Oregon Democrats Attempt Voter Suppression Scheme

Oregon Democrats are concerned that their abuse of power in the Oregon Legislature could be limited by Oregon voters in November 2018. Today at 3 PM, House Democrats are preparing to pass a set of amendments to SB 229 which are blatantly intended to take Oregonians’ right to vote on referrals in the November 2018 election (when voter turnout is highest). Instead, Democrats want to create a costly and impractical special election in January. Continue reading

Posted by at 11:31 | Posted in 2018 Election, Uncategorized, Voting | 1 Comment

Governor signs HB2777 and my fare gets inspected

Something remarkable happened this week. For the first time ever, a conductor on the WES asked to see my TriMet fare. I rode this commuter rail line for the first time five years ago and wrote about it for the Oregon Catalyst. It baffled me that TriMet has been paying to have actual conductors on the WES line but has not had them do what this anachronistic position was primarily meant to do: inspect fares.

Of course, as a lifelong public transportation commuter, I’ve on many occasions seen fare inspectors on TriMet’s light rail but not since last December. What happened six months ago to make the fare inspectors go away? Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon House, Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Stakes Are High for Oregon in 2018

From the news in the legislature, it seems like we are going to limp along with a series of band-aid solutions instead of making any major substantive reforms to our tax code or our public pension system. Governor Brown and other Democrats have signaled that they plan to revisit new taxes in the 2019 session, so the stakes will be high for 2018. Continue reading

Posted by at 10:33 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Oregon Legislative Committee Moves HB 3391: Expands Abortion, Coerces People & Organizations to Pay for Abortions

By Oregon Right to Life

To ask your elected officials to vote no on HB 3391, please click here.

Today the Joint Ways and Means Sub-Committee on Human Services passed out House Bill 3391 to the full Ways and Means Committee after adopting new amendments.  As amended, HB 3391 would: Continue reading

Posted by at 09:03 | Posted in Abortion, Government Overreach, OR 79th Legislative Session | Leave a comment

Trump and McCartney: Dubious Rumors

Right From the Start

You may remember when The Beatles Paul McCartney died in 1966 as a result of injuries sustained in the fiery crash of his Aston Martin sports car.  It was all over the news. The car was never recovered and neither was Mr. McCartney’s body.  There were no photographs of the scene, no accident report filed and no death certificate issued.  There was also no confirmation from spokesmen for the Beatles or from friends and family of Mr. McCartney.  The lack of denial was sufficient proof for the media – Paul McCartney was dead.

Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 2016 Presidential Election, Bernie Sanders, CIA, Donald Trump, Ethics, Fake News, Hillary Clinton, Media Bais, President Donald Trump, President Obama, Progressivism | 3 Comments

Oregon Gubernatorial Race Rated Likely Democrat for 2018

In 2016, Oregon Republicans broke their statewide losing streak. Dennis Richardson became the first Republican elected statewide since Gordon Smith won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2002.

Richardson’s win led to rampant speculation about the potential of electing a Republican governor. Oregon’s last Republican governor — Vic Atiyeh — was first elected in 1978 and was re-elected in 1982.

Decision Desk HQ, an independent election results site started in 2014, has set the proper baseline for the 2018 Oregon Gubernatorial Race:

The GOP has actually been competitive in most recent Governors races here, but Democrats always seem to win in the end. Fresh off winning the office in her own right last year, we see Brown as having a clear advantage but wouldn’t consider her completely safe. Thus, LIKELY DEMOCRATIC makes the most sense.

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Posted by at 10:07 | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Trump’s apprenticeship message to young adults: “There is dignity in every honest job”

By Kathryn Hickok

President Donald Trump stressed the dignity of work in a speech June 16 promoting his Apprenticeship Initiative for young workers. “Today, this is the message I want every young American to hear: there is dignity in every honest job, and there is nobility in every honest worker,” Trump said.

This is a timely message. According to a recent report by the American Enterprise Institute, the workforce participation rate for men 25-54 has dropped from 96% in 1967 to about 88% in 2016, an all-time low. Young men, especially with less education, are increasingly opting out of the workforce, and not just due to a weak economy. Other causes of unemployment among men include “a lack of postsecondary education, dependence on benefit programs, opioid dependency, the rising prevalence of criminal records, a lack of available jobs in economically distressed areas, and weakening cultural norms [that expect able-bodied men to be working].” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Man Behind the Tree

Over the past year, Oregon Democrats have perfected a technique of unprincipled politics that was poetically captured in a March 1932 Collier’s Weekly article titled “Tax Everyone But Me” which included an astute observation of American progressive politics:

At the end of the year, and again at the opening of 1932, the hotel rooms and lobbies of Washington were crowded and swarming with citizens who had come to play, in paraphrased adult form, an old game of their childhood:

Congress! Congress! Don’t tax me,
Tax that fellow behind the tree.

Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Oregon House, Oregon Senate, State Budget, State Taxes | Tagged | 1 Comment

Legislature Shifts Gears: Massive Small Business Tax on Tap

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Tax Alert #3 – Small Business Tax Increase

After a Session spent seeking a huge new tax scheme that would dramatically increase taxes on larger businesses and burden consumers with higher prices and employees with lower wages, Oregon’s Legislature has shifted to a new plan.  Unable to achieve the “supermajority” of votes required to implement a Gross Receipts Tax, similar to Measure 97 which was soundly defeated by voters just last year, Legislators have decided to tax small business instead. Continue reading

Posted by at 03:39 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Return of The Kitz

The big news this last week has been the decision by federal prosecutors to not charge former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. the United States, it has become more difficult to pursue elected officials on charges of corruption because an explicit agreement linking a campaign donation or gift to a contract, grant or vote is now required as opposed a general appearance of impropriety. Given the new standard passed down by the High Court, this decision did not come as a surprise to many. Continue reading

Posted by at 02:01 | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Free Speech and Public Employee Unions

Right From the Start

In the pointless political correct world of the country’s ruling elites, the United States Supreme Court struck a blow for Free Speech under the First Amendment.  Under former President Barack Obama a series of white men and women occupying the leadership of the United States Patent and Trademark Office decided to be “offended” on behalf of the entire Asian population of the country and refused trademark protection to a band called The Slants – despite the fact that the band members were all of Asian descent and chose the name themselves as a badge of honor against perceived prejudice.

Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Bill of Rights, Free Speech, Judicial Activism, Liberalism, Neil Gorsuch, Public Employee Unions, U.S. Supreme Court | 4 Comments

Who says Oregon pays public school teachers more than other states? The National Education Association, that’s who!

By Steve Buckstein

As Oregon legislators wrestle with how much money to spend on public education, advocates claim that we spend too little compared to other states. They demand that legislators spend more, and raise taxes to do it. But, according to the nation’s largest teachers union, the reality is quite different.

As I noted recently, in its Rankings & Estimates report for 2016 and 2017, the National Education Association says that Oregon spends more per student than 33 other states: $13,320 per Average Daily Attendee versus $12,572 nationally.

Another interesting finding in the NEA report is how much Oregon pays its public school teachers. In 2015-16 it shows the average teacher salary in the country was $58,343, compared to $60,459 here in Oregon. We spend three percent more on teacher salaries than the national average.* Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

What I learned at PSU

When I first started writing for the Oregon Catalyst in 2011, I managed a hedge fund that had weathered the storm of 2008 well; indeed we profited from it since my fund was actually hedged. But things were not looking good for my boutique investment partnership because most of the assets were owned by one large investor who had recently passed away.

In a post Bernie Madoff world, it seemed impossible for me to talk anyone else into investing that kind of money in a fund ran out of a home office in a tiny condo on Portland’s Sylvan Hill. So I had a choice to make: either put down a lot of money in a way that would cover the higher costs of using commercial real estate and hiring a significant sales force, or invest a smaller amount of money in graduate school instead.

On my birthday in 2014, I made the tough decision to put an end to my career in asset management and pursue a new one in data science. I pursued a masters in economics at Portland State University. As I graduate this weekend, there are four big lessons I take away from this grad school experience. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education, Unions | Tagged | 4 Comments

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