How are Republican town halls faring in Oregon?

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenuer, despite writing one of the most controversial pieces of the health care reform package, bowed out of public town halls this summer. The Congressman with the smallest district in Oregon held his town halls by phone and earned the Willamette Week’s Rogue of the Week. One person who called about Earl’s town hall was forced to give up his name, address, email and reason for asking before he would be notified of when the town hall was.

Not much has been said about Republican lawmaker town hall meetings. Many are doing better than average. A record number turned out to see Senator Larry George and State Representative Kim Thatcher this week. In Newberg more than 100 people showed up. Attendess were pretty upset about the new taxes imposed by the legislature, primarily the increase in personal and business taxes (for which there is a tax referendum petition underway against the business tax and income tax hikes of HB 2649, HB 3405).

Several members of the audience have shared stories about their own businesses and how they will have to borrow money to pay their taxes or go bankrupt because of the new take hikes. Senator Larry George and State Representative Kim Thatcher told the crowd that raising taxes is not necessary because there is plenty of money sitting in reserve funds. Also mentioned was that, even though we are in a recession, the state budget continue to go up by double digits every two year budget cycle.

— For questions on the Tax Referendum against the small business tax increase and income tax increase please visit Oregonians Against Job Killings Taxes at Stop Job Killing