Les Zaitz

Les Zaitz

Les Zaitz is a veteran editor and investigative reporter, serving Oregon for more than 45 years. He reported for The Oregonian for 25 years and owns community newspapers and a digital news service. He is a national SPJ fellow, two-time Pulitzer finalist, including for a lengthy investigation of Mexican drug cartels in Oregon and five-time winner of Oregon’s top investigative reporting award. He has investigated corrupt state legislators, phony charities, and an international cult that moved to Oregon, and the biggest bank failure in Oregon history. He also has been active in reforming the state’s public records law and was appointed by the governor to the Oregon Public Records Advisory Council. In his spare time, he operates a ranch nestled in a national forest, feeding horses and assorted animals.

THEIR WORDS: Those running for governor answer for rural matters

By: - May 4, 2022

Rural Oregon would get a lot more attention from Salem based on positions staked out by those running for governor. Every candidate running was invited to address questions on key issues facing the state. Journalists across the state drafted the following 15 questions, which were distributed to candidates by the Agora Journalism Center at the […]

Climate change, education, forest management – Oregon candidates answer key questions

By: - May 3, 2022

The following Q&A was compiled by Oregon newsrooms collaborating to cover the 2022 governor’s race. Journalists across the state drafted the following 15 questions, which were distributed to candidates by the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon. Responses are in the candidates’ own words and have been trimmed to the 300-word limit. Click […]

THEIR WORDS: Candidates for Oregon governor on the housing shortage

By: - May 2, 2022

Cutting red tape, reducing government fees and changing Oregon’s land use laws are among steps those running for governor in Oregon would take to increasing the supply of housing. Every candidate running was invited to address questions on key issues facing the state. Journalists across the state drafted the following 15 questions, which were distributed […]

Candidates for Oregon governor address key state issues in unique presentation

By: - April 28, 2022

Nearly three dozen candidates for governor are vying for their parties’ nomination in the 2022 primaries on May 17. A collaborative of Oregon journalists wrote 15 questions to help you get to know these folks before you cast your ballot. Click on each candidate’s “card” to see how they responded to our questions on housing, […]

Oregon Legislature Senate session sign

Oregon state senator’s ‘heightened rhetoric’ will get another federal court review

By: - April 28, 2022

For nearly three years, state Sen. Brian Boquist has technically been under orders to alert legislative officials when he would be arriving in the Capitol. The unusual order was put in place in July 2019 after Boquist, an independent from Dallas, made remarks considered threatening after Oregon State Police were directed to arrest senators who […]

Oregon State Seal Capitol

Director of state agency overseeing police and fire licensing resigns on Sunday

By: - April 20, 2022

SALEM – The director of the state agency that trains and certifies police and firefighters in Oregon resigned effective Sunday in a letter to Gov. Kate Brown. The circumstances of the surprise resignation couldn’t be immediately established. Jerry Granderson was appointed by Brown to run the state Department of Public Safety Standards and Training last […]


Oregon journalists are experimenting with new way to report on governor’s race

By: - April 19, 2022

Oregon voters, you’re about to benefit from a novel effort to report on the governor’s race. Between the Republicans and the Democrats, more than two dozen candidates are on the primary ballot for governor. Most news organizations don’t have the reporters, the space or the time to report on them all. Yet voters deserve to […]

Abortion protest in Texas in May 2021

Planned Parenthood leasing clinic space in Ontario

By: - April 13, 2022

ONTARIO – Planned Parenthood is planning to open an Ontario clinic as one of its affiliates challenges a strict new abortion law in Idaho. Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, based in Portland, is leasing what had been the clinic for Four Rivers Health Care at 604 S.W. 4th Ave. in Ontario, according to Joe Recla, Four […]

Official ballot site election

Oregon voters want more help from the press to learn about candidates for governor

By: - April 1, 2022

SALEM ­– Oregon’s press has a tremendous opportunity now to perform a public service, earn trust, and build new ways to provide vital information. The governor’s race this year could use such an approach. Democrats will have 15 candidates to choose from on May 17. Most of the reporting so far is focused on Tina […]

Ron Wyden Jeff Merkley

Wyden says he will press for even more economic sanctions against Russia

By: - March 28, 2022

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is continuing to look for ways to tighten the economic vice on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. He is now proposing to strip U.S. companies of tax benefits if they trade in Russia and pay taxes there. The Oregon Democrat also is taking the lead in the […]


Oregonians don’t want a party hack in governor’s office

By: - March 23, 2022

For some Oregonians, the race for governor isn’t about who can raise the most money. And these voters aren’t interested in who can parrot party platforms without flaw. Instead, they seek a new governor who is somewhat blind to party affiliation. Such a governor, they think, can unite the state. That governor would energize more […]

Bentz presses agencies to act on wildfire commission – after voting against legislation

By: - March 17, 2022

U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Oregon, joined in a recent call for federal agencies to activate a Congressionally mandated committee to address wildfires, saying the Biden administration was tardy. Bentz and 10 other U.S. representatives said in a March 8 letter they wanted an explanation for why no appointments had been made yet to the Wildland […]