Randy Stapilus

U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer

U.S. Rep. Chavez-DeRemer treads careful path in tough district

By: - March 31, 2023

In 2022, Oregon’s 5th Congressional District race was the least predictable major contest in the state, and now it looks much the same for 2024.  Both the national Cook Political Report and the Sabato Crystal Ball already label it a toss up – a rarity for a contest in which an incumbent is expected to […]

Field in Wallowa County

Oregon needs a land-use strategy to ensure a supply of development ready land

By: - March 22, 2023

This year marks a half-century since Oregon Gov. Tom McCall signed into law Senate Bill 100 requiring comprehensive planning, which warned “uncoordinated use of lands in this state threaten the orderly development, the environment of this state and the health, safety, order, convenience, prosperity and welfare of the people of this state.” Back then, the […]

Oregon Legislature Capitol building under construction

Although Oregon’s open records laws aim for transparency, they’re complicated

By: - March 15, 2023

If you want people to recycle, make it as easy as possible.  The same should be true of Oregon’s open records law, but it isn’t. With this being Sunshine Week, which focuses on easier access to public records, it’s important to remember that accessing public documents in Oregon gets more complicated all the time. The […]

Justice symbols

State proposal would allow convictions to be overturned based on new science

By: - March 1, 2023

Sometimes the job of legislating involves weighing not just one interest or two but a whole group of them, all competing against each other – even when the core issue seems simple.  For example, Senate Bill 554.  The background is that technology used in criminal forensics has been changing dramatically (think, for example, of advances […]

West stricken by drought

Oregon’s water problems are accumulating; Idaho may have an answer

By: - February 20, 2023

The Jan. 25 report on Oregon’s water shortage, released by the Secretary of State’s office, prominently included a cautionary quote from the legendary western explorer John Wesley Powell, delivered in 1893 as the regional approach to water management started to take form: “I tell you gentlemen you are piling up a heritage of conflict and […]


Will Oregon legislators follow-through and enact campaign finance reform?

By: - February 3, 2023

If Oregon legislators wind up their session this year without substantially addressing limits on campaign contributions, there will be no publicly acceptable excuses – not even that of their own self-interest.  It’s not only the legislators who have pledged to move on the issue, but also the formerly most-influential legislator and now governor Tina Kotek. […]


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 […]

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 […]

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. […]


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 […]

U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.

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 […]


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 […]