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New TV ad for Measure 104


By Taxpayer Association of Oregon [1]

Here is the latest television spot for Yes on Measure 104 by the official campaign. The Measure 104 TV ad is very good and shows what is at stake.

This is no joke. For instance, the politicians created HB 2006 in 2017 which rolled back the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction for homeowners by introducing new income limits and tough rules on which homes qualify. The tax was labeled Not-a-Tax (despite raising a $100 million) and was allowed to bypass the Constitution’s 3/5 rule.

The politicians also created HB 2060 in 2017 which voided the Small Business Tax Cut for any businesses that didn’t hire new employees. The tax was deemed Not-a-Tax (despite it raises a ¼ billion) and was allowed to bypass the Constitution’s 3/5 rule.

These are real tax raising tax bills being sold as non-tax budget tweaks. Don’t buy the lie – Vote Yes on Measure 104!

Nearly 75% of the public has not voted. Please get your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to turn in their ballots and Vote Yes on Measure 104.

We need to honor the will of the voters.

In 1996, Oregon Voters approved a Constitutional amendment requiring all taxes and fees to require a 3/5th majority of votes.

This higher 3/5 vote (60%) threshold in the Constitution has stopped a flood of tax increases from being passed over the past 20 years.

Now, the politicians have found a way around it.

By changing who qualifies for tax credits and deductions, the politicians can raise billions in new taxes without it ever being considered a tax increase.

This is why we need Measure 104!

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Bulldozing democracy: 33 bills in single hearing!

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

OregonWatchdog.com [3]

The Oregon Senate Education Committee put 33 bills on the docket.

The Oregon House Health Care Committee put 28 bills and Judiciary 20+.

Bills are being rushed for a hearing and vote to keep the bill alive for the April deadline.  Part of this is procedural and part of it is politicians rushing bills through the process.


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Capitol: Media tax bailout, New DEQ powers, flavor ban, DC statehood

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

OregonWatchdog.com [3]

Here are some upcoming super-fast hearings on bills, the good, bad and ugly.

SJM 6 [5]–  Oregon to push DC statehood.  (Hearing 4/4/23) An Oregon memorial to urge Congress to enact legislation granting statehood to Washington, D.C. so they can get two United State Senators.   This may set a new precedent that cities themselves could get their own United States Senators.

HB 3090 [6] Flavor ban: Bans flavored products like vaping (Hearing 4/3/23).  Would demolish many small shops overnight.

HJR 23 [7]Steals people’s kicker.  (Hearing 4/4/23) HJR 23 would refer to the people a ballot measure to change the Constitution by taking part of the people’s kicker income refund and using for drought water projects.

HB 2513 [8] –  Measure 110: (Hearing 4/4/23) Requires Oregon Health Authority to study implementation of Ballot Measure 110 (drug decriminalization measure).

SB 884 [9] Tax cuts of disabled veterans.  (Hearing 4/4/23) Grants higher property tax exemption for property of veterans with disabilities.

SB 925 [10] Mandatory pay posting.   (Hearing 3/30/23) This sets up a complicated reporting mechanism where employers are forced to detail out all kinds of pay ranges and benefit definitions when posting a job.   Failure to do so, or making mistakes could land your business in tens of thousands of dollars in fines.   Just what small business needs in a labor shortage and inflation crisis — a new bureaucracy making hiring employees more expensive.

SB 847 [11]New home tax freeze.  (Hearing 4/4/23) Freezes tax assessed value for certain new residential construction for five property tax years. This would provide relief for sky high property tax assessments while new homes are being brought to market.

HB 2605 [12]  Tax credit for media companies: (Hearing 3/30/23) This appears to create a tax credit to media companies while also creating a taxpayer fund to fund a government (university) media system.  It is defined as “Creates tax credit for contributions to publisher of local journalistic publication. Defines local journalistic publication as print, broadcast, or digital publication either published by nonprofit news organization or that serves regional or local community, contains certain news and current events coverage, and employs certain number of persons other than independent contractors… Directs Department of Administrative Services to issue one-time grants to University of Oregon Agora Journalism Center and Fund for Oregon Rural Journalism to support Oregonians’ local news and information needs. Appropriates unspecified amount of General Fund to grant recipients.”

HB 2002 [13]   – Abortion/gender identity bill: (Hearing 4/4/23) Modifies provisions relating to reproductive health rights. Modifies provisions relating to access to reproductive health care and gender-affirming treatment. Modifies provisions relating to protections for providers of and individuals receiving reproductive and gender-affirming health care services. Creates crime of interfering with a health care facility. Punishes by maximum of 364 days’ imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both. Creates right of action for person or health care provider aggrieved by interference with health care facility. Repeals criminal provisions relating to concealing birth.

HB 2614 [14] New DEQ power: (Hearing 4/4/23) House Bill 2614 appears to give DEQ new agency power to hurt companies that don’t meet their climate goals and to fund companies and activities that they like (all without an apparent vote of the people or their elected lawmakers).  Bill explanations reads “would require transportation network companies to meet or exceed specified targets for a percentage of their service miles provided by zero-emission vehicles and establish a Rideshare Electrification Fund.” and “Requires a transportation network company to report by April 1 of each year to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) information sufficient for DEQ to determine the total number of service miles driven in Oregon by transportation network company vehicles and the total number of service miles driven in this state by zero-emission transportation network company vehicles. Authorizes Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) to establish by rule requirements for reports submitted to DEQ. Establishes that the confidential business information submitted to DEQ by a transportation network company under this section is confidential and not subject to public disclosure under ORS 192.311 to 192.478. Requires transportation network companies to meet or exceed specified targets for percentage of service miles provided by zero-emission vehicles. Requires DEQ to conduct a feasibility review of the targets and provide the results to the EQC if the two largest transportation network companies in this state each fail to meet the specified targets by 30 percent or more for two consecutive  years. Requires EQC, after receiving the results of the review, to modify the targets or delay implementation of the targets. Establishes that rules adopted by EQC related to requirements for reports submitted to DEQ must be informed by data reported to DEQ. Requires EQC to establish by rule a program to provide financial incentives for: 1) the purchase or lease of zero-emission transportation network company vehicles by transportation network company drivers; 2) the construction, planning, installation, operation, or maintenance of electric vehicle charging stations at or near multifamily dwellings in which transportation network company drivers reside; and 3) electrical work, including wiring, conduit, or electrical panel upgrades and the purchase or installation of level 2 or higher electric vehicle charging stations at single-family dwellings in which transportation network company drivers reside. Directs DEQ to administer the financial incentives program. Requires DEQ to disburse financial incentives under the program to eligible recipients in a timely manner but no less than once per year. Establishes Rideshare Electrification Fund (Fund) and criteria for administration of Fund and allocation of moneys. Establishes a civil penalty of 50 cents for each service mile, to be deposited in the Fund, that did not meet the ZEV service mil target required for that calendar year if a transportation network company that fails to meet a ZEV service mile targets, or established by the EQC by rule. Requires DEQ to limit the number of zero-emission and electric vehicle rebate program (ORS 468.444) rebates available to an organization, including businesses, nonprofit organizations, and state or local government agencies, to 200 rebates per organization per year.”

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Capitol blackout: Most denied a chance to testify

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

OregonWatchdog.com [3]

Last week, the House Committee On Behavioral Health and Health Care held a short hearing on a highly controversial and impactful bill. The bill was HB 3090 which would ban statewide flavored products like vaping and cigarettes. Because most vaping products are flavored this bill risks wiping out entire mom-and-pop shops and their owner’s lifetime financial investment in these small businesses.

Many shop owners closed their shops, sent employees home and drove hours to attend the hearing only to be denied a chance to share their opinion.

It appears that the hearing didn’t even get to half of the people who came to testify.   That may mean that as many as 30 people were denied a chance to share their important opinions.

This is anti-democratic.

Yet, it is becoming more common.

• In 2021, the public was only allowed 60 seconds to testify [15] on three different timber bills.

• During the hearing on the 2020 Employment Director scandal, neither the public, nor lawmakers  were allowed to ask questions [16].

• During the regional carbon tax hearings in 2020, many citizens were blocked from testifying as the Committee ran out of time and wouldn’t allow for more.

• Just this week, one hearing had 33 bills on the docket [17], making it impossible for citizens to have time to testify.

This also creates a situation where a politician can vote to destroy another person’s business (flavor product ban, carbon tax, timber tax) virtually overnight and never face the business owners whom lives you are sending into bankruptcy.

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SB 422: Get Your Motor Runnin’

Posted By Eric Shierman On In Oregon Senate | Comments Disabled

Usually, every good bill is defeated at this point in the legislative session. The only bills that would have normally advanced are those that impose more harm to society than help.

That remains mostly true this year, yet I’ve found something good to write about. SB 422 [18] will reduce traffic on our freeways by allowing motorcycles to travel between lanes when congested. This policy is also safer for motorcyclists. When the I-5 becomes a parking lot, drivers not paying attention sometimes rear-end the vehicle at the end of the queue. If that vehicle is a car or a truck, it’s just a fender-bender. If that vehicle is a motorcycle, it can be fatal.

This bill is kind of a no-brainer. Yet when passed by the legislature in 2021, then-Governor Brown strangely vetoed it. It has passed the Oregon Senate a second time this year by a margin of 27-2.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this bill is the people who vote against it. Why did they? The two nays were Senate President Rob Wagner and Senator Lynn Findley: a Democrat and a Republican. This bill has both bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition.

If SB 422 clears the Oregon House, will our new Governor veto it? Unlikely, she voted for it two years ago.

Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of We were winning when I was there [19].

Fox News: Eugene school scandal spurs uproar, candidate challenger

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Dr Michael Bratland is a dentist and owner of Crisdental in Eugene, Oregon.  He’s a husband and the father of five of his own children and two foster children. He’s running for Eugene 4J school board this May.

How’s this for a fantasy? Eugene’s Churchill High School – my alma mater – gains national and, indeed, international attention for its stellar graduation rate and unbelievable levels of reading and math proficiency. And, as an aspiring school board candidate, I’m interviewed by the nation’s TV networks to see what I plan to do to keep up Churchill and 4J’s academic excellence. That’s my fantasy.

The reality, of course, is something far different. My old Churchill High – well, has it has gained national [20] and international [21] notoriety over the outrageous, out-of-control sex-ed assignments one of its teachers inflicted on his students. In one he asked them to write a paragraph or two on their sexual fantasies (“You will write a short story of a paragraph or two. This story is a sexual fantasy that will have NO penetration of any kind or oral sex …. You will choose 3 items (romantic music, candles, massage oil, feather, feather boa, flavored syrup, etc.) to use in your story.”) Another entitled ““With Whom Would You Do It” featured a spinning wheel with assorted sexual acts and asked students to provide initials of male and female classmates they want to have the sexual activity with. Yes, all this is why Churchill High and 4J Schools are now in the news and why Fox News Channel [22] recently interviewed me.

It’s also why our 4J parents are up in arms. They should be. Our current board members condemned the assignments – they should have – though their condemnations were followed by “buts …

Let’s be clear: there should be no “buts …

Yes, the teacher in question has been suspended, the district has launched an independent investigation into the incident, and the school board gave aggrieved parents a chance to vent at the March school board meeting, though it cut back the time each person had to address the board. None of this is good enough.  None of this goes far enough. Following the completion of this independent investigation, the board needs to devote one or more special meetings on how this came to happen and what passes for “comprehensive sex education” in our district and why.

Parents need answers. A properly functioning board needs answers. At this point, the questions are obvious:

Did district officials actually read the curriculum? That’s the question a mother with a daughter in the class asked [21].  Katherine Rogers went on: “If this was reviewed, how did it slip through the cracks?”  Exactly.

Were these creepy assignments, in fact, actually in the Our Whole Life curriculum that the district adopted in 2016 and implemented in 2018? Churchill principal Missy Cole told parents in an email that the teacher was simply following the approved curriculum [23], but the OWL people say no [23], it was an “unauthorized” and outdated assignment. Which is it?

District officials stated that they provide parents with a syllabus and allow them to opt their children out. How exactly is the syllabus provided to parents – to all parents or upon request only? – and does the syllabus spell out the assignments and supplemental lessons at each grade level? In short, are 4J parents given a realistic look at what their children might be asked to do in class before the they’re given the chance to opt out?

What are the possible OWL assignments and supplemental lessons and supplemental reading materials at each grade level?

The 4J communications director Jenna McCulley has told the media that the district will be adopting a new health curriculum before the end of the school year [24]. Not so fast. Those plans should be placed on hold.  Given what we know so far about the Churchill incident and given what we may learn about it in the weeks and months ahead, we need involvement of the board at the granular level, and the board needs the involvement of parents – all parents – on this issue. Just where is the district in this process? What curricula are being considered? And what are the recommended readings and class assignments associated with each curriculum?

In a statement about the incident, 4J Superintendent Andy Dey said [25] there was “inadequate oversight around the standards required and the best methods to meet those standards by relying on supplemental lessons rather following the [OWL] curriculum verbatim.” The board needs to examine each element of that statement as part of its special session – or special sessions – on the Churchill incident in particular and sex education in general.

We need answers. Our 4J parents deserve answers.

Our 4J School Board needs to take up this issue in a way that we – the board, parents, educators and voters – can be a source of pride rather than shame.

Dr Michael Bratland is a dentist and owner of Crisdental in Eugene, Oregon.  He’s a husband and the father of five of his own children and two foster children. He’s running for Eugene 4J school board this May.


Rep. Cramer: Two school access bills advance

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Bills to Make Education More Accessible Clear First Committee Votes
State Representative Tracy Cramer,

SALEM, OR – Bipartisan votes from the House Education Committee helped House Bills 3236 and 3204 clear their first hurdle yesterday. Two of Representative Cramer’s priorities, these bills will expand access to educational options for families.

HB 3236 [26] will dedicate funding to Willamette Career Academy, a local career technical education program that serves Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties. The bill now heads to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, where it will get a full financial analysis.

HB 3204 [27] would shorten regulatory timelines for at-risk students who want to transfer to virtual charter schools. These shortened timelines will help ensure less time out of the classroom by making the transfer faster and easier for students.

“I was proud to work in a bipartisan way with committee members on both of these bills to come to a compromise that both sides could live with,” Cramer (R-Gervais) said. “I will continue working to make it easier and more accessible for students and families to freely choose the education that best fits their needs. We have a long way to go to make choice a reality for all families, but these two bills are small steps in the right direction.”

Small shop hit by naked vagrants, fires, break-ins

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
OregonWatchdog.com [3]

A Portland consignment shop, Heart’s Decor [28], has been repeatedly hit by vandals and vagrants.  The common theme seems to be half-naked people, drug addicts, human waste , people setting fires and break-ins.

KATU reports [29], “…a naked woman who refused to leave. “She said, ‘Don’t you come close to me! I’m going to slit your throat,'” Martell said.  She also described an attack that left her daughter bloodied just a few days before Christmas. “I asked him; ‘please pull his pants up.’ Well, that started the whole thing,” said Martell. “He grabbed me, threw me down, and then he assaulted Lacey and punched her right in the face.” Martell says Lacey ended up in the emergency room getting stitches. She blames most of the crime on homeless people living in tents and vehicles around her consignment shop.”The other day, one guy was out there peeing in the street, facing right towards us, and we had a little gal here,” said Martell. “Not a care in the world… building fires out there, garbage everywhere.”

If you want to know how pervasive the problem of naked people roaming Portland, consider this panel we produced [30] showing four incidences of in Portland in just 30 days.


The business owner as described faced problems of garbage.  Here is an example from this month of the garbage pilling up under a bridge where the homeless bore a hole through a concrete wall.



Don’t worry, the politicians have it all under control, as seen by this Eugene “no camping” sign.



The business suffered from broken windows.  Here was Portland City Hall last year.  They too, had broken window problems.



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State demands closed birth center re-open, lose money

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

OregonWatchdog.com [3]

The Oregonian reports [31], “Oregon regulators have denied Legacy Health’s request to close its birthing center at Mount Hood Medical Center in Gresham, finding that the closure could endanger pregnant patients and their babies.The decision escalates a high-stakes standoff, since Legacy went ahead with the shutdown two weeks ago even without approval from the Oregon Health Authority. Legacy said too many of the birthing center’s employees had quit…Legacy officials have said they had no intention of closing the Mount Hood birth center. It wanted to restructure and cut costs, in part by ending the 24-hour presence of an obstetrician. Several of the birthing center’s doctors quickly resigned. Legacy said previously that at that point it had no alternative but to close it down for lack of adequate staffing.”

Consider the irony!

Oregon is one of the few states where medical centers cannot locate anywhere unless they get government approval and that approval process is full of red tape (which is why Oregon has a hospital capacity shortage).  Even if a rural town is begging for more hospitals — it might take years for government to get around to say yes, if they say yes.  AND Oregon has a rule that you cannot close a medical facility without government approval.

Here we are in a crisis.  A labor shortage (created by failed government policy) and a loss of revenue where Oregon hospitals have lost nearly a half billion dollars (also caused by government taxes and policy).   Legacy Birth Center cannot operate under these conditions.  Now government is forcing them to stay open.

State government is forcing this birth center to lose money and provide strained medical care which is not in the interest of patients.  Forcing this center to lose money puts at risk the larger Legacy health care systems.   This whole thing is a disaster.

As we previously reported [32]:

Legacy Mount Hood’s Family Birth Center is closing [33].  A Springfield [34] and Bend [35] center have already closed.   The Legacy Birth Center was already a low volume center, but made worse since Oregon is witnessing a decline in population of families.  As young families leave, the number of natural births decline.

The labor shortage is the other reason the center is closing.

Oregon pushed out many medical workers because the State mandated a vaccine policy that was rated inflexible and among the six most restrictive in the nation at a time when most states did not have a mandate (those that did, most had flexible options like weekly testing).

Finally, since Oregon raised $300 million in hospital and health care taxes while driving up labor costs, hospitals have been losing money.  Over $300 million last year alone.

Also, recently several pregnancy help centers have been attacked by Leftist rioters.

This Eugene pregnancy center had to board up its windows as nearly 100 rioters descended on it.



Liberal polices making Oregon a difficult place to raise a family.



House GOP forces vote on safe school bills

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House Republicans Force Vote to Reconsider All Legislation in Proposed Safe Schools Package – Every Vote Receives Bipartisan Support

 By Oregon House Republican Office

SALEM, OR – Today, the House Republicans forced a House floor vote on all seven bills in the proposed “Safe Schools Package.” Every single vote received bipartisan support, despite five of the seven bills with Republican Chief Sponsors never having been scheduled for a public hearing.

The Safe Schools Package [36]includes seven pieces of legislation to prioritize the safety of our students and faculty, including funding for School Resource Officers, studies to analyze school building safety, electronic communication to parents, and panic alarms for school buildings.

Three members were absent. 31 votes are required to withdraw a bill from committee.

Following the votes on the House floor, eight Republican members shared their deep disappointment with the lack of regard for student safety.

House Republican Leader Breese-Iverson’s remarks are below:

Mr. Speaker,

Today, votes were called for immediate consideration on five school safety bills that Republicans introduced that were sadly left to die in committee.

These bills were ignored and never scheduled for public hearings by committee chairs.

The solid, common-sense bills proposed in Safe School Package would allow this body to take immediate action for the safety and protection of students across this state.

As a mom, my heart breaks for the students, teachers, and families whose lives were changed forever on Monday.

As a mom, I demand action for our children.

Oregonians know that armed security is a deterrent.

We also know that budget’s reflect priorities.

So today I pose that question – what are our priorities? Is that student safety? If it is, then this body should have taken action to address the important matters today.

Instead of rising to the occasion and meeting the moment, this body fell short. Today they let the students down across our state. There should be no other priority.

We should, we can, and we must do better.

I caught 2 telling moments from shooting police cam

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
OregonWatchdog.com [3]

The video of the Nashville police camera footage from the school shooting is jaw dropping (edited version here [44]).

A more unedited video [45] shows how the police are running towards active gunfire.

You can see in the photo above one officer helping to push another officer through a door on two separate occasions.    Officers were not allowed to spare even a half second of caution when entering into a new room/hallway approaching where the gunfire was.

It was 100% of these officers running into danger at all times until they found the shooter.

The officers can even be seen running past a dead child in the hallway.

This is what police officers are being asked to do — to take extreme risks.

This is why dozens of officers are killed every year.

We need to support our law enforcement at every step.


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Sen. Knopp: SB 644 passing to help rural housing

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Senator Knopp Leads Oregon Senate in Passing Bipartisan Bill Removing Rural Housing Construction Barrier
By Oregon Senate Republican Office,

SALEM, Ore. – Yesterday, the Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 644A, a Republican bill receiving overwhelming bipartisan support. The measure allows accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to be built in rural areas at risk for wildfire to resilient building standards.

“ADUs are an effective tool in bringing housing to rural Oregon. The state’s chaotic and ineffective release of wildfire risk maps (SB 762) in 2021 not only put rural Oregonians’ home insurance rates in crisis, but it also limits our ability to provide rural housing options. Until the wildfire maps are resolved, SB 644A removes that barrier. I am confident this is the bipartisan solution we need to finish the work we started in 2021,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend), co-chief sponsor of the bill.

“SB 644A is the result of collaborative efforts between local government and citizens to help those struggling to find housing in less-populated areas of the state, and to continue towards our goal of reaching 36,000 units per year,” added Deputy Leader Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City).

“Though this bill alone will not solve the housing crisis, it is an important step we need to take to start chipping away at it,” concluded Deputy Leader Lynn Findley (R-Vale), co-chief sponsor of the bill.

SB 644A is the second bill introduced by Senator Knopp that has passed in the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. It now heads to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.

Kicker theft bill HJR 23 to have hearing

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

OregonWatchdog.com [3]

The time for traditional hearings on Oregon bills is coming to a close in the State Legislature.  Bills must have a hearing by the approaching April deadlines or die in committee.

Where was the public hearing on the kicker you say?   There was none.

They plan to have hearings on this bill later in Session in the final few weeks when bills are rushed through the process and politicians are allowed to limit public notice and limit public involvement.   I cannot emphasize this enough!!!   Most of the worst bills and tax increases in the Legislature happen in the final weeks of Session when they can rush bills through.  As former Democrat lawmaker, Marty Wilde, said last year [46], most key decision in the Legislature happen behind closed doors with just a few people (and then rushed out the door so the public doesn’t know what is happening).  Don’t fall for this scam!

HJR 23 would refer to the people a ballot measure a scheme to take a big share of the people’s kicker.   They pledge to use the funds to pay for drought water projects.  Already lawmakers released their budget goals for this year and it calls for growing the 2-year Oregon budget at a whopping 25% [47]!  Gov. Kotek’s own budget plan calls for 26%.   Both plans would make Oregon among the fastest growing state governments in the nation — nearly double the national average.  Growing government by 26% is not enough, which is why they feel compelled to grab the kicker which is over-collected tax revenue and surplus revenue overpaid by taxpayers.   By taking the people’s kicker they can grow their budget possibly by 27%, 28% or 30% more.   Once the politicians do this, the next budget cycle politicians will then build upon the 20% growth as the new normal — meaning they must raise taxes to sustain that level of spending which among the fastest and highest in the nation.

HJR 23 is in the House Agriculture Committee and set for a April 4th vote.  Because it is a revenue measure it must eventually find itself in the Revenue Committee.   April 4th is a planned time for the Ag Committee to send it to the Revenue Committee.  If there is no vote on April 4th the bill dies.   By politicians sending it the Revenue Committee, it (1) keeps the bill alive (2) allows the bill to be heard later in Session when public hearings are limited (3) close any public comment on the bill on April 4th as it is supposed to be just a procedural bill move from one committee to another.

If lawmakers are going to debate stealing our kicker we want a full robust public hearing with advanced noticed and not rushed hearings which happen later in session.

This is why we are asking people to call members of the House Ag committee to say no to the Kicker Theft Bill HJR 13.

Lawmakers should vote no or let the bill die like all other bills that will be missing the bill deadline.

Please call and email members of House Committee on Agriculture
Tell them to Vote No on HJR 23 and not to steal any part of the Kicker

• Always be respectful, courteous and kind when you call
Go to Oregonwatchdog.com/kicker for updates

Representative Ken Helm (chair)
[email protected]

Representative Annessa Hartman
[email protected]

Representative Mark Owens
[email protected]

Representative Court Boice
[email protected]

Representative Mark Gamba
[email protected]

Representative Bobby Levy
[email protected]

Representative Pam Marsh
[email protected]

Representative Susan McLain
[email protected]

Representative Anna Scharf
[email protected]

One part of HJR 23 is that politicians are toying with an idea to steal part of the kicker — like higher income, so that they do not upset too many of their voters.    This is a ruse.  We remember, some 12 years ago when politicians took the business kicker refund (which was over-collected business taxes and surplus revenue).  Now they are back for more as they aim to go after higher income taxpayers and work themselves down until there is no kicker at all.

Because politicians love to introduce surprise amendments on almost the day of a hearing, there is no way to actually know what final product is going to be sprung on taxpayers.

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Bill removes “Global Warming” name (too unpopular?)

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

OregonWatchdog.com [3]

SB 522 [48] removes the name “Global Warming Commission” to “Climate Action Commission”.

The term global warming has been widely scrapped by many environmentalists as the name has soured with the public, especially after decades of false predictions and negative publicity.   Climate is a term that allows for greater flexibility in attributing any change in climate to the problem of global warming.

But there is more to the bill than a name change.

SB 522 [48] is defined, “Establishes goal of achieving greenhouse gas levels that are at least 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035. Adjusts. 2050 goal to achieve greenhouse gas levels that are at least 80 percent, rather than 75 percent below 1990 levels.Changes name of “Oregon Global Warming Commission” to “Oregon Climate Action Commission” (Commission). Authorizes Commission to periodically make recommendations to Legislative Assembly to strengthen greenhouse gas emission reduction goals (GHG Emission Reduction Goals) based on the best available science. Increases number of voting members from 11 to 13 by adding member with significant experience in environmental justice and a youth representative. Increases number of nonvoting members from 14 to 22 by adding the directors of the following agencies: Department of Land Conservation and Development, Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Business Development Department, Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Department of Consumer and Business Services, State Fish and Wildlife, Housing and Community Services Department, and the executive director of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board”

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Rent control produced all the wrong outcomes — they’re back for more

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
OregonWatchdog.com [3]

Oregon and Portland passed one of the nation’s toughest and most bureaucratic rent control laws.

Here is what happened.

• Some places in Oregon saw rent prices increase double digits others increased 46%. [49]

• Rental properties went down 14% [49] as landlords left the Portland market.

Because rent control failed, the lawmakers are back for more.

Senate Bill 611 is up for a hearing.  SB 611 caps annual rent increases at  3% plus inflation or a flat 8% — whichever number is lower.  SB 611 also increases the amount landlords owe tenants in cases where the renter is evicted due to landlord-initiated circumstances such as demolishing, remodeling or selling the property itself.

When inflation spikes (like the recent 8%) and taxes go up (Oregon among the highest taxed states), property owners can lose the ability to stay afloat.  Furthermore, when politicians pass more rules and red tape on landlords,many are forced to go to rental agencies to help them navigate the bureaucracy.  This adds to the cost of renting and is reflected in the cost.   This is why Portland prices went up.   This is also why some landlords leave the business entirely, which reduces supply, which in turn increases the price.

If only politicians knew that they are making everything worse — higher rents, less profitable small businesses, fewer choices, more bureaucracy, more distance between landlord and tenants, etc.

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Taking Advantage of the Poor

Posted By Larry Huss On In Character,Corruption,Government corruption,Lottery,Morons and Politicians,Politicians and Morons,Welfare State | Comments Disabled


Lyrics have been written, stories have been crafted and movies have been filmed about the search for lost treasure. Invariably, the quest involves some down and out soul who seeks the treasure as a last resort. For people with little to show for a life of hard work (or in some cases a life of lethargy) the “big score” is seemingly the only way out – the opportunity to rise above their current station in life.

Look at me, Cassie. You know me. I ain’t ever going to come into big money and I ain’t ever gonna win the lottery, either. I’ve hit my ceiling. Finding Sir Scott’s Treasure means everything to me.”

Treasure State by C.J. Box

In most instances it’s a fool’s errand. (For those of you forced to endure a teachers union led education in the Portland Public Schools, a “fool’s errand” is an undertaking that has virtually no chance of success – such as Vice-president Kalamata Harris (D) uttering an intelligible response to an unscripted question.)

And the desperation borne of that wishful thinking is the reason for innumerable grifters, scam artists and snake oil salesman all seeking to prey on the combination of helplessness and greed. They range from the purveyors of “three card Monte” to “seeding” gold claims, to the new internet scams (the Nigerian, the Amazon gift card, etc.) and all the way up to the likes of Bernie Madoff and Sam Bankman-Fried. Unscrupulous men and women who promise the sky while they empty your bank accounts.

In times past, theses scams often succeeded because of the “charm” of the purveyor as much as the naivete of the victim. But with the advent of the internet and the ability to project the “opportunity” to literally millions of people simultaneously these low-lifers depend as much on the volume of “suckers” as they do the charm of the grifter. You may remember that early in the age of electronic commerce, imaginative scammers infiltrated the banks and added a penny to every transaction or deducted a penny from each account. That may seem like a negligible amount but multiply that by tens of million transactions or a tens of million accounts that amount begins to produce millions of dollars a day – and who would spend hours balancing a checkbook over a penny, or arguing with the credit card company over a penny.

The point here is that there are no limits to the ingenuity of those who would prey on the weaknesses of others. Particularly those who would prey on the poor, the uneducated or the downtrodden. And there is no limit on the moral depravity of those who would do so. You can often define the character of a person by what they would do for money. When morality doesn’t count and when the agony of those victimized doesn’t count, you have defined the character of those who would sink so low.

Normally, you would think that these are the very type of people and activities that would cause state and local governments to investigate and ban in an effort to protect their citizens. And they do. Most state and local law enforcement agencies have units that hunt, track and arrest these vermin. Headlines often capture the largest or most depraved of these scams and the men and women who operate them.

What you would not expect to find is that among these miscreants are the state and local governments of virtually every state in the union. What you would not expect is that the state and local governments are the most prolific purveyors of the “easy way out” – the rags to riches in an instant scams. The promise of tens, even hundreds, of millions of dollars in exchange for a two dollar ticket. I am referring to the state lotteries. (Only Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah do not have government sponsored lotteries.)

But for state and local governments who are charged with preserving our well-being the callousness of implementing state lotteries is even worse. And that is because prior to the adoption of every state lottery, before the expansion of every offering and before the embrace of the cash they produce, each and every state legislature is fully aware of the consequences of their actions.

For instance, according to The Journalist’s Resource:

The research literature in this area, however, often highlights the more problematic aspects of this phenomenon. A 2011 paper in the Journal of Gambling Studies [51] conducts a thorough review of the available research on lotteries and concludes that the “poor are still the leading patron of the lottery and even the people who were made to feel poor buy lotteries. The legalization of gambling has seen a significant increase of young people gambling, particularly in lotteries, and the best predictor of their lottery gambling is their parents’ lottery participation.” A 2016 study in the same journal reports that more people have gambling problems in states with more types of legal gambling or where gambling has been legal for longer. A 2012 study from Yale University finds that the “receipt of scratch lottery tickets as gifts during childhood or adolescence was associated with risky/problematic gambling and with gambling-related attitudes, behaviors, and views suggesting greater gambling acceptability.” Moreover, other studies, such as a 2010 paper in the Journal of Community Psychology [52], find that lottery outlets are often clustered in neighborhoods with large numbers of minorities, who are at greatest risk for developing gambling addictions.”

The very groups over whom the politicians wring their hands constantly, the very groups that the politicians hold up to justify government’s social welfare nets, the very people for whom the politicians thump their chests over their self-righteousness, are the very people who they victimize those most. The very people that the politicians exclude from taxation because they are poor are the very people from whom they extract lucre to feed the bureaucrats appetites for employees, for increased salaries, and for gold-plated benefits.

The Journalists Resource noted:

“Mega lottery jackpots, big winners and out-of-the-blue scratch ticket miracles are routinely featured across American media. Lottery revenues are often critical to government budgets and help subsidize a variety of programs. In 2014, lotteries contributed $21.3 billion to state budgets, up from $18.2 billion in 2012 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”

For years the national average of those winning the lotteries finds that almost seventy percent of those winners go broke within five years, A January 2023 article published at MoneyMarshmellow.com noted:

“Further studies have found that winning the lottery generally didn’t help financially distressed people escape their troubles. Instead, it only postponed the inevitable bankruptcy.

“Accordingly to the book The Emotional Life of Money [53], lottery winners frequently become estranged from family and friends. They also have a greater incidence of depression, drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, and suicide than the average person. Like losing all the money wasn’t already enough!”

These winners, most of whom are unqualified by virtue of education and/or experience to manage large sums of money, immediately become targets for “friends and family” wishing to borrow money, for hucksters and grifters promising even greater worth, and unlimited and unwise spending to acquire all that they think they have been missing. It is the moral equivalent of giving a six-year old the keys to a Corvette.

But to make it even worse the excuses used to justify the adoption and/or expansion of a lottery system are the lies and exaggerations of the politicians and the public employee unions who benefit from expanded government. Invariably states, like Oregon, sell the idea of the lottery based on a promise to dedicate a substantial portion of the funding to particular government responsibilities embraced by most – improved education, parks and recreation, cleaner environments, etc. But money is fungible and once it is collected it cannot be traced. The lottery revenues are generally used to offset historic general fund expenditures resulting in little net increase to the those projects. In point of fact, because it frees up what was previously spent from the general fund, the politicians are free to hire more people, increase wages and benefits and reward favored constituencies with contracts, studies, and research which are in turn recycled to campaign contributions for the politicians deciding the awards.

So there it is. A system that preys on the poor, the uneducated, and the downtrodden by promising riches for the price of a two dollar ticket. As I said earlier you can tell the character of a person – even a politician’s – by what they will do for money.

House GOP proposes 7 safe school bills

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House Republican Caucus Proposes “Safe Schools Package”

“We agree with our Democratic colleagues – student safety is critical.”
 By Oregon House Republican Caucus,

SALEM, OR – Today, the House Republican Caucus proposed the “Safe Schools Package” in response to the tragedy at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. Yesterday morning, on the House floor, Leader Breese-Iverson extended her condolences to those affected by the tragedy:

Mr. Speaker, I want to extend our Caucus’ deepest condolences to everyone impacted at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. Details of this shooting are still coming out. While we do not know the motives and extent of this tragedy, our hearts go out to the students, families, and educators affected.

The “Safe Schools Package” includes the following legislation to prioritize the safety of our students and faculty:

While several of these bills were proposed by House Republicans and cast aside in committee, two of these bills carry bipartisan support and have moved as a result.

“Yesterday’s tragedy is a parent’s worst nightmare. We agree with our Democratic colleagues – student safety is critical. The legislation proposed in the Safe Schools Package, sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats, must be prioritized for the safety of our students. Based on the facts we know at this time, nothing in the House Democrats Omnibus Gun Package would not have stopped this tragedy. It is our responsibility to ensure that Oregon students are as safe as State Legislators are in the Capitol. Republicans stand ready to work in a bipartisan manner, have the difficult conversations, and protect our students,” said House Republican Leader Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville).

Budget: 25% Increase (nearly double other states)

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

OregonWatchdog.com [3]

The Oregon Legislature Joint Committee on Ways and Means released [54] their draft budget and it calls for a 2-year budget of spending $billion.

That is a 25.5% increase, very similar to Governor Kotek’s budget of 26% increase.

Based on comparing that budget increase to other states (on their non-Covid impacted budget time), we find that other states are growing around 14%.   That means Oregon plans to grow nearly double what other states are growing.

The budget calls for adding 4,792 government employees, which will add permanent costs to our budget.

The budget calls for spending $600 million more for schools even though enrollment has dropped by 30,000 students.

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SB 284 makes our schools even worse

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By William Mackenzie,

Even with Oregon’s public school students already suffering from abysmal scores on national reading and mathematics tests and one in five students failing to graduate from high school in four years, state politicians can’t seem to stop inserting themselves into school curriculum decisions.

State Senators James I. Manning Jr. and Deb Patterson​ want to add another labor-intensive, complicated and questionable instructional mandate on students and teachers.

SB 284 [55], submitted by the two senators at the request of Oregon Educators for Climate Education [56], “a statewide group of educators working toward Oregon legislation that would integrate and infuse PK-12 climate change education across all core subject areas”, would:

Meanwhile, state Rep. David Gomberg, D-Lincoln City, introduced  House Bill 2905 [57] that would add to existing requirements for Oregon’s schools to teach about BIPOC, LGBTQ, immigrant communities and others by requiring that schools “Ensure that the academic content standards for history, geography, economics and civics include sufficient instruction on the histories, contributions and perspectives of individuals who…are of Jewish descent.” The bill has already cleared the House awaits Senate action.

SB 284’s climate change mandate would come on top of a K–12 Native American curriculum for all Oregon public schools created after passage of SB 13, a Tribal History/Shared History initiative, in 2017. The initiative has developed more than 45 lesson plans for grades four, eight, and ten across multiple content areas. The Oregon Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education (ODE/OIE) launched the first phase of implementation in these grade levels During the 2020/21 academic year.

It’s all fine and good to want Oregon’s K-12 public school students to be up to speed on topics of the day, but adding more costly and time-consuming mandates when even the basic curriculum isn’t being effectively delivered is a recipe for failure.

And the legislature doesn’t have a particularly good track record with earlier curriculum changes it has imposed.

Legislation requiring that all Oregon school districts teach about the Holocaust beginning with the 2020-2021 school year is a case in point.

Claire Sarnowski, a freshman at Lake Oswego’s Lakeridge High School, came up with the idea of mandating Holocaust instruction after hearing Holocaust survivor Alter Wiener tell his story. Sarnowski approached state Sen. Rob Wagner, who agreed to introduce a bill.

It all sounded so simple and straightforward at the outset, but the final legislation was a classic example of mission creep.

The legislation went far beyond mandating that students be taught about the Holocaust.  Employing the coercive power of government, teachers are now required to address a slew of social justice topics: the immorality of mass violence; respect for cultural diversity; the obligation to combat wrongdoing through resistance, including protest; and the value of restorative justice.

You can be sure that any mandated climate change curriculum would morph into similar broad terrain and impose even more demands on Oregon’s already overburdened teachers and students.


Con. Chavez-DeRemer introduces END FENTANYL Act

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By Oregon Congresswoman Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05)

Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) recently joined Reps. Michael Guest (MS-03) and David Trone (MD-06) to help introduce the END FENTANYL Act, which would require U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to identify improvements for preventing drug and human trafficking. The bipartisan and bicameral legislation builds off a 2019 report

from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found drug interdiction guidance has not been updated in 20 years.

“Unfortunately, Oregon leads the nation in drug problems, and it stems from illegal substances being smuggled across the southern border. We must use every tool possible to put an end to this crisis, which has already taken far too many lives – including the lives of children. The END FENTANYL Act would require a review of outdated policies and procedures in an effort to help mitigate dangerous drug trafficking. I’ll continue working closely with my colleagues and border patrol agents to ensure those on the front lines have the resources needed to keep themselves and our communities safe,” Chavez-DeRemer said.

The Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of life (END FENTANYL) Act would require CBP to update its manuals at least once every three years to identify ways to help prevent drug and human smuggling activity through ports of entry. After each review, CBP would be required to report to Congress on any changes that are made.

The proposal is also supported by Reps. Mike Ezell (MS-04), Tony Gonzalez (TX-23), Angie Craig (MN-02), Susie Lee (NV-03), and Dina Titus (NV-01). It was introduced in the U.S. Senate earlier this year by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and is supported by Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.). It passed the Senate unanimously last Congress.

Following recent meetings at the southern border, Chavez-DeRemer also announced her support for the Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act and the Protecting First Responders from Secondary Exposure Act to deter fentanyl trafficking and protect law enforcement. The largest fentanyl bust in Oregon’s history happened in the 5th District last year, when law enforcement seized enough fentanyl powder to kill the entire population of Oregon. The suspect was being investigated for trafficking fentanyl that was manufactured in Mexico.

Meme: Embarrassing labor shortage moment

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By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
OregonWatchdog.com [3]

So a woman secretly applied for a job not knowing that it was her own position as listed by her company but under a different company name.   She said [58], “Definitely got catfished lol. I told them at least their ad was compelling,”

Here is another meme about the labor shortage.

Totally unfair to those who show up.

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