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Dan Meek and David Delk Discuss Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

Dan Meek and Davlid Delk discussed recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and actions (and inactions) of the 2015 Oregon Legislature. Must See TV!

Thanks to Reps. DeFazio and Blumenauer for Sponsoring Constitutional Amendment to Nullify Citizens United and More

FOR RELEASE
July 31, 2015
Contact:  David Delk
delk@progparty.org   503.232.5495

The Oregon Progressive Party commends Oregon U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio for recently signing on as co-sponsors of the “We the People” proposed U.S. 28th Constitutional Amendment (HJR 48).

Since the January 2010 U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision much interest has been expressed in Congress and by citizens working at the local and state level in amending the Constitution to address the granting to corporations of the right to freely spend corporate funds on elections campaigns.  The Court did so by concluding that corporations have constitutional rights--that they are in effect human beings with constitutional rights.  

Oregon and 15 other states have now called for a constitutional amendment to at least overturn Citizens United.  The “We the People” proposed amendment would go further by amending the U.S. Constitution to say that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Such an amendment would overturn court decisions going back to Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1886), which gave 14th Amendment human rights to corporations, and would include more recent decisions like Buckley v Valeo, First National Bank of Boston v Bellotti, and others.

Oregon Democrats Reject 3 More Reasonable Ethics Reforms

On June 17, these 3 bills were "withdrawn" directly to the floor of the Oregon Senate by their Republican sponsors.  All were then rejected on straight party-line 18-12 votes, with all Democrats voting against them.

  • SB 940 makes “vote trading” illegal for legislators, ensuring they put their constituents first and not vote based on future promises of campaign contributions.
     
  • SB 853 places high-ranking agency and elected officials under oath when testifying before the Legislature.  This is the ordinary procedure in the U.S. Congress.
     
  • SB 852 makes submitting false information in a candidate voters’ pamphlet statement illegal.

Oregon Democrats Reject 5 Reasonable Ethics Reform Bills

Welcome to "ethics reform," Oregon style.

Yesterday the Oregon House of Representatives rejected 5 reasonable ethics reform bills proposed by Julie Parrish (R). All 5 bills were supported by the Oregon Progressive Party, and 4 were supported by the Independent Party of Oregon. On the floor of the House, all Republicans voted in favor of all 5 bills. All but a couple of Democrats voted against all 5 bills.

The Democrats, in control of both houses, refused to allow any of the bills to go to the floors for votes.  So Republicans used the "withdrawal" procedure to withdraw the bills from committee and put them on the floor for immediate vote, without debate.  This is similar to the "discharge petition" process in the U.S. Congress.

Here are the rejected bills:

  • HB 3331 authorizes the Legislative Assembly to appoint an independent counsel by joint resolutions (Failed 27-33)
     
  • HB 2790 requires that statements made by certain witnesses to a committee of the Legislative Assembly be made under oath and therefore subject to crime of false swearing (Failed 26-34)
     
  • HB 2791 includes false statements made to legislative committees by certain persons in crime of unsworn falsification (Failed 27-33)
     
  • HB 3505 requires public bodies to establish public records retention schedules that require a minimum three-year retention of public records (Failed 27-33)
     
  • HB 3043 provides that upon being sworn into office, or for other stated reasons, the Governor shall file declaration with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission declaring identity of First Spouse and identifying official policy-making or agenda-setting duties of First Spouse, if any  (Failed 28-32)

Our Candidate Wins Seat on Portland Community College Board

Our candidate, Michael Sonnleitner, yesterday won a seat on the Board of Directors of the Portland Community College system, which serves over 90,000 students.

The vote was close.  We conducted a phone bank for Michael on May 5.

Courtney Wilton . . . . . . . . 3,407 30.5%
Anita Yap . . . . . . . . . .   3,435 30.7%
Michael Sonnleitner . . . . . . 4,234 37.9%
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . .      93

Congratulations!

 

Oregon House Unanimous: All Government Buildings Must Fly POW-MIA Flag, Every Day

The Oregon House voted 57-0 for HB 2892, which requires that every government building in Oregon (state, county, city, district, etc.) fly the POW-MIA flag every day of every year. The bill is now in the Senate Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness.

The bill also requires new government buildings to install more flagpoles in order to fly the POW-MIA flag. The Legislature's Fiscal Office says that the cost of those flagpoles and of buying thousands of POW-MIA flags and replacing them as they wear out is so small that it need not be quantified.

The Testimony of the Oregon Progressive Party was the only testimony on the bill, except from veterans' groups. We testified that it is such a good idea that it should be adopted for all political and social groups and causes. We offered examples of 10 other flags that should fly from all Oregon government buildings, every day of every year, including the flag of the Oregon Progressive Party. There are literally tens of thousands of other suitable flags.

Some might think that flags on government buildings should merely identify those buildings as housing government functions and not be used to trumpet various groups or causes.

Democrats in Legislature Propose Campaign Finance Loophole Bill

Governor Kate Brown and Democrats in the Oregon Legislature are getting lots of laudatory press about proposing campaign finance reform.  But their bill, SB 75, is 100% loophole and 0% limits.  The only thing it would actually accomplish is repeal of the meaningful limits and disclosure requirements adopted by Oregon voters as Measure 47 of 2006.  See the Testimony of Daniel Meek.

Major Parties Like Phony Campaign Finance Reform

Million Dollar Races for Oregon Legislature

Big Spending for Seats in Oregon

The Oregonian
January 16. 2015
by Jeff Mapes

Spending on Oregon legislative campaigns appeared to rise to a record level last year – but this time Democrats had a decided financial advantage.

An analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive of campaign disclosure reports shows that legislative candidates spent about $23.7 million last year running for office.

That's an increase from the nearly $23 million spent by candidates in 2012, according to a similar analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive two years ago. Studies done in past years by the National Institute on Money in State Politics, which focused on fundraising instead of spending, add to evidence that Oregon's legislative campaign spending hit a record last year.

Health Care for All: Bus to Salem Rally on Feb 11

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Catch a bus to Salem to Rally on the Capitol Steps for Health Care for All!

We want everyone to be able to attend.  Reserve yourself a seat on a bus to Salem.  We ask for $15 to cover the cost of the buses.  IF you can not pay the full price and need a scholarship please contact Robin Cash robinjc@pacifier.com or call or text 503-421-6125.  Also, if you would like to help cover the costs of the buses so that more people can participate who otherwise could not afford it, please also contact Robin Cash about making a donation.

If you would like to be a Bus Captain, contact Robin Cash.

Note:  Board your bus at 9am.  Buses will be returning from Salem to Portland approximately 3:30 to 4:00 pm.

Progressive Party Leaders Oppose Portland Involvement with JTTF

Portland City Council to consider withdrawing from FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force

Alaina Melville at City HallBrad Schmidt
Oregonian

December 2, 2014

The Portland City Council, led by Mayor Charlie Hales, is considering withdrawing city police officers from the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Hales on Monday scheduled a Dec. 18 meeting where the City Council will consider "withdrawal from JTTF involvement." The 2 p.m. meeting is scheduled to run 90 minutes.

The move from Hales, a long-time skeptic of task force involvement, may have the political support in City Hall to dissolve the Police Bureau's hazy relationship with the group. Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Steve Novick have questioned involvement and have criticized the city's skimpy annual reports about the partnership.   Read Article at Oregonian.

Measure 90 (Top Two Primary) Goes Down in Flames

The Oregon Progressive Party congratulates the voters of Oregon for their overwhelming rejection of Measure 90, the "top-two primary."

With two-thirds of all votes counted, Measure 90 is losing by a vote of 67% NO to 33% YES.

"The out-of-state billionaires spent $4.7 million in order to control Oregon's future elections, but they failed," said Dan Meek (a Portland attorney active in opposing Measure 90).

The "yes" side has reported spending nearly $6 million, while the "no" side spent $1.3 million.  But the "no" side also had many dedicated volunteers who spread the word that Measure 90 would destroy democracy in Oregon.

Former top-level Enron energy trader John Arnold contributed $2.75 million to support Measure 90, and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg added $1.93 million.  So over 80% of all the funds for Measure 90 came from billionaires who neither live nor work in Oregon.

John Arnold made his mark on society as one of the top managers of the Enron energy trading operation.  That was the bunch who caused the phony "West Coast Energy Crisis" of 2000-2002 with their fraudulent trades, which resulted in rolling blackouts and huge rate increases.   Later studies have shown that it cost the California economy alone over $42 billion.

"Burn, baby, burn.  That's a beautiful thing."  That is what Enron traders were recorded as saying as a fire approached a major transmission line, because it caused the line to be "derated" or shut off, thus drastically increasing electricity prices.

For information about Measure 90's money and how it would have destroyed Oregon's democracy, see http://saveoregonsdemocracy.org.

Oregon Progressive Party Statement on Health Care

Our health care system is broken. We pay more for health care than any other industrialized nation, but we cover the smallest percentage of people. Under the Affordable Care Act, many Americans remain without access to health care. For lack of health insurance, thousands of Americans die each year. For those who do have health insurance, large co-pays and deductibles send many into debt. And it's the taxpayer who picks up the tab for the subsidized plans. The Affordable Care Act is less than a band-aid. It is a giveaway to the insurance companies.

Imagine if health care were a human right. Imagine a health care system that puts people before profits. Imagine if everyone had access to health care. Imagine health care that doesn't push people into bankruptcy. Imagine doctors and patients making health care decisions, not insurance companies. Imagine health care including dental, optical, and mental health care for all.

The Oregon Progressive Party supports local and federal efforts to create universal access to health care. Everyone in, no one out. We need health care, not health insurance.

"Of all the forms of inequity, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."
--Martin Luther King Jr., 1966

We support the efforts of these organizations:

Health Care For All Oregon - hcao.org
Mad As Hell Doctors - MadAsHellDoctors.com
Simgle Payer Action - SinglePayerAction.org
Healthcare Now! - healthcare-now.org
Physicians for a National Health Program - pnhp.org

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