Randy Stapilus


Is Timber Unity becoming disunified?

By: - August 4, 2022

The rural activist group Timber Unity recently passed its third birthday. How many more it may have has become a notable question – and whether, even now, it is becoming Timber Disunity. The group started as a coalition of farmers, wood industry workers and truck drivers, backed financially by several businesses in that field, aiming […]


Hotline could help in understanding motivation behind hate crimes, but needs improvement

By: - July 18, 2022

Where do hate crimes come from? From mass shootings to those of smaller scope, more understanding of the dynamics behind them can be a critical element to coping with them. A new tool launched by the Oregon Legislature three years ago may help provide some of that insight – if it is put to its […]


Oregon gubernatorial race takes a turn with U.S. Supreme Court decisions 

By: - July 7, 2022

The independent gubernatorial candidacy of Betsy Johnson is predicated on bringing together two dissatisfied groups – Republicans unhappy with the Trumpy side of their party, Democrats unhappy with the Portland-style liberalism in theirs – with independents to form a polyglot plurality.  She took a useful step in that direction with her call for a series […]


State needs information about water use to manage it

By: - June 24, 2022

Like other western states, Oregon has a water department – the Department of Water Resources – and extensive water law and regulation, and there’s a reason for this. Water is an essential resource, our lives depend on it, and ensuring we have water available means regulating it intelligently.  To do that, we need information, and […]


‘Blue dog’ days may be over in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District

By: - June 16, 2022

The Blue Dog Democrats in Congress for years have attached themselves to a piece of hard political logic: If you run toward the center, instead of toward the left, you’ll pick up more votes in districts considered competitive between Republicans and Democrats. That idea, accepted and rejected with equal fervor in various parts of American […]


Confusing decision about what is ‘public accommodation’ could shift issue into public spotlight

By: - June 10, 2022

Here is a pivotal sentence from a just-released Oregon Supreme Court decision concerning a case of alleged prisoner mistreatment: “Buildings do not discriminate; people do.” That simple statement then twists in unexpected directions, reflecting partly that it comes from a dissent in the decision, and which in turn came not from an Oregon court case […]


Oregon could show how to navigate the gun safety issue with centrist approach

By: - June 3, 2022

Oregon may see in the coming months an extended dustup over curbing gun violence in the state, first in this fall’s general election when two gun initiatives may appear on the ballot, and then at the Oregon Legislature responding to the results. And don’t be surprised if Nicholas Kristoff, whose effort to run for governor […]


Republicans splintered vote for Oregon governor with messages that didn’t seem to catch

By: - May 26, 2022

With 19 distinctive ­– not to say sometimes colorful -– candidates for governor, Oregon Republicans should have told us something about themselves by their choices in the just-ended primary election. They did: They are split. Many seem driven by abortion or other culture issues, some are powerfully drawn by regional preferences, but a plurality just […]


Oregon primary election results provide a lesson in party politics

By: - May 20, 2022

Discerning through lines in elections where each campaign has its own distinct story can be a problematic exercise. One argument to be made from the Oregon primary election just concluded: You’re most likely to win a party’s nomination if you most closely resemble and appeal to your party’s core. The two most noteworthy results from […]


Pursuing solutions to Oregon’s homelessness issue could be aided with better information

By: - May 13, 2022

The old saying among business consultants is that you can’t manage it if you can’t measure it. That’s not true of managing everything. (Measures of quality don’t always reduce easily to numbers.) But it does seem true for at least one of Oregon’s most difficult problems: homelessness. We know it’s a big problem. But we […]


State’s billion-dollar timber case might be better resolved by Legislature

By: - May 6, 2022

The state court case of Linn v. Oregon has involved a stake of a billion dollars and turned on a subtle interpretation of state law, but it ought to cause Oregonians to reflect on the meaning of … value. The value, that is, of their state lands. The case Linn County v. State of Oregon […]


Abortion likely to emerge as key issue in Oregon governor’s race once Supreme Court decides

By: - April 28, 2022

If you’re wondering what political issues aren’t top of mind for most Oregonians but may get there in coming months, abortion should rise to attention. It’s worth considering now, ahead of the upcoming primary election, for this reason. Sometime in the next few months, likely about June, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision […]