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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

OPP Nominates Candidates for Governor, Congressional District 4, and Oregon House District 32

Oregon Progressive Party Nominees (so far) for 2022 General Election:

Candidate Office
Nathalie Paravicini
Chris Henry
U.S. Senator
David Delk
U.S. House, District 3
Mike Beilstein
U.S. House, District 4
Logan Laity Oregon House, District 32
Mark Gamba
Oregon House, District 41

Monday, June 27, 2022

War budget moves forward in House and Senate with increases excessing Biden budget requests

House/Senate committees move to increase Biden war budget

The House and Senate Armed Services Committee have each voted to increase the Biden record breaking war budget request for next year.  The House version calls for $37 billion on top of the Biden request of $773 billion for war while the Senate proposal would increase the budget by $45 billion over the Biden request.  In spite of these request increases, Republicans committee members have called for even larger increases. If the full House and the full Senate approve their different version, the two chambers will form a joint committee to come up with a compromise for a final bill vote of both chambers.  Read more here:  US congress Approves Record Military Budget

People Over the Pentagon - cut war budget by $100 billion
Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Mark Pocan have introduced legislation to move $100 billion from the Pentagon to various programs which benefit real people.  The People Over the Pentagon Act of 2022 has been introduced (HR8040) with 15 co-sponsors; Rep. Earl Blumenauer is a co-sponsor but no other OR Rep. is listed yet.  The bill has not been introduced into the Senate.  

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Pro-Choice Democrats: Welcome to the Club

Democrats in recent years have been quite pleased with the United States Supreme Court, due to its "liberal" decisions on same sex marriage and discrimination against LGBT persons.  As of 2020, persons identifying as Democrats gave the United States Supreme Court essentially the same approval rating as was given by Republicans, as shown in the Gallup Poll below.

Campaign finance reform advocates, conversely, have hated the United States Supreme Court since its 2007 decision in Randall v. Sorrell and certainly since its 2010 decision in Citizens United.

The key reason for this divergence in the Court's decisions (good on some civil rights but bad on campaign reform) was Anthony Kennedy.  Justice Kennedy voted against campaign finance reform but in favor of same sex marriage and LGBT rights.

But then Anthony Kennedy resigned in 2018 and was replaced by  Bret Kavanuagh.  Amy Coney Barrett then replaced of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020.  This produced a solid majority against civil rights, even when Chief Justice Roberts tries his triangulation.  This is also a clearly 6-3 anti-environment majority, which will be demonstrated next week in  West Virginia v. EPA, which addresses the authority of EPA to regulate climate-changing emissions.

So now pro-choice liberals have to oppose the current United States Supreme Court as much as do campaign finance reform advocates.  Welcome to the club.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Andrew Yang's "Forward Party" Endorses Backward Oregon Candidate

The Forward Party is led by Andrew Yang, after his 2020 run for President as a Democrat.  The party appears to lack progressive intellect.

    A central plank of the Forward Party's platform is support for "Open Primaries."  We think that is a very bad idea, for reasons stated at Save Oregon's Democracy.  We have twice led campaigns to defeat "top two open primary" ballot measures in Oregon (2008 and 2014), funded by millions of dollars from a former Enron energy trader and another billionaire.

    In June 2022, the Forward Party endorsed Betsy Johnson for Governor of Oregon.  As a state senator, she opposed every significant piece of climate legislation since 2001.  Her campaigns are funded mainly by the timber and fossil fuel corporations, including Koch Industries.  She has a 100% rating from the NRA and has received awards for opposing gun safety legislation.  On gun control she has voted:
    • NO to prohibiting weapons on school grounds
    • NO to requiring background checks for firearm sales
    • NO to allowing courts to prohibit suicidal individuals from owning guns
    • NO to prohibiting convicted stalkers from possessing firearms
    • NO to authorizing schools to prohibit guns on campuses 
    The Forward Party's endorsement of a right-wing anti-environmentalist who opposes gun safety shows its basic lack of knowledge about Oregon or its lack of progressive intellect.

    Far Right Extremists Want Betsy Johnson For Governor

    OPP supports JoAnn Hardesty for Portland City commissioner

    The Oregon Progressive Party has endorsed Jo Ann Hardesty in her race to be reelected to the Portland City Council. Jo Ann has a strong progressive record of substantive, impactful changes, including:

    • Portland Street Response

    • new standards of transparency and accountability via police reform measures

    • major policy changes including zoning changes to encourage the building of new affordable housing (duplexes, triplexes and fouplexes) for all.

    Jo Ann supports establishing a new public land trust to support affordable housing.

    She is running as a clean money candidate by funding her campaign following the rules of the City of Portland Small Donor Elections program. She will take no special interest money. She will be our candidate and our commissioner.

    Jo Ann recently sent this message to her supporters and the OR Progressive Party  to ask that you support her campaign:

    “Heading into the General Election, we're still facing a tough fight. Our goal this June is to #MaxtheMatch, and I'm hoping you would consider helping out by joining our Small Donor Squad.  Squad members will be supported with materials and graphics to reach out to their friends & family with a target of raising five $20 donations. Portland donors will be matched 9-to-1, meaning $20 generates $200. Five $20 donations generates $1,000!

    “Would you have capacity to join our Small Donor Squad? We're going to have a public launch next week. I'll be hosting a Zoom kickoff with the squad on Thursday, June 16th at 6:00 PM. It would be great to have you as part of the team. You can signup for the Squad by clicking here.”

    Tuesday, May 31, 2022

    Democrats support increase in war budget; why doesn't corporate media ask questions about this?

     LTE by David Delk, Chair of OR Progressive Party, was published by the Portland Tribune

    Year after year, America spends close to half of its discretionary budget on military budgeting; more than the total of the next 11 countries combined, including China and Russia. It is 12 times higher than the military budget of Russia. It is said that this is the price of security but still it did not stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It appears to be a false security.

    Biden’s budget request for the Pentagon is $813 billion dollars, a $31 billion increase over last year’s budget. Congress will likely increase that by another $25 billion or more.

    Yet our national and local media doesn’t ask questions of candidates about this ever increasing military budget. No questions about how this budget reflects the priorities of America, even as the needs of the people cannot be provided for - housing, healthcare, or relief from student and medical debt, for instance. Congress even seems to be having a difficult time approving a new expenditure for fighting the COVID pandemic!

    It seems that the world’s greatest democracy and “freest” press cannot find its voice to ask important questions. One wonders if we have a democracy at all, or, if we do, who our democracy represents.

    Let’s have a national discussion of priorities: war v. human needs. That discussion could begin if the press did its job and asked some hard questions. But we don’t have to wait on the “freest press”. We can start asking the questions ourselves. Let’s do that now.

    Sunday, May 22, 2022

    Chris Hedges Writes about the Perpetual U.S. War Econony

    The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses. No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon.

    The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the US GDP of $ 24 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $ 813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.

    Two American war parties approve spending $40.1 b for war on Ukraine w/all 'progressive" members voting Yes

    Both the House and Senate have voted to approve the Biden request for additional funds to conduct our war in Ukraine.  While Biden had requested $33 B, Congress added $7 b more, approving a total of $40.1 Billion.   

    This again was another bi-partisan support for more war by the two American War Parties, the Democrat' and Republicans.  The House vote was 368 Yes vs 57 No, while the Senate vote was 86 yes v 11 No.  All the No votes in both the Senate and House were from Republican members of Congress.  All OR Representatives voted Yes as did both Or Senators.  Note that all members of the Progressive Squad voted including AOC voted in favor of additional funding.  Progressive Senator Sanders voted in favor.  

    Checking the websites of Rep. Blumenauer and Bonamici as well as Sen Wyden and Merkley, looking for press statements from them explaining their votes.  None of them thought their votes important enough to warrant a statement.  SHAME!

    See the votes in the House here and in the Senate here.  

    I think that it would be very appropriate for us to call Rep. Bluemanuer and Rep. Bonamici as well as Senators Wyden and Merkley and ask that they explain their vote.  We need to have some accountability.  Find their contact info easily here:

    Glenn Greenwald in a story noted:  
    To put this $54 billion [DD note:  that is $40.1 billion plus $14 billion which had been approved shortly after the beginning of the conflict] amount in perspective, it is (a) larger than the average annual amount that the U.S. spent on its own war in Afghanistan ($46 billion), (b) close to the overall amount Russia spends on its entire military for the year ($69 billion), (c) close to 7% of the overall U.S. military budget, by far the largest in the world ($778 billion), and (d) certain to be far, far higher — easily into the hundreds of billions of dollars and likely the trillion dollar level — given that U.S. officials insist that this war will last not months but years, and that it will stand with Ukraine until the bitter end.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2022

    Results for the Candidates Endorsed by the OPP in the May 2022 Primary Election

    The Oregon Progressive Party endorsed these candidates running in the May 17, 2022, primary election:

    Non-Partisan Office
    OR Labor Commissioner
    Chris Henry6th place
    Portland City Auditor
    Brian Setzler
    2nd place
    Portland City Council
    Jo Ann Hardesty
    1st place*

    Office Sought in PrimaryCandidateResult
    Governor (D)
    Patrick Starnes
    3rd place
    U.S. Congress #2 (D)
    Adam Prine
    2nd place
    U.S. Congress #4 (D)
    Doyle Canning
    2nd place
    Oregon House #19 (D)
    Jackie Leung
    Oregon House #41 (D) Mark Gamba
    1st place
    Oregon House #44 (D)
    Eric Delehoy
    Oregon House #45 (D) Catherine Thomasson
    2nd place

    *Jo Ann Hardesty earned 44% of the vote in the 11-candidate
    race for Portland City Commissioner #3.  That puts her in a
    runoff against Rene Gonzalez (23%) in November 2022.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2022

    Updated OPP candidate list

     The Oregon Progressive Party has endorsed a few more candidates for the May Primary 2022 elections.  This is complete list.  

    These candidates have all completed the Party candidate questionnaire and we encourage all Oregon voters to cast their votes for these Progressive candidates.  

    Friday, April 1, 2022

    Contact your OR US Representative and Senators

     Contact your OR US representatives and senators:  

    Find your US/Oregon Representatives/Senators 

    Sen Wyden:   (202) 224-5244

    Sen Merkley:   (202) 224-3753

    Rep. Cliff Bentz (202) 225-6730

    Rep. Blumenauer:   (202) 225-4811

    Rep. Bonamici:     (202) 225-0855

    Rep. DeFazio:   (202) 225-6416

    Rep. Schrader:   (202) 225-5711

    Single Signature sheets are available for Initiative Petitions

    Sign initiative Petitions by Printing and mailing them yourself 
    Several initiative petition campaigns now allow individual supporters to sign their initiative petitions by printing them from their websites, signing them and then mailing them in. 
    No reason to wait to find a signature gatherer at some event or on the street. You can do it yourself.

    Three initiative petition campaigns which OR Progressive Party supports for the Nov 2022 ballot are among this group. 
    Lift Every Voice Oregon has two petitions to end gun violence. Gun violence is ever increasing. The last OR legislature was encouraged by citizens to enact new laws aimed at decreasing gun violence. But as is so often the case, they failed to act. So, the Lift Every Voice Oregon coalition formed to do the legislature's job - enact laws to protect the people of Oregon by writing two initiatives to end gun violence. 
    IP 17, titled Reduction of Gun Violence Act aims to stop the proliferation of assault weapons, and IP 18, the Reduction of Harm from Weapons Act, aims to create safer gun owners and less lethal ammunition. Get your single signature sheet for IP 17 here
    Get your single signature sheet for IP 18 here
    Visit the Lift Every Voice Oregon website here

    Oregon Peoples' Rebate has one petition which will increase the Corporate Activities Tax on corporate revenue starting at over $25 million on sales in Oregon and redistribute the resulting increased revenue to each resident of Oregon equally, resulting in a rebate of about $750 per individual Oregon resident annually. That is money which would leave the state, going into the pockets of some of the largest corporations in the nation. It would not affect mom and pop Oregon businesses. Get your single signature sheet for IP 6 here. Visit the Oregon People's rebate website here

    General instructions on signing these sheets

    • Print the sheets on standard white office paper (20 pound paper) Provide the signature and other information in either black or blue ink. Never sign with a pencil. 
    • Sign each sheet with your signature twice - once as the voter and once as the circulator. Include your printed name and address on each sheet. 
    • Do not write in the space labeled "Sheet Number". 
    • Mail the sheet to the address provided on each sheet. The IP6 sheet has a different mail to address than the IP 17 and 18 sheets.