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.
I almost never watch television news, but I listened to the local Fox affiliate the other night. The lead story, which was pumped with ads during The Big Bang Theory for two nights running, raised the question whether budget cuts had killed a man.
As best one could tell from the story, there was a young man high on meth, with mental health problems, who attacked the house of his parents and then collapsed unconscious in their front yard. The question of budget cuts arose because at this hour of the night there were no County deputies on duty. So police from a neighboring town were called and came.Read more
GoLocalPDX reports that Democrat state senator (and former Rogue of the Week) Chip Shields has introduced legislation that would permit people to "sleep, sit, lay down, and protect themselves from the elements" in public spaces, including sidewalks.
That means that people can sleep in front of your business or apartment any time of the day. Police and property owners would be powerless to clear to the path to homes and businesses.
The proposed legislation would also allow people to camp in their vehicles parked on any public street.
Seems strange that at a time when government policies are driving businesses out of downtown, the Shields is proposing legislation that would make things worse.
James Huffman is a law professor at Lewis & Clark and ran as a Republican for U.S. Senate against Ron Wyden. He was also an investor in a now-closed restaurant on the edge of Portland's Chinatown.
He reports in the Oregonian, that Portland's selective enforcement of its own laws is driving out law-abiding and tax-paying businesses while encouraging an illegal camp.
The problem for [Greek restaurant] Alexis and other businesses in Chinatown, including now closed Ping (in which I was an investor), is that longtime customers stopped coming. They stopped coming because Chinatown is a mess, and at the heart of that mess is RightToDreamToo (R2D2), an illegal homeless camp the "city that works" has tolerated for nearly four years.
Actually our fearless leaders have not just tolerated the camp. They have encouraged it, praised it and helped arrange for nearly a million dollars to support it. There was a plan to move it in 2013, but the more influential folks in the Pearl District objected. So it remains an open sore in Chinatown while jobs that would help get the R2D2 campers off the streets are lost to dying businesses.
Read the whole thing over at the Oregonian.
The Wall Street Journal's concludes that the State of the Union speech was "amusingly detached from the reality of the largest GOP majority in Congress since 1949."
But first observe the irony: The President has suddenly discovered that middle-class incomes have plunged on his watch, and he’s demanding that Congress address this with more of the same policies that have done so much to reduce middle-class incomes.
White House aides are saying their boss’s plan for $320 billion in new taxes on savings and investment to finance more transfer payments is a bid to be remembered as a Robin Hood. This would be accurate if our hero and his merry men had shaken down Sherwood Forest for the benefit of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Mr. Obama has spent six years trying to redistribute income, but all he’s done is make the income gap between rich and poor wider.
Read the whole thing at WSJ.com.
The Taxpayers Association of Oregon reports that the Democrats running the Oregon Legislature have already lined up 50 NEW TAXES or TAX INCREASES! And, this is on top of Democrat ideas to get rid of the Kicker and to raise property taxes.
It's so bad, in fact, that the Willamette Week says that the Democrats want to open "tax floodgates."
Here are the first 50 ...
HB 2066 – Increases cigarette tax and provides for distribution of increase in revenue.
HB 2073 – Disallows, for purposes of personal income taxation, mortgage interest deduction for residence other than taxpayer’s principal residence if taxpayer’s federal adjusted gross income exceeds $125,000, or $250,000 if reported on joint return.
HB 2074 – Expands definition of tobacco products for purpose of taxationto include electronic cigarettes and nicotine solution.
HB 2075 – Increases plane fuel tax
HB 2076 – Provides that corporate minimum tax may not be reduced, paid or otherwise satisfied by use of tax credits.
HB 2078 – Imposes state property tax on property subject to local ad valorem property taxation.
HB 2079 – Requires, for Oregon corporate excise or income tax purposes, addition to federal taxable income of amount of employee compensation over prescribed limit.
HB 2080 – Provides that for first property tax year after sale or transfer of property, assessed value and maximum assessed value equal real market value of property.
HB 2082 – Imposes tax on each fuel supplier and utility based on amount of carbon in carbon-based fuel that is sold by fuel supplier to consumers in state or that is used to produce carbon-generated electricity supplied by utility to consumers in state.
HB 2086 – Imposes fee on fossil fuel or fossil fuel-generated electricity to be paid by vendors.
HB 2088 – Broadens types of communications services on which municipalities may impose privilege tax.
HB 2096 – Provides that corporate minimum tax may not be reduced, paid or otherwise satisfied by use of tax credits, other than certain tax credits allowed for energy conservation facilities.
HB 2097 – Modifies conditions for optional reduced rates of personal income tax on nonpassive income attributable to partnership or S corporation by aligning with federal provision that allows for elective grouping of related entities that form economic unit.
HB 2098 – Limits property tax exemption under strategic investment program to real property, other than land and buildings, and personal property.
HB 2099 – Modifies list of jurisdictions of incorporation for which income must be included on Oregon corporate excise tax return, if corporation is member of unitary group with Oregon corporation.
HB 2100 – For purposes of corporate excise tax, includes corporation doing business or incorporated in foreign country in determination of unitary relationship among corporations.
HB 2104 – Creates or adjusts sunset for certain income and corporate excise tax expenditures not required under federal law or Oregon Constitution.
HB 2134 – Expands definition of “tobacco products” for purpose of taxation to include electronic cigarettes and nicotine solution.
HB 2135 – Removes prohibition against local government enactment of taxes on alcoholic beverages.
HB 2136 – Limits qualified residence interest deduction for personal income taxpayers.
HB 2137 – Imposes sales tax on sales in this state of works of art having sales prices of $250,000 or higher.
HB 2151 – Limits, for purposes of personal income taxation, availability of itemized deductions.
HB 2153 – Limits, for purposes of personal income taxation, availability of itemized deductions.
HB 2159 – Imposes tax on each fuel supplier and utility based on amount of carbon in carbon-based fuel that is sold by fuel supplier to consumers in state or that is used to produce carbon-generated electricity supplied by utility to consumers in state.
HB 2160 – Removes prohibition against imposition of taxes by county on cigarettes and tobacco products.
HB 2162 – Removes prohibition against local government imposition of taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products.
HB 2163 – Repeals prohibitions against local government imposition of certain taxes.
HB 2166 – Increases tax on cigarettes.
HB 2401 – Creates excise tax on wild bird feed.
HB 2459 – Increases certain fees related to registering and titling boats, floating homes and boathouses.
HB 2550 – Increases fuel tax and motor carrier taxes.
HB 2555 – Increases cigarette tax.
HB 2590 – Enacts uniform sales and use tax administration provisions.
HJR 1- Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to allow bills for raising revenue to pass with simple majority of both houses.
HJR 3 – Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to require that initiative petition proposing law or constitutional amendment with fiscal impact also provide new tax or fee or increase in rate of existing tax or fee to cover immediate and future costs of law or amendment.
HJR 8 – Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to repeal individual income tax surplus refund “kicker” provision.
HJR 9 – Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to allow bills that repeal or suspend operation of tax expenditure to pass with simple majority of both houses.
HJR 10 – Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution allowing Legislative Assembly to impose taxes on carbon emissions for purpose of funding reductions in carbon emissions and carbon fuel use.
HJR 11 – Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution removing limitation of six percent of market value on rate of taxes imposed on oil or natural gas.
HJR 12 – Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to reset assessed value and maximum assessed value to real market value for property that is subject of sale or other transfer.
HJR 14 – Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution directing Legislative Assembly to adopt sales tax at rate of five percent on sales of tangible personal property and services and use tax at rate of five percent on purchase price of tangible personal property.
SJR 2 – Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to transfer excess personal income tax revenues to state school fund established by law to provide funding for kindergarten through twelfth grade public education.
SB 12 — Removes prohibition against local government enactment of taxes on alcoholic beverages.
SB 14 – Removes prohibition against local government imposition of taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products.
SB 228 – Increases fees and fee limits for registering tanning devices and X-ray machines and issuing specific licenses for sources of radiation.
SB 254 – Increases fee on motor vehicle fuel metering instrument or device in accordance with graduated schedule
SB 261 – Increases ballast water trip fee to $88.
SB 269 – Increases pilot registration fees.
SB 324 – Repeals sunset on provisions related to low carbon fuel standards.
SB 329 – Increases annual fee imposed on public utilities and telecommunications providers for purpose of defraying costs of Public Utility Commission.
The 2014 Multnomah County Fair is this weekend, Saturday May 24th thru Memorial Day Monday May 26th. It is at Oaks Bottom Park and is open from Noon to 7pm daily. FREE admission to fair, parking and oaks park.
The fair is very family and kid friendly with train rides, roller coasters and other kids rides, small animal petting zoo, talent competitions, stage for music and performances, with lots of food and vendor booths.Read more
One of the easiest and most productive ways to affect the political process is to devote a small amount of time volunteering as a PCP (Precinct Committee Person). Many people are surprised to discover that a PCP is the most important person in our party. As a Multnomah County Republican PCP you can help swing the vote in the right direction, and participate in the selection process to elect the Party’s nominee for President of the United States.
The 2014 elections are on the horizon. With your help we can elect fiscally responsible Republicans as Oregon’s next Governor AND a Senator to represent us in Washington DC.Read more
That's right, we were excited to announce this week that our Lincoln Day Dinner is set! It will be held February 15, 2014 and will feature keynote speaker Rafael Cruz. Click on the Calendar link above, or click here to be directed to the event for ticket info!
Wow, what a whirlwind couple of weeks we've had at Multnomah County GOP HQ! It's been a while since we've updated you, so we wanted to let you know the latest news.
First off, you've surely seen the mountain of press that we received regarding the change in venue for our event. REST ASSURED - this event is still going on, and tickets are selling FAST! We were able to quickly secure a new venue once we saw the public pressure campaign that was mounted by the liberal activists in Portland - a pressure campaign that caused our original venue to cancel the contract. Despite taking their best shot, the Multnomah County Republicans are still standing, and we're going to have one seriously successful Lincoln Day Dinner.
The event will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Airport Way. Everything else remains unchanged.
All details can be found at our website by CLICKING HERE.
We hope you had a blessed Christmas season and are ready for the new year. Here at Multnomah County GOP HQ, we are gearing up for a very busy election year in 2014! We're going to need all hands on deck if we want to remove the two biggest liberal failures in Oregon, John Kitzhaber and Jeff Merkley. And we have several events on the calendar that will up our public profile in the community and raise the funds necessary to accomplish our goals.
Early Bird Ticket Special For Lincoln Day Dinner Ends December 31!
This is your final reminder that early bird pricing ends DECEMBER 31 for our Lincoln Day Dinner, featuring keynote speaker Rafael Cruz. This is our most important fundraiser of the year, and will help us provide resources to candidates throughout 2014. This promises to be a very invigorating evening - Pastor Cruz is one of the most dynamic defenders of liberty we can hope to see in Multnomah County. CLICK HERE to go to our event page to take advantage of the early bird ticket prices. Remember, prices go up January 1!
The Multnomah County GOP is helping to organize a Veterans appreciation event for the movie 'Lone Survivor'. An MCRP member has offered over two dozen tickets and we've added to that amount to reach 40 tickets to be given FREE to Veterans to come see this movie. We encourage others to join us as well on Sunday, January 12th, 2014, 3:30pm show at the Regal Cinemas theater on 166th & Division in Portland.
The movie is based on true events that occurred to a team of Navy SEALs and other military personnel during Operation Red Wings in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2005. As the movie title suggests, only one (Marcus Luttrell) of the original four SEALs returned alive, and this movie tells the story of that fateful mission and events surrounding it.Read more
Well, it certainly was interesting to watch the news the past few weeks! John Kitzhaber formally entered the race for an unprecedented 4th Term as Governor, and his announcement landed with a thud. Perhaps his record is finally catching up to him - check out our website for a partial list of 'achievements' that should give all Oregon voters pause (click here).
Maybe Multnomah County is waking up and realizing that the big government statist policies of the Democrats are a giant failure.
Here at Multnomah County Republican Headquarters, we caught wind of Governor Kitzhaber's press conference scheduled for this morning where he's expected to announce his intentions to run for an unprecedented fourth term. While we applaud the call to public service and honor anyone willing to step up, we think it's about time he return to the private sector. After all, term limits should have kicked in, except for the loophole that the law only covers consecutive terms.
In any event, we welcome Kitzhaber into the race, which finds a strong Republican challenger who's already been campaigning for many months - Rep. Dennis Richardson is giving him a run for his money by citing math, facts and credible budget predictions (none of which are strong suits for Kitzhaber). You can find out more about Dennis at his website by clicking here.
In case you were wondering, here's a list of "accomplishments" just from Kitz's third term. If you agree that this hit parade leaves a lot to be desired, we invite you to check out the Republican alternative.