Happy Friday! The Republican Party voted to partially open its primary elections for statewide elections, but they're only running a candidate in one of those races. Nonaffiliated voters will have to request a GOP ballot--the only GOP primary race on that ballot will be Knute Buehler's race for SOS.
The OR GOP is using the scheduled presidential debate, co-sponsored with Oregon Public Broadcasting--to raise political donations. Rep. Carolyn Tomei speaks out in a guest opinion about the breakdown in civility in political discourse, particularly being shouted at to "shut your mouth" on the House floor by Rep. Wayne Krieger (R-Gold Beach).
BLOG: ALEC and the corporate assault on our political system
"Last week, protests erupted around the country targeting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its corporate sponsors. The idea for the 'F29' protest began in Portland and spread to the rest of the country to highlight the increasing presence and influence of corporate money and power. ALEC is a key part of the right-wing infrastructure to abuse the legislative system by pushing corporate-agenda driven policy that adds to wealth disparity, deregulates polluters, and attacks public employees."
Oregon taxpayers stuck with bill for a cumbersome 'open primary' that features just one candidate
"Oregon taxpayers have to spend $200,000 on a cumbersome elections process that will ask the state's nearly 440,000 unaffiliated voters if they want a Republican primary ballot that features just one candidate. Republican and Democratic Party officials are each accusing the other of wasting taxpayer money while in pursuit of a partisan advantage. About the only thing that's clear is that only one Republican has even signed up to run for the three statewide seats that the GOP opened to voters who don't register in any political party."
Oregon GOP's Allen Alley sees fundraising opportunity in Portland presidential debate
"Oregon Republican Party Chairman Allen Alley, remaining hopeful that a March 19 GOP presidential debate planned for Portland will actually occur, has come up with an interesting strategy for making some money off the event. Alley sent out an email saying that people who give at least $25 to the Oregon Republican Party before 5 p.m. Friday, March 16, will get a chance to win a seat at the debate, set to be held inside the studios of Oregon Public Broadcasting."
Teachers throw political weight behind Jefferson Smith
"With just two months to go until the Portland primary election for mayor, Jefferson Smith on Thursday announced an endorsement by the Portland Association of Teachers’ political action committee, Teachers Voice in Politics. The PAC, which represents the 3,000-plus members, based their endorsement on interviews and questionnaires with six mayoral candidates."
Attorney General candidate Ellen Rosenblum's 'vested interest' in PERS cited by Willamette Week editor
"Oregon's public employee unions played a pivotal role in getting John Kroger elected Attorney General in 2008. The unions threw thousands of dollars at him in large part because they were still furious with opponent Greg Macpherson, who championed reform of the Public Employees Retirement System as a legislator five years before. It's a lesson Attorney General candidates Ellen Rosenblum and Dwight Holton learned well. Both are arduously courting the unions. The editor and co-owner of Willamette Week, Portland's alternative weekly newspaper, has joined the courtship in an eye-opening way."
More detailed Public Employee Retirement System data to be released
"The Public Employees Retirement System releases a second round of pension data at 5 p.m. Friday of its more than 117,000 beneficiaries; the first was last November and is posted in a searchable database at oregonlive.com. The current release will be more complete, with each retiree's final salary, years of service, retirement date and method to calculate retirement. The Oregonian will post the latest data at 5 p.m. The release follows a decade-long tug of war between government transparency and privacy rights. PERS routinely released benefits until 2002, when it started refusing to release the information except for prominent retirees such as an ex-governor."