Randy Stapilus


By the numbers, filings for Oregon offices provide political fodder

By: - March 16, 2022

Oregon’s two top political parties did a solid job of candidate recruitment this year. At least when it comes to the numbers. What those numbers mean when the two sets of elections come around in May and November is a different question. The sheer population of candidates this year at the federal and state level […]


The work done by legislators shows the need for and value of Oregon’s short sessions

By: - March 11, 2022

Thirty-five days is not a lot of time, especially in an election year. Those are all the days an even-year regular session of the Oregon Legislature has, and this year’s session wrapped its work in even fewer. That Oregon’s legislators got as much done on so many subjects as they did this year is remarkable […]


Oregon state senator’s balk at masks at the Capitol seems more political theater

By: - March 3, 2022

By the latest stats, Oregon is No. 1 or dead last, but in a good way, when it comes to the pandemic. It ranks last in per-capita cases from Covid, behind all other states and the District of Columbia. (The next lowest is Maryland; Washington is five states down the list.) That could be cause […]

Oregon State Seal Capitol

Tobias Read is staking some outsider territory in Democratic bid for governor

By: - February 24, 2022

With Nick Kristof out of the gubernatorial running, the Democratic field has 16 contenders (one of them not yet qualified). Theoretically, any could catch fire and win, but the nomination likely will go to one of two: former House Speaker Tina Kotek or state Treasurer Tobias Read. The contest between the two of them is […]


Oregon’s resolve against self-serve fueling and sales taxes is slowly weakening, it seems

By: - February 17, 2022

The old joke has it that at birth Oregonians are given the word: No sales tax and no self-serve at the pump. One of those rules seems to be fading. Might the other, eventually, as well? The long-standing general ban on self-service gas (with a few exceptions) provokes a lot of head-shaking among non-Oregonians (and […]

Oregon Capitol State Seal

Those trading in your personal information face regulation in Oregon – and it needs to be strong

By: - February 9, 2022

Thousands of companies you do no business with and that you hardly ever heard of possess astonishing amounts of information about you, your residence, your family, your work, your religion, your credit score and more. They are called data brokers, and you have no way to find out from them what they have and do […]

A health care professional picks up a vial of vaccine

Yamhill County commissioner’s retreat from hard stand on Covid may reflect reality

By: - February 2, 2022

Anti-masking and anti-vax forces have pushed their protests to extraordinary degrees. At one January rally in Washington speakers “compared U.S. vaccination policies to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Doctors in white coats falsely claimed that vaccines are ‘not working’ and advocated for unproven treatments.” Oregon opponents of measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic have […]


Tina Kotek is no longer Oregon speaker but is she Kate Brown’s shadow?

By: - January 28, 2022

Kate Brown has been governor for just about seven years, and those years have been an extension of essentially similar ­– in governing approach – Democratic control of the top office reaching back more than a third of a century. Those facts underlie the candidacies for governor of Republicans and an independent, as candidates for […]

Secretary of State glass door

Oregon Supreme Court could clear up ‘residency’ for more than just Kristof’s campaign

By: - January 20, 2022

The Oregon Supreme Court may issue a narrow ruling when it decides between gubernatorial candidate Nicholas Kristof and Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, but it would better serve the state to take a broader view. The narrow focus would review the details of Kristof’s immediate case and his request for the ballot status that Fagan’s […]


The Klamath Basin has two possible fates – a report explores where each takes the area

By: - January 14, 2022

Here’s a recipe for concentrated depression. The embattled and seriously troubled Klamath Basin, a center of social and environmental pathologies for two decades and more, facing a future, three decades hence, where climate change could make conditions far worse. You could spin a dystopian novel from that. Or you could tell a more optimistic story. […]

Oregon State Seal Capitol

In a highly political year in Oregon, several factors could influence campaigns, voter mood

By: - January 5, 2022

In 2022 many of Oregon’s biggest stories will be political: A new governor, two new members of Congress and more. What those changes look like, whether simply of personality or of wholesale direction, may flow from some of the other developments we see in the months ahead. Where is Covid-19 headed, for example? The clock […]


The tale of Jordan Cove provides lessons in government regulation – and patience

By: - December 28, 2021

Snap decisions, so often prized, are not always the best. Sometimes the inefficiencies of government and regulation can lead to the right result. Consider the recently defunct – after half a year of suspended animation, and a dozen years of regulatory limbo – the Jordan Cove Energy Project. Go back a generation or slightly more […]