issues

Demand that Obama pardon Snowden & commute Chelsea Manning's sentence

Both Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning should be regarded as American heroes.

As a whistle blower, Snowden risked all by exposing the extent to which American rights and freedoms had been attacked by the NSA and other global surveillance programs. For that, he has lived in asylum in Russia now for over 3 and half years. The American government has filed, among others, two counts of violating the Espionage Act, each which carry a possible sentence of 10 years. President-elect Trump has called Snowden a traitor deserving execution. Rep. Mike Pompeo, Trump nominee for CIA Director, called for the death penalty for Snowden. and Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for Attorney General, strongly supports the death penalty as well. Edward Snowden does not deserve to live his life in exile. Pres. Obama should issue a pardon now so that he can come home.

Chelsea Manning also has served the nation well as a whistle blower and . . . .

What makes the Oregon Progressive Party different from other third parties?

There are similarities between the Oregon Progressive Party (OPP) and the two other left-leaning Oregon minor parties, the Pacific Green Party (PGP) and the Working Families Party (WFP). But there are some fundamental differences. You can see many of the positions that the OPP has taken at http://progparty.org. OPP supports multi-third party independent politics, and we look forward to many fruitful collaborations, but here we will focus on some distinctions to help clarify who we are and how we uniquely contribute to Oregon politics.

Both the PGP and the Oregon WFP are local affiliates of national parties that have a larger bureaucratic infrastructure. The local branches sometimes must go through the national structure before taking positions on issues. OPP is an Oregon-only party that is not beholden to any national party, which gives us the ability to respond to local issues more quickly and without filtering by a national political agenda. OPP also tends to take on issues that the other parties do not appear to address, such as drone legislation, institutionalized racism, local police affiliation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and various international U.S. military and foreign policy actions.

The Working Families Party is a national party with local chapters.  The WFP does great work on ballot measures and usually cross-nominates the Democratic Party nominees but sometimes does run its own candidates in local partisan elections where the Democratic candidate is overwhelmingly favored. The Oregon WFP has supported at least one successful challenge to an incumbent member of the Oregon House of Representatives, in the 2012 Democratic Party primary election. The Oregon chapter is run by a committee comprised mainly of labor union representatives.  WFP takes positions sometimes very different from OPP.  For example, WFP in 2014 strongly supported a statewide initiative to create a “top two primary” system (Measure 90), which was strongly opposed by the PGP and OPP.

The PGP does run local candidates who are usually quite good. Often the same person receives both the PGP and the OPP nomination for the same office. A candidate in Oregon can list up to 3 nominating parties next to her/his name on the ballot, under a law passed in 2009. PGP does not control the selection of Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, who are determined by the national Green Party structure. OPP is not constrained in these nominations and in 2008 and 2012 chose its own nominees (Ralph Nader and Rocky Anderson).

OPP greatly appreciates the work of PGP and WFP. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

OPP is currently leading a campaign finance reform measure in Multnomah County. WFP has provided important support for that effort, and PGP has endorsed it. Oregon is one of only a handful of states that allows unlimited political contributions to candidates.  We favor strong statewide limits. OPP also closely follows the activities of the Legislature when it is in session, providing testimony on nearly 100 bills per session. WFP and PGP do not testify on most of those bills. Oregonians should not need to rely on a single left-liberal-progressive party to perform all possible functions. In Oregon, each of the 3 such parties contributes in its own way.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Monthly public meetings are the second Tuesday of every month, in downtown Portland 7:00 - 9:00 pm.

Updated July 19, 2016
by Alaina Melville
State Council Member

We are very different from the establishment parties

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, 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 (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.

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.

Statement on U.S. Military Intervention in Iraq and Syria

The United States needs to:

Get out of Iraq.
Stay out of Syria.

Twelve years ago the Bush Administration and the corporate media launched a huge campaign to convince Americans that a regime in the Middle East was such a threat that it required military intervention and occupation of the area.  "Sadam Hussein even gassed his own people," we were told, along with the falsehoods about weapons of mass destruction.  The United States has already suffered nearly 4,500 Americans dead and 35,000 Americans injured, not to mention the effects on Iraqis:  over 175,000 dead, untold numbers injured, displacement of over 1.5 million from their homes, the devastation of the Iraqi economy and infrastructure, and the leveling of Iraqi cities.  It has cost over $2 trillion of U.S. taxpayer money.

Now the same hype job is back, to ensure continued profits of the military-industrial establishment.  Now, again, there is a regime in the Middle East (ISIS) that is claimed to pose a threat to the entire world.  "The brutal, insane ISIS regime has beheaded two American journalists!  We must respond by sending our military back to Iraq!"

The Oregon Progressive Party says no.  American policy should be:

Get out of Iraq.
Stay out of Syria.

The Obama Administration now says we have to do the same thing we already did in Iraq for over a decade.  But this time somehow military intervention in Iraq (and Syria) will work, instead of just continuing to make the situation worse for the U.S. and for those who live in Iraq and Syria.  Not to be outdone by the Bush folks, Obama wants to expand U.S. military strikes into Syria and to arm "the moderate Syrian opposition."  The CIA has already been trying to do that, but the weapons seem to end up in the hands of ISIS.

And, say the hawks, we have to "train and equip the Iraqi Army," which we already did for 10 years--before they ripped off their uniforms and turned over their weapons to ISIS.  And, although until about a week ago the two worst regimes in the Middle East were supposedly Iran and Syria, now the U.S. is allying itself with those Shiite regimes against their Sunni enemies.

The only reason the war hawks care about Iraq and adjacent areas is because somehow a lot of Arab sand got deposited on top of our oil.  Protecting the oil there does not benefit consumers; it only secures more profits for the oil companies.

Get out of Iraq.
Stay out of Syria.

Progressive Party Offers Advice on Remaining Bills at Oregon Legislature

As the 2001 Session of the Oregon Legislature draws to a close, there remain many bills realistically still on the table. The State Council of the Oregon Progressive Party on June 3 offered its views on 11 such bills. The reasons for the OPP positions are explained at Views on 2011 End of Session Bills.      Read more ...
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