11th Annual Taxpayer Awards Winners & Losers
Presented by the Oregon Executive Club and the Taxpayer Association. At the April 6th Executive Club meeting Matt Wingard was present to accept his Thomas Jefferson award. Previous winners have been Lars Larson, Rep. Linda Flores, and Dorothy English. World renown Teddy Roosevelt impersonator was guest speaker at the event and it was spectacular.
Thomas Jefferson Award:
— Awarded to Oregonians for advancing the principles of individual liberty and limited government in 2010.
State Senator Brian Boquist
Senator Boquist combed through state agency budgets and led a year-long charge urging state government to use billions in unspent funds to help balance the budget. Senator Boquist encountered a backlash by liberal Democrat lawmakers who denied that such unspent funds existed. In 2010, the Secretary of State’s office reported that more than $3.3 billion in “unreserved, undesignated fund balance” existed and was available for spending. This fully verified Boquist’s efforts. Also in 2010, Boquist was an outspoken opponent of legislation that allowed politicians to tamper with ballot measure statements.
State Representative Matt Wingard
Representative Wingard has been one of the early and most persuasive critics against waste in Oregon’s unaccountable energy tax credit program. The program has made headlines for $1.6 billion in questionable spending. Wingard is currently spearheading legislation to bring limits to the program. Wingard is also one of the best advocates for protecting the rights of charter and online schools.
Wiener Politician Award:
— Awarded to the most obnoxious, cowardly, or reckless elected official
State Representative Mitch Greenlick
This lawmaker singlehandedly has ushered a tidal wave of nanny state government intrusion bills including: outlawing bike trailers for kids (HB 2228) a soda tax to reduce people’s fat levels (HB 2644), forcing citizens to get a doctors permission and prescription to buy a cigar (HB 2233), and merging Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties into one dysfunctional county (HB 2645). Rep. Greenlick defended the nanny state nature of his bills during a hearing by saying, “I love my nanny”.
Pork Barrel Project Award:
— The best example of government waste.
$23,000 Teacher Conference in Mexico
West Linn-Wilsonville school district spent $23,000 of school funds on airfare, hotel, meals and drinks for 19 administrators and teachers for a conference in Monterrey, Mexico. Critics complained on how going to Mexico to take classes on “capitalism” and “Islam in Democracy” will help 3rd grade gym teachers improve their classroom. Currently, the district has defended the trip while at the same time is considering raising a local income tax to help balance the school budget.
— Worst example of government regulation, overreach or bureaucratic mistake
Portland Aftershave Ban:
The Portland City Council has banned cologne, perfume, and aftershave from all city offices. Employees can now face disciplinary action for wearing too much scent.
Golden Schnoz Award:
— Best example of government sticking its nose in other people’s business
Teacher Defrauds Innocent Taxpayers at Work
Beaverton middle school teacher, Jason Levin, spent school hours organizing a political opposition to the Tea Party movement. His plan was to discredit Tea Party rallies by getting opponents to pretend they were supporters and to wave highly offensive (even racist) signs and slogans. Additionally, Levin was criticized for trying to acquire social security numbers of taxpayer rally supporters.