Legislature Should Not Move Forward With Policy To Raise Costs For Oregon Families During Ethics Investigation

Governor Kitzhaber

Salem, OR – Legislative Republican leaders today called for House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney to suspend any discussion of Low Carbon Fuel Standards from the session calendar due to recent allegations that Cylvia Hayes received a $118,000 payment for her role in promoting a Low Carbon Fuel Standard policy for the state of Oregon.

“I watched the Governor’s press conference today,” said House Republican Leader Mike McLane. “He indicated that the Ethics Commission will answer whether Cylvia Hayes violated law by being paid by private interests to advocate policy changes to the Governor. Ms. Hayes received payments to influence the Governor on, among other things, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard program overseen by the Department of Environmental Quality. SB 324 will, in effect, implement this controversial program permanently. Due to the investigations on the conflict of interest and the many unanswered questions that remain, SB 324 can no longer be evaluated on merit alone. Therefore, the Legislature must suspend our work on SB 324 until the Ethics Commission's work and all investigations are completed.”

As recently as this week, Democrat leadership indicated that they plan to move forward with a vote on Low Carbon Fuel Standards early in the session and have scheduled a public hearing for the proposed legislation on the first day of session, Monday, February 2, raising further questions about the rushed policymaking and reported involvement of former legislators and clients that stand to benefit from the program. In addition to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard proposal that would increase costs for middle-class families, legislative Democrats intend to propose other bills to raise gas prices for Oregonians, including a carbon tax on fuels and a gas tax to fund various transportation and infrastructure projects.

“For the Democrats to run this bill right at the start of session is irresponsible and harmful to Oregon families, given the cloud of secrecy surrounding its conception and advocacy,” stated Senator Ted Ferrioli, the Senate Republican Leader. “The Legislature should be focused on the priorities that matter to Oregon taxpayers, including a transportation package that improves public safety and infrastructure for all Oregonians. Democrats should know that moving forward with a party-line vote on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard will affect any future opportunities for bipartisan cooperation throughout session.”

No Second Chance

Governor Kitzhaber

In the last legislative session your gun rights held on by a thread. Many bad bills never made it to the floor of the legislature because the Democrats who were in control then knew that they didn't have enough votes -- in many cases, just by one vote.

This session the numbers are even worse.

This is the time when your action is needed most. We need to keep up the pressure, light up the phones, fill the email boxes, max out the rallies and let our politicians know the meaning of "...shall not be infringed." There are several opportunites to get involved so don't miss out on your chance.

Oregon Citizens' Lobby is Back

Governor Kitzhaber

Do you think that nobody speaks for you in Salem? Do you think all lobbyists are bad? You might want to think again. A group called Oregon Citizens’ Lobby (OCL) has created an effort to lobby on behalf of plain old Oregon citizens. Oregon Citizens Lobby employs a system where bills are analyzed based on five core principles: fiscal responsibility, local control, free markets, limited government and personal choice and responsibility. With a long session getting ready to start in a couple of months and Republicans being badly outnumbered, these principles are going to need all the champions they can get.

The results of this analysis is presented on a site called Track Their Vote. Here, you can look up your individual State Representative or State Senator and see how they voted on each issue. You can also see how they rank against their peers, within their chamber. Nowhere else can voters get this kind of information on their legislators. With literally thousands of bills being considered each session, this site presents each legislator’s activity in a simple format.

One of the great things about Oregon Citizens’ Lobby is that you don’t have to live in Salem to participate. Much of the activity is web-based. If you do live within commuting distance of Salem, you can participate in the War Room – it’s held each Thursday from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm at the Capitol. The War Room provides opportunities for all levels of advocates: From those just learning, to passionate analysts, to seasoned veterans ready to roll up the sleeves and testify at a hearing. Even those who just want to watch are welcome.

Contact Oregon Citizens’ Lobby if you are interested.

Fall Closure

Goodbye, bumper sticker.

We both knew when this started that this was going to be a tough battle for name recognition. You sure did your part, up and down the highways, at stop lights and in various parking lots up and down the state. We saw a bunch more just like you as we traveled around this state. Who knows how many eyes saw you and asked "Who is Dennis Richardson?" or said "Go, Dennis!".

Dennis Richardson Bumper Sticker You don't look as crisp as you did when I put you on. Back then you had a shiny white background and your green letters were a bold forest green. Now your white background is cracked, your green letters are UV faded to a sickly pale blue -- all covered with a general election season's worth of road grime.

In a way, you still look good, though. Like a sage old man who has stood for what is right in the face of all manner of political correctness. You can be proud of your scars and blemishes.

I'm going to peel you off now. Your work is done. You'll make room for another candidate in 2016 -- or heck, maybe even earlier, if we get some good ballot measures.

Goodbye, bumper sticker. You were a beacon of hope for Oregon.

 

Dennis Richardson Unveils Oregon Reboot Plan

State Representative and candidate for Governor Dennis Richardson has unveiled the first cut of The Oregon Reboot - a plan that will reboot Oregon's economy, reform its education system, and restore trust in state government.

The first leg of the plan deals with rebooting Oregon's struggling economy. Oregon has endured 18 consecutive years of unemployment higher than the national average. Last month, as the U.S. economy continued to improve, Oregon's unemployment rate actually ticked up to 7.2 percent.

Dennis Richardson

Here's the plan:

Equal Pay for Women

Our current governor believes that appointing a committee to study the issue of pay equity will solve the fact that his office pays women only 79¢ for every dollar he pays men. My office will lead by example and make sure everyone is paid equally for equal work. (My wife and 8 daughters know, as Governor I won’t need a study to tell me women should receive equal pay for equal work.)

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