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Top 5 causes of homelessness

- Lack of affordable housing

- Lack of a livable wage

- Medical issues/lack of accessible health care

- Domestic violence

- Mental illness

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

 

    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

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Putting corporate Oregon ahead of our people

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?'

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" 

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921)

 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11


"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”  

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."

- Abraham Lincoln

 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."

- Edmund Burke 

 

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift

 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."

- Garrison Keillor


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Monday
Jun082015

SMOKE & MIRRORS IN THE PUZZLE PALACE

ocpp

     Recently we asked, Will the kicker make Oregon a fool again? Unless the legislature changes course, the state will spend $473 million of unanticipated tax revenues on the so-called kicker. History teaches us that the reckless spending could come back to bite us in the worst way. The fiscally prudent course of action would be to save the unanticipated funds for an economic rainy day.

     As we noted in that blog post, there is now a proposal on the table (HB 3555) to suspend the kicker. Please sign this petition calling on the legislature to invest half of the money in schools now and save half in the state's rainy day fund. Sign here.     

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EDITOR'S NOTE: 

      Rumor has it that Representative Tobias Read (D, Beaverton), who wrote an op ed in the UnOregonian in support of "booting" the kicker, is using HB 3555 to jump start a campaign for state wide office - to replace outgoing Treasurer Ted Wheeler in 2016.

     I e-mailed Read's office that I support HB 3555 and got a quick response to tell my friends.  I then learned that Read doesn't expect HB 3555 to move.  He should know, it's in the House Revenue Committee which he sits on!   Talk about opportunistic and cynical politics. 

     Sign the petition, cast a vote for "hope" over "cynicism."   

     We've come to a time in the Puzzle Palace when there seems to be a "black out" on many pieces of legislation.  As my lobbyist mentors "schooled" me in '91 what the leadership wants they get.  Now we'll find out what their "real agenda" really is. 

     Got a call from my state Rep. Susan McClain (D, Hillsboro) and I told her I support HB 3555.  If not this session, hopefully 2016 but the reality is getting something done in an election year which has a partisan cast to it is "zero to none." 

     The time is NOW for HB 3555 (booting the Kicker), HB 2077 (transparency) and HB 2564 (inclusionary zoning).  The politics of gridlock is the failure of "politics" not the evidence of it.  It's a cowards way out.  It's time to put up or shut up in the Puzzle Palace.    

Sunday
Jun072015

DEMOCRATS, HOW TO SQUANDER A SUPER MAJORITY

     The mobilization of bias in the Puzzle Palace is no surprise where "the business of government is business."  

     Democrats in Oregon bucked the national trend last November by electing super majorities to both the House and Senate.  But the way things are going you wouldn't know it.  This is especially the case in proposed bills dealing with corporate transparency.  There were many such bills introduced this session but the only survivor is HB 2077 and it seems on life support stuck in the House Revenue Committee.  Even if it gets past this hurdle it still has to get to the House floor and then run the gauntlet in the Senate.  Since we are in the "dog days" of the current session hope does not spring eternal. 

     But lest one think it's only transparency bills that are problematic, the business lobby - Association of Oregon Industries, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association are doing everything they can to defeat "pro worker" bills from family leave, ending wage theft, allowing employees the right to talk to their peers about wage issues and increasing the minimum wage.  The "spin" from the business lobby is the familiar line these cretins of capitalism troot out at the drop of a hat - these are "job killing" bill.  Bogus! 

     The pro-business lobbyist "hit list" also includes bills that would have controlled spraying of pesticides, move to clean disesl fuel, phase out leaded gas for general aviation, remove toxics from children's products or protected Oregon's urban/rural reserves.  So much for Oregon being GREEN...  

     Back in the day, the business lobby opposed child labor laws, the right of labor to organize et al. on the same grounds - it would make doing business harder.  The funny thing none of these dire predictions turned out to be true and the latest spin is equally vaccuous.  But what I've noticed for years is that in the Grove many small businesses have very odd working hours.  One often sees a "closed" sign posted when you want to buy something they sell.  They may not believe in "family leave" but they believe in "employer leave"...  Nike or Intel wouldn't allow such lazy practices although they will fight to keep their SIPs etc. 

     Of the 400 registered lobbyists in the Puzzle Palace 90% of them represent business.  So one should not be surprised that even a Democratically controlled legislature should be consistently "business friendly."  So again the question is what's the difference between Ds and Rs?  When it comes to business the answer is NOT MUCH...  

Steve Duin: Democrats tell Walking Dead to keep on truckin' 

Friday
Jun052015

ENOUGH!  

     In the mid-1960s I was active in the peace and civil rights movements.  As a self-described political "radical" I had no hope that the American political system could address fundamental needs - economic justice and ending of the national security state.  But there were moments of hope - Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the passage of the civil rights acts which ended discrimination in public accommodations and guaranteed voting rights and Gene McCarthy's presidential campaign in '68 which ended the LBJ era.  And the fall of Saigon was proof that the Vietnam war was the end of Pax Americana, or so I thought until 9/11...  

     But the 1960s were also tragic times with the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK and attempts at Ford, Reagan and Wallace.  They were also sobering times with the long hot summers of '67 and '69 with racial riots from Detroit to Los Angeles, from NY to DC.  What the latter illustrated to me at that time and on reflection now with 20/20 hindsight is that the Civil Rights Movement's successes were limited to raising the Black Bourgeoisie into positions of power, ending Southern segregation and making possible Jesse Jackson's campaign in '88 and culminating with the election of Barack Obama. 

     But the question that plagues me is did the '60s generation succeed or fail when we see the state of our union today in light of Ferguson and Baltimore or in light of the NSA and the rise of ISIS?  In other words, did the political leadership that came out of the peace and civil rights movements succeed in the long term goal of bringing about economic justice and a safer world?  In light of the Great Recession and our failed policies in the Middle East - the answer is clearly NO.  If Bill Clinton, a child of the '60s, is the mark of success or failure - the answer is NO.       

     But I don't have to cast this question in a national context, I can use Oregon as a template to answer this rhetorical question - did we make a difference?  If you've read my most recent posts - the answer is obvious.

     When I returned to Oregon in 1974 we arrived on the day that Tricky Dick Nixon resigned as president.  That gave me hope that a new day was dawning in America.  In Oregon it was heady times with Tom McCall as governor and with Neil Goldschmidt as mayor of Portlandia.  As I looked at my home state, the political system here was working on a bi-partisan basis churning out land mark bills - our iconic land use system thanks to Senate Bill 100, the passage of the Beach Bill saving Oregon's coast line and the Bottle Bill setting Oregon as a national leader in recycling. 

     So while deeply pessimistic about our leadership in DC, I felt Oregon worked!  So when I began my journey as a citizen activist in '91 I was filled with hope that one indeed could make a difference, at least in Oregon.  That belief has kept me going for over 24 years.  But when I see the political games that are played within the Puzzle Palace, when I experience the TROIKA at work in Washington County and when I see how major corporations in Oregon have their way across the board - I have to concur with Elizabeth Warren that the system is "rigged" in DC and in Oregon. 

     More important when I see environmental and social justice organization here spin their "victories" as major accomplishments when in reality they evidence a lack of nerve to speak truth to power - my cynicism meter rises to the top!  

     And when I see public opinion polls that indicate the public in Oregon is deeply divided on whether our Oregon tax system is fair - which it clearly is not - I see no hope that leadership in Salem which is "poll driven" will ever come up with solutions to deal with the looming PERS, Measure 5 or Kicker quagmires.  Quite the contrary political leadership in both parties is committed to the proposition that Oregon can only compete in the global economy by selling out to the likes of Nike and Intel.  Yes the system is "rigged" but more than that it's terminally flawed in systemic failure. 

     Given what I've experienced I see no hope - no matter who is governor not sure about POTUS.  On this I concur with the Tea Party faithful and the protesters in the streets of Ferguson that our political system is "broken" not just "rigged,"  So I can't believe anymore "if not us, who?"  There is no room for "who" in the Oregon or the USA.  There is only room for the masters of "spin."    

     But did the '60s generation fail?  No they tried but they were up against a political and economic system programmed by the Founding Fathers to protect entrenched power in the old days Yankee merchants and Southern slave owners, today Wall Street, Super PACS,  K-Street and DC insiders, elected and non-elected.   Thanks George, Alexander, Tom and Ben!  

Final thoughts:

     While "systemic change" is highly unlikely, in DC or Oregon, there are still reasons to pay attention to what's churning in the political process.  There are always good bills that need to be supported, good candidates running for office and good causes that require our support.  But after 24 years as a citizen activist, I've paid my dues.  Now it's time to sail off into the sunset with Ann, Lavanya et al...  

     I still reserve the right to use this blog and my op ed columns as a bully pulpit to make the "comfortable" uncomfortable and to talk truth to power.  I just don't need the drive time to the Puzzle Palace or the County offices in Hillsboro to talk to the deaf!  I've got a ton of books to read that have piled up over the years, I have a golf game in tatters and I want to do some road trips with Ann before my kids put me in the "home."

     The baton is yours to keep hope alive!      

Tuesday
Jun022015

WHEN DEMOCRTS BECOME REPUBLICANS

     Many people over the years have claimed there is not a "dimes worth of difference" between Democrat and Republican politicians.  I've often argued that when one looks at the history of both parties there is plenty that distinguishes them.  But as a citizen activist in Washington County, the Metro area and in the Puzzle Palace i'm beginning to wonder whether the "historical" view really holds true anymore. 

     More and more Democratic politicians, like their Republican brethren, seem loyal to "corporate Oregon" and by inference corporate America.  At that point, there is no significant difference between Democrats and Republicans and that may be the "new normal" as we look down the road of the 21st century.  The mainstream of both parties is loyal to unvarnished big business capitalism as the basis of economic growth. 

     But what did "corporatist" politics of the Left or Right bring us - under Bill Clinton or Bush II?  The answer is simply - The Great Recession and a foreign policy founded on the US as an imperial nation.  And it this legacy that has eroded the promise of the Obama era.  And this "corporatist" power has seeped into our state and local politics. 

     Yes, Democrats are the party of social liberalism - gay rights et al - what one might term "life style politics" while the GOP is the party of social conservatism - the voice of "family values conservatism."  But when it comes to economics both parties cozy up to corporate power.  How could they do otherwise - their campaign war chests are beholden to the corporate "mother load." 

     From the "no new taxes" pledges to Nike and Intel to no will to get serious about tax reform, both liberals and conservatives in the legislature feel that corporations such as Intel and Nike are the "golden goose" that lays to eggs which feed Oregon's economy.  Yet the record doesn't support the mythology.  When I grew up in Oregon (Roseburg) there was no economically marginalized  "Other Oregon" but one state. 

     Yes, in the 1950s when the nation got a cold, Oregon's natural resourced based economy got the flu.  But in between "recessions" Oregon's economy produced "family wage jobs" backed by a powerful union movement which again and again supported progressive icons like Wayne Morse and Richard Neuberger, while the Republicans had giants like Mark Hatfield and Tom McCall. 

     Back in those days there was not two Oregons, one in the Portland metroplex and the other in the boondocks but "one" Oregon where our politics was bi-partisan and a model of governance that was the marvel of the nation - "things looked different" in those days whether Hatfield, Straub or McCall was governor.  Out of this progressive politics came the Bottle Bill, the Beach Bill, Senate Bill 100. 

     Now all we get out of the Puzzle Palace is gridlock on the major issues which hover over Oregon like an impending seismic fault - PERS, Measure 5, Measure 11 plus our achievement and income gaps.  If one is in the traded sector or it's spin offs things are great.  For some it's the greatest of times, for others it's the worst of times.  As Edward R. Murrow used to say at the end of his broadcasts - "good night and good luck" 

     An example of how intellectually impoverished mainstream politics is check out David Sarashon's column in Wednesday unOregonian.   The idea that businessmen have a clue about how to cure poverty in Oregon is a joke.  Yes, the earned income tax credit is a good idea as is subsidizing child care.  But these programs are band aids, at best in offering a "dent" into mitigating poverty in Oregon, not ending it.

     Duncan Wyse, president of The Oregon Business Council and a "go to guy" of Oregon governors since the Goldschmidt era no doubt favors such initiatives.  They avoid the uncomfortable question of why doesn't corporate Oregon pay its fair share of property and income taxes?  Existing programs tap into the general fund or depend on federal pass through dollars.  It's easy to show concern about poverty when you aren't paying the bill.  

     That Speaker Kotek and Patti Whitney-Wise, executive director of the Oregon Hunger Task Force applaud such efforts illustrates how they've been co-opted by the corporate elite of Oregon - after all who serves on the boards of the "do gooder" groups in the state?  One learns early on you don't bite the hand that feeds you even though such programs Sarashon in mock humor suggests wouldn't pass the "Toys R Us" test. 

      A more robust solution is to put an end to the cylce of poverty and dependence on a welfare system based on the English Poor Laws by upping the minimum wage to $15/hr or more...  Would that eat at the profit margins of business or drive up consumer costs?  Yep, so what?  Did farm worker boycotts put agri-buiness out of business?  If the political class vetoes a progressive tax system, then the only choice is a de facto value added tax.   

    

   

Saturday
May302015

OREGON'S "CORPORATE CULTURE"  

     US Senator Elizabeth Warren said that the American political system is "rigged" for the rich and against the 99%.  The same could be said of Oregon's political system, a conclusion I can't escape as I've observed what happens in the Puzzle Palace as a professor since 1975 and since 1991 as a citizen activist.  But the reality of it hit me like a brick as I was getting ready for a round of golf this past Friday afternoon. 

     I saw a familiar face headed to the #1 tee box, a person I've played golf with as guests of a former student of mine and whose career as a legislator I followed before he became the CEO of one of Oregon's major business advocacy groups.  The former legislator was a moderate Democrat from Washington County.  His current employer is a moderate pro-business group.  He was a person who one envisioned as a future governor.  But like so many of his generation he left politics for the corporate world.  

     His comment to me which I'm paraphrasing was "Russ what are you up to, still trying to hold business accountable?"  My answer was "yes" but our transparency bill  HB 2077 is stuck in the House Revenue committee.  As he walked away from me headed to his tee box he said "that bill would destroy Oregon's economy."  Since I wasn't anticipating a political "put down" or to be put in my place I didn't have a quick retort - besides he was walking away...  

     But this brief 30 second "conversation" on a golf course sums up what one needs to know about Oregon politics these days.  Basically, when you mess around with "corporate Oregon" don't expect them to roll over the play dead.  OK I never expected that to happen.  But in the many hearings on various transparency bills which ask for disclosure of Oregon taxes corporations pay and how they use billions in state subsidies, the "corporate" suits aka lobbyists while in the room have been silent in the hearings. 

     But my fellow golfer now business leader let it out of the bag - the hired gun lobbyists and their legislator supporters are watching us and have no plans to let Oregonians know what state income (i.e. excise) taxes the likes of Nike, Intel et al pay nor do they intend to allow for an accounting of how they are using our SIP, enterprise zone and urban renewal subsidies.  In the "corporate culture" we live in this information is "privileged" info the public is not allowed to have. 

     After my round when I got home I checked my e-mail.  Here's a redacted version, with names left out, which reinforced the message from corporate Oregon - "don't fool with us."  A friend talked to a key Democratic legislator about the transparency bil currently in play -  HB 2077 . 

Here's the takeaway he got -

     1)  The bill doesn't generate useful information; 

     2)  The data could be easily gamed so it would be useless;

     3)  Extreme left wing forces would use the data to argue that some companies aren't paying their share of taxes;

     4)  Such a bill would create a negative impression of Oregon as a place to do business and our economy would be hurt; 

     So there you have it, our Taxpayer Return on Investment Act coalition (TRIA) is a part of an "extreme Left wing" force in the Beaver state!  Wow!  One assumes that behind the scenes the business lobby is telling legislators - mostly Democrats don't you dare vote for a transparency bill.  The obvious unstated quid pro quo is that if you play with this idea, you may find your next year's campaign coffers a bit light. 

     At the end of the public hearing on HB 2077 the chair of the committee made an observation that the opponents would have their work cut out for them...  

     I assumed a great debate would ensue where Oregon pro-business entities such as AOI would testify but this did not happen.  The written testimony is very revealing especially testimony by a DC think tank, COST, that says it all, not so much in "what" was said their pro-business talking points were predictable.   But "who" they represented - look at the sidebar of COST's members - was a "who's who" of corporate America!      

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Talking points in favor of transparency - HB 2077 OEA Testimony

Again no action today! 

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     None of this surprises me but it does make me wonder why one should waste time in the Puzzle Palace given the existing pro-business mobilization of bias under the Capitol Dome?  Whether it comes to transparency, tax reform, Measure 5 or the personal kicker - there is cleanly little will in the Puzzle Palace to do the heavy lifting necessary to make Oregon's economy sustainable for the average Oregonian.  What is in play is to make sure corporate Oregon rules no matter who controls the legislature. 

     The enabling of Oregon's "corporate culture" has hidden costs nobody is talking about.  The PERS bomb is there, the education achievement gap is growing, gentrification goes on, our housing gap is as wide as the Grand Canyon and the "other Oregon" is left in the economic doldrums.  One wonders when will Oregonians say "enough?"  In the meantime, I can't honestly say that spending time in the Puzzle Palace is worth the effort.  Yes, Liz - the system is "rigged." This is no longer Tom McCall's Oregon!  

     But what's also dismaying is that advocates who claim to speak for the marginalized are unwilling call Oregon's power elite to task.  For example, we have a $100 million dollar housing plan which is a joke.  It promises to build 4000 units for home owners when the need is for 130,000 rental units.  The working poor can't afford to buy a home!  In Washington County last year we were able to move 6 families into home ownership - out of a waiting list of 5000 who need rental housing!  

     It's time to tell the truth,  the emperor has no clothes...   And maybe it's time for a Poor People's March on Salem!  

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