2010 election

Progressive Party Earns Ballot Access for 2012

Thanks to the strong showing of Walt Brown in the race for State Treasurer, the Progressive Party of Oregon has maintained its right to nominate candidates in the 2012 general election.

That right depended upon earning at least 1% of the vote in a statewide race.  Walt Brown earned 2.70% in the race for State Treasurer.

Progressive candidate for U.S. Senate, Rick Staggenborg, earned 0.99% of the statewide vote.

If Walt Brown had not received over 1% of the vote, the Progressive Party would have needed to increase its membership from 1,952 today to 13,829 by the start of August 2012.

Thanks to Walt Brown, Beverly Brown, Alaina Melville, and everyone who helped Walt meet our goal for this election.

Portland Observer writes about Walt Brown

One of the quieter races this electoral season has been that of Oregon treasurer. Former Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler seems to be in a good place to keep the position, which he was appointed to last spring when Ben Westlund passed away.

However, one man continues a long crusade to bring attention to some issues and solutions that are commonly-overlooked.

Walt Brown – a retired Lake Oswego attorney, who represented the area in the state Senate from 1975 to 1987 and has made third party bids for attorney general, Congress and president- is making a go at the office that oversees the state’s finances, and is hoping to bring up several ideas (some of which he admits are outside the purview of the office he’s pursuing) that he says will improve Oregon’s economy.

State bank

Brown wants the creation of a state bank to get capital and lending flowing in the state, which will help combat Oregon’s chronically high unemployment rate. He said that a state bank would work with private banks to help co-invest and keep interest rates low.

He points to North Dakota, which has a state bank and a relatively healthy economy, as an example of how such an entity can be a stabilizing influence.

However, the idea faces one big hurdle: Oregon’s constitution prohibits the creation of a state bank.

“That would be a problem,” admits Brown. “But all problems that are legal can be solved simply by amending the constitution. Of course, you don’t want to amend the constitution in a stupid way, which we’ve done from time to time.”

Health care reform

Brown said that the cost of providing health insurance to employees is hurting businesses, and the health care cost to state workers is also hurting Oregon’s finances.

He has been a longtime advocate for single-payer health insurance, which he said will be good for the state and good for business by shifting the cost of increasingly expensive health insurance premiums.

“The state could really save money if they set up their own health insurance,” he said.

Public power

Brown argues that Washington state is faring better economically because businesses have fewer costs under publicly-owned utilities, unlike much of Oregon, which he hopes to change.

Invest in Oregon

Brown said that if elected treasurer he would stop directing the state’s investments outside of Oregon, even if they bring in a lower return, a stance that he said distinguishes him from Wheeler. He would also push to have every layer of state and local government buy locally.

“There’s a multiplier effect of increasing jobs,” said Brown of his approach.

Investing money back into the state’s economy will pay off in the long run, he said.

Progressive Party Takes Stands on Ballot Measures

The Progressive Party of Oregon on October 8 announced its endorsements on Oregon's statewide ballot measures and one Portland measure.

Measure 74: YES.
Establishes medical marijuana supply system (licensed dispensaries) and assistance and research programs.  Measure 74 would bring medical marijuana under stricter state control and state taxation.

Measure 75: NO.
Authorizes a large privately-owned casino in Multnomah County.  Measure 75 would expand the victimization of Oregon families by easy access to addictive gambling.  It would also suck nearly $100 million per year out of the Oregon economy to pay the owners of the new casino.

Portland Measure 26-108:  YES.
Continues Portland's "voter-owned elections" system of providing limited matching campaign funds to candidates for City Commission or Auditor who qualify by raising $5,000 or $7,500 from contributions of $5 per person or less.  Once qualified for public funding, the candidates cannot accept campaign contributions from any source.

Contact:

Dan Meek
503-293-9021 voice
dan@progparty.org

League of Women Voters Issues Short Voters' Guide

The Oregon League of Women Voters has prepared a very simplified Easy Voters Guide. It lists only a couple of reason to vote for or against each measure. It limited each candidate and each political party to a statement of 50 words. We stated this:

The Progressive Party supports campaign finance reform, workers’ rights, family wages, small/local businesses, single-payer healthcare, protecting the environment, green energy, same-sex marriage, an Oregon State Bank, ending the wars, and cutting military spending.

We oppose corporate personhood, Wall Street bailouts, monopolies, nuclear, coal, and offshore drilling.

Salem Statesman-Journal Writes about Walt Brown

Minor-party candidates for treasurer see opportunity to change course

by Peter Wong
October 13, 2010

Walt Brown was a Democratic state senator from Lake Oswego from 1975 to 1987, but he's running as the Progressive Party nominee for state treasurer.

Since he left the Senate, Brown has been the Socialist Party nominee for Congress in four elections, the Socialist Party USA candidate for president in 2004, and the Pacific Green Party nominee for attorney general in 2008. He said the treasurer is an independent official who should not be the financial adviser to governors and legislators. But he also said the treasurer has a role to play in Oregon's economy, particularly in trying to reduce the current unemployment rate. "We've got to turn that around," he said. He is an advocate of a state-owned bank, based on the only other such bank in North Dakota. Voters would have to remove a constitutional ban on a state bank that dates to statehood 151 years ago.

Michael Marsh of Salem, a maintenance worker at McDonald's, was the Constitution Party nominee for state treasurer in 2008. (There is another Mike Marsh in Salem, who is unrelated, a former state official who is a contributing assistant professor at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University.) He said he would block issuance of any new state debt, and that he is running to make a point not only about Oregon's finances but also the nation's. "The United States government is self-destructive, and I'd like the chance to turn things around," he said.

Progressive Party Nominates Candidates for 2010

The Progressive Party of Oregon has nominated the following candidates for the November 2010 general election:

        Oregon State Treasurer:       Walt Brown
        U.S. Senate:                  Rick Staggenborg
        U.S. Congress, 1st District:  Chris Henry
        U.S. Congress, 3rd District:  Michael Meo
        U.S. Congress, 4th District:  Peter DeFazio
        U.S. Congress, 5th District:  Chris Lugo

A party can nominate candidates only in "partisan" races. It can endorse candidates in any race. The Progressive Party has endorsed:

        Metro Council President:       Bob Stacey
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