Vote for 2023 worst scandals, tax waste, politicians

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


It is time for the 23rd annual Taxpayers Awards as put on by the Taxpayers Association of Oregon.

Here are the nominees.




$500,000 to study prostitution: Lawmakers approved spending $500,000 in tax dollars to OHSU to study legalizing prostitution.  Thankfully, Kotek used her veto to kill the spending.


• Paying people not to drive.  Portland uses tax dollars to pay people $50 not to drive.  All you have to do is show up at a designated city tent and say you didn’t drive today and you get a free voucher.


• $350,000 for government mascot “Blobby”.  The Secretary of State spent $350,000 to create the cartoon called Blobby to make people “feel good” about elections.  This $350,000 comes at the same time the Secretary of State is grossly understaffed, causing massive backlog of public records requests and one of their main offices, Corporations Division, to be closed on Fridays for lack of staff.


$688,000-per-room homeless hotel plan. A commissioner is urging the county to buy the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Northeast Portland and turn it into a permanent homeless shelter. The project would cost $149 million, roughly $688,000 per door. That’s $100,000 more than the average median home price in Portland ($530,000).


• 55,000 crack pipes. Multnomah County budgeted the purchase of 55,000 crack pipes to hand out to drug-users for “safe” drug use.


Ÿ• $28M “living hell” housing project. Only three years old and the Portland Buri building is trash, with dozens of individuals doing drugs openly in common areas, stairs and elevators,  feces on stairs, the new plumbing vandalized and elevators broken. The year 2022 saw police calls for stabbings, shootings or violence an average of every other week.  One resident called the $24 million project a “living hell” to a Willamette Week reporter.


•$1.3 billion in new homeless spending, yet homeless grew 27%.  Oregon has spent an additional $1.3 billion on affordable housing and homeless programs (most of that the result of new taxes in 2018 and 2020 taxes), yet just 1% of our homeless got permanent housing.



$25,000 in accidental bikes lanes.  Portland Transportation Dept. accidently eliminated parking spaces in front of people’s homes and turned them into bike-only lanes.   Outraged homeowners were never notified.


• DMV waited to tell of data breach.  DMV was hacked, with 3.5 million Oregonians’ information stolen, and the DMV waited almost four days to notify the public which delayed their ability to protect themselves from identity theft.


• 250 of 300 staffers left Homeless program. The Multnomah/Portland Joint Homeless Service Office saw unbelievable staff turnover due to mismanagement of their quarter-billion dollar budget. One of their homeless shelter projects cost taxpayers $70/person a night which is about what it cost to be in a 2-bedroom apartment.


Tax info sent to 5,0000 wrong addresses. Oregon Revenue Department sent refund info (name, address, last four digits of SSN) to 5,000 incorrect addresses.


3,000 driver license errors, sending one man in jail incorrectly for 11 months. DMV accidently mislabeled 3,000 licenses as suspended when they weren’t.  This caused many people to be falsely arrested and sent to jail for driving with a suspended license when their license was not in fact suspended. One man was incorrectly held in jail for 11 months, lost his job and missed the birth of his son. The problem has gone on for years.



(Government sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong)


Ÿ •Suing Fox news.  Oregon’s attorney general is suing Fox News, saying that their news reporting is false/misleading and therefore causes their stocks to underperform – which hurts Oregon government pension investments.   Only a liberal attorney general could look at a $22 billion state pension deficit and decide to blame it on the stock performance of a political news show they do not like.

Ÿ •Eugene bans on natural gas and new gasoline stations.  Eugene voted – and then rescinded – a ban on natural gas installations in most new homes.  It has also been holding hearings on banning all new gasoline stations.

Ÿ •Portland FBI targets Catholics.  An FBI memo revealed that Portland was one of several FBI offices that targeted local Catholic churches as a place for future potential domestic terrorists to be found.  Somehow this seems to ignore the Leftists who rioted for 140 straight days in Portland, setting fires multiple times to a Federal Courthouse and police stations, or the Leftist terrorists who firebombed a pro-life office in Salem, or the Leftist rioters who hospitalized two journalists in Portland, or the Leftist rioters who attacked the Portland Federal Immigration office, overtook their city block for several days and threatened/vandalized the office of their lawyer.   Where are the Federal investigation results on these criminals?



Ÿ Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, “Pot Scandal Princess”.  Secretary of State, Shemia Fagan audited the marijuana industry.  The audit recommended that the State of Oregon find ways to use  government power to boost pot profits in Oregon – yet she failed to disclose that the marijuana lobby was paying her $10,000 a month.  Fagan resigned in the scandal.  Fagan also used political funds to pay for hotel pet fees for her dog.    At the same time Fagan released the government report promoting pot, she issued a different government audit report calling for the promotion of higher taxes by repealing the mortgage interest deduction in Oregon.  State audits are supposed to identify government waste to “save” taxpayers money, not promote proposals that will cost taxpayers “more” money. Nor should state audits be used to promote private businesses like pot.  Fagan also spent $350,000 to create a government mascot named “Blobby”.


Multnomah Chair, Vega Pederson, “Crack-Pipe Salesman of the Year”. Vega Pederson used tax dollars to budget for 55,000 pipes, 20,000 pipe cleaners, 31,000 straws, 90,000 tin foil sheets, 184,000 copper scouring pads and brass screens (used as pipe filters), 77 cases of ChapStick for drug users for a total cost to taxpayers at nearly $85,000. She wasted tax dollars on a wild lawsuit suing oil companies for $52 billion, saying they are bad for the environment.


Ÿ• Ted Wheeler, Portlandia’s Pass-the-Buck Mayor. After defunding police by 100 positions in 2020, Wheeler proceeded to lobby Gov. Tina Kotek to assign 100 Oregon state troopers to police Portland. Under, Wheeler, Portland is the second highest taxed city in the United States.


Eugene Mayor, Lucy Vinis, the”Ban Everything Baroness“.  Vinis voted to ban natural gas installations in new homes. She’s also has been holding hearings on banning all new gas stations as a way to force people into new electric vehicles, which cost an average of $63,000.


Eugene teacher Kirk Miller “Sex Ed Class Scandal”. Students in teacher Kirk Miller’s Health 2 Human Sexuality class at Eugene’s Churchill High School were given a “Fantasy Story” assignment and asked to write about their non-intercourse sexual fantasies. Another assignment was called “With Whom Would You Do It”. It used a spinning wheel with different sexual categories and positions and asked students to write the initials of someone with whom they’d like to engage in such acts. The health class was required to graduate.





Ÿ Kotek’s rules for thee, but not for meGovernor Kotek is billing taxpayers $300,000 for her Mahonia Hall mansion (her residence) modernization that includes installing a back-up natural gas generator.  At the same time Kotek’s environmentalist allies are pushing to outlaw installation of natural gas in new homes in Eugene and Milwaukie.  Kotek is awarding herself natural gas for emergencies while denying the rest of the right to use the same fuel.

Ÿ • Gas station double standard.  Liberal unions are circulating a statewide petition to ban self-service gas (not a typo) as a way to protect gas station jobs, while liberals in Eugene are lobbying to ban all new gas stations within city limits in the name of climate change.


— Mail ballots were sent to Taxpayers Association of Oregon supporters. 

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