Randy Stapilus


Portland’s new system of representation might create some civic happiness

By: - September 19, 2023

An upcoming government change could make Portlanders feel more connected to City Hall. A Portland commission just adopted a map specifying council wards, something new for the city where council members in the past have been elected at large. The new system tracks the change in role for council members, since they will no longer […]

OHSU Hospital is located on Marquam Hill in southwest Portland.

OHSU/Legacy merger could spur tectonic shift in Oregon health

By: - August 31, 2023

I’ll admit to a bias about news of a corporate merger or takeover: It’s often a good thing for a small group of insiders and poor news for employees, customers, vendors and other people.  How that bias relates to the case of a semi-public organization like the Oregon Health & Science University taking over the […]

Abortion doctors march in Washington D.C.

Idaho’s new abortion law will affect Oregonians, too

By: - August 17, 2023

Several times a year for many years, I have crossed the Oregon-Idaho line in each direction, usually on Interstate 84 over the Snake River bridge. In all these years, I’ve never been slowed or stopped at the border, and the only thing that might have caused such an event is the speed limit.  These days, […]


State bank proposal veto begs the question: What would we use it for? 

By: - August 8, 2023

One of the most distinctive policy ideas in the 2023 Oregon legislative session – creating a state bank – drew a veto from Gov. Tina Kotek.  The proposal proposed a study. But Kotek indicated that requiring the Oregon Business Development Department to study, in a short period of time, a potentially sweeping proposal would be […]

Sen. Brian Boquist, I-Dallas, sits on the Senate floor in December 2022.

U.S. District Court fails to seize opportunity in Boquist case to define limits of political speech

By: - August 4, 2023

When performance politics goes to court, seldom do we get many helpful answers, and no one wins, in a practical sense. Unless you consider a $1 award to be a win. The recently settled legal squabble between state Sen. Brian Boquist, I-Dalles, and the state Senate leadership was an opportunity for a federal court to […]

U.S. Capitol

Oregon’s 5th Congressional District is gearing up to be competitive in 2024

By: - July 24, 2023

Oregon’s 5th Congressional District is looking to be a closely-fought contest next year – both in the general election and its primary.  And the Democratic primary election looks to be the least predictable of the two. Voter registration in this district, anchored by Clackamas and Deschutes counties (home to about two-thirds of its voters) with […]


Collapse of Ku Klux Klan in Oregon by 1930s suggest ways to curb uptick in bias crimes now

By: - July 14, 2023

Fever in the Heartland is one of the most pertinent new books this season, especially for Oregon where extremism is on the rise. It is a thoughtful history and an engrossing if disturbing read by author Timothy Egan about the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s – its high water mark nationally […]


Republicans staged historic walkout, but they didn’t get much for it

By: - June 28, 2023

The 2023 Oregon legislative session was dominated by a six-week strike, the longest by legislators in the state’s history. Did it matter? Yes, but not as much as many people would have expected, and we may need a while to figure out exactly how much. The impact of the walkout and this year’s session fall […]


A possible walkout casualty: a privacy law for Oregonians

By: - June 20, 2023

While much Oregon statehouse attention has been focused in the last couple of months on a few issues, such as abortion and transgender concerns, which were central to the Senate strike, a lot of other complex issues didn’t get the kind of review they need to progress through the legislative process. A good example is […]


Walkout problem needs a constitutional solution

By: - June 14, 2023

It’s time to acknowledge, after watching this year’s Oregon legislative session, that Plan B didn’t work, and Oregon needs to try Plan A. Both plans concern the same problem: Just over a third of the state’s legislators in the House or Senate can prevent that chamber from assembling a quorum, without which it can conduct […]

Oregon Legislature

Hard to read summaries, supposedly behind Senate walkout, could easily be fixed

By: - June 6, 2023

Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, and leader of the Oregon Senate Republicans who in effect have staged another quorum-denying walkout, has acknowledged the obvious: The walkout was about the content of a group of bills, about policy choices, not a technical issue of whether their summaries met legal requirements. Before moving on from what clearly was […]


Time to remember the sacrifices of our military service members

By: - May 29, 2023

For a lot of Americans, Oregonians included, Memorial Day means time off from work and the effective start of summer season, featuring enjoyable activities in communities large and small from the Rose Festival City Fair to the Prineville Memorial Day Parade.  Most of us in recent years have become separated from the reason for, and […]