State Integrity Investigation gives Oregon an F

The long-standing State Integrity Investigation of the Center for Public Integrity and Public Radio International has granted Oregon an overall F grade on avoiding corruption in state government.

The ranking is accompanied by a scathing, accurate article about Oregon's failure in fighting corruption.

Oregon's overall rank fell from 14th to 42nd, the biggest drop of any state.

We have been saying for years that Oregon's lack of limits on political contributions and repeal of laws requiring that political ads identify their funders makes Oregon government inherently corruptible. Now the leading national investigation of State integrity agrees with us.

Oregon at Bottom in Fighting Corruption

We are very different from the establishment parties.

  Dem Rep PROG
Real campaign finance reform, particularly in Oregon NO NO YES
"Medicare for All" comprehensive health care NO NO YES
Oppose cuts in Social Security & Medicare benefits NO NO YES
Increase minimum wage to $15 or more NOW in all of Oregon NO NO YES
Employment for All (public works projects, WPA style) NO NO YES
Increase income taxes on big corporations and the wealthy NO NO YES
Oppose Wall Street bailouts NO NO YES
Repair, improve infrastructure (transportation, water systems, etc.) NO NO YES
Oppose NAFTA, WTO, Trans-Pacific Partnership "free trade" deals; support local products & services NO NO YES
Oppose war in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan; bring troops home now and stop sending in more NO NO YES
Slash military spending and foreign bases NO NO YES
End occupation of Palestine NO NO YES
Oppose spying on Americans, including drones NO NO YES
Equal rights for all; same-sex marriage NUVR NO YES
Clean energy; stop nuclear subsidies NO NO YES
Oppose shipping fossil fuels for export from Pacific Northwest ports NO NO YES
Oppose offshore oil & gas drilling, including the Artic NO NO YES
Legalize marijuana possession and use ??? NO YES
End “corporate personhood” and constitutional rights for corporations NO NO YES
Require labeling of genetically engineered food (GMO) NO NO YES
End the U.S. Senate filibuster; restore majority rule NO NO YES
NUVR = not until very recently

 
OREGON ISSUES
1.     We have worked for real campaign finance reform. Oregon Democrats and Republicans have never enacted limits on political campaign contributions but have repealed voter-enacted limits 3 times. Democrats in state office are refusing to enforce the campaign finance reform Measure 47 enacted by Oregon voters in 2006. Campaign spending for Oregon state offices has skyrocketed from $4 million in 1996 to $57 million in 2010. Spending by candidates for Oregon Legislature increased another 13% in 2012. Winning a contested race for the Legislature now typically costs over $600,000, sometimes over $1 million.  

2.     The initiative and referendum should be available to grass-roots efforts. The Democrat Secretary of State is now discarding over 30% of all voter signatures on initiative petitions due to arbitrary, hyper-technical, and unnecessary rules, raising the cost of petition drives so high that only corporations, unions and the very wealthy can afford to use it.  

3.     The State Treasurer should direct part of Oregon's $87 billion of investment funds to invest in local public works and jobs for Oregonians instead of vulture capitalists, corporate raiders, leveraged buyout artists, and fossil fuel corporations and vendors.  

4.     We want fair taxation. Oregon has the 4th highest income taxes of any state on lower-income working families and is still at the bottom in taxes on corporations.  

5.     We want to stop government promotion of gambling, including video poker, video slots, and approval of private casinos.  

6.     We oppose installation of police "spy cameras" and use of drones to spy on Oregon citizens.  

7.     We oppose using public money to subsidize rail transport of oil or coal through Oregon communities.

OPP at 2015 Oregon Legislature

The Oregon Progressive Party is taking stands at the Oregon Legislature.

As bills are scheduled for committee hearing, we take our positions.  The Oregon Legislature's committees will not accept the submittal of testimony, until a bill is scheduled for committee hearing.  That requires any interested person to keep track of the schedules for dozens of committees.  This is not a good way to encourage public participation.

You can learn about these bills at the website of the Legislature. Go to https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1 and click on Bills in the upper right area.  You can add your comments about these bills below.  You can click on OPP's Legislative Group to join it.

You can read our testimonies at Progressive Party Testimonies.

The table below shows bills we supported or opposed.  Bold means that the Legislature passed the bill, and the Governor signed it.

On the whole, the 2015 Legislature did nothing of signficance that we supported.  The 15 enacted bills we supported were not very consequential.

We Supported We Opposed
HB 2020
HB 2074
HB 2077
HB 2134
HB 2178B
HB 2272
HB 2237
HB 2315
HB 2336
HB 2447
HB 2448
HB 2489
HB 2559
HB 2600
HB 2627
HB 2638
HB 2704
HB 2790
HB 2791
HB 2850
HB 2940
HB 3043
HB 3193
HB 3194
HB 3225
HB 3250
HB 3252
HB 3262
HB 3287
HB 3297
HB 3331
HB 3349
HB 3415
HB 3470
HB 3478
HB 3505
HB 3551
HJM 4
SB 14
SB 118
SB 130
SB 190
SB 286
SB 294
SB 313
SB 314
SB 317
SB 330
SB 332
SB 375
SB 409
SB 415
SB 477
SB 575
SB 610
SB 631
SB 668
SB 673
SB 691
SB 710
SB 713
SB 732
SB 852
SB 853
SB 878
SB 911
SB 928
SB 940
SJR 4
SJR 5
HB 2058
HB 2158
HB 2178
HB 2892A
HB 3090
HB 3096
HB 3212
HB 3269
HB 3273
HB 3445
HB 3500
HJR 29
SB 75
SB 189
SB 292
SB 294
SB 521
SB 580
SB 611
SB 675
SB 814

Creating Real Democracy By Ending Corporate Rule

Forum on 
   
Creating the Democracy Movement to Abolish Corporate Personhood.
With Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
National Director, Move to Amend

Join Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, National Director of Move to Amend, for an evening to find out how to end corporate personhood and control money in the political system. Move to Amend advocates for a 28th Constitutional Amendment saying

Corporations are not people and money is not speech.

The 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC expanded spending on elections from corporations and wealthy individuals. Sopoci-Belknap will help local residents understand the more than century-long history behind that decision and how they can work to abolish "Corporate Personhood" and establish a government of, by, and for the people. The program will focus on how Portland can contribute to the growing national movement to affirm that only human beings have constitutional rights and that money can be regulated in elections and is not defined constitutionally as free speech. Sopoci-Belknap will report on and discuss actions that have taken place in hundreds of communities across the nation in support of the federal We the People Amendment, H.J.R. 48 as part of a larger movement of needed fundamental democratic changes.

IN PORTLAND
Date/Time: Thursday 12/7, 7:00:00 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM)
Location:  First Unitarian Church, Eliot Chapel, SW 12th and Salmon St. Portland
More info:  David Delk, davidafd@ymail.com, 503.232.5495

IN ASTORIA
Date/Time: Friday 12/8, 7:00:00 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM)
Location: Alderbrook Hall at 45th and Leif Erickson, Astoria, OR
More info:  Brian P. Halvorsen, brianphalvorsen@gmail.com, (971) 306-1136

Admission Portland and Astoria: Donation $5-20 requested; no one turned away for lack of funds
Co-sponsored by Move to Amend, Oregon Progressive Party, Alliance for Democracy, Oregon Common Cause, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

Marc Koller announces candidacy for U.S. Representative in Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District

Marc KollerExperienced Business Executive and Educator will run for seat now held by Earl Blumenauer

Today, local activist Marc Koller announced his candidacy for the U.S. Congress in Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District as an Independent with a wide array of endorsements.

“I’m proud and heartened to have received a tremendous amount of early support. With a career in corporate America and government contracting, I understand what it will take to transform our government from supporting the rich and powerful to a government whose sole purpose is to serve the people,” said Koller. “The 3rd District is unique in its diversity and commitment to turning progressive ideas into local and state laws that have become national ideas. But this district has for too long been lacking the leadership that will take on the corporate-controlled Republican and Democratic parties. We have an opportunity to send a clear message to them and American voters that we can elect truly independent candidates who will fight for the progressive agenda so many of us worked so hard and long for in supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign last year.”

Koller has received the endorsement of the Oregon Progressive Party and will seek its nomination in 2018, along with the nominations of the Independent Party of Oregon

and the Pacific Green Party. His campaign is working with over 50 organizations, both national and local, to address crucial healthcare needs with the Medicare-for-All program, vast wage inequality, environmental threats, humane immigration changes, and social justice.

“We face terrible crises in this country: a Congress where members of both duopoly parties are unwilling to remove a man whose agenda is driven by uncontrolled ego, pandering to the rich and powerful, encouraging racism/sexism, ignoring critical domestic problems, and bringing us to the brink of nuclear war,” said Koller.

“Koller has the vision and courage people are desperate to have in elected leaders, whether on domestic or foreign issues,” said David Delk, Chair of the Oregon Progressive Party. “From his background as a corporate executive and commitment to listening to voters--Republican, Democrats and Independents--Marc has shown that he cares more about progressive policies than about winning partisan political points. I am proud to endorse his candidacy.”

“The people in this district do not want another two years of the same Congressional rhetoric.” said Koller. “What they do want is to be represented by someone committed to advancing a progressive agenda based on satisfying the needs of all the people instead of just the bankers and Wall Street, the arms industry and other special interests of big pharma, big insurance and the fossil fuel industry. By electing a truly independent and progressive candidate, we can bring power back to our citizens. My sole concern in the U.S. House of Representatives will be to immediately respond to 3rd District people—and not with a form letter. My goal is to represent them—no one else—to the best of my abilities in Congress.”

Friends of Marc Koller Committee
10350 N. Vancouver Way #332
Portland, OR 97217
http://marckoller4congress.com/
marc@marckoller4congress.com
503.764.5968

Marc's experience includes:

35 years in Private and Public companies · Positions include VP for Scudder Funds, VP for New England Funds and Director at Fidelity · Recent Director for Grass Valley in Hillsboro, Oregon · Ran Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business in Bethesda MD working with Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Navy, US Air Force and The World Bank · Learned how government contracts are awarded, and how to work with the Small Business Administration · Project Manager in Washington DC with the Department of Homeland Security; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the US Coast Guard · Taught H.S. as a Vocational Drafting Instructor · B S. Industrial Education, State University of New York: City College S.F.: Construction Technology · WPI: Management Science, Boston University: Human Resources

Progressive Party statement on transparancy and the renegotiation of NAFTA

OPP adopted this statement at our monthly meeting last night:

LET THE PUBLIC AND THE LIGHT IN

The American public is once again being shut out of negotiations being held in our name and supposedly for our benefit. What do the negotiators of the new version of NAFTA have to hide?

As the first round of NAFTA negotiations between the US, Mexico and Canada conclude, it is clear that the hoped for transparency will not materialize in spite of the promises made by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. In fact, US trade officials have now declared that trade documents will be “classified”, meaning that once again a trade deal involving America's largest, most important trade partners will be negotiated in secret. Even the public stakeholder events which have happened during negotiations of other trade agreements did not, and will not, happen.

Oregonians can only hope that our US Representatives and Senators will join together in calling for openness and transparency in the rest of the negotiations as a first condition for a renegotiated agreement acceptable to the people of all three nations. If not, We the People will reject any resulting agreement produced in dark smoke-filled rooms of corporate lobbyists.

August monthly Party meeting - change of date

Our usual meeting time is the third Monday. However, for August 2017 only, we will meet on the third Thursday, August 24th beginning at 7 PM at the office of Kafoury & McDougal, 411 SW 2nd Ave, Portland OR.

Attend first court hearing on Multnomah County measure 26-184

HONEST ELECTIONS MULTNOMAH COUNTY

For immediate release:
August 12, 2017

For more information, contact:




David Delk
davidafd@ymail.com
503-232-5495

Dan Meek
dan@meek.net
503-293-9021

Liz Trojan
liz@progparty.org
503-970-2069 

 

Multnomah County Circuit Court to Hear Challenges
to Multnomah County's Campaign Finance Reform Measure 26-184,
Enacted by Vote of 89-11% in 2016

On August 15 at 9 a.m., Judge Eric Bloch of the Multnomah County Circuit Court will conduct a 2-hour hearing on challenges to the constitutionality of the campaign finance reform Amendment to the Multnomah County Charter (Measure 26-184) approved by the voters of the county by a margin of 89% "yes" to 11% "no" at the November 2016 election.

Tuesday, August 15    9:00 a.m.
Multnomah County Courthouse, Room 508
1021 SW 4th Avenue
Portland, OR

Judge Bloch will decide whether the measure is constitutional in Oregon.  His decision may be appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Supreme Court.   The Multnomah County Commission asked for this "validation proceeding" and filed briefs on behalf of the county's voters, calling for the Court to uphold the constitutionality of all aspects of Measure 26-184.

The challengers are associations of corporations:  Associated Oregon Industries, Portland Business Association, and the Portland Metro Realtors Association, along with its former President, Alan Mehrwein.  The Taxpayers Association of Oregon is also attempting to participate, after having filed its petition to intervene 38 days after the close of the statutory filing deadline.  These challengers assert that they wish to continue to make unlimited political contributions and expenditures, without identifying themselves in the ads they fund.

The Taxpayers Association of Oregon is actually acting as a local front for the Center for Competitive Politics, a Virginia nonprofit corporation financially supported by the Koch brothers.

Measure 26-184 amended the Multnomah County Home Rule Charter to:

  1. Require that each Communication (defined) to voters related to a Multnomah County Candidate Election prominently disclose the five largest true original sources of funding for the Communication, if any of them exceed $500.

  2. Limit contributions to support or oppose candidates for public office in Multnomah County elections to $500 per person or political committee.

  3. Require any entity that spends more than $750 per election cycle on independent expenditures to register as a political committee, which requires reporting of the sources of its funding.

  4. Limit independent expenditures in any Multnomah County candidate race to:

    • $5,000 per individual

    • $10,000 per political committee, but only from contributions by individuals of $500 or less per year.

  5. Allow formation of Small Donor Committees, which may accept contributions only in amounts of $100 or less per person per year.  Such committees can then support or oppose candidates without limit.

"We believe that all of the features of Measure 26-184 are constitutional," said David Delk of the Alliance for Democracy and Honest Elections Multnomah County, the group that spearheaded the campaign for Measure 26-184.  Mr Delk is also one of the parties in the validation proceeding.

Vice President Al Gore on National Popular Vote

Al Gore talks with Bill Maher and explains that to combat climate crisis, we need to eliminate the US Electoral College and get big money under control.  "We have to get big money out of our politics.....the fat-cat contributors hacked our democracy before [Vladimir] Putin hacked our democracy,"

https://youtu.be/xHuK-VxBW3k?t=8m55s

Oregon Progressive Party Demands End to $50 Million Windfall to Health Insurers

Demands that Oregon Legislature enact HB 3465 to apply $50 million in accumulated excess premium payments to Medicaid, not to insurance company bank accounts

In 2013 Oregon’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) reinsurance program was set up to offset any abrupt increases in consumer health care premiums during the first three years of the ACA. Under existing law, that fund simply expires on June 30, 2017, but it holds $50 million in excess premiums--money collected from individuals and businesses in premiums but not spent on providing health care. Unless the law is changed, state health officials say they will give the money back to the insurance companies--with no requirement that the insurance companies return any of the money to the individuals and businesses that paid the premiums.

State Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Cottage Grove, has introduced HB 3465. The other chief sponsors are Knute Buehler (R) and Julie Parrish (R). Brad Witt (D) and three other Republicans are regular sponsors. The Democratic Leadership in the House has not scheduled any hearing or other action on the bill.

HB 3465 provides that the $50 million be applied to Oregon’s Medicaid budget rather than being paid to insurance companies. That is enough to fund care for 9,500 of Oregon’s neediest adults and children.

The Oregon Progressive Party implores the Democratic Leadership--Speaker Kotek and Senate President Courtney--to immediately move and pass HB 3465 and for Governor Brown to sign the bill.

Health insurance companies and others in the medical field are among the largest contributors of money to candidate campaigns in Oregon, giving over $6 million to Oregon candidates for state or local office in 2016 alone.

See the Eugene Register-Guard editorial in favor of HB 3465.

Big Pharma: Market Failure (Screeing)

Big Pharma: Market FailureBIG PHARMA is a powerful new documentary film on the impact of out-of-control drug prices on businesses and the U.S. economy, Congress' failure to deal with the crisis and how we might fix it. The film takes an in-depth look at how our dysfunctional pharmaceutical industry and how it is damaging our economy, hurting our businesses and negatively impacting the nation's health. CEO of MCS Industries and producer of Big Pharma: Market Failure will be present for Q &A following. Representative of Health Care for All Oregon will participate in Q &A.

Sponsored by Alliance for Democracy, Economic Justice Action Group of the 1st Unitarian Church, Oregon UU Voices for Justice, KBOO, American Sustainable Business Council, Business Leaders Transforming Healthcare and Oregonians for Affordable Drug Prices.

Date/Time:  Friday, June 9, 7 PM, Eliot Chapel, 1st Unitarian Church, SW 12th and Salmon, Portland Doors open at 6:30 PM.

Admission: Donation requested: $5-20; however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

We The People 2.0, The Second American Revolution

Documentary Screening
Friday, May 12, 7 PM, Eliot Chapel,
1st Unitarian Church,
SW 12th and Salmon, Portland

Admission:  Donation requested: $5-20; however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  Doors open on 6:30 PM

The documentary, presented by Tree Media and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), tells the story of people across the U.S. who have faced decades of environmental assaults – such as oil trains, coal trains, pipelines, fracking, and sludging of farmland – and what they are doing about it.
These communities recognize that ecosystems at home and around the globe are collapsing under inherently unsustainable laws and governing structures – what many have called a ‘corporate state.’ They have come to understand that the system is stacked against them and the natural environment. The film shares how they are working with CELDF and organizing to stop these assaults in their own communities through rights-based laws, which ban the harms as a violation of the rights both of the communities and their ecosystems.

Screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Paul Cienfuegos, (http://paulcienfuegos.com) Portland based community-rights based activist, and Nancy Ward, Columbia County Sustainable Action For Green Environment.  (http://ccsage.org)

Sponsored by Alliance for Democracy, Economic Justice Action Group of the 1st Unitarian Church, Oregon UU Voices for Justice, KBOO

Multnomah County Decided to Defend Campaign Finance Reform Measure

After hearing from dozens of concerned citizens on April 13, the Multnomah County Commission decided instead to defend Measure 26-184 in court.

We congratulate the Commissioners for making this new decision.