Taxpayer Academy Awards Nominations are in!

Ballots have been sent to 10,000 Oregonians, and will be revealed during the Awards Ceremony Jan 4th broadcast live on the Victoria Taft Show KPAM 860 AM! Below are the list of nominations for each catagory.

This award program represents one of the largest political awards given in the state. See also below our 2005 recognition section where we honor the best quotes and excellence in journalism (yes we gave credit to the Willamette Week & the Oregonian writers who did a good job this year).
Thomas Jefferson Award Nominees
For advancing the principles of individual liberty and limited government in 2005.
State Rep. Linda Flores: — Rep. Flores has been helping lead the charge to liberate teachers from the bureaucratic and expensive CIM/CAM program — a program that is finally expected to be abolished. Rep. Linda also exposed a liberal Trojan horse — the Cultural Competency Bill which would have mandated teachers to “believe” and advocate for liberal social justice programs in the classroom. Rep. Flores also came to quick defense of gun rights bill in the Legislature.
Fred Simmons: This former Eugene Councilor and blue-collar Democrat personally collected signatures to place the Springfield Cell Phone Tax on the Ballot. Working tirelessly, he managed to organize volunteers and get the required number of signatures. Fred then went on to lead the campaign to repeal the tax. The tax was defeated by almost three to one.
State Rep. Kim Thatcher: — Rep. Thatcher helped to advance legislation to require citizenship verification for drivers licenses and voter registrations. Rep.Thatcher received national attention for a pro-small business bill that requires government agencies to consider the impact of their policies on small business before they issue final regulations. It also sets up a regulation review process.
Vern White. Vern White has worked for Oregon Tax Research for the past 20 years, providing mountains of helpful research. In 1994, Vern won Cascade Policy’s Better Government Competition dealing with surplus state property. At age 84, Vern still goes to the State Capitol to sit in on committee hearings to monitor how are tax dollars are being spent.
Bob & Marilyn Lowry: A local developer decided to ignore offering to buy the Lowrys’ home to make way for a large commercial development. The developer instead chose to go to the City of Keizer to get the city to forcibly take the property at half market value. The Lowry’s refused. The developer began building around them, causing all sorts of damage and problems for the Lowrys’ home. The Lowrys still refused to budge. Eventually the City gave up and offered a fair-market value for their home.

Wiener Award Nominees:
For obnoxious, cowardly, or reckless idiocy by an elected official
Portland Mayor Tom Potter- Potter yanked Portland out of the National Terrorism Task Force because the FBI wouldn’t give him and his politician friends “top clearance” credentials to see secret materials. Potter rode with the Critical Mass bicycle club — a group that prides itself for flaunting traffic laws and harassing car drivers. Potter tinkered with a cell-phone tax and a tri
county income tax proposal.
Justice Robert King: King refused to resign after being caught buying marijuana from the local librarian. The local sheriff refused to give him any cases. Further complicating matters, the county decided to move their courthouse, but Judge King refused to move into the new location. For not showing up to work, he collects an estimated $100,000 annual salary.
Judge Mary Merton James: James overturned Measure 37 (landowner compensation) by stating that people cannot tell government what to do unless the constitution “˜specifically’ authorizes or spells-out that they can do it. James further ruled that it is “irrational” for a landowner to expect that the government would keep its land-use promises and obligations.
Mayor Dave Fuller: This Wood Village Mayor tried to force a 1% sales tax upon this tiny town that has rejected it nine times. Fuller told the media he wished every city in Oregon had a sales tax. Fuller won Mayor of the Year by the Oregon Mayors Association for proposing the tax. Fuller is known for bullying his citizens during town hall meetings and ridiculing local businesses that don’t agree with him.

Golden Schnoz Award:
Government sticking its nose in where it doesn’t belong.
Burdick’s Big Gun Ban: Senator Ginny Burdick (a constant foe of the Second Amendment) proposed a bill to ban possessing firearms on school property.
Gift Card Tax Grab : Senate Bill 865 would have allowed the Dept. of State Lands to grab and hold unspent private business gift cards (like Starbucks, Wal-Mart) and earn interest off of the money.
Fowl-Play Menu Ban : Senate Bill 861 would have made it illegal to over-feeding birds and serve it at restaurants as the popular French dish Foie Gras.
Cultural Competency Mafia: Senate Bill 50 would have forced teachers to confess improper social beliefs and mandate that they use their classroom to advocate for liberal “social justice”.

Pork barrel project
Biggest waste of government money
$3.4 Million Empty Office: The Human Services Dept. wasted $3.4 million leasing four floors of an expensive downtown building for 10 years of vacancy.
$4.7 Million Empty Water Facility: A newly built water screening facility has remained unused since 2001 because of start-up problems.
Fine Art for Felons: Taxpayers have paid $600,000 in art projects for the $34 million Multnomah County Jail that sits vacant.

Bureaucratic Bungler:
Worst example of government regulation, bureaucracy, or mistake.
Cleantime for Hitler: Marion Co. infuriated citizens when they allowed the American Nazi Party to have an “adopt-a-highway sign” on the road. The whole thing was a bust, as a year later the sign was removed because (surprise!) the local Nazi Party never cleaned up anything.
The Governor’s “Hug-a-Wolf” Program: Governor Kulongoski’s plan calls for re-populating thousands of dangerous non-native wolves into rural Oregon, and criminalizing any farmer who dares injure a wolf eating his farm animals.
Library’s “We Have No Security!” Book Sale. Since Multnomah Co. Library disabled their magnetic security gates (because the staff didn’t like the hassle of dealing with enforcement and false alarms that other private books stores deal with) they have lost 19,000 books, DVDs, and music CDs.

Government Innovation Award:
The Emperor of Energy savings Dave Crowe: Asst. Facilities Manager, Dave Crowe, saved the school district $3 million through energy cost-savings. Crowe kept the energy levels unchanged despite 140,000 sq. ft. of new space and 3,000 new computers.
Students help janitors: Three Rivers Elementary School is saving tax dollars and making students more involved in their school by recruiting them to help with the cleaning and maintenance of the school.

*** 2005 Recognitions ***

Best quotes of the Year

“If it is “˜voter owned’ elections, then why don’t they let the “˜owners’ vote?”
Dave Lister,

Portland Activist & BrainstormNW columnist
Wondering why the Portland Council wont let voters vote on giving city tax dollars to political candidates.

“We rose to the top of the food chain for a reason. I think we should stay there.”
Sen. Jeff Kruse,

R- Roseburg
Opposing a bill banning force-feeding of ducks.

“Nine times out of 10, committee hearings are just for show”
Hon. Deborah Kafoury

Former State Representative being honest on how the process works

Excellence in Journalism

– “Benefits Eat School Cash”
By Betsy Hammond
, The Oregonian, July 10,2005. (Re :runaway health * pension costs)

– “Analyze This: The Blue City Blues”
By Tim Hibbits
, Brainstorm Magazine
June 2005

– “On the Waterfront” series,
By Nigel Jaquiss
, Willamette Week, (4/13/05, 11/9/05, /11/23/05 (Re: OHSU building misspending)

– “Poor by Choice”
By Dave Lister
, Brainstorm Magazine
May 2005, (Re: Portland being noncompetitive)

– “Prosperity or Portland?”
By Steve Buckstein
, Cascade Policy Institute.
Nov 2005, (Re :Portland’s Business Income Tax)

– “One Last Shot”By Jim Mayer, The Oregonian,
Oct 9 2005, (Re: Top ten lessons on Oregon taxes/budget)

Join us for the Taxpayer Academy Awards Ceremony
Winners will be revealed during the Awards Ceremony Jan 4th as part of the January Oregon Executive Club monthly meeting. It will be held at 6:00-8:00 at the Airport Shilo Inn and broadcast live on the Victoria Taft Show KPAM 860 AM! This award program represents one of the largest political awards given in the state. If you would like to come call 503-603-9009. The event is free, a $15 dinner is optional but encouraged.