State Integrity Investigation gives Oregon an F

The long-standing State Integrity Investigation of the Center for Public Integrity and Public Radio International has granted Oregon an overall F grade on avoiding corruption in state government.

The ranking is accompanied by a scathing, accurate article about Oregon's failure in fighting corruption.

Oregon's overall rank fell from 14th to 42nd, the biggest drop of any state.

We have been saying for years that Oregon's lack of limits on political contributions and repeal of laws requiring that political ads identify their funders makes Oregon government inherently corruptible. Now the leading national investigation of State integrity agrees with us.

Oregon at Bottom in Fighting Corruption

We are very different from the establishment parties.

  Dem Rep PROG
Real campaign finance reform, particularly in Oregon NO NO YES
"Medicare for All" comprehensive health care NO NO YES
Oppose cuts in Social Security & Medicare benefits NO NO YES
Increase minimum wage to $15 or more NOW in all of Oregon NO NO YES
Employment for All (public works projects, WPA style) NO NO YES
Increase income taxes on big corporations and the wealthy NO NO YES
Oppose Wall Street bailouts NO NO YES
Repair, improve infrastructure (transportation, water systems, etc.) NO NO YES
Oppose NAFTA, WTO, Trans-Pacific Partnership "free trade" deals; support local products & services NO NO YES
Oppose war in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan; bring troops home now and stop sending in more NO NO YES
Slash military spending and foreign bases NO NO YES
End occupation of Palestine NO NO YES
Oppose spying on Americans, including drones NO NO YES
Equal rights for all; same-sex marriage NUVR NO YES
Clean energy; stop nuclear subsidies NO NO YES
Oppose shipping fossil fuels for export from Pacific Northwest ports NO NO YES
Oppose offshore oil & gas drilling, including the Artic NO NO YES
Legalize marijuana possession and use ??? NO YES
End “corporate personhood” and constitutional rights for corporations NO NO YES
Require labeling of genetically engineered food NO NO YES
End the U.S. Senate filibuster; restore majority rule NO NO YES
NUVR = not until very recently

 
OREGON ISSUES
1.     We have worked for real campaign finance reform. Oregon Democrats and Republicans have never enacted limits on political campaign contributions but have repealed voter-enacted limits 3 times. Democrats in state office are refusing to enforce the campaign finance reform Measure 47 enacted by Oregon voters in 2006. Campaign spending for Oregon state offices has skyrocketed from $4 million in 1996 to $57 million in 2010. Spending by candidates for Oregon Legislature increased another 13% in 2012. Winning a contested race for the Legislature now typically costs over $600,000, sometimes over $1 million.  

2.     The initiative and referendum should be available to grass-roots efforts. The Democrat Secretary of State is now discarding over 30% of all voter signatures on initiative petitions due to arbitrary, hyper-technical, and unnecessary rules, raising the cost of petition drives so high that only corporations, unions and the very wealthy can afford to use it.  

3.     The State Treasurer should direct part of Oregon's $87 billion of investment funds to invest in local public works and jobs for Oregonians instead of vulture capitalists, corporate raiders, leveraged buyout artists, and fossil fuel corporations and vendors.  

4.     We want fair taxation. Oregon has the 4th highest income taxes of any state on lower-income working families and is still at the bottom in taxes on corporations.  

5.     We want to stop government promotion of gambling, including video poker, video slots, and approval of private casinos.  

6.     We oppose installation of police "spy cameras" and use of drones to spy on Oregon citizens.  

7.     We oppose using public money to subsidize rail transport of oil or coal through Oregon communities.

OPP at 2015 Oregon Legislature

The Oregon Progressive Party is taking stands at the Oregon Legislature.

As bills are scheduled for committee hearing, we take our positions.  The Oregon Legislature's committees will not accept the submittal of testimony, until a bill is scheduled for committee hearing.  That requires any interested person to keep track of the schedules for dozens of committees.  This is not a good way to encourage public participation.

You can learn about these bills at the website of the Legislature. Go to https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1 and click on Bills in the upper right area.  You can add your comments about these bills below.  You can click on OPP's Legislative Group to join it.

You can read our testimonies at Progressive Party Testimonies.

The table below shows bills we supported or opposed.  Bold means that the Legislature passed the bill, and the Governor signed it.

On the whole, the 2015 Legislature did nothing of signficance that we supported.  The 15 enacted bills we supported were not very consequential.

We Supported We Opposed
HB 2020
HB 2074
HB 2077
HB 2134
HB 2178B
HB 2272
HB 2237
HB 2315
HB 2336
HB 2447
HB 2448
HB 2489
HB 2559
HB 2600
HB 2627
HB 2638
HB 2704
HB 2790
HB 2791
HB 2850
HB 2940
HB 3043
HB 3193
HB 3194
HB 3225
HB 3250
HB 3252
HB 3262
HB 3287
HB 3297
HB 3331
HB 3349
HB 3415
HB 3470
HB 3478
HB 3505
HB 3551
HJM 4
SB 14
SB 118
SB 130
SB 190
SB 286
SB 294
SB 313
SB 314
SB 317
SB 330
SB 332
SB 375
SB 409
SB 415
SB 477
SB 575
SB 610
SB 631
SB 668
SB 673
SB 691
SB 710
SB 713
SB 732
SB 852
SB 853
SB 878
SB 911
SB 928
SB 940
SJR 4
SJR 5
HB 2058
HB 2158
HB 2178
HB 2892A
HB 3090
HB 3096
HB 3212
HB 3269
HB 3273
HB 3445
HB 3500
HJR 29
SB 75
SB 189
SB 292
SB 294
SB 521
SB 580
SB 611
SB 675
SB 814

Ask Obama to Veto the Bill to Ban States from Requiring GMO Labeling

Breaking: Congress just passed the final version of Monsanto's Dream Bill to ban state genetically engineered food (GMO) labeling laws — President Obama could sign it as soon as tomorrow!

Can you rush a message to President Obama to veto the bill to ban state GMO labeling laws?

The bill that passed through Congress is terrible and will not result in any meaningful labeling of genetically engineered foods. The media keeps referring to this as a national mandatory GMO labeling law, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

This sham bill immediately pre-empts state GMO labeling laws and will allow companies to use QR codes, 800 numbers and websites to disclose GMO ingredient information. The bill has so many loopholes that, according to the FDA, many products that come from genetically engineered crops will not be labeled.

Here is More Info from Food and Water Watch

What makes the Oregon Progressive Party different from other third parties?

There are similarities between the Oregon Progressive Party (OPP) and the two other left-leaning Oregon minor parties, the Pacific Green Party (PGP) and the Working Families Party (WFP). But there are some fundamental differences. You can see many of the positions that the OPP has taken at http://progparty.org. OPP supports multi-third party independent politics, and we look forward to many fruitful collaborations, but here we will focus on some distinctions to help clarify who we are and how we uniquely contribute to Oregon politics.

Both the PGP and the Oregon WFP are local affiliates of national parties that have a larger bureaucratic infrastructure. The local branches sometime must go through the national structure before taking positions on issues. OPP is an Oregon-grown grassroots party that is not beholden to any national party, which gives us the ability to respond to local issues more quickly and without filtering by a national political agenda. OPP also tends to take on issues that the other parties do not appear to address, such as drone legislation, institutionalized racism, local police affiliation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and various international U.S. military and foreign policy actions.

The Working Families Party is a national party with local chapters.  The WFP does not run its own candidates in local partisan elections, except where the Democratic candidate is overwhelmingly favored and is in no risk of losing. The Oregon WFP has supported at least one successful challenge to an incumbent member of the Oregon House of Representatives, in the 2012 Democratic Party primary election. For the most part, the Oregon WFP cross-nominates and supports liberal Democrats and works on ballot measures. The Oregon chapter is run by a committee comprised mainly of labor union representatives.  WFP takes positions sometimes very different from OPP.  For example, WFP in 2014 strongly supported a statewide initiative to create a “top two primary” system (Measure 90), which was strongly opposed by the PGP and OPP.

The PGP does run local candidates who are usually quite good. Often the same person receives both the PGP and the OPP nomination for the same office. A candidate in Oregon can list up to 3 nominating parties next to her/his name on the ballot, under a law passed in 2009. PGP does not control the selection of Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, who are determined by the national Green Party structure. OPP is not constrained in these nominations and in 2008 and 2012 chose its own nominees (Ralph Nader and Rocky Anderson).

OPP appreciates and welcomes the activities of PGP and WFP. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

OPP is currently leading a campaign finance reform measure in Multnomah County. WFP has provided important support for that effort. Oregon is one of only a handful of states that allows unlimited political contributions to candidates.  We favor strong statewide limits. OPP also closely follows the activities of the Legislature when it is in session, providing testimony on nearly 100 bills per session. WFP and PGP do not testify on most of those bills. Oregonians should not need to rely on a single left-liberal-progressive party to perform all possible functions. In Oregon, each of the 3 such parties contributes in its own way.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Monthly public meetings are the second Tuesday of every month, in downtown Portland 7:00 - 9:00 pm.

Updated July 19, 2016
by Alaina Melville
State Council Member

Ending Police Violence and other forms of Violence

The Oregon Progressive Party calls for an end to police violence and killings as well as other forms of violence. During the past couple of weeks, the US has seen the killing of yet two more African American men as well as the killing of 5 police officers in Dallas. While America was focused on these killings, 5 Latinos were also killed in police actions. Violence against and the killing of Black and Brown Americans by police must stop.

All forms of violence are denounced by the Oregon Progressive Party. While our attention is usually focused on police violence and killings, we also are opposed to the killing of police officers, as happened in Dallas. The Oregon Progressive Party stands in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and efforts to address racism and institutionalized violence. As first steps, we need training for police officers that empowers them to resolve conflicts constructively instead of escalating violence with a shoot-first mentality. And we need to de-militarize the police.

We commend the civil servants and police officers who work for justice, accountability, and safe communities. Those who do not work for those ideals must be held accountable. We need gun laws that protect our communities. The police shootings, the mass shootings, and the recent targeting of police are all deeply disturbing events that are rocking our nation to the core. They are symptoms of deeper problems that we must address. We need our political system, our government agencies, and our representatives to recognize the problems we are facing and to start being a part of the solution.

Multnomah County Charter Review Committee Sends Campaign Finance Reform Measure to November Ballot

Measure would limit campaign contributions in Multnomah County candidate races and require that political ads disclose their largest funders

The Multnomah County Charter Review Committee (MCCRC) on July 6 voted to send to the voters a measure to limit political campaign contributions in Multnomah County candidate races and require that political ads in those races disclose their largest funders.

The Charter Review Committee is a special board of up to 15 persons, assembled once every 6 years, that has authority to place measures on the November ballot (pursuant to Section 12.70 of the Charter).  A MCCRC Subcommittee unanimously adopted and forwarded to the full Committee a measure to enact limits on political campaign contributions in Multnomah County elections, similar to those adopted last year in Seattle, and to require that political advertisements identify their true largest sources of funding.

The full text of the proposal, the Subcommittee's report, and a 2-page summary, and other memoranda are at http://mccrc.fairelection.org.

Come back to the Oregon Progressive Party - we need each other

Oregon Progressive Party Still Needs You Back (or will be dissolved in August)

We need another 70 members to return to the warm embrace of the Oregon Progressive Party.

As you know, the Oregon Progressive Party endorsed Bernie in the Oregon Primary. Over 700 members switched from Progressive to Democratic in order to vote for Bernie.

Some members have returned, but we still need 70 more to come home to the party that supports Bernie's policies and principles. Otherwise, the Oregon Progressive Party will be terminated in August under Oregon law.

You can return to the Oregon Progressive Party at Progparty.org/join
or just internet search for "Oregon register vote."

Bernie says that his supporters should get involved in politics at the state and local level. That is what the Oregon Progressive Party does. If terminated, we will no longer be able to:

Come Home to the Progressive Party.

Thank you!

David Delk
Chair, Oregon Progressive Party
delk@progparty.org  503-232-5495

450+ organizations call for rejection of Trans Pacific Partnership & TTIP

Over 450 organizations, mainly enironmental, have written Congress calling for No votes on both the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP - 12 Pacific Rim nations) and the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP - US-European Union).  From the report:

"The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), as proposed, would empower an unprecedented number of fossil fuel corporations, including some of the world’s largest polluters, to challenge U.S. policies in tribunals not accountable to any domestic legal system. There, the firms could use the trade pacts’ broad foreign investor rights to demand compensation for U.S. fossil fuel restrictions. These “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) cases would be decided not by judges, but by lawyers who typically represent corporations. 
 
"We strongly urge you to eliminate this threat to U.S. climate progress by committing to vote no on the TPP and asking the U.S. Trade Representative to remove from TTIP any provision that empowers corporations to challenge government policies in extrajudicial tribunals."
 
Among the Oregon organizations are the Alliance for Democracy, 350PDx, 350 Eugene,350 Salem, Fair World Project and Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Portland Rising Tide.
 
WHAT CAN YOU DO to stop the TPP?
Make a copy of the letter and mail it to your US Representative with a note that they should listen to the people and reject more new agreements which are extensions of the NAFTA trade model.
Find your Representative and Senators contact info here.
The letter is available here.

Oregon Secretary of State Blocks Campaign Finance Reform Initiative Petition

In a stunning display of democracy suppression, this afternoon the Secretary of State of Oregon refused to issue a ballot title for Initiative Petition 77 for 2016, which would amend the Oregon Constitution to allow limits on political campaign contributions and expenditures and allow laws requiring disclosure of the true sources and amounts of such contributions or expenditures in the communications they fund.

The Secretary of State claims that the Initiative would constitute more than one "closely related" amendment to the Oregon Constitution. 

"When a similar contention was made against Measure 46 (2006), the Oregon Supreme Court rejected it in Meyer v. Bradbury (2006)," noted attorney Dan Meek.  "This decision now requires the chief petitioners of Initiative Petition engage in costly litigation to defend the right of the people to amend their own Constitution to achieve campaign finance reform."

Oregon voters Tuesday in Hood River County delivered a stunning defeat to Nestlé.

In the epic battle between Nestlé and people around the world to protect their access to water, little Hood River County in Oregon just achieved a major and unique victory. It's a win for the public water commons and the protection of water for nature. And Oregon Progressive Party was part of this victory having supported the initiative campaign.

Oregon Progressive Party Endorses More Candidates

In addition to its earlier endorsements of Brad Avakian for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State, Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination for President, and David Schor for Mayor of Portland, the Oregon Progressive Party (OPP) has endorsed these candidates running in the May 17 primary election:

  • Julian Bell in the Democratic Party primary for Governor
  • Dave McTeague in Democratic Party primary for U.S. Rep District 5
  • Tawna Sanchez in the Democratic Party primary for House District 43
  • Walt Trandum in the Democratic Party primary for House District 52

"These candidates support policies that are consistent with the platform of the Oregon Progressive Party," said Liz Trojan, a member of the OPP State Council.

OPP Endorses David Schor for Mayor of Portland

The Oregon Progressive Party (OPP) has endorsed David Schor, running for Mayor of Portland in the May 17 primary election.
 
"All the mayoral candidates have acknowledged that affordable housing is a strong need in Portland," said Liz Trojan, a member of the OPP State Council. "Only David has identified a source of funds to deal with the problem – a tax on those who do not currently pay social security tax on their incomes over the annual income cap of $118,500 per person."
 
"We still suffer from the too-big-to-fail bank-induced Great Recession.  David is the only candidate running who speaks continuously to the need for a municipal bank," said OPP Chair David Delk.
 

Jason Kafoury, Secretary of OPP, said, “With David, we get a true progressive who understands that taking on real campaign finance reform and the massive income inequality in our community are the top priorities for our next mayor."