Obamacare comes to Oregon with $1,500 increases in health insurance prices

More than 220,000 Oregonians who buy their own health insurance will face higher premiums next year, according to the Oregonian.

Portlanders could see some of the biggest hikes in the country.

Officials say the rate increases reflect changes to the market due to Obamacare, which kicked in in 2014. More people, including sick people, bought policies in part because insurers were prohibited from denying coverage for preexisting medical conditions. A new tax penalty also punishess those who go uninsured.

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Oregon State House Sneaks In Sales Tax

The blog on taxrates.com announced “Anti-Sales Tax Oregon Embraces Marijuana Tax” referring to Oregon’s new state sales tax in HB2041 on all marijuana leaves, flowers, immature plants, and cannabinoid products initially at 25% and then at 17% with allowances for local jurisdictions to add another 3% sales tax.  It was largely without fanfare passing in the House on June 25th (43 aye-15 nay) and in the Senate June 30th (24 aye-4 nay) before being prepped for Governor Kate Brown’s signature. Was the bill rushed at the end of the session?  Where are the large headline news articles?  


So why should anyone who does not plan to spend much money on weed care what sort of tax is on it?  Presumably, anyone planning to spend a lot is just too happy that it is finally legal to even notice what form of tax is on it.  After all, Measure 91 to legalize marijuana passed by a handy margin, and it included a growers' tax and a privilege tax on retailers.  We’ve had an excise tax on cigarettes for years.  Why fuss?

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Survey Available for SW Corridor Light Rail Project - Action Needed

The very important issue of the SW Corridor Light Rail project is now providing us with an opportunity to voice our opinions.  This is the nearly $2 billion dollar SW Corridor High Capacity Transit project, originated by METRO, going mostly along Pacific Highway south to Tigard, Sherwood and Tualatin.  There have been a number of initiative efforts aimed at giving residents along the way a larger voice about what light rail projects happen in their local communities.  Please take advantage of this chance to voice your opinions.

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Multnomah County Budget Controversies

The Multnomah County budget which is currently being discussed includes some outrageous spending for a courthouse renovation and for bridge retrofits. Wasteful spending on mega projects like $250 million on a courthouse and something like $1 billion bridge retrofits are not good stewardship of the public trust.  The email addresses for each Commissioner are below for communications about the budget. There are also upcoming public meetings at which citizen comment is scheduled. Feel free to use the sample below, or editorialize, them to fit your views. 

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Rep Mike Nearman in Hearing Re: Cylvia Hayes' Controversial Oregon Prosperity Initiative

Last Wednesday, April 8th, Rep Mike Nearman on the Joint Ways & Means SubCommittee on Transportation & Economic Development attended the hearing on SB5513 an appropriation bill for Dept of Housing & Community Services with invited testimony only.  Sounds routine.  But, this was related to the Oregon Prosperity Initiative that Gov Kitzhaber directed to include Cylvia Hayes and for which a spokesperson was hired by Oregon Business Council to help the First Lady and is the focus of a state and federal investigation.

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Legislative Push For Raising Minimum Wage ACTION NEEDED

Monday night 4/13 6pm to 9pm in Salem at the State Capitol, there will be a public hearing on ten bills regarding the minimum wage in Oregon. The bills make varying changes: raising to $10.75/hr by 2015;  raising to $15/hr by 2018; and to allow local govts to set the minimum wage.  If you own a small business, how will these bills affect it?  How will this minimum wage attract small businesses to Oregon or attract skilled workers to Oregon. Testimony is needed.

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Just another day for Democrat controlled Portland: Broken promises, busted budgets, and unsafe streetcars

Today's Oregonian has three, count 'em THREE, separate stories highlight the Democrats disastrous domination of Portland's political scene.

First there's the story of broken promises:

United Streetcar, the Clackamas company expected to put hundreds of Oregonians to work manufacturing a new generation of streetcars, has all but closed up shop without meeting job projections.

Then, there's the story of busted budgets:

Renovating the Veterans Memorial Coliseum may end up costing far more than Portland has budgeted, if early cost estimates are any indication.

New figures show construction costs alone could run from $37 million to $89 million, depending on the extent of improvements.

The Portland Development Commission, the city's urban renewal agency, has budgeted just $23.3 million.

And, third, there's the story of a unsafe streetcar system that is responsible for a wreck a week:

New reports obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive reveal how frequently city streetcars end up in fender-benders: nearly once a week, on average, according to city statistics for 2013 and 2014.

Help Multnomah County Republicans put an end to Democrat's mismanagement. You can help by donating, $5, $10, $100 or more at: multnomahgop.org/donate



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The Sharon Statement

On Sept. 11, 1960, a group of young conservatives who met at the home of William F. Buckley Jr. in Sharon, Conn., issued what became known as the Sharon Statement; written by M. Stanton Evans, who died last Tuesday at age 80, the statement asserted these beliefs:

That foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force;

That liberty is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom;

That the purpose of government is to protect those freedoms through the preservation of internal order, the provision of national defense, and the administration of justice;

That when government ventures beyond these rightful functions, it accumulates power, which tends to diminish order and liberty;

That the Constitution of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power;

That the genius of the Constitution—the division of powers—is summed up in the clause that reserves primacy to the several states, or to the people, in those spheres not specifically delegated to the Federal government;

That the market economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government, and that it is at the same time the most productive supplier of human needs;

That when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation; that when it takes from one man to bestow on another, it diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both;

That we will be free only so long as the national sovereignty of the United States is secure; that history shows periods of freedom are rare, and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their rights against all enemies;

That the forces of international Communism are, at present, the greatest single threat to these liberties;

That the United States should stress victory over, rather than coexistence with, this menace; and

That American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: does it serve the just interests of the United States?

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Portland politicians don't hate business, they just play favorites. Let's take the "crony" out of capitalism!

Portland is a crazy place to do business. If you're on the "nice" list, you get handouts of taxpayer money. If you're on the "naughty" list, you get hassled and shaken down. Check out this story of two Portland businesses.

First, Willamette Week reports about a struggling small business owner (actually it's a tiny business) who is being hassled by the City of Portland's Bureau of Environment Services. Overreaching bureaucrats are forcing mead maker Stung Fermented to put in an expensive "wastewater inspection port," which is a requirement that’s only supposed to apply to large industrial sewer users. 

Since it'd take two years to fight it in court (plus tons of money), Stung Fermented had to bend to the bureaucracy.

While one micro business is getting burnt by the city's bureaucrats, the city's Portland Development Commission is handing another microbrewery more than one million dollars in taxpayer money.  

And, it get's worse. A few years ago, PDC spent more than $3 million to move Ararat Bakery the exact same location as the Million Dollar Microbrewery. Two years later, the bakery went out of business and PDC was stuck with $653,000 in unpaid loans.

Bottom line: All together the city has spent more than $4 million to attract business to one corner in Portland, and there is still no business on that corner. At the same time, the city has no money to repair roads. Crazy, huh?

Starting a business is big part of the American Dream. Republicans support free enterprise. Free from bureaucratic burdens. Free from cronyism. Good government is a concept that crosses party lines.

Please help Multnomah County Republicans turn Portland into a city that's open for all businesses, big and small. The easiest way to help is to follow our donate link: http://multnomahgop.org/donate.

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Wimpy, the Portland Mercury Kitten?

For some reason, the Portland Mercury thinks that the comparatively rare breed of Republican kitten in Multnomah County needs help getting adopted, as opposed to the more common Democratic variety, a typical Leftist failure to understand economic principles.  In response to their column . . .

Here at the Multnomah County Republican Party, we're terribly concerned about the rising number of homeless Democratic kittens—which is why we're devoting space on our website this week to cats considered unadoptable. WILL YOU OPEN YOUR HEART AND HOME TO ONE OF PORTLAND'S UBIQUITOUS DEMOCRATIC KITTENS?

Meet Wimpy, the Portland Mercury Kitten.  He's a two-month-old, ginger tabby who loves warm snuggles. Also...

  • Wimpy is a committed atheist who worships government scientists instead of God, and knows that anyone who questions anything a government scientist says must have something seriously wrong with them.  Wimpy firmly believes that only by doing everything that government experts tell us can we avoid an environmental apocalypse. 
  • Wimpy loves wrestling with balls of yarn, and giving affectionate "head butts" during cuddle time.
  • Wimpy is terrified that fossil fuel use is about to put Portland deep under water, since he cannot swim, and believes that we need to pay billionaires to make poor quality low carbon fuels that no one wants to keep the polar ice caps from melting.   
  • Wimpy is a lazy but loving cat, that you can stretch out over any piece of furniture.
  • Wimpy doesn't believe that there should be any countries, especially America, because we are all just citizens of the world, and we should all live under repressive totalitarian governments that destroy the economy and make everyone suffer equally, except for our glorious leaders.
  • Wimpy enjoys napping in the sunshine, and his gentle snoring sounds like a teeny-tiny race car.
  • Wimpy objects to being classified as a male cat, and believes that gender is just a myth.  Wimpy would prefer a household with human residents who have been neutered like him, and thus vote Democratic.
  • Who's that hiding in the pant leg of your jeans? Why, it's Wimpy!
  • Wimpy believes that EBT cards should be used to buy pet food, and looks forward to living in a household that is willing to claim him as an additional dependent so that he can have three or four cans of Fancy Feast every day.
  • Wimpy enjoys licking her tiny little paws and cleaning her tiny little face! TOO... CUTE!

To adopt Wimpy, please contact The Portland Mercury at 503-294-0840.

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Multnomah Republicans Criticize Brown’s Banana-Republic Moves

This morning’s Oregonian reports that Governor Brown has seized direct control of the State’s e-mail servers, and removed the bureaucrats who courageously stood up to former Governor Kitzhaber’s request to delete e-mails from those servers. They are now threatened with criminal prosecutions.  It is remarkable how fast the Democratic machine can move to protect against public disclosure:  less than a week for this criminal investigation to commence, but many months before anyone began to investigate former Governor Kitzhaber.

In a potentially related action, former Governor Kitzhaber is now demanding that the Oregon Department of Administrative Services give Kitzhaber’s attorney a chance to remove all the allegedly “privileged” e-mails from state servers before the State complies with a federal grand jury subpoena. Even more remarkably, although Attorney General Rosenblum has previously let attorneys for government officials simply refuse to produce relevant information, Kitzhaber’s attorney is now taking no chances and threatening Willamette Week with potential liability and demanding that Attorney General Rosenblum recuse herself from any investigation because she is married to the Willamette Week publisher.

Every attorney knows that confidentiality, even of attorney-client communications, is destroyed through voluntary disclosure to a third party. Former Governor Kitzhaber asked the State to hold copies of his personal e-mail, presumably because he was unwilling to simply read it in a browser and wanted it mixed with his other e-mail in a single, state-maintained box. In so doing, he was intentionally disclosing it to a third party and the leading Oregon evidence treatise says that “knowledge or lack of knowledge of the existence of the privilege appears to be irrelevant”—once he disclosed the material, the privilege was lost forever. The claim that this was all just a “mistake” for the e-mails to come into State possession does not pass the laugh test, and if Governor Brown and her appointees accept it, it will be clear that they are simply part of an ongoing criminal conspiracy masquerading as state government.

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More thoughts on the media

What does it mean when 64% of leading reporters think the Obama Administration is spying on them?  What does it mean when 14% of them say that just in the past 12 months, such concerns have kept them from pursuing a story or reaching out to a particular source, or have led them to consider leaving investigative journalism altogether?  (Source:  http://www.journalism.org/2015/02/05/investigative-journalists-and-digital-security/)

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Leading Oregon Democrat says Kitzhaber/Hales scandal "presents a potential crisis of confidence in government"

UPDATE: Less than five minutes after this post went live, the Oregonian says that Kitzhaber MUST RESIGN.

From Willamette Week:

“The facts need to come out sooner rather than later,” State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, a fellow Democrat, tells WW. “This presents a potential crisis of confidence in government.”

Kitzhaber’s insistence on drawing the public’s attention to the ethics commission, which can only levy civil fines, suggested he was diverting attention from a more serious concern: that he and Hayes may have engaged in criminal behavior.

Read the whole thing at Willamette Week.

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OPB Think Out Loud: A chance for Republicans to comment on the Portland mayor's out of control spending plans

Tell Portland's mayor what you think of his lack of leadership and his out of control spending plans.

Portland Mayor (and former Republican) Charlie Hales will be on OPB's Think Out Loud today at noon on 91.5 FM.

This is the mayor who couldn't balance his budget, so he tried to force a $43 million tax increase on Portlanders ... without a public vote.

Now ... all of a sudden, Mayor Hales has found money to

  1. Offer a $15 minimum wage to all full-time city employees,
  2. Provide a $5,000 a year tax credit for business that hire ex-cons,
  3. Open a new multi-million-dollar psychiatric emergency center, and the list goes on ...

Listen in an hit the comments section on OPB's website.

Let's give the mayor a lesson in Fiscal Responsibility 101.

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Multnomah County Republicans call for legislative leaders to put a hold on all legislation tainted by Cylvia Hayes

Today, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber held an extraordinary press conference. The presser was originally publicized as an opportunity to shed light on the new allegations of wrongdoing by his fiancée Cylvia Hayes.

Instead, the governor dodged the most important issues regarding Hayes, her consulting work, and allegations of influence peddling in the governor’s office. Less than 20 minutes into the press conference, Kitzhaber stormed out, leaving many questions unanswered.

While Oregonians are left in the dark about relationships between Hayes, her clients, the governor, and his policies, Multnomah County Republicans urge a careful review of legislation promoted by Hayes and her clients.

Multnomah County Republican Chair Eric Fruits has a suggestion for the Oregon House and Senate leaders: "Salem should shelve any legislation that has any connection to Cylvia Hayes, her consulting firm, or her clients until the Ethics Commission and FBI investigations are completed. It’s a simple matter of transparency and good government that crosses all party lines. Oregon taxpayers cannot afford to pay for any more special deals tainted by the possibility of corruption."

Vice Chair James Buchal was harsher, suggesting that "In any state where all government accountability was not crippled by decades of control by the same criminal gang, indictments would already have been issued."

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