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 […]

Congress knows how to slash child poverty. It just needs to do it.

BY: - November 21, 2022

If you could prevent millions of children from falling back into poverty, would you? Most of us, I imagine, would answer “yes” without hesitation. But not Congress. For nearly a year, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have dithered as the policy directly responsible for a dramatic decline in poverty last year lapsed. It’s time for Congress […]

Oregon’s gun safety initiative will challenge the state’s Democratic leadership

BY: - November 16, 2022

It will now be up to the Democratic leadership in Salem to determine the fate of Oregon’s gun safety initiative, Measure 114 – a measure that was strongly supported by voters in Democratic precincts and just as strongly rejected by voters in the rest of the state. Measure 114 was never a major issue for […]

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 […]

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 […]

Runoff elections would give Oregon winners with bigger mandates

BY: - November 7, 2022

Unless there is a big surprise before the election on Tuesday, it’s probable that none of the candidates in the three-way race for Oregon governor will get a majority of the vote. Instead, Democrat Tina Kotek, Republican Christine Drazan and non-affiliated candidate Betsy Johnson will split the vote in such a way that the “winner” […]

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 […]

It’s time for awakening the steel snowflakes

BY: - October 31, 2022

Goll darn it (and I’m using those words so I don’t get clobbered with emails tsk-tsking me about being a vulgarian), sometimes those who lean left earn the withering criticism of being snowflakes – the epithet hurled by those on the right that characterize liberals as a bunch of fainting eggheads afraid of their own […]

Proposal for new Portland council would mark another step forward

BY: - October 25, 2022

Oregon has long been a leader in progressive reforms to elections and government. In the early 20th century, Oregon was the first state to adopt the citizen initiative and presidential primaries, and one of the first two to allow citizen recall of public officials. In the 21st century, Oregon became the first state to move […]

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 […]

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 […]

Oregonians face a high-stakes election with an unusual governor’s race

BY: - October 17, 2022

When Oregonians cast their ballot for governor, they’ll decide whether the state will continue to push toward a lower emissions future to combat climate change in lock step with Washington and California or will rescind emissions targets on industry. They’ll also determine who will decide the state’s direction on housing and homelessness, which polls show […]