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Standard Voters’ Guide – General Election – 2016

VG General Election 2016 hdr

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF OREGON

Standard VOTERS’ GUIDE – November 2016 GENERAL ELECTION

Produced with the generous support of 

Benefactors VG 2016


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
GENERAL INFORMATION
COUNTY ELECTIONS PHONE NUMBER LIST
BALLOT MEASURES
CANDIDATES, BEGINNING WITH US SENATE
CANDIDATES for US HOUSE, CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 1
CANDIDATES for US HOUSE, CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 2
CANDIDATES for US HOUSE, CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 3
CANDIDATES for US HOUSE, CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 4
CANDIDATES for US HOUSE, CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 5
CANDIDATES FOR OREGON GOVERNOR
CANDIDATES FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL
CANDIDATES FOR OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE
CANDIDATES FOR OREGON TREASURER
CANDIDATES FOR OREGON SUPREME COURT
2016 LEAGUE EVENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


StarINTRODUCTION

This Nonpartisan Voters’ Guide is published by the League of Women Voters of Oregon. This is a FREE NONPARTISAN ELECTION REPORT for the Oregon November 8, 2016 General Election. Large print, audio (read aloud), screen reader (automated) accessible, and Spanish Voters’ Guides are also posted at our VOTEResources page, with more voting information.


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General Information

 

About this guide

Qualified candidates for state-wide Oregon offices were invited to respond to questions prepared by League members. Their replies are printed as received, free of edits, limited to 500 characters.

Elections officials must publicly provide candidate emails in order for the League to invite candidates to list with us. Candidates who have not responded, or did not have emails available at time of publicationcan be listed but cannot participate. Contact lwvor@lwvor.org for more information.

All local races are covered here, from County to Municipal, including Special Districts.

Our candidate List order: We list both Parties & Candidates in random order from OR Elections per ORS 254.155.

Voting Information
  • Important Dates:
    • October 18th is the Last day to register to vote or change your political party registration.
      Most ballots will be mailed to registered voters between October 19 – 25. If you mail your ballot, remember to add more time because of our Oregon USPS site closures and rerouting. If you don’t get your ballot, contact your county elections office at:
      http://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Pages/countyofficials.aspxYou can call them, too, phone numbers listed below.
    • Election Day is November 8th, the last day to DROP OFF your ballot at an official drop-off site, by 8:00pm.
  • FIND OREGON CANDIDATES
    You can find your district, your ballot candidates and measures in our VOTEResources web pages at lwvor.org/VOTEResources./ . We will have complete lists of all Oregon races and measures, by candidate and race name, and by County. For your specific ballot choices, go to www.Vote411.org and enter your address.

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Star County Elections phone list

Click to view list

Baker………………… 541-523-8207
Benton………………. 541-766-6756
Clackamas………….. 503-655-8510
Clatsop……………… 503-325-8511
Columbia…………… 503-397-7214
Coos…………………. 541-396-7610
Crook……………….. 541-447-6553
Curry………………… 541-247-3297
Deschutes………….. 541-388-6546
Douglas…………….. 541-440-4252
Gilliam………………. 541-384-2311
Grant………………… 541-575-1675
Harney……………… 541-573-6641
Hood River…………. 541-386-1442
Jackson……………… 541-774-6148
Jefferson……………. 541-475-4451
Josephine…………… 541-474-5243
Klamath…………….. 541-883-5157
Lake………………….. 541-947-6006
Lane…………………. 541-682-4234
Lincoln………………. 541-265-4131
Linn………………….. 541-967-3831
Malheur…………….. 541-473-5151
Marion ……………….503-588-5041
Morrow……………. 541-676-5601
Multnomah………… 503-988-3720
Polk………………….. 503-623-9217
Sherman……………. 541-565-3606
Tillamook…………… 503-842-3402
Umatilla…………….. 541-278-6254
Union……………….. 541-963-1006
Wallowa……. 541-426-4543 X158
Wasco………………. 541-506-2530
Washington……….. 503-846-5800
Wheeler…………….. 541-763-2373
Yamhill………………. 503-434-7518

Secretary of State Website Listing

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BALLOT MEASURES

How We Researched Ballot Measures

League of Women Voters members have researched and written these ballot measure reports. Researchers try to verify all factual information. We work diligently to ensure that our reports are balanced, accurate, and fair. We strive to provide the information you need to make an informed VOTE!
Our sources include:

  • Financial Impact and Explanatory Statements from the Secretary of State
  • Measure supporters and opponents
  • State agencies and economists
  • Reports and published information, including current press coverage

Ballot Measure # 94 Judicial Retirement Amendment

Official Title: Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to prohibit Legislative Assembly or individuals from fixing age for mandatory retirement of judges.

Referral:  This measure is a constitutional amendment referred to voters by the 2015 Oregon Legislature as SJR 4 with a vote of 30 in favor to 0 against in the Senate and 41 in favor to 17 against in the House.

Financial Impact: According to the Oregon Financial Estimate Committee there will be no financial impact to state revenue or expenditures. There will also be no financial impact on local government revenue or expenditures.

Probable results of a YES VOTE: If this ballot measure passes, the current wording of Oregon Constitution Article VII, Section 1a, will be amended to eliminate the wording requiring that Oregon judges retire before the end of their 75th year. Eliminating this language from that section would do away with mandatory retirement ages for judges.

Probable results of a NO VOTE: If this ballot measure fails, the current wording of Oregon Constitution Article VII, Section 1a, would remain unchanged. Judges in Oregon would be required to retire from the bench before the end of their 75th year.

Background: In 1959 a 21-member statewide Legislative Interim Committee on Judicial Administration issued a report, which included the determination that a mandatory retirement age would address the issues of judicial bottleneck and delay. The report resulted in Senate Joint Resolution 3 (1959) mandating that a judge of any court retire at the end of the calendar year in which he reaches the age of 75 years. The resolution was adopted by voters in 1960.

In 1992 Mercedes Deiz, Oregon’s first African-American female judge, retired in 1992 after 22 years on the bench in Multnomah County. At the time, she told The Oregonian “I very much wish I could stay. When I am ready to retire, I would retire.”

In 2014 Oregon attorney Agnes Petersen formally challenged the state’s mandatory retirement age, calling it unconstitutional and discriminatory against both age and gender. Petersen alleged the section discriminates against women because it uses male pronouns. A section of the law states, “a judge of any court shall retire from judicial office at the end of the calendar year in which he attains the age of 75 years.” She filed the lawsuit after the secretary of state did not allow her to run for judge because she was past the age of 75, but the case was thrown out. She also launched a write in campaign for the bench, but fell short of winning.

During the 2015 legislative session Senate Joint Resolution 4 was introduced at the request of Governor Kate Brown. This proposal is now before the voters to determine whether or not the existing retirement age mandate for judges should stand.

Proposal: Measure 94 would eliminate the current Constitutional requirement that state judges retire from the bench at age 75.

Supporters Say:

  • The state already has a process to remove unqualified judges.
  • Promoting judicial diversity is better addressed by recruitment of qualified candidates.
  • Oregonians lose a great deal of collective and valuable judicial experience when capable and willing judges cannot choose to continue to serve past age 75.

Opponents Say:

  • There is no evidence that mandatory judicial retirement harms the judiciary.
  • Mandatory retirement ages help the judiciary by injecting new ideas and new judges into the mix.
  • The mandatory retirement age of 75, approved by more than 82 percent of Oregon voters in 1960, was based upon two years of in-depth research on the relationship between aging and efficiency. Until new data emerges, there is no reason to change the Constitution.
Ballot Measure # 95 Public University Investments

Official Title: Allows investments in equities by public universities to reduce financial risk and increase investments to benefit students.

ReferralThis measure is a constitutional amendment referred to voters by the 2016 Oregon Legislature as HJR 203 with a vote of 55 in favor and 1 against in the House and a vote of 21 in favor to 7 against in the Senate.

Financial Impact: According to the Oregon Financial Estimate Committee there is no financial effect on either state or local government expenditures or revenues required by this measure. The revenue and expenditure impact on public universities is dependent upon decisions made by each university on the type and amount of private equity in which they choose (or choose not) to invest and the return on those investments.

Probable results of a YES VOTE: If this measure passes, the Oregon Constitution would be amended to allow public state universities to invest in equities (stocks).

Probable results of a NO VOTE: If this measure fails, the Oregon Constitution would remain unchanged and the prohibition against public universities investing in equities would remain in place.

Background: Article XI, Section 6, of the Oregon Constitution prohibits the State from owning stock, except under limited circumstances where the funds invested were donated, gifted, or involved in technology transfers.

In 2013 the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed Senate Bill 270, which allowed Oregon public universities to each have its own governance board with the authority to manage its own finances and to invest in equities.

When the universities started exercising the duties, privileges and obligations granted by SB 270, a legal question arose as to whether the prohibition against the State owning stock (Article XI, Section 6) applies to them. Independent legal analysis suggests that it may, even with the statutory provisions of SB 270. Thus universities cannot invest in equities without legal risk.

The universities that would be affected by this measure are: Eastern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Southern Oregon University, University of Oregon and Western Oregon University.

Proposal: Ballot Measure 95 would amend the Oregon Constitution to ensure that public universities could invest in equities.

Supporters Say:

  • Ballot Measure 95 would amend the Oregon Constitution to ensure that public universities could invest in equities. Allowing investment in equities could benefit students by helping to minimize tuition increases and by funding programs important to students.
  • Allowing investment in equities will provide universities the ability to diversify their investments and to better prepare for market fluctuations.
  • Investing in equities gives universities the ability to generate additional funds.

Opponents Say:

  • There is no guarantee that any additional income from equities would provide tuition relief to students.
  • There is no guarantee that universities would avoid market loss or risky investments.
  • Universities would need to hire expensive investment advisors.
Ballot Measure # 96 Lottery funds for Veterans

Official title: Dedicates 1.5% of state lottery net proceeds to funding support services for Oregon veterans.

Referral: This measure is a constitutional amendment referred to voters by the 2016 Oregon Legislature with a vote of 57 in favor, 0 against, and 3 excused in the House and a vote of 28 in favor, 0 against, and 2 excused in the Senate.

Financial Impact: This measure would dedicate 1.5% of the net revenue from the Oregon State Lottery Funds to a veterans’ services fund. Approximately $9.3 million a year would be transferred into the Veterans’ Services Fund during the 2017-2019 biennium. These dedicated funds from the lottery would not change the amount of revenue constitutionally dedicated to other purposes, but it would reduce the unrestricted lottery funds that the Legislature can use for education and economic development.

Probable results of a YES VOTEIf this measure passes, it would constitutionally dedicate 1.5% of the net revenue from the state lottery to fund services for Oregon veterans; these services may include assistance with employment, education, housing and physical or mental health care.

Probable results of a NO VOTE: If this measure fails, the Oregon Constitution would retain the current list of authorized purposes for spending the proceeds from the state lottery. The lottery funding for veterans’ services would not be constitutionally required.

Background: There are more than 331,000 veterans in Oregon—about 1 out of 12 Oregonians. Many veterans have challenges related to their military service exceeding those experienced by non-veteran civilians. They are more likely to be homeless and twice as likely to die by suicide. They may have service related physical and mental health problems, including traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance-abuse addictions. The Oregon Dept of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) provides services for veterans to supplement services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including home loans and Veterans’ Homes. Most ODVA funding comes from payments receives for its services, but the Legislature also allocated $13 million from the 2015-17 Oregon General Fund budget (income tax revenues) to finance outreach and other veterans services. Although 3 of 10 Oregon veterans do access their benefits, others need help to use services for which they are eligible. 74 Veteran Service Officers serve Oregon’s counties, tribes, and college/university campuses to help Oregon veterans connect with benefits they have earned, including federal pensions, loans, education and employment programs, housing, counseling, and nursing home care. In 2014, federal benefit payments to Oregon veterans and agencies serving them brought more than $2.5 billion federal dollars into Oregon.The Oregon State Lottery, from which this measure proposes to receive funding, began operation in 1986. Revenues have grown more than 10-fold since then, now providing a significant funding source to supplement the state General Fund. Net profits are transferred to the Oregon Economic Development Fund for distribution to specific programs. The Constitution dedicates 18% of net proceeds to the Education Stability Fund and 15% to a Parks and Natural Resources Fund to protect state parks, beaches and wildlife. The Legislature decides how to allocate remaining lottery funds. In some cases, Oregon statutes dedicate some lottery revenue to particular programs, including gambling addiction treatment, collegiate sports programs, the County Fair account and county economic development programs. After considering other priorities, the Legislature decides whether to fully fund these statutory dedications from the Lottery Fund. Oregon is also obligated to pay debt service on Lottery Revenue Bonds and the debt service payments are almost always made with Lottery revenue. For the 2015-17 Oregon budget, total net lottery revenues were almost $1.2 billion. After constitutional requirements and debt service payments are made, remaining revenue available for distribution was about $598 million. Most of this, 76%, was allotted to education and about 17% to economic development programs.

ProposalMeasure 96 would amend the Article XV, Section 4f, of the Oregon Constitution to require that 1.5% of the net proceeds of the Oregon Lottery be deposited in a newly created Veterans’ Services Fund. In the 2017-19 biennium the amount of revenue constitutionally dedicated to this new fund would be about $18.6 million. The revenue would be dedicated to

  1. funding services for veterans—including assistance with reintegration, education, employment, housing, health care and addiction treatment.
  2. assistance to veterans, their spouses and dependents for accessing federal and state veterans’ services.
  3. funding for county, campus and tribal veteran service officers.

This measure would increase the amount of constitutionally dedicated lottery revenue to 34.5% of the net proceeds. The legislature is obligated to fully fund the constitutional dedications.

Supporters Say:

  • This lottery funding will help more veterans get educational, health and employment benefits, especially when they are reintegrating into society after their service.
  • Oregon veterans have earned their benefits through service to our country and should have more help accessing the benefits they deserve.
  • This measure would benefit Oregon’s economy. According to veterans’ groups, every dollar invested in veterans’ services and outreach at the state level brings $77 from federal programs into Oregon.

Opponents Say:

  • We should not clutter our Constitution with funding measures. The legislature should determine when and how much funding is needed for current purposes.
  • Permanently dedicating revenue from the Lottery through an amendment to the Constitution could reduce the funding available to support other important state programs.
  • The prospect of bringing more federal dollars into Oregon should give the legislature ample reason to fund veterans’ services without going through the Constitution.
Ballot Measure # 97 Oregon Corporate Tax Increase

Official title: Increases corporate minimum tax when sales exceed $25 million; funds education, healthcare, senior services.

Initiative:  This measure is a statutory amendment placed on the ballot by initiative petition with an estimated 99,272 valid signatures.

Financial ImpactThe measure is anticipated to increase state revenues by $548 million from January 1 through June 30 of 2017 and by approximately $3 billion each year beginning July 1 after that. The financial impact on state expenditures by program is indeterminate; the measure states that the funds are to be used for education, healthcare and senior services.

Probable results of a YES VOTEIf this measure passes, it would increase the corporate minimum tax by establishing a 2.5 percent tax on corporate gross Oregon sales above $25 million with the revenue going into the General Fund with the intent that it be used for education, healthcare and senior services.

Probable results of a NO VOTEIf this measure fails, it would retain the existing corporate minimum tax rates based on gross Oregon sales; there would be no increased revenue.

Background: Measure 5, passed in 1990, capped and reduced property taxes for homeowners and businesses; it also transferred responsibility for school funding from local government to the state to equalize funding. Measure 50, passed in 1997, set lower property tax rates and limited annual growth. These tax cuts coupled with a growing population, a recession, and low PERS investment returns in recent years have required school districts and state agencies to cut their budgets. Many Oregonians believe that more revenue is needed to adequately fund public education, healthcare, and senior services.

There are two main types of corporations. An S-corporation apportions corporate income to its shareholders, who pay personal income tax on it, and the corporation pays a $150 flat tax.

A C-corporation pays either a minimum tax of approximately 0.1% of their Oregon sales or 6.6% of their taxable income up to $1 million (7.6% of taxable income above $1 million), whichever is greater. The minimum tax is capped at $100,000 on Oregon sales above $100 million. Most corporations pay the minimum tax on Oregon sales. The corporate minimum tax and corporate income tax are commonly referred to as “Oregon corporate income tax.”

Among the Oregon C-corporations that say they will be affected by passage of Measure 97 are Lithia Motors, Powell’s Books, Pacific Power and Wilco. National retailers that would be affected include Comcast, Bank of America, Walmart, Amazon, Kroger (Fred Meyer), Lowe’s, and Wells Fargo.

According to the Legislative Revenue Office (LRO), while the amount of revenue paid by corporations has increased over the years, the percentage of total state tax revenue paid by corporations has stayed nearly flat. The Oregon Center for Public Policy calculated that corporations paid 18.5% of total state revenue in 1973 and only 6.7% now.

Proposal: Measure 97 would affect only C-corporations that do not have enough taxable income to pay income tax and, therefore, pay the minimum tax on Oregon sales. The measure would retain the current approximate 0.1% tax rate on Oregon sales below $25 million. Measure 97 would raise the minimum tax rate to 2.5% on the portion of Oregon sales above $25 million and remove the cap. The measure is expected to generate $548 million in new revenue in the current biennium and $3 billion each year thereafter.

Measure 97 exempts “benefit companies” from the 2.5% tax rate on sales over $25 million; they would continue to pay the current 0.1% minimum tax on all Oregon sales. (A benefit company aims to make a positive impact on society and the environment in addition to earning a profit.)

In analyzing the potential economic effects of Measure 97 the Legislative Review Office assumed that, because Oregon sales are heavily concentrated in domestic consumer sectors—primarily the retail trade, wholesale trade and utility sectors—the measure would largely act as a consumption tax and would likely result in somewhat higher prices in those sectors.

According to the LRO’s model of this tax, Measure 97 could be expected to dampen income, employment and population growth over the next five years, but all of these changes would be within 1% of projections under current tax law. An estimated 38,200 private sector jobs would be lost from projected growth (over half of them in lower-wage retail, wholesale trade and health services) and an estimated 17,700 higher-paying public sector jobs would be added over the next five years. (A study by Portland State University’s Northwest Economic Research Center (NERC) using modeling similar to that of the LRO, suggested different numbers for the next ten years: a loss of 4,000-20,000 private sector jobs and a gain of more than 30,000 government jobs.) None of the models include estimates of the potential economic impacts of significant investments in education, healthcare, and senior services.

The LRO said that Measure 97 would increase stability of state revenue over the business cycle. However, for the approximately 1000 C-corporations with Oregon sales over $25 million the 2.5% marginal tax rate would be higher than the rate in the six other states with a similar gross receipts tax. As a result, corporations with large tax increases due to Measure 97 might make changes to their corporate status to reduce their taxes.

Measure 97 states that the revenue is to go to education from early-childhood and kindergarten through 12th grade as well as for healthcare and services to senior citizens. However, the measure does not set a percentage of revenue to be applied to each, and Legislative Counsel has stated that the legislature would decide how the funds would be used.

Supporters Say:

  • Measure 97 would not raise prices on most consumer goods since corporations charge the same prices regardless of tax levels in the various states where they sell goods.
  • Oregon needs Measure 97 because Oregon has the 4th lowest high school graduation rate in the nation; nearly 400,000 Oregonians lack health coverage; and more and more seniors are retiring into poverty.
  • Measure 97 is designed to hold large and out-of-state corporations accountable to paying their fair share of Oregon taxes so that we can make critical investments in our children and most vulnerable citizens.
  • Under Measure 97 state revenue would gain stability over the business cycle so school budgets wouldn’t have to be cut so severely during recessions.

Opponents Say:

  • Measure 97 would cost the typical Oregon household more than $600 each year in higher prices for food, medicine, clothing, housing, utilities and other essential goods and services; it is a regressive tax, hurting most the families who can least afford it.
  • Measure 97 does not guarantee the revenues will go to schools, healthcare or anything else; the legislature will decide how to use it.
  • Measure 97 would hurt all Oregon employers and small businesses by increasing their operating costs and making them less competitive. The LRO study concluded that over 38,000 jobs would be lost.
  • Measure 97 taxes sales instead of profits. It means businesses could actually lose money and still be required to pay the tax.
Ballot Measure # 98 Oregonians for High School Success

Official title: Requires state funding for dropout prevention, career and college readiness programs in Oregon high schools.

InitiativeThis measure is a statutory amendment placed on the ballot by initiative petition with 101,302 valid signatures.

Financial ImpactThe measure would require at least $147 million (which is 1.4% of the state budget) be spent annually on career and technical education, accelerated learning and high school graduation improvement programs. As no additional revenue source is provided, funding would come from growth in the General Fund.

Probable results of a YES VOTE: If this measure passes, the legislature would be expected to commit an additional $147 million per year to fund career and technical programs, college-level education, and dropout prevention programs. The legislature would determine funding.

Probable results of a NO VOTE: If this measure fails, the legislature would not be required to commit additional funds to career and technical programs, college-level education, and dropout prevention programs.

Background: Currently, the legislature provides General Fund revenues to the State School Fund based on constitutionally required quality goals; funds are distributed directly to school districts under a specified formula. In the last biennium 51.6% of Oregon’s 2015-17 General Fund and Lottery Funds were budgeted for education.

Oregon’s 72 percent graduation rate for the class of 2014 ranked fourth-worst in the nation according to the U.S. Department of Education. In Oregon per pupil spending has dropped 5% since 2010 and ranks near the middle of the 50 states.

Access to CTE (career technical education), such as auto shop, wood and metal shop, culinary arts, robotics, has been significantly reduced over the last 20 years. Data from the Oregon Department of Education show that the four-year graduation rate for students who have earned at least one credit of CTE is 15.5 percentage points higher than the statewide average. The difference tends to be more dramatic for low income and minority students who have taken CTE.

Proposal: Ballot Measure 98 requires state funds to be distributed to public school districts for three specific purposes: 1) establish or expand career and technical education programs in high schools, 2) establish or expand college-level educational opportunities for students in high schools and 3) establish or expand dropout-prevention strategies in high schools.

The measure directs the Legislature to appropriate at least $800 per enrolled high school student per school year for these three purposes. School districts may choose whether to apply for these additional funds, but in order to receive them, school districts must submit grant proposals showing how its funds would be used for the three programs. If a district’s grant application did not qualify, the Department of Education would assist the district in preparing a qualified plan.

The measure creates no new revenue sources and relies initially on growth of state General Fund revenue. If the state General Fund does not increase by at least $1.5 billion in the next two-year budget period, initial funding for the measure would be reduced and phased in over four years.

The Department of Education will monitor districts receiving funds. The Department may retain up to 1.5 percent of the funds for oversight of the program for the first two years and 1.25 percent thereafter. School districts may retain up to 5 percent of the funds for implementation of the new programs for the first two years and 4 percent thereafter. The Secretary of State will conduct audits on the programs’ success.

Supporters Say:

  • Measure 98 would expand and create new vocational and career technical educational opportunities, as well as college-level courses, in Oregon high schools. Such courses could improve graduation rates.
  • Measure 98 could provide funding for guidance counselors and tutors with the intent to reduce drop out rates.
  • Measure 98 funding amounts to 1.4 percent of the upcoming state budget, well within the range of feasibility and similar to the size of investment for full-day kindergarten.

Opponents Say:

  • There is no new source of revenue for these programs mandated to be funded from the state General Fund, thus reducing allocations for other essential services such as public safety, social services, and other education expenses.
  • Budgeting for the three areas should be budgeted within K-12 funding, not outside of that budget process.
  • The measure would reduce funding for other essential services, such as public safety and economic development.
Ballot Measure # 99 Outdoor School Education Fund

Official titleCreates “Outdoor School Education Fund,” continuously funded through Lottery, to provide outdoor school programs statewide.

Initiative: This measure is a statutory amendment placed on the ballot by initiative petition with an estimated 93,102 valid signatures.

Financial ImpactUp to four percent (or $5.5 million) of the moneys from the Oregon Lottery Economic Development Fund would be transferred quarterly to a new Outdoor School Education Fund. The total to be deposited into the Outdoor School Fund would be capped at $22 million per year. This amount would be adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index.

Probable results of a YES VOTEIf this measure passes, a separate fund would be established to provide outdoor school programs statewide. It would be financed through the Oregon Lottery Economic Development Fund and administered by Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service.

Probable results of a NO VOTE:  If this measure fails, no special fund would be established to provide outdoor school programs statewide.

Background: Oregon’s first Outdoor School was started in Medford in 1957 and outdoor schools expanded to other school districts throughout Oregon during the following decades. Currently, all but four Oregon counties have some outdoor school programs, although 20 counties have fewer than 40% of their students participating, and many provide only a 2-night program rather than a full week. Funding for these programs is provided primarily through a combination of donations, fees, grants from foundations, and support from school districts, education service districts and local governments. In 2015 the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 439 establishing an Outdoor Education Account in the State Treasury to support outdoor school programs for fifth or sixth grade students throughout Oregon. The bill also provided that the Oregon State University Extension Service would administer the Fund and distribute grants from available funds. However, although the original bill included $44 million from the Oregon General Fund to fund the programs in 2015-17, this funding was omitted from the final bill.

The Oregon State Lottery provides a significant source of funding to supplement the state General Fund. Net profits are transferred to the Oregon Economic Development Fund for distribution to specific programs. The Constitution dedicates 18% of net proceeds to the Education Stability Fund and 15% to a Parks and Natural Resources Fund. The Legislature decides how to allocate the remaining lottery funds. In some cases, Oregon statutes dedicate some lottery revenue to particular programs, including gambling addiction treatment, collegiate sports programs, the County Fair account and county economic development programs. After considering other priorities, the Legislature decides whether to fully fund these statutory dedications from the Lottery Fund. Oregon is also obligated to pay debt service on Lottery Revenue Bonds and the debt service payments are almost always made with Lottery revenue. For the 2015-17 Oregon budget, the total net lottery revenues were almost $1.2 billion. After the constitutional requirements and debt service payments, the remaining revenue available for distribution was about $598 million. Most of this, 76%, was allotted to education and about 17% to economic development programs.

Proposal: Ballot Measure 99 proposes to provide funding to give all Oregon fifth or sixth grade students the opportunity to participate in environmental education through the field study of “natural sciences and responsible use of natural resources.” The measure does not mandate outdoor education for all schools, but the goal is to make a week-long Outdoor School (or similar hands-on science experiences in the outdoors) accessible to all students throughout the state. The measure creates a separate Outdoor School Education Fund that is financed by net revenues from the Oregon State Lottery Fund. The measure requires that the lesser of 4% of the net lottery revenues or $5.5 million must be deposited every three months into the Outdoor School Fund. The total dollar amount would be limited to $22 million per year (or up to $44 million per biennium), with this figure adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. Grants for outdoor school programs would be awarded by the Oregon State University Extension Service, which would also provide assistance and program leadership, as authorized by 2015 Senate Bill 439. Allocations to the Fund could not reduce lottery proceeds dedicated under the Oregon Constitution to education, parks and wildlife, but could reduce the amounts of lottery funding that now go to other educational and/or economic development programs. However, because this is a statutory dedication, the legislature would have some flexibility to decide whether to fully fund it if legislators believe that other educational or economic development programs should have priority.

Supporters Say:

  • Outdoor education provides hands-on learning students can’t get inside the classroom. Research shows these programs build life skills (self-confidence, leadership, teamwork and collaboration); spark interest in science and math; and improve school attendance and academic performance.
  • Measure 99 creates a stable, dedicated funding source for Outdoor School without raising taxes.
  • Currently, about half of Oregon students don’t have the opportunity to attend Outdoor School, primarily because their schools do not have enough funding to participate.
  • Dedicated funding for Outdoor School would benefit Oregon’s economy by creating full-time jobs in rural Oregon.

Opponents Say:

  • Dedicating lottery funding to Outdoor School could reduce the funding for economic development programs that create jobs statewide, including in rural Oregon.
  • Dedicating lottery funding to Outdoor School programs might reduce the lottery funding available for other school needs, such as maintenance.
  • The initiative process is not the appropriate way to allocate funding for programs, because voters are unlikely to understand all the trade-offs.
  • Measure 99 would complicate the legislature’s job of balancing the state budget and setting priorities for state expenditures. The legislature should determine how to use available funding for the state’s needs.
Ballot Measure # 100 Wildlife Tracking Prevention Act

Official title: Prohibits purchase or sale of parts or products from certain wildlife species; exceptions; civic penalties.

Initiative:  This measure is a statutory amendment placed on the ballot by initiative petition with an estimated 88,148 valid signatures.

Financial Impact: The estimated cost of state enforcement is less than $100,000. There is no anticipated effect on local government expenditures or revenues.

Probable results of a YES VOTEIf this measure passes, it would prohibit purchase or sale within Oregon of parts/products from elephant, rhinoceros, whale, tiger, lion, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, pangolin, sea turtle, shark (except spiny dogfish), or ray. Punishment would be by civil fines. Exemptions include law enforcement activity, antiques, musical instruments, and members of federally recognized Native American tribes.

Probable results of a NO VOTE: If this measure fails, current Oregon law will apply, which, except for shark fins, does not prohibit sale of parts/products from species not native to Oregon.

Background: Wildlife trafficking (also known as poaching) is the unauthorized capture, possession, sale, transportation, and distribution of wildlife or their body parts, such as illegal elephant ivory. Wildlife trafficking is one of the largest markets for illegal transnational commerce but the least prosecuted. Two federal laws regulate wildlife trafficking: the Lacey Act (establishes penalties for the illegal trade across state lines of animals and plants protected by international or U.S. law) and the Endangered Species Act (which lists over 2,000 species worldwide as endangered or threatened). Existing federal law allows some sales of imported wildlife parts within state boundaries, and enforcement of existing laws is left to federal agencies. Current Oregon law only addresses impacts to native species and the trafficking of shark fins.

The U.S. is among the world’s largest consumers of wildlife, both legal and illegal. Recent cases of poaching have received extensive media attention. The Oregon Legislature considered, but did not approve, wildlife trafficking legislation in 2015. Proponents of Measure 100 are therefore proposing this law directly to Oregon voters.

Four states have existing legislation addressing wildlife trafficking (CA, NJ, NY, and WA). Washington voters approved a ballot measure similar to Measure 100 in 2015. The legislation in California, New Jersey, and New York focuses on the trafficking of elephants and rhino parts (ivory and rhino horns). Since 2015 similar legislation has been or is being considered by at least 17 other states (AZ, CO, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, IN, IA, MD, MA, MI, OH, OK, PA, VA, and VT).

Proposal: Measure 100 would restrict the trafficking of animals, body parts, or products from twelve wildlife species groups that are not native to Oregon and allow for local enforcement of wildlife trafficking.

Measure 100 would prohibit sale, exchange or purchase of a part or product from any species of elephant, rhinoceros, whale, tiger, lion, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, pangolin (also known as the spiny anteater), sea turtle or shark (except the spiny dogfish). There are several exceptions. The measure would allow activity related to federal law enforcement or that is specifically authorized by federal law. Sales and purchases of antiques or musical instruments that contain a small part of these animals (less than 0.4 pound, which is similar to federal law) are permitted. Items that contain animal parts covered by Measure 100 may be handed down (inherited) or donated to scientific or educational institutions. And members of a federally recognized Native American tribe may possess animal species parts or products covered by this measure.

Each violation could be punishable by a $6,500 civil penalty or an amount equal to twice the value of the covered animal species part or product, whichever is higher. If this measure is passed by voters, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission would adopt rules to implement it.

Supporters Say:

  • These iconic wildlife species are in danger of extinction due to wildlife trafficking. About 35,000 elephants are slaughtered each year for their ivory and more than 1,200 rhinos were poached for their horns in 2014. The White Rhino has already been poached into extinction in parts of Africa.
  • In addition to conservation and animal welfare concerns, poaching provides millions of dollars for criminal and terrorist groups.
  • Existing federal laws are not sufficient. By passing Measure 100, Oregonians can help shut down the west coast market for illegal wildlife trafficking.
  • Measure 100 will not affect legal hunting, musical instruments, antiques, or tribal rituals.

Opponents Say:

  • Poaching is unfortunate, but this measure will not stop it. Groups opposed to trafficking should focus their efforts on where these animals are hunted.
  • From 2010-2014 federal enforcement officers inspected 5,526 legally hunted species at the Port of Portland and seized only eleven for being improperly imported, and only one was a species targeted by this measure.
  • Species loss or decline occurs for reasons other than poaching. Species loss will not be impacted by this Oregon ballot measure.
  • This measure would prohibit bringing some animal trophies hunted in another country back to Oregon.

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StarCANDIDATES, beginning with US Senate

Qualified candidates for state-wide Oregon offices were invited to respond to questions prepared by League members. Their replies are printed as received, free of edits, limited to 500 characters.

Oregon US Senator

  • Term= 6 years
  • Salary= $174,000

 

S. Reynolds
 Steven C Reynolds  steven.cody.reynolds@gmail.com.  (Independent)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

I feel that we need to simplify the tax code to create a system that does not disproportionately burden the poor while still encouraging investment by the wealthy.

– Remove the ability of wealthy individuals and corporations to shelter income offshore through complicated schemes not available to the common person.

– Permanently set the personal income tax exemption to the poverty line. Where a family of four making less than $25,000 / year would have no federal tax obligation.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

I believe that tax credits for solar and wind projects should be expanded and extended. By increasing credits for electric vehicles, investing in clean energy research, and encouraging the mass adoption of solar and wind energy Congress can alter the trajectory of our rapidly changing climate.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

We must stop electing Democrats and Republicans. Our political system has devolved into political tribalism where working with the “enemy” is an invitation for attack from within ones own party. By rejecting politicians from the two party system and replacing them with people interested in governing we can begin to move our country forward.

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R. WydenRon Wyden www.wydenforsenate.com  (Democrat)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

In effect, America has two different tax systems. The one that working families use is mandatory and paid straight out of the paycheck. Then there’s another system for the sophisticated, wealthy few, and it distorts the system by saying “pay what you want, when you want.”

We must simplify the tax code, closing loopholes, lowering compliance burdens, and delivering a tax system that works for all Americans, not just those who can afford costly tax lawyers.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Climate change is undeniable. And an overwhelming majority of scientists agree that if we don’t address it soon, it’s going to get strikingly worse.

I’ve authored a plan to revolutionize the outdated crazy quilt of clean energy tax credits — replacing it with a smarter way of promoting renewable energy.

I’ve also pushed to renew expired tax benefits for clean energy–the kind that are largely responsible for the major investment in carbon-cutting wind and solar energy across Oregon.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

My home is in Portland but I am the Senator for all of Oregon. I take great pride in my commitment to visit each of Oregon’s 36 counties every year and give voice to those who often feel left out of the debate.

We face so many challenges with high school graduation rates, college affordability, income inequality, and our crumbling infrastructure that we can’t afford partisan stalemates. That’s why I always try to invite my colleagues to find consensus without sacrificing core principles.

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M. CallahanMark Callahan www.callahanfororegon.com  (Republican)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

I support scaling back and potentially eliminating the IRS, in favor of implementing a more simplified tax system such as a Flat Tax or a Fair Tax.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Nothing.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

Concentrate on items that we have in common, as Americans, as One Team, as opposed to the issues that divide us. These items can then be solved in a Limited Government manner, by not growing the size of government to solve the problems.  Growing the size of government to solve problems is not something we should be doing, as it results in more debt, and less freedom. Let’s focus on solving problems, not fighting about how to solve problems, which results in the problems not getting solved.

 [/EXPAND]

E Navickas

ERIC NAVICKAS www.navickas4senate.org (PACIFIC GREEN PARTY)

[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

As your U.S. Senator, I will fight for a progressive tax structure. Taxes on large corporations, investment capital, and the wealthiest Americans make a lot of sense. Taxes on the poor and working families should be eliminated.

I believe government should strive to address inequalities in our society. Tax structure is one of the important tools that can be utilized to achieve this goal.  Working people, the underprivileged, the elderly, and the poor need assistance, not taxation.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Climate change will shape our future more than any other issue. We need the political will to address this crisis directly and aggressively. Renewable energy must be a priority!

I am challenging an incumbent who has been a vocal proponent of the Liquified Natural Gas pipeline proposed to cut across Oregon. This project will cater to multinationals and continue fossil fuel dependency. This is the wrong direction for Oregon and the nation.

I will work for a renewable energy renaissance!

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

As Oregon’s U.S. Senator, I will strive to speak honestly and work with integrity.

Through clarity and honestly, I believe mutual cooperation can be achieved, alliances can be found, and bridges can be built. This will be my goal as your U.S. Senator.

[/EXPAND]
S LewallenShanti S Lewallen   (Working Families Party)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

I support Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to simplify filing for average Americans. Let’s keep corporate profits out of offshore tax havens. I also support tax measures that protect middle class families’ housing security, retirement security and community engagement.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Congress should invest in bullet trains, infrastructure for electric cars, clean energy and energy upgrades for buildings. Congress should move away from subsidizing fossil fuels and focus on carbon sequestration instead. This will allow us to use the impetus of this global crisis to create family wage green jobs and focus on long term energy savings for government and households.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

Vote for Medicare for all, for family wage jobs and for combating climate change. Vote for fair trade: stopping the TPP and renegotiating NAFTA. Vote for affordable housing, racial equity and prison reform. Vote for paid sick leave, free public college and student loan forgiveness. Vote for gender equity and LGBT rights. Vote to deescalate the war on terror and end the war on drugs, focusing on rehabilitation and preventing addiction. Vote Working Families Party: Shanti Lewallen for US Senate.

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No Photo SubmittedJim Lindsay  (Libertarian)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

Drastically cut all taxes, eliminate Oregon’s capital gains taxes, eliminate income taxes and go to a sales tax.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

The climate will always change. Show me the thermostat for the sun and we can control the climate! As for congress leave it alone!

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

Reduce the number of terms they can serve. This will do wonders in getting ride of polarization.

 [/EXPAND]

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Star

Candidates for US House, Congressional District 1

Candidates for these races were all asked the same three questions. Terms and salaries are the same for all five Congressional Districts.

  • Term= 2 years
  • Salary= $174,000

 

B. Heinrich
Brian J Heinrich www.heinrichfororegon.org (Republican)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

I am in favor of a flat tax or possibly a value added tax (national sales tax).  The complexity of the current tax system punishes many while benefiting a few.  A flat tax would help prevent certain favoritism while promoting effort and hard work.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Congress should allow free enterprise to take on the challenge of climate change.  Government’s role should be reduced to removing the barriers that prevent the private sector from developing innovations that help reduce mankind’s impact on the Earth.  Under current and previous administrations, the Federal Government has done a poor job of investing taxpayer money into new technologies.  Much money has been lost.  It is time we utilize the free market to show us the way to sustainability.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

I believe the polarization in Congress can be reduced through the passage of two laws:  Congressional Term Limits and a Balanced Budget Amendment.  Term limits would reduce cronyism and excessive influence while a balanced budget would promote priorities and common goals between both major parties.

 [/EXPAND]

S. BonamiciSuzanne Bonamici  www.bonamiciforcongress.com  (Democrat, Independent)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

Our tax system is a reflection of our values and priorities, so it must work for everyone. It should grow the economy, support American families, help small businesses thrive, and provide revenue for important services. I was proud to help make the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit permanent; both are tools to help families get ahead. I strongly support simplifying the tax code so all families and small businesses understand what credits and financial supports are available.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Climate change is a serious threat to our planet, and I am deeply disappointed that congressional leadership has not made it a top priority. Congress should support policies that decrease dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And we should invest in research and development to find innovative ways to reduce the costs of renewable energy.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

I have found that it’s best to treat others with respect, even when we disagree. Rather than focus on differences, I find common ground. For example, I had a colleague who wanted to improve weather forecasting by cutting funding for climate research. Better forecasting will help Oregonians, so I worked with him to craft a bill that improves forecasting without cutting climate research. I’ll continue to use this approach if reelected.

 [/EXPAND]

No Photo SubmittedKyle Sheahan  (Libertarian)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

I believe an improved tax system would be a universal consumption tax. Food & medicine would be exempted from this tax. A consumption tax will level the playing field and close all the current tax loopholes that major corporations and the ultra-wealthy use to avoid paying taxes.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Congress should pass laws mandating that climate researchers should release all their raw data that they have collected along with their findings for quicker verification of their results. Congress should then look for ways to improve and/or invest into the infrastructure of the country through renewable/clean resources such as Wind, Wave, Solar, Volcanic, & Nuclear power.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

I would reduce the polarization of congress by working with both democrats and republicans. I would do this by limiting both sides’ attempts to legislate their moral viewpoints upon each other and the country. This country was founded upon freedom and we should continue to let the populace be as free as possible in all aspects of their lives.

 [/EXPAND]

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Star Candidates for US House, Congressional District 2

 

G. Walden
Greg Walden  www.gregwalden.com  (Republican, Independent)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

Our tax system needs a complete overhaul. Tax laws and regulations are over 10 million words, and Americans spend 6.1 billion hours complying each year. Congress should make the rules simpler and fairer. This will help create jobs and allow families to keep more of their hard-earned income.

The federal government must also reduce spending. That’s why I strongly support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Taxpayers must be protected no matter who is in control in Washington.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

We need an energy policy that protects the environment and grows our economy. I support reducing our dependence on foreign oil and pursuing hydropower, wind, geothermal and woody biomass energy sources. I’ve also led efforts to improve forest health and prevent the large wildfires that greatly contribute to carbon emissions. I strongly oppose proposals like a so-called “carbon tax” that would raise costs for consumers, while countries like China would continue to emit large amounts of carbon.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

I’ve worked hard with people from all political parties to solve problems for Oregonians, and the Lugar Center recently listed me as the most bipartisan member of Oregon’s House delegation.

I’ll continue to work on bipartisan efforts to stand up for rural communities against an overreaching federal government. I’ll also continue to work across the aisle to get our veterans the care they need and deserve, strengthen Medicare and Social Security for seniors, and grow the economy.

 [/EXPAND]

J. CraryJames (Jim) Crary  www.crary16.com  (Democrat)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

Add a 4% surcharge on incomes > $5,000,000; No change in tax rates for people making < $250,000; Enact the “Buffett Rule” which would establish a 30% min. tax on taxpayers w/ adjusted gross incomes of > $1 million; Cap itemized deductions at a tax value of 28%; Tax carried interest at ordinary income tax rates (instead of at lower capital gains rate); Restore the federal estate tax to 2009 levels; & Enact a tax on stock & bond trades & use the revenue to reduce college tuition at state colleges.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Global warming is absolutely real. Nine of the warmest years on record have taken place since 2000) & this August and July 2016 were the hottest months on record. With such overwhelming proof of global warming, we must wean ourselves off fossil fuels now! I would be in favor of a carbon tax with the revenue being used to subsidize and encourage renewable energy production and research and the purchase of electric /high mpg (>55 mpg) vehicles.  No longer can we fiddle while Rome literally burns.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

In 25+ yrs. of negotiating contracts I learned that: If 2 parties want to reach a deal they can; A strong party can, force a bad deal upon a weaker party; The strong arm approach is not a recipe for long term success; & Unless a deal is basically fair to both parties and unless both parties get something valuable out of the deal, short term gains for the stronger party often turn into long term problems.

This experience and perspective is what is sorely lacking in D.C. and which l will bring.

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Star

 Candidates for US House, Congressional District 3

 

D DelkDavid Delk   (Progressive)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

An improved tax system would have an increase in the highest tax bracket to over 60%; it would include a/an :

*effective estate tax;

*increase the tax on capital gains to be equal to that for taxes on wages;

*excess profits tax on war profits to discourage individuals and corporations from seeing material gain from war making;

*financial transactions tax to discourage short term speculative investing and to raise revenues;

*automatic calculation of tax returns for majority of taxpayer.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Cut all tax subsidies of fossil fuel companies; institute a Fee & Dividend program (tax on carbon returned to taxpayers), not allow export of fossil fuels (LNG and Oil); heavily invest in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. Nuclear power is not renewable; nuclear power plants should all be closed.

And most importantly, Congress should not approve the Trans Pacific Partnership with its investor-state-dispute settlement clause and almost non-existent environmental protections.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

Solutions to the polarization are long range.
1. Amend the US Constitution to overturn Citizens United and end corporate personhood.
2. Pass meaningful limits on campaign financing
3. Pass a meaningful system of public funding of federal elections
4. In the Senate, end the filibuster
5. Institute voter reforms like instant runoff voting to allow minor party participation
6. End the polarization of American society in general as Congressional polarization is a reflection of society.

[/EXPAND]

No Photo SubmittedDavid W Walker www.humaucracy.com  (Republican, Independent)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

Simplify the corporate tax code. Lower the top rate.  Create a tax free rate for first 100k of income for all/any small business.  Eliminate Deductibles.

Individual Tax Code.  Simplify.  Eliminate all current deductibles/loop holes  Triple the Single Standard Deductible for all individuals.

The Financial Industry pulls too much capital from the real economy.  Plus, it adds catastrophic risk to all Americans.  Introduce a financial transaction levy which funds loans to small business

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Congress must begin to remove the Republicans and Democrat parties from their position of stewardship over our government. The Rs& Ds are no longer capable of leading the USA.  These two parties are the single two greatest problems America faces.  They pollute  our civic environment  They only poison and divide regular voters.  Oust the Republican & Democrats by never voting for a Democrat or Republican candidate in any present or future local, state or federal election.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

Begin the general call for “Never cast a Vote for any candidate of the a Democrat & Republican party. The immediate harm and continuing threat caused by the Republican and Democrat parties to our government, institutions & American way of life is at a critical level.  These two moribund institutions no longer represents any voter of any stripe.  Republicans and Democrats only divide our citizens, serve their personal Leadership PACs and have turned the greatest democracy into a banana republic

[/EXPAND]

E. Blumenauer
Earl Blumenauer www.earlblumenauer.com  (Democrat)   
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

There are many things that we can do to improve the tax system: Pass a revenue neutral carbon tax to more effectively provide incentives for clean energy and discourage pollution. The revenues should be used to adjust the tax code, reducing the burdens on small business and low and moderate income families by reducing the payroll tax and fixing the Social Security deficit. Every effort should be made to repeal, simplify, or consolidate complicated provisions.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

The most important thing Congress can do to deal with climate change is to enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax which would be more effective than some of the existing incentives. We should also implement President Obama’s carbon policies, invest more in renewable energy sources and research, be more aggressive with energy efficiency starting with the federal government and our schools.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

Model the behavior you expect from others; do not engage in hyper-partisan insulting behavior. Find areas of bipartisan common interest on second and third-tier issues that will make a difference. This is what I have done with work on rebuilding and renewing America. I have bipartisan legislation in several areas including healthcare reform, reforming marijuana laws and international water and sanitation, that people like to work on can actually pass and make a difference.

[/EXPAND]

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Star

Candidates for US House, Congressional District 4

 

P. DeFazio
Peter A DeFazio  www.defazioforcongress.com  (Democrat, Independent, Progressive, Working Families Party)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

First, we should raise the capital gains tax rate. People who work for wages shouldn’t have to pay higher taxes compared to people who invest for a living. Next we should end tax breaks for companies that outsource American jobs, and close all overseas incentives, loopholes and tax havens so multinational corporations cannot dodge their tax responsibility. Finally, we should impose a small speculator tax on high volume non-productive stock trading to help stop the reckless gambling on Wall St.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

The science is clear, if we don’t take action, our planet will be in serious peril. We need a strong federal mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Congress should end subsidies for wealthy oil companies, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and invest in alternative and renewable energy technologies. In addition, Congress should increase funding for climate science and federal programs that gather critical data on the atmosphere.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

I support legislation that would provide public financing of federal elections. Public matching funds and spending limits would allow campaigns to run on small donations and rather than money from special interests. We must restore a more proportional representation in the House of Representatives and limit the partisan gerrymandering of congressional redistricting. In the 2012 election, although Democrats received 1.4 million more votes for House candidates, Republicans won a 33 seat margin.

[/EXPAND]

A. Robinson
Art Robinson www.artforcongress.com (Republican)   

[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

Tax collection should be simplified, and Congressional manipulation of the tax system to serve special interests in return for campaign cash and other favors should be eliminated. Tax collection should include disclosure provisions so that tax payers have full knowledge of the taxes they are paying. Hidden taxation should be eliminated. Less affluent citizens are misled to believe they pay very low taxes when, in fact, they pay the taxes of those from whom they buy goods and services

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Congress should avoid passing misguided laws that decrease our nation’s ability to cope with natural climate change. This is especially true for major energy industries, based on coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, and solar fuels.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

Polarization in Congress is caused, in large part, by unprincipled members who depart from their oaths of office, which promise to uphold our Constitution. We have a Constitutional Republic. This has made our wonderful nation possible.

Departures from the Constitution are largely by career politicians who stay for decades in office and who view their memberships in Congress as opportunities to enhance their own personal wealth and power, rather than as opportunities for public service.

[/EXPAND]

M BilesteinMike Beilstein   (Pacific Green Party)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

Tax unfairness is a contributing factor to the growing wealth and resource gap in the United States. The unofficial “tax holiday” that began with the Reagan administration has facilitated unprecedented growth of wealth for the few while eliminating services for the many and funding government services though indebtedness.  Taxes need to be adequate to fund government without borrowing.  Everyone should contribute, but the greatest burden of taxation should be on the wealthy.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Addressing climate change is the first priority of Congress. I agree with Bill McKibben that without pricing carbon there is no way to avert the environmental disasters toward which cheap fossil fuels propel us.  I will sponsor legislation proposed by Citizens Climate Lobby for a revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend <http://citizensclimatelobby.org/>.  A fee on fossil fuel usage allows both consumers and producers to make rational choices toward appropriate sustainable energy use

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

I have strong commitments to the core Green values of environmental stewardship, democratic participation, nonviolence and human rights. However, without sacrificing these values, I will always be attentive to the need of getting the work of government done.  As a “third party” representative I will be free of the obligation of maintaining the partisan power bases of the duopoly, and therefore free to pursue the public good.

[/EXPAND]

No Photo SubmittedGil Guthrie  (Libertarian)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

A flat income tax after a ‘living’ baseline exemption. One bracket 12%; progressively fewer exemptions as Income rises. No shelters.

The more people ‘paid-in,’ the greater the number that ‘are invested’ ‘ the greater the desire for accountability (cowboy poetry, shrimp on treadmills, inflated costs by virtue of economically UNjustified Federal requirements like Davis Bacon, mandatory unionization, green bldg. codes, faux MBE paperwork et al.) And more likely to report feds asleep on the job!

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Define terms. Climate does change, as does weather; differentiate. Apply scientific and mathematical rigor & valid modeling. We are examining an infinite number of variables interacting and affecting an infinite number of adjacencies and interpenetrations in themselves variable, e.g. hydrologic cycles, sunspot cycles, clouds, lime the so-called butterfly affect, etc.

As a sentient being I am wary of those who claim to know everything under the sun & Absolutism, its gory consequence

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

Through non-alignment with the 2 ruling Parties; their objective is less problem-solving than advantaging their donors. In our divisive Congress YOU want to be wooed with ‘flowers n chocolates’ at every turn; the price of our input and your assent is That which best advantages YOU; the People of the 4th District. Independent! A NUETRAL ARBITER in a system created by the greatest political minds over the last 3,000 years. Willing to remind us All that Posterity and Manners matter! Observe!

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Star Candidates for US House, Congressional District 5

No Photo SubmittedColm Willis  (Republican)  No response

M Sandnes

Marvin Sandnes  www.marvinsandnes.org  (Pacific Green Party)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

I would support a progressive tax structure. I would also support a flat tax %. Nothing,

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Immediately withdraw from Afghanistan, re-direct Defense spending to the catastrophic Fukushima disaster destroying the Pacific Ocean life.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

Term limits. 1)  We must find a way to replace the entire Congress on a regular schedule – Congress is our last hope to restore the rule-of-law process abandoned a month after declaring a war on terror.2)  Break up the media monopoly.  The American public is no longer being served by a free, open, courageous Press.

[/EXPAND]

K Schreider

Kurt Schrader  (Democrat, Independent)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: What do you think an improved tax system should look like?

Ideally, we should scrap the current system and start over, much like was recommended by

the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission.  We should eliminate most all of the trillion dollars in tax breaks and use that to lower rates significantly for everyone, making the tax code simpler and fairer.

Question 2: What should Congress do to deal with climate change?

Congress needs to invest in an all of the above National Energy Strategy that moves America towards renewable energy, creates jobs, and capitalizes on Oregon’s sustainable resources. Moving toward energy independence requires increasing hydrogen fuel efficiency standards. In Oregon, continuing to implement responsible agricultural practices would curb carbon emissions and responsible forest management could reduce wildfires and their pollutants.

Question 3: How will you try to reduce polarization in Congress so problems can be solved?

As Chairman of the moderate blue dog democrats I have emphasized opportunities to work with republicans. My legislation is bipartisan. My office is known as the go to office for bipartisan support. I founded the Congressional bipartisan No Labels Problem Solvers Caucus, which is now 70 members strong and evenly divided between democrats and republicans. My work has led to my designation as one of the 10 most effective Congressman and many major bipartisan initiatives this past year.

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Star

Candidates for Oregon Governor

  • Term= 4 years
  • Salary= $98,600

J Foster

JAMES FOSTER  (Libertarian)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you improve transparency in government?

Less than a year ago the Center for Public Integrity gave Oregon an “F” grade (ranking 42nd overall) in its assessment of the systems in place to deter corruption in state government. One of the major failings was in public access to information about the government, or transparency. Not only should information about the government be available to the public, but it should be provided online in a machine readable form (i.e., not simply a scanned image but as structured data, such as XML). As governor, I would propose legislation to publish data online in an open data format and I would set an example by directing state agencies to do so even without explicit legislation. In addition, Oregon has a poor record for handling of Freedom of Information Requests. While some changes would require legislation, I would direct state agencies to respond in a timely manner to such requests.

Question 2: How would you improve public education (pre-K through college) in Oregon?

Good education requires a partnership between home and school, and the governor alone cannot single-handedly make dramatic changes to improve public education. As governor I would use my influence to give parents more control over their children’s education and to allow teachers and local schools to be more responsive to the needs and expectations of their constituencies. I would avoid one-size-fits-all solutions, and encourage a diversity of approaches. I favor more choices in education, and believe that charter schools and scholarship tax credits are positive steps towards improving public education.

Question 3: How would you ensure that everyone who wants a job can find one?

The first step is to remove obstacles to jobs, including occupational licensure. The Institute for Justice characterized Oregon as the third most extensively and onerously licensed state, and the state mandates training and fees for such jobs as hair braiding. Next, to create a climate in which businesses find it attractive to hire and retain workers we need to remove unnecessary and counter-productive labor and business regulations.

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K. BrownKate Brown  www.katebrownfororegon.com  (Democrat)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you improve transparency in government?

Bringing greater accountability to State government is one of my highest priorities and I have already dedicated more resources to improving transparency than any other Governor in Oregon’s history. But, there is more work to do to reform our public records laws. What has taken 40 years to create is going to take more than 19 months to undo.

In my time as Governor: I have become the first Oregon governor, and just the second in the country, to post all requests for records online and to make records themselves available to the general public; I’m the first Oregon governor to employ a full time attorney dedicated to public records requests; I issued an executive order for state agencies to standardize practices; and I have released hundred of thousands of pages of documents.

This progress will continue with my bill to create a Public Records Advocate, an independent entity to settle disputes and make recommendations for future public records reforms.

Question 2: How would you improve public education (pre-K through college) in Oregon?

It is my dream that all of Oregon’s students have access to a seamless system of education that takes them from cradle to career. I want every one of our students to complete high school with a plan, whether that be college, post-secondary, job-training, or entering the work force.  And that education system should prepare them for the jobs of the future.  Of course, more of our students must graduate from high school, and that is why I have created a cabinet-level Education Innovation officer who will report directly to me, and will help me to identify the resources that we need to ensure that we raise our graduation rates.  Finally, it is my hope that we will shrink the opportunity gap that, today, starts early and makes it harder every year for that student to catch up.  We’ve started that work with our historic $7.4 billion investment in education, particularly early childhood education, that we made in the 2015 session, but there is still much work to do.

Question 3: How would you ensure that everyone who wants a job can find one?

I’m working with industry leaders to help our homegrown businesses grow and have the tools they need to contribute good paying jobs to their communities. One of the first things they tell me, they need a skilled workforce. That’s why I doubled the state’s investment in Career Technical Education programs to combine hands-on learning with real-world experiences that expose students to new technologies and professions. Now, they can graduate with the tools they need for the jobs of the future.

I am also partnering with business leaders to spread our economic recovery statewide by helping Oregon companies large and small to expand, creating more good jobs for Oregonians. Because we know that 70 percent of jobs are created when existing businesses grow, it’s important that Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, continue to make sure businesses are able to thrive in Oregon.

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C Thomason
Cliff Thomason  (Independent)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you improve transparency in government?

I would improve transparency in government by making information easier to access rather than harder like it is now. I would eliminate the “Emergency Clause” except for where true emergencies exist.  I would eliminate the closed door meetings with special interests that currently crafts policy.

Question 2: How would you improve public education (pre-K through college) in Oregon?

I would improve public education by first putting someone in charge of the department with actual education experience. Our current Governor put a person with no education background in charge of one of the worst performing education systems in the country.

We need to give more local control back to the school districts.  Each district has unique needs and they need to be empowered to make local decisions that betters their outcome.

Question 3: How would you ensure that everyone who wants a job can find one?

We must first ensure that everyone that wants affordable housing can find it. We are at a crisis in Oregon regarding affordable housing.  There are plenty of job opportunities throughout Oregon.  There are few, if any, affordable housing opportunities currently in Oregon.  My housing plan would put a two year freeze on rents statewide and push for the construction of 100,000 new housing units over the next six years.  This construction plan would create thousands of jobs statewide while addressing both needs.

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No Photo SubmittedArnold Donald Auer  (Constitution)  No response received
B. PierceBud Pierce  www.budpierce.com  (Republican)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you improve transparency in government?

Mandate that the governor’s office, and all government agencies, release requested information to the press and citizens at no financial cost.

Question 2: How would you improve public education (pre-K through college) in Oregon?

Use the 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform act, which lifted Massachusetts schools from the bottom to the top in the nation and world, as a template for education reform in Oregon. Develop a robust and high quality career technical education program for all qualified public school students who wish such education.

Question 3: How would you ensure that everyone who wants a job can find one?

Listening to industry in the private sector and advocating for public policies that grow the economy and add jobs, by enhancing growth in manufacturing and in natural resource based jobs (with an emphasis on timber), and by increasing infrastructure jobs by building roads, bridges, ports, and rail service.

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StarCandidates for Oregon Attorney General

  • Term= 4 years
  • Salary= $82,200
L HebdorLars Hedbor   (Libertarian)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you protect Oregonians against online criminals?

Bringing greater online con artists to steer clear of targeting people here. Sadly, too many of these thieves are located overseas, and beyond the reach of Oregon–or even U.S.–law. I support efforts by private-sector service providers to educate and alert consumers when they are at risk of being defrauded.

Question 2: How would you ensure that charities do what they say they do?

If a charity accepts donations on the premise that they are going to benefit a specific cause, and then fail to do so, they are committing fraud. In that case, those responsible must be prosecuted for that fraud, and their victims must be made whole.

Question 3: How would you ensure that public records are easily available to the public?

The private sector has many examples of systems that enable the broad dissemination of complex and rich data online, at little or no cost to the consumer. Where practical, access to public records should be modeled on these initiatives; the savings realized by being able to transition away from the provision of paper records in response to requests may help to defray the expenses of such an undertaking.

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E RosenblumEllen Rosenblum  www.ellenrosenblum.com  (Democrat, Independent)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you protect Oregonians against online criminals?

I have made protecting the most vulnerable Oregonians my top priority. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to online fraud, which is why I go around the state conducting scam jams and why I secured a new Elder Abuse Unit in my Criminal Justice Division. I initiated a policy measure to protect the data of K–12 students who use online educational programs in the classroom. The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force pursues cases involving child pornography and the trafficking of children.

Question 2: How would you ensure that charities do what they say they do?

As Attorney General, my office oversees the activities of Oregon’s charities, investigating potential violations of state law and, if necessary, taking legal action against delinquent charitable organizations. We spearheaded a law that requires charities to demonstrate that at least 30% of their donor proceeds go to the charitable purpose; if not, their donors do not receive the charitable tax deduction for the donation. This new law has stopped solicitations from the worst charities in Oregon.

Question 3: How would you ensure that public records are easily available to the public?

Government transparency has been important to me throughout my career. I’m proud of the work that we have started to make public records more accessible to Oregonians in a way that is realistic and achievable. We have made some positive recommendations, including new deadlines for governments and agencies to respond to requests. We have made a lot of progress on this issue, and I look forward to continuing this important work during the 2017 legislative session.

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D. Crowe
Daniel Zene Crowe  www.oregonslawyer.org  (Republican)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you protect Oregonians against online criminals?

We must protect our kids from online predators more effectively. I’ll expand the OR DOJ Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which focuses on preventing the sexual exploitation of children on the internet; and I’ll also crack down on child sex trafficking, which the incumbent has ignored while profiting from it through her ownership of the Willamette Week. We must also prevent the type of online fraud that exploits the essential kindness and decency of Oregonians and targets our elders.

Question 2: How would you ensure that charities do what they say they do?

As the Attorney General, I’ll work to make sure that Oregon’s nonprofits are more transparent. We can do that by making public records more accessible and fundamentally reforming Oregon’s completely un-transparent transparency laws. If charities are not putting their money where it can do good, I’ll work to strip them of their nonprofit status, something this AG has never done. As the founder of two nonprofits & having worked alongside many others, I know what good — and bad — looks like.

Question 3: How would you ensure that public records are easily available to the public?

Oregon got an ‘F’ for transparency from the Center for Public Integrity for every year of the incumbent’s time in office. As our next AG, I will provide Oregonians with a more accessible government. It is unacceptable that state agencies delay requests & use fees to conceal the truth. I will ensure the public’s right to know, which will expand trust in govt and reduce fraud, waste, & abuse. This AG did nothing until Oct ’15, when she appointed a “Blue Ribbon Panel” to kick the can down the road.

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StarCandidates for Oregon Secretary of State

  • Term= 4 years
  • Salary= $77,000
S DurbinSharon Durbin   (Libertarian)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1Should the Audits Division remain in the Secretary of State’s office? Why or why not?

Yes, I believe that The Audits Division should remain in the office. I also believe that the Secretary of State should not become too politicized as this is not conducive to having fair and comprehensive audits.  Having this job be the next-in-line for the Governorship makes it too likely to be someone whose party supports or opposes the programs being audited which, even with the best will to be unbiased, creates bias. It is hard to tell your party leadership that their pet program must go.

Question 2: What are your proposals to improve Oregon government functions?

The best place to start is with fair and complete audits of both cost and performance. My experience with government agencies is that their budget for next year depends on their spending every dime of their budget for this year. This does not offer any incentive to save money and does not allow for holding back some of this year’s money for known higher expenses next year.  Wasting money does not make any agency more productive and, many agencies are under-funded it is damaging them all.

Question 3: What could you do as Secretary of State to ensure campaign contribution transparency to the public?

I am not in favor of campaign contribution limits but believe that all contributions must have the name of the donor so that voters can know who is, or is not, supporting a candidate. The idea that a PAC can make hundreds of small contributions to a candidate with no one being informed of their origin is deceptive and is used to disguise large contributors who wish to remain anonymous.

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D. RichardsonDennis Richardson   www.dennisrichardson.com  (Republican)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: Should the Audits Division remain in the Secretary of State’s office? Why or why not?

The audit function should stay housed in an elected office with autonomy outside of the Executive or Legislative branches. The Audits Division can conduct critical performance and financial audits that will provide answers to questions such as why our lowest performing schools are failing and who benefitted from tax dollars spent on Cover Oregon, the Columbia River Crossing, and the Business Energy Tax Credits. We can also implement audits alongside new projects to prevent future failures.

Question 2: What are your proposals to improve Oregon government functions?

As our next Secretary of State, my proposals to improve government functions include:

* Conducting performance audits of programs that deliver critical human services;

* Including recommendations and best practices with audit results for the Governor and Legislature to act upon;

* Protecting public employee whistleblowers from retaliation when they bring forward concerns of waste, fraud and abuse; and

* Limiting outrageous fees and time delays for better management of our public records.

Question 3: What could you do as Secretary of State to ensure campaign contribution transparency to the public?

As our next Secretary of State, the first campaign finance reform I’ll work to institute is eliminating the use of “miscellaneous cash contributions” and “miscellaneous cash expenditures” from the state’s campaign finance database. This would shine a light on millions of dollars in transactions that are currently obscured from public view.  More broadly, I’m ready to convene a workgroup on ways to implement campaign finance reforms.

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P. WellsPaul Damian Wells  www.thekeel.org  (Independent)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1Should the Audits Division remain in the Secretary of State’s office? Why or why not?

I don’t care. We have bigger issues to face. This year, the presidential primary process failed. As an independent voter, I’m accustomed to voting for the lesser of two evils, but this is the first time I won’t vote for anyone. I plan to write-in NOTA (None Of The Above) on my ballot – and I probably won’t be alone. In almost 30 years of voting, I’ve never seen a presidential election where both major parties failed to nominate a candidate that the majority of voters could support.

Question 2: What are your proposals to improve Oregon government functions?

If elected, I intend to openly challenge the Constitutionality of Partisan Elections. As Oregon’s Chief Elections Officer, I believe I can force a full and fair review by our courts. This is something that cannot be accomplished by an individual candidate or voter. No voter or candidate should ever be forced to join a political party just to participate in the primary, and no candidate should ever advance to the general election based solely on political party membership or endorsement.

Question 3: What could you do as Secretary of State to ensure campaign contribution transparency to the public?

When the general election rolls around, most Democrats (38%) will vote for the Democratic candidate and most Republicans (30%) will vote for the Republican candidate. Issues such as conducting audits and campaign finance don’t matter to these voters – just the party name on the ballot. I don’t believe any candidate for Secretary of State has ever openly challenged the constitutionality of partisan elections – and it remains to be seen if Independents (29%) will support such a candidate.

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B. Avakian
Brad Avakian  www.bradavakian.com  (Democrat, Progressive, Working Families Party)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1Should the Audits Division remain in the Secretary of State’s office? Why or why not?

Both the Audits Division and the Corporations Division of the office can be instrumental in protecting Oregonians from fraud and preventing financial abuse. Brad Avakian has a proven record in holding corporations accountable and protecting Oregonians from wage theft. As the Commissioner of Labor and Industries he has enforced the state’s minimum wage and prevailing wage laws and cracked down on corporations not playing by the rules.

Question 2: What are your proposals to improve Oregon government functions?

Brad Avakian has a proven record of increasing accountability and transparency that he will build upon as Secretary of State. As Labor Commissioner, Brad Avakian has held corporations and state agencies accountable for abusive labor practices, discrimination, and fraud. As Secretary of State, Avakian will make Oregon a national model for good governance

Question 3: What could you do as Secretary of State to ensure campaign contribution transparency to the public?

As Secretary of State, I will partner with the legislature to pass meaningful campaign finance limits to reduce the influence of corporate money in Oregon elections. Citizens United is a wrong, it will be overturned, and it should be an Oregon case that does it.

Oregon should expand the disclosure requirements to require political advertising to identify who paid for the material. I will also advocate for a public financing program to give everyone an opportunity to run for public office.

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A ZundelAlan F Zundel    (Pacific Green Party)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: Should the Audits Division remain in the Secretary of State’s office? Why or why not?

I not aware of a reason why it should be moved. I would, however, like election of the Secretary of State to be non-partisan to reduce party influence in the outcome. There is the potential for the Secretary to be able to “bury” audit results if it sheds a bad light on their party in some way. Because I am not a candidate of one of the two dominant parties, I have no cause to allow my decisions to be influenced by whichever of those two parties happens to be in power.

Question 2: What are your proposals to improve Oregon government functions?

I am particularly interested in electoral reforms, and I would look into open source software for voting technology to reduce costs and improve security. I would bring my background in public policy studies to the supervision of public audits, and publicize the results of audits if the legislature fails to act on problems. As custodian of public records I would eliminate any unnecessary obstacles to the public and the press in gaining access to records.

Question 3: What could you do as Secretary of State to ensure campaign contribution transparency to the public?

ORESTAR should clarify the maze of PACs donating via other PACs to candidates. Currently the origins of contributions are obscure unless a person has the time to hunt these connections down. This information should be easily accessible and clear to people wanting to see where candidate funding comes from. I would also press the legislature to put the burden on candidates

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No Photo SubmittedMichael Marsh  (Constitution)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1Should the Audits Division remain in the Secretary of State’s office? Why or why not?

Yes. Secretary of State has the experience to conduct the audits.

Question 2: What are your proposals to improve Oregon government functions?

Start with performing audits on every agency.

Question 3: What could you do as Secretary of State to ensure campaign contribution transparency to the public?

Keep doing what we are doing currently, such as using the OreStar program and make sure all are reporting all of their contributions

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Star Candidates for Oregon Treasurer

  • Term= 4 years
  • Salary= $72,000
C HenryChris Henry  (Pacific Green Party)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you ensure that State funds are invested safely and at good rates?

Oregon has over $89 billion of investment funds, much of it placed with vulture capitalists. Wall Street charges Oregon huge fees (not fully disclosed), likely over $500 million per year. Almost all of the money is invested outside of Oregon. Local governments also pay huge fees to Wall Street to float bonds for public works.  We could save over $600 million per year by cutting out the Wall Street middle men:  Oregon should loan funds to local governments for infrastructure projects.

Question 2: What are your recommendations regarding PERS?

Bloomberg News reported in 2015 that Oregon’s pension system ranked 4th in financial soundness among state pension programs; Pew Charitable Trusts found Oregon with the 3rd best-funded system. But PERS does have unfunded future liabilities of about $22 billion.  These can be paid over time from the state budget, particularly if Measure 97 is approved.  It would increase state revenue by $3 billion per year from large corporations.  Oregon business taxes are currently the lowest in the USA.

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T. ReadTobias Read   www.tobiasread.com  (Democrat)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you ensure that State funds are invested safely and at good rates?

I will work to ensure the State Treasurer’s office isn’t wasting taxpayer money. We need to focus on carefully managing State investments to maximize returns, reduce costs to taxpayers, and ensure reliable funding for things like education and much-needed critical services. This means we need all the information available so we can make the best long run decisions for our State. I have a record of making prudent, responsible decisions, like leading the effort to create Oregon’s Rainy Day Fund.

Question 2: What are your recommendations regarding PERS?

Oregonians deserve the chance to understand the choices we’re making with our investments, and we need the ability to hire the talent we need to make good decisions. Bringing the management of some of Oregon’s investments in-house could save the pension system billions over the decades to come by reducing Wall Street fees. I’d like to bring those jobs back to Oregon and save money in the process.

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J GudmanJeff Gudman  www.jeffgudman.com  (Republican)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you ensure that State funds are invested safely and at good rates?

In order to invest safely with a good rate of return, it is vitally important to have an in depth understanding of financial markets. I bring 40 years of experience in the financial field examining these issues.  As the Chief Financial Officer of the state, overseeing the Treasury staff, I bring the knowledge needed to examine investments to ensure that we are not just counting the money, we are making the money count.  Overseeing investments without investing experience is not safe.

Question 2: What are your recommendations regarding PERS?

Before anyone can make a recommendation about the complex system of PERS, they must have an expert understanding of the issue. I have attended the PERS meetings for the past seven years to enhance my knowledge.  Based on the data, there are a number of things we can do. 1. The investment modernization act: bringing investment management in house. 2. Market based annuitization rate. 3. Reduce unfair pension enhancement. 4. 5 year average annual salary. These 4 alone can save billions of dollars.

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C TelferChris Telfer   (Independent)
[EXPAND  click to view candidate responses]

 

Question 1: How would you ensure that State funds are invested safely and at good rates?

Avoiding shooting for outsized results which exposes the fund to outsized losses in down markets; a divestment away from risk assets and toward capital-preserving/income producing ones will reduce period-to-period fluctuation and limit the exposure to protracted periods of loss. Managing the debt of the State will be in the forefront of my office.  As Treasurer I will push back on any attempt to borrow our way out of budget stresses as well as protect our bond rating.  As a member of the Oregon

Question 2: What are your recommendations regarding PERS?

The State Treasurer has the fiduciary responsibility to protect the retirement funds and honor the commitments made to our valued public workers. As Treasurer, I would also recognize the responsibility to all Oregonians and the need to bring stability to PERS which is essential for long-term budgeting at the city, county and state levels.  The demand on increased employer contributions is slated to be the biggest economic event in the next two biennia. Oregon’s PERS system is in crisis and will

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 Candidates for Oregon Supreme Court Judges

  • Term= 6 years
  • Salary=  $134,000 – Chief, $131,000 – Member

Question 1: Should the courts be monitored for unintentional racial or other bias? What should be done if evidence of bias is discovered?

Question 2: What alternatives to incarceration do you support for non-violent crimes?

Question 3: What is the area of greatest need in Oregon’s justice system and how should state government respond?

Lynn R Nakamoto  No response received

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Star2016 League Events

For a complete and updated list of our events, visit: www.lwvor.org/join us/events-calendar/

September 29

Bend – Oregon State Treasurer Forum
Thursday, September 29, 5:15pm – 6:30pm
County State Building 1300 NW Wall St Bend, OR 97701
Description: The League of Women Voters of Deschutes County will be having a candidate forum for Oregon State Treasurer. There are 3 candidates who will be attending this forum. Jeff Gudman, Republican; Tobias Read, Democrat and Chris Telfer, Independent Party.

October 3

Bend – State Rep and State Senator Forum
Monday, October 3, 5:15pm – 6:30pm
County State Building 1300 NW Wall St Bend, OR 97701

October 6

Eugene – Gubernatorial Debate
Thursday, October 6, 7pm – 8pm
Churchill High School 1850 Bailey Hill Rd, Eugene, OR 97405
Description: The League of Women Voters of Lane County presents a debate featuring Gubernatorial candidates. There is no charge to attend.

October 10

Bend – City Council Forum
Monday, October 10, 5:15pm – 6:30pm
County State Building 1300 NW Wall St Bend, OR 97701

Portland: Local Ballot Measure Forum
Monday, October 10, 7pm – 9pm
Mult CO Council Chambers 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR
Sponsors: League of Women Voters of Portland, cosponsored by MetroEast Community Media.
Contact: Margaret Noel, mrgtnoel@comcast.net

October 11

Bend – Ballot Measure 97 Forum
Tuesday, October 11, 5:15pm – 6:30pm
Deschutes Public Library, 5:15 pm at Library, 606 NW Wall St., Bend

October 20

Candidates’ Forum for the Corvallis City Council
Thursday, Oct 20, 2016, 7:00pm
Corvallis Benton County Library – 645 NW Monroe Ave. Corvallis, OR 97330
Description: Cosponsored by LWV Corvallis and the Corvallis Benton County Library.

October 24

Candidates’ Forum for Oregon House of Representatives District # 16 and # 23
Monday, Oct 24, 2016
Corvallis Benton County Library – 645 NW Monroe Ave. Corvallis, OR 97330
Description: Cosponsored by LWV Corvallis and the Corvallis Benton County Library.

October 25

Corvallis – Ballot Initiative Presentation
Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016, 7:00pm
Corvallis Benton County Library – 645 NW Monroe Ave. Corvallis, OR 97330
Description: Cosponsored by LWV Corvallis and the Corvallis Benton County Library.

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Star

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This non partisan Voters’ Guide is published by The League Of Women Voters® of Oregon. Please join us in encouraging informed and active participation of citizens in government. Tax-deductible donations may be made to the League of Women Voters of Oregon at: http://lwvor.org/donate/.

Our membership is open to men and women. If you are interested, we’ll send you membership information. There are Leagues in many communities around the state. Send your name, address, phone number and email address to:

503-581-5722 – www.lwvor.org
1330 12th St. SE, Suite 200
Salem, OR 97302

VOTEResources TEAM
• First Vice President, Voter Service and Education: Rebecca Gladstone
• Administrative Manager: Sarah Andrews
• Information management Team:
o Mary Sinclair, LWVOR data collection, Elections liaison, & Vote411 input
o Rebecca Gladstone, database management
o Margaret Bengry, Multnomah communications assistance
• Large Print, Audio, and Braille Scripts: Rebecca Gladstone, Barbara Klein: proofreading
• Ballot Measures:
o Research: Judy Ball, Clyde Fahlman, Shannon Flowers, Sally Hollemon, Shirley Nelson, Margaret Noel, Jamie McLeod, Gail Stolz, and Chris Vogel.Assignments: Robin Wisdom.
o Editing: Deanie Anderson, Diana Bodtker, Jane Berry Eddings, Bea Epperson, Sally Hollemon.

DISTRIBUTION
Clackamas Katie Lu
Coos Francis Smith
Corvallis Cathy Frischman
Curry Charlie Alexander
Deschutes Dolores Ellis
Washington Josie Koehne, Luis Nava
Klamath Falls Leslie Lowe
Lane Rhonda Livesay
Lincoln Ruth Kistler
Linn Linda Ziedrich
LWVOR Sarah Andrews, Rebecca Gladstone
Marion Kathleen West
Portland Art Wilson, Debbie Aiona
Rogue Valley Jackie Clary, Normary Barrett
Umatilla MAL Anne Emmons
Umpqua Jenny Carloni

Benefactors VG 2016

Benefactors ($6,000+)
Carol and Velma Saling Foundation
The Multnomah Bar Foundation
Vernier Software and Technology

Supporters since 2015 ($1,000- $5,000)
Rebecca and Igor Gladstone, Jr
Norman Turrill
Margaret and Gordon Noel
Veronika and Jerry Walton
LWV of Portland
LWV of Umpqua Valley
Talking Book and Braille Library, Oregon State Library
Karan Kuntz
Merilyn Reeves
Ruth Kistler
LWV of Lane CO

Paid for by the League of Women Voters® of Oregon. Thank you for taking the time to read this important information.



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