Randy Stapilus

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 […]

school desk education

Takeover of Newberg School Board appears to thwart other conservative candidates in election 

By: - May 18, 2023

The political signage telling you everything you needed to know about the McMinnville School District election this season came in the form of multiple yard and field signs, clearly expensive and featuring soft pastel designs with attractive candidate portraits – all visibly from the same sources.  And the signs were only the most obvious part […]

Book banks in Oregon

More book banning cases emerge in Oregon this year

By: - May 17, 2023

If you read about school or public library book banning in some places – Idaho or Texas, for example – it might come as a jolt but not a surprise. This kind of thing doesn’t happen in Oregon, right? Except that it does, even in a state not usually identified as central to the conservative […]


Judicial elections are low profile, but they can have a wide impact

By: - May 1, 2023

Our courts tend to be afterthoughts in our politics and elections, barely considered compared to the higher-profile elected legislators.  Many voters in Oregon pick up their ballots and voter guides at election time, marching through their votes for offices like president, governor, senator and representative, but pause when they hit judges and justices up for […]

Betsy Johnson

Supporters for open primaries already campaigning for 2024 election

By: - April 16, 2023

The 2024 campaign has begun for at least one item that may be on next year’s general election ballot: a constitutional amendment that would change the state’s primary election of 2026. I saw the early shot in this campaign in my email in-box, in a missive from the group All Oregon Votes. The “Big endorsements […]