon Firearms Federation

The plot thickens, and our speaker is stirring the pot!  Recall petitions have been filed against three liberal Democrat legislators who support SB941, the so-called “universal” background check bill (where “universal” means “except for criminals”, naturally)

Continue reading

Posted by at 04:55 | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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