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.

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 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, 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; no nuclear subsidies NO NO YES
Oppose shipping coal or oil for export from Pacific Northwest ports NO NO YES
Oppose offshore oil & gas drilling 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 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 Oregon Democrats and Republicans have never enacted limits on political campaign contributions but have repealed voter-enacted limits 3 times.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

Trans Pacific Partnership - LTE

The following letter written by OR Progressive Party State Council member, David Delk, was published in the Oregonian January 1, 2016, and calls for the rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade agreement.


Trans-Pacific Partnership:

The Oregonian editorial board thinks "it's tricky to estimate how many jobs are directly tied to trade, much less how many would be created if the (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is signed." Tricky, indeed, when you only account for part of the jobs equation. Missing from this equation is how many jobs will be destroyed as a result of this agreement.

The U.S.-South Korea trade agreement was the last to go into effect. President Obama said that because of increased export opportunities, 70,000 new jobs would be created and that our trade balance with South Korea would improve. Yet since then, our trade deficit with South Korea has grown, meaning that those new jobs never materialized. In fact, during the agreement's first three years, the trade deficit increased by $11.8 billion, meaning the loss of 75,000 good-paying American jobs.

So it is important to ask the right questions. Since the agreement will encourage off-shoring of investments and jobs and will do nothing to stop currency manipulation, the likelihood of a favorable result from the TPP corporate trade agreement is slim. The TPP should be rejected.


Statement on Executions in Saudi Arabia

The Oregon Progressive Party opposes the death penalty and deplores the mass execution of 47 people by Saudi Arabia, including the peaceful Shia cleric, Sheik Nimr Al-Nimr. These were only the latest of 157 executions committed by Saudi Arabia during the past year. These executions, coupled with Saudi Arabia's ending of the ceasefire in Yemen, have dramatically escalated tensions in the region.

Similarities certainly exist between these executions, which included beheadings, to those committed by ISIS, so roundly denounced by the western press and governments in order to build support for continuing and growing military intervention in the affairs of Middle Eastern nations.

The reaction of the American government to the ISIS committed executions differs from its reaction to these Saudi Arabian executions. Rather than commit military resources to the defeat of Saudi Arabia as we have with ISIS, the United States instead approved military contracts worth tens of millions of dollar to them. As reported by Paul Gottinger in Reader Supported News, the U.S. recently approved contracts with Raytheon ($24 million), Advanced Electronics ($12 million), and Boeing (multi-millions).

The status of the United States as the world's largest military weapons manufacturer and exporter, selling to the world's worst violators of human rights, enrages people around the world, making America less safe. The resources which America spends on war would be best spent on the needs of the American people, as well as people around the world. Instead, America uses those funds to build up the military-industrial-Congressional complex and enrich the CEO's of Amecian military contractors.

Source: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/34426-focus-us-appro...

Oregon Progressive Party Launches Initiative to GET BIG MONEY OUT OF OREGON POLITICS

Get Big Money OutThe Oregon Progressive Party has begun actively collecting signatures on a new statewide initiative petition (IP 77). This petition would:

  • allow Oregon to join the ranks of 46 other states with limits on money in the political process, and
     
  • ensure that the actual sources of that money are disclosed to the public.

Oregon is the only state whose constitution has been interpreted to prohibit limits on contributions and expenditures to influence the outcome of elections, be they candidate elections or initiatives/referenda. As a result, Oregon elections are among the most expensive in the nation. The Oregonian reports that only New Jersey campaigns are more expensive on a per capita basis.
 
The chief petitioners are:

  • Liz Trojan, State Council, Oregon Progressive Party
  • Rob Harris, IPO Caucus, Independent Party of Oregon
  • Seth Woolley, Member, Coordinating Committee, Pacific Green Party

We Need Your Help

We need to collect 1,000 valid Oregon voter signatures in order to get a ballot title for the initiative. You can help us with this effort. Please contact David e. Delk, Co-Chair of the Oregon Progressive Party, for instructions and petition sheets. David can be contacted at davidafd@ymail.com or 503.232.5495.

How the Petition Reads

It is a model of simplicity.  It reads:

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Oregon, there is added an Article II, Section 25, of the Constitution of Oregon:

Oregon laws consistent with the freedom of speech guarantee of the United States Constitution may:

1. limit contributions and expenditures (including transfers of money or resources) to influence the outcome of any election; and

2. require disclosure of the true sources and amounts of such contributions or expenditures (a)to the public and (b) in the communications they fund.

Statement on U.S. Military Interventions in Middle East

United States foreign policy in the Middle East has been a policy of forced regime change for decades. A few examples include:

  • 1953 overthrow of the elected Iranian government of Mossadegh by U.S. and British forces
     
  • 1958 U.S. invasion of Lebanon with 15,000 troops
     
  • 1963 CIA-aided coup deposing the Qasim government of Iraq, which 5 years earlier had ousted the U.S.-allied Iraqi monarchy
     
  • 2002 invasion of Afghanistan, followed by a decade+ of occupation
     
  • 2003 invasion of Iraq, followed by a decade+ of occupation

The U.S. has been pushing regime change in Syria since at least 2001. These policies should end.

U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of grievously injured Americans, and the lives of hundreds of thousands Afghanis and Iraqis. They have displaced millions of Afghanis and Iraqis who fled their homes to save their lives. $2 trillion American taxpayer dollars have been spent. The wars have accomplished nothing, apart from creating an environment that bred the creation of ISIS and allowed it to thrive and expand.  Now the U.S. is pursuing the same counterproductive policies to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

John Pilger wrote in 2014:

A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today's Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of a US-made apocalypse, this time in Southeast Asia. . . .

Al-Qaeda - like Pol Pot's "jihadists" - seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of "shock and awe" and the civil war that followed. "Rebel" Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. . . .

ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington, London and Paris who, in conspiring to destroy Iraq, Syria and Libya, committed an epic crime against humanity. Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS is the mutation of a Western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great distance. Their culpability is unmentionable in "our" societies, making accomplices of those who suppress this critical truth.

All human life should be protected. French warplanes carried out airstrikes in urban Syrian areas using its 12 jet fighters based in Jordan and the U.A.E. for months prior to the brutal killing of innocents in France. The government of France saw no outrage in bombing the Syrians.  Nor does the U.S. government.

The solution is not more war. The solution is for western powers (particularly the U.S.) to stop their decades-long practice of military intervention to create or prop up compliant regimes, regardless of the wishes of the people who live there.

Delusional Democrats

A recent poll for the Pew Center finds that only liberal Democrats think that they are "winning" more than "losing" on issues that are important to them.  I guess constant military adventures, the continuing destruction of the middle class, the rise of the billionaire class, and the two-tier justice system are not important to liberal Democrats.  Because Americans surely are not "winning" on those issues.

CEO Richard Master Masterminds Full Medicare for All

CEO Richard Master Masterminds Full Medicare for All - Just when the prospects for single-payer or full Medicare for everyone, with free choice of doctors and hospitals, appear to be going nowhere, from Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley comes a stirring that could go national and make single-payer a reality. Throwing … Continue reading [Ralph Nader]

Statement on Corrupt Sports Gambling in Oregon

The Oregon Progressive Party calls on Oregon's Attorney General to follow the lead of New York state's Attorney General, who on November 9th, 2015 “ordered DraftKings and FanDuel ... to immediately stop accepting bets from New York residents.”

NY Attorney General Schneiderman described these daily fantasy sports sites to be “...leaders of a massive, multi-billion-dollar scheme intended to....fleece sports fans across the county.”

Oregon's sports fans are no less cheated by the operation of these on-line betting parlors. Why silence from Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum?

The Oregon Progressive Party throughout its 7-year history has consistently opposed the legalization of gambling and "government promotion of gambling, including video poker, video slots, and approval of private casinos." We call upon the Oregon Attorney General to order fantasy sports gambling operations to stop accepting bets from Oregon residents.

Statement on Marketing of Tobacco to Youth

Greedy tobacco companies continue their efforts to entice children to smoke by paying merchants to place tobacco products at low counter levels in stores, where children will see them, and by packaging tobacco products to be attractive to children. They look like candy.

SmokeFree Oregon has produced television ads calling our attention to these practices and asks that we take action.

The Oregon Progressive Party calls on our Legislature to pass laws banning the display of tobacco products in stores, period.  Anyone who want to buy tobacco products should have to ask at the check-out counter.  If the Legislature will not do this, then our county and city governments should do so.

Veterans Day Message