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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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/)Read more
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.
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
- Offer a $15 minimum wage to all full-time city employees,
- Provide a $5,000 a year tax credit for business that hire ex-cons,
- 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.
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."
Oregon is one of the least friendly states in the country for small businesses, according to a new ranking released by Small Business Policy Index.
The state was ranked as the 6th worst in the nation by the index that weighed issues such as taxes, regulations, government spending and debt.
“Oregon is pretty good at nurturing startups, but once they get started it hits them in the head with a hammer,” said Brian Vierra, a venture capitalist at Economic Development for Central Oregon. “Once they start making money, they get hit with all the regulations.”
Read the whole thing at GoLocalPDX.
From the Oregonian ... First there's this:
Cylvia Hayes has confirmed she collected $118,000 in previously undisclosed payments from an out-of-state clean energy group.
Then, there's this:
The admitted payouts conflict with other statements Kitzhaber has made regarding his fiancee's consulting work, how his office handled her contracts and most troubling, statements he has made in his annual ethics filings.
And, then there's this:
The income also doesn't match what's reported for those years on federal tax forms Hayes provided to The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Oh ... and there's this:
Yet it appears that Hayes did not complete such disclosure forms for her contract with the Clean Economy Development Center of Washington, D.C., or three others: Waste to Energy of Texas; HDR One Co., of Portland; and Rural Development Initiatives of Eugene.
But, wait, what's this?
While Hayes was willing to disclose to EO Media how much money she'd collected from her fellowship, the first lady wouldn't share what work she'd done with the Clean Economy Development Center. Still, Hayes has highlighted the fellowship on her business website, in numerous biographies that she submitted when she spoke at conferences and on her First Lady of Oregon page linked from the governor's web site.
Did you know: According to the nonprofit tracking site Guidestar, the IRS revoked the Clean Economy Development Center's tax-exempt status for failing to file tax forms over three consecutive years.
Then there's all this:
On the tax return that Hayes provided to The Oregonian/OregonLive, Hayes noted that her salary and business income for 2011 totaled $52,203.
Again, according to Kitzhaber's ethics disclosure forms, that was the year Hayes held four different contracts, including her fellowship with the Clean Economy Development Center that she Hayes now says was worth $30,000.
Yet on Hayes' 2012 tax filing, her business income was noted as $27,361. She listed no wages or salary. That was the year in which she now says her payment from the development center totaled $88,000.
In his own ethics filing for that year, Kitzhaber noted that his household received income from Hayes' 3E Strategies. Section No. 7 of that form directed the governor to list any household income of $1,000 or more from groups with business, legislative or administrative interests in Oregon.
Then, there's one more thing:
Hayes now says she was paid $88,000 by the Clean Economy Development Center that year, yet Kitzhaber wrote "None."
It's becoming clearer and clearer why the FBI has some questions for the Governor and his fiancée.
Four Portland Public School board seat are up for election in the May 2015 election.
Two current members have announced that they will not be seeking re-election, making it a bit easier for some Republicans to shake up PPS.
Zone 1 is in Southwest Portland, covering the Wilson High School cluster. Ruth Adkins has announced that she is not running for re-election. Adkins takes credit for hiring Carole Smith, the superintendent who will be best known for her attempts to destroy Portland's neighborhood schools. More recently, Adkins was responsible for overseeing the street fee work group that pushed the hardest for an ultra-progressive income tax to fund the city council's pet projects.
Zone 2 is in North Portland and includes Jefferson and Benson High Schools. Current board member, Matt Morton indicated that he will not seek another term. Morton is more famous for conflict of interest allegations, rather than any notable achievements while on the board. While on the PPS board, Morton has served as executive director of the Native American Youth and Family Center, which has contracts with PPS.
Candidates for the May 19 election must file by March 19, 2015.
BikePortland.org reports that Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat’s said her goals for 2015 is "getting on offense on parking" by creating a "set of tools" that neighborhoods will be able to use to charge for parking or to remove parking to make room for bike lanes or public parklets.
Treat showed a slide that used Hollywood and Southeast Hawthorne as examples indicating that the business districts may get parking meters for the first time. Still others might see maximum parking time limits to allow turnover, or residential permit systems.
Read the whole thing at BikePortland.org.
The Oregonian reports that Comcast's pending, $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable has divided politicians across the country, with some jurisdictions – including Portland – warning that the deal would create a mammoth company that could deter competition and raise prices.
Some politicians, however, including Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, are enthusiastic supporters:
On Monday, the online tech journal The Verge looked at some of the letters of support from Comcast's political supporters and found they were ghostwritten – sometimes word-for-word – by the company itself. That isn't particularly surprising: Politicians often write letters of support at the behest of their supporters, and legislators frequently propose bills written by lobbyists.
Still, it's revealing to see who Comcast has lined up in support of its bid.
The Verge notes that Comcast has contributed nearly $10,000 to Brown's campaigns for secretary of state. (Comcast is also a big supporter of Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has not registered an opinion with the FCC on the Time Warner deal.)
Through a public records request, The Verge found that Brown worked closely with Comcast in writing her letter of support, using language the company had proposed.
And you thought Republicans were the party of Big Business ...
UPDATE: Comcast did not ghost write Kate Brown's entire letter of support, according to Consumerist, the Democrat "tweaked" three sentences.