What Kotek’s new “government partnership” buzzword means

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


All week long Governor elect Tina Kotek has kept repeating the same word over and over again:

robust intergovernmental & private sector partnerships “(1)
“more partnerships between government and businesses” (2)
“building working partnerships across our state” (3)
“challenges that will require strong partnerships”. (4)
“cultivating private/public partnerships.” (5)

When Tina Kotek says government/private partnerships, she is talking about fixing government failures by unloading millions of tax dollars on more nonprofits with questionable operations.

• During Tina Kotek’s House Speaker reign, Oregon gave a million dollars of Federal Covid relief funds to a political lobby organization to build a new lobby building.  Oregon gave $145,000 of federal Covid emergency relief funds to help the Portland SNACK BLOC nonprofit, which, in part, provided free water, candy bars, and potato chips at the site of where Portlanders were actively rioting.  The State of Oregon awarded $800,000 (Hb 4050) to the non-profit called the Oregon Justice Resource Center.  OJRC tweeted about police and prisons that “We must dismantle/defund it all.”  One of its lawyers told a Portland crowd the U.S. Constitution and all police officers are fascist.  Another employee celebrated the hospitalization of journalist Andy Ngo and the sabotage by rioters of a Portland cafe because the shop hosted a coffee-with-cops program. She also once tweeted: “We don’t need reproductive rights if we kill all men.”

• Multnomah County tried to fix homelessness by giving County tax dollars to a non-profit that simply gave cash payments to low-income people.  Homelessness is up 30% and the non-profit is under criminal investigation.

• Multnomah County tried to fix housing by donating millions to a brand new non-profit.  Neither the County nor the non-profit realized that they were over-billing the County by hundreds of thousands of dollars until it was discovered way too late.    The non-profit doesn’t have much experience since its only source of funds is Multnomah County itself.

• Portland politicians dumped $85 million of tax dollars into building a massive 600-room private luxury hotel next to the Oregon Convention Center—despite many companies willing to construct it for free. The hotel didn’t work out, and it was sold within two years at a loss to another hotel chain. Not a single dollar was returned to taxpayers who paid $85 million.

Please Governor-Elect Tina Kotek, stop partnering with all the wrong people for all the wrong causes.

If you want to partner with the private sector try partnering with charter schools (instead of blocking attempts to lift the charter school cap).

Try partnering with faith based groups which have a widely better success rate than government agencies in getting people out of poverty, getting people off of drugs and helping people transition out of prison.

Try also “un-partnering” by reducing red tape regulations and taxes so existing nonprofits and charities can do the job better themselves without bureaucratic delays.  Upon visiting the disaster zone of a recent Hurricane, we learned that disaster relief charities are either helped or hindered by government actions.  We need to be a government that helps not hinders.

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