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Randy Stapilus

COMMENTARY

Legislative session opens with dozens of proposed constitutional changes

By: - January 19, 2023

Lawmakers face 38 proposed changes to the state constitution this session. Few will pass. Massive and drastic change is something to be wary of when it comes to altering the state’ core governing document, though the voters do approve changes from time to time. But the proposals do carry messages, including of Republican frustrations in […]

COMMENTARY
Syringe and opioid pills

Meth, fentanyl big problems in Idaho, too, which didn’t decriminalize drugs

By: - January 13, 2023

This makes for a simple and compelling storyline: Since Oregon has loosened its marijuana and other drug laws – through ballot measures in 2014 and 2020 – law enforcement agencies have been reporting massive seizures in the state of illegal pot and large-scale illegal operations in rural parts of the state. The implicit message is […]

COMMENTARY
Tina Kotek at the Oregon Business Plan Summit on Dec. 12 2022

Decisions made last year will play out in Oregon in 2023

By: - January 5, 2023

This year, the state will learn what how the decisions made in 2022 will look like in practice.  This is likely to be most obvious in the political and governmental sphere. Oregon elected a new governor and three new members of Congress in November, but that is the beginning of the story, not the end. […]

COMMENTARY

Kotek might consider a century-old example to unify Oregon

By: - December 7, 2022

Nearly a century ago, one of Oregon’s smallest communities was declared “the capital of the United States all day long,” at least as an honorific. On that day, July 2, 1923, President Warren Harding, who was then on a transcontinental train ride (from which he wouldn’t return to Washington alive), stopped his train at the small […]

COMMENTARY

A few Oregon, Washington congressional seats likely to be competitive in 2024

By: - December 5, 2022

It’s been a long time since Oregon and Washington were home to more than at most a single seriously up for grabs congressional seat. This year, the states had a small pile of them. Fewer are likely to be as seriously contested two years from now, but a couple probably will. Washington has 10 House […]

COMMENTARY

Betsy Johnson attracted voters in regions where she has strong ties

By: - November 28, 2022

The core support for Betsy Johnson, the unaffiliated candidate for governor in the election, was almost surely a lot different six months ago than it was when the ballots were cast.  Polling from last spring up into September put her in third place but not by much: She was pulling numbers just above and below […]

COMMENTARY

Democrats win top races in Oregon, but Republicans do, too

By: - November 15, 2022

When our weekly coffee group reviewed this month’s election, the question arose: Is Oregon moving from the status of a blue state to a purple state? The idea emerged from some Republican successes, or near wins, in the general election, notably the Republican win in U.S. House District 5 and close calls in the governorship […]

COMMENTARY

You need more than money to win an election in Oregon

By: - November 10, 2022

Remember those news stories about the massive campaign contributions on behalf of nonaffiliated Oregon governor candidate Betsy Johnson? For months her campaign treasury outpaced all others; she was the beneficiary of many millions of dollars, including more than $3 million just from Nike co-founder Phil Knight. As this is written on Wednesday morning, the Oregon […]

COMMENTARY

Almost everyone opposes slavery, but what does it mean? 

By: - November 1, 2022

Almost certainly, Oregon’s Ballot Measure 112, which seeks to remove from the state Constitution a provision allowing slavery as a punishment for a crime, will pass.  The measure has gotten very strong support and little visible opposition. The site Ballotpedia said, “If you are aware of any opponents or opposing arguments, please send an email […]

COMMENTARY

Did the Biden visit to Portland help Tina Kotek’s bid for governor?

By: - October 21, 2022

A rule of thumb in election politics: When all indicators – such as polls – show a close race, then the side with the best organization and get-out-the-vote efforts, or whoever has a hot issue on their side, usually has the edge.  That thought may have been a reason for last week’s visit by President […]

COMMENTARY
Oregon Senate floor session

Oregon Republicans could gain ground in state Senate

By: - October 18, 2022

Two years from now, most Oregon state Senate seats up for election will be those held by Republicans or independent Republican leaners, putting that party on the defensive. This year, when mostly Democratic seats are up, Republicans have their best chance for gains. And their opportunity is real.  They’re throwing a lot of money into […]

COMMENTARY

A ban against legislative walkouts would put Oregon in line with most other states

By: - October 12, 2022

The initiative on guns has gotten more attention, though still less advertising than some advocates might have expected, but Measure 113 on legislative attendance deserves at least as much. Attention so far has been sparse. What could sound duller than a change in rules concerning the number of unexcused absences from the Legislature a member […]