Commentary

In pressing Kristof for documents and answers, Capital Chronicle was pursuing facts

BY: - January 11, 2022

Nick Kristof cited his taxes, voting history and business operation in staking his right to run for governor. The appropriate next step for reporters seemed apparent: Let’s see the documents. That would provide Oregonians direct information about matters Kristof himself was putting in the public record. So, the Oregon Capital Chronicle asked Kristof for his […]

Legislators resist electoral reforms in Oregon at their peril in the future

BY: - January 7, 2022

If you want to get a sense of emerging political issues, the kind that legislatures initially ignore and later scramble to get ahead of, a good place to start is to look at the ballot initiatives filed for the next statewide election in Oregon. There are 48 of these “prospective initiatives” filed for 2022. No […]

Oregon highway work

Oregon could use a new czar and beefed up oversight as federal money flows

BY: - January 6, 2022

Oregon is about to be awash in federal money, pouring in by the millions to fix roads, build internet access, purify drinking water and more. Such sudden infusions can overwhelm common sense and accountability, as the state has experienced in recent months. But state and local authorities could act now to guard against misuse or […]

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 country is enduring an ‘infodemic’ but it can be treated with more trusted information

BY: - January 1, 2022

As the anniversary approaches of the Jan. 6th storming of the nation’s Capitol, and as the omicron-related spike in Covid cases spreads nationwide, we will be hearing a lot in the coming weeks about disinformation. Mounting evidence suggests that disinformation played a critical role in both the ongoing pandemic and in ongoing support among some […]

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 […]

Oregon’s new congressional district has a diversity that likely limits a lean too far one direction

BY: - December 21, 2021

When Stephen Colbert hosted his satiric political talk show some years back, he often profiled a congressional district somewhere around the country, describing its particular characteristics and enthusiastically declaring it the “Fighting 17th!” Or whatever it was. Built into the gag was the idea, often valid, that a given congressional district actually has specific and […]

Oregon State Seal Capitol

Democrats in Oregon are in charge and they need to govern to stop the string of failures

BY: - December 17, 2021

It used to be that progressives were criticized for trying to do too much or move too fast. Now, the criticisms I hear are all about not getting things done or responding too slowly to the demands of the moment. I’m not thinking of the Biden administration, still in its first year, but of the […]

With Oregon governor’s race fragmenting voter blocs, Betsy Johnson has a challenge

BY: - December 16, 2021

Most of the discussion around former state Senator Betsy Johnson’s independent entry into the 2022 Oregon governor’s race concerns whether she might be a spoiler for the Democrats or maybe herself a winner of the race. In evaluating that, the question to ask will be: How persuasive is she? Start with the prospect that the […]

Oil pump jack

Lessons from the past show using Oregon pension investments for political points isn’t wise

BY: - December 7, 2021

Suppose you’re retired and living off your modest 401-K savings. And suppose I suggested you sell your stocks in fossil fuel corporations. You might check your account and discover energy stocks are up more than 20 percent this year. Then you might then tell me you’d feel better if I kept my nose out of […]

The state is celebrating a big number for education – but other numbers in Oregon warrant attention

BY: - December 3, 2021

“Ain’t nothing ever enough.” That observation, delivered by a union negotiating team member years ago, has stayed with me ever since as an ever-ready description for what goes on in both bargaining and budgeting. The most recent example came in response to a legislative report showing that Oregon has reached a multi-decade high water mark […]

Oregon highway work

One key to making good use of new federal money in Oregon is public-private partnerships

BY: - November 24, 2021

The scope of the recently passed federal infrastructure bill and its myriad investments is unlike anything we have seen for generations. The funding levels are high, the areas of investment many, and the timelines unknown. What is clear is that the bipartisan infrastructure bill is good for Oregon. Very good. Robust infrastructure investments in Oregon […]