2007 Taxpayer Award Winners!

OIA wins coveted Jefferson Award, Newt Gingrich wins statewide Prez. Straw Poll

The 2007 Taxpayers Awards was a huge hit as over 100 people braved a snow storm to attend the awards being broadcast live on KPAM 860AM Victoria Taft show with comedian Mike Jenkins at the Sheraton Airport. The big winners were Oregonians In Action (Ross Day, Dave Hunnicutt and Bill Moshofsky) for winning the Thomas Jefferson Award for their double property rights victory in 2006 . Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani topped the statewide Presidential straw poll. RESULTS BELOW:

The event was sponsored by the Oregon Executive Club and the Taxpayer Association of Oregon which sent ballots out to 6,000 people. [photo: left: Ross Day, Nicole Barone, Nathan Reitmann, Cal Husbands, Don McIntire, bottom: comedian Mike Jenkins, radio host Victoria Taft.]

Thomas Jefferson Award Winner :
Ross Day, Dave Hunnicutt and Bill Moshofsky: These Oregonians In Action activists were able to score a big legal victory when the Oregon Supreme Court upheld Measure 37 (compensation law) earlier this year. Also, in a year when 80% of the state ballot measures failed, these guys successfully passed Measure 39 which protects landowners from unjust condemnations.

Presidential Straw Poll Winner:

Gingrich, Newt (Fmr. Speaker) 28%
Giuliani, Rudy (Fmr. Mayor NY) 22%
Romney, Mitt (Gov. MA) 14%
McCain, John (Sen. AZ) 9%
Rice, Condoleeza (Sec. of State) 6%
Bush, Jeb (Gov. FL) 4%
Obama, Barack (Sen. IL) 3%
Clinton, Hillary Rodham (Sen. NY) 3%

Wiener Politician Award Winner:
Superintendent Susan Castillo: State School Superintendent Castillo has a record of opposing charter schools. With two days before school started, Castillo threatened to yank the funds for the approved charter school, the Oregon Connections Academy. This sent over 500 students and parents into chaos. Thanks to huge public support for the school and public pressure Castillo changed her mind.

Pork Barrel Project Winner:
Portland’s Arial Tram: Lack of oversight caused costs to triple from $15 million to an astonishing $55 million. The public/private tram moves staff from one office to another office up a small hill, saving them 10 minutes of traffic time.

Bureaucratic Bungler Winner:
The “Learn Less, Score High” Test: The Federal Government has faulted Oregon’s Dept. of Education for setting 3rd, 4th & 5th grade tests too low, which artificially raises Oregon’s test scores. Thousands of kids who passed may not have passed after all. Also other grades were being reviewed as testing too high.

Golden Schnoz Award Winner:
Portland Why-Fi? Portland is getting into the private Wi-Fi broadband business by using as much as $16 million of taxpayers’ dollars to make a deal with a private company to provide free Wi-Fi service to the entire city. This service is something which many companies provide without involving public tax dollars.

Government Innovation Award Winner:
Oregon Connections Academy — This on-line virtual public charter school doubled enrollment in a single year, has successful test scores, and accomplished it at 50% the cost of a standard Oregon public school.