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Friday, September 29, 2006

Bunch o' bums

The number of Oregon legislators implicated in Maui-gate continues to grow, and now we have a couple from the D side of the aisle busted. Time for a different topic on BlueOregon, heh heh.

Comments (28)

What's the big deal? Does anyone really think anymore that this kind of crap only happens in other places and only involves R's? Happily, corruption and influence buying/selling enjoy bi-partisan support. Always have, always will.

Nah, we'll keep on talking about it over at BlueOregon.

I find this quote from Bruce Starr (R) very interesting: "The understanding was the accounting had been done in a way it didn't need to be reported."

That implies that they KNEW about the reporting - and that there was some scheme in place to avoid the reporting.

It's also real weird that all these legislators are relying on the lobbyist to tell them what they should be disclosing. Cue Ryan Deckert (D):

Deckert said he had never asked Romain whether he needed to disclose the trip. "That's my mistake for not asking," Deckert said. "In retrospect, I wish I would have."

Obviously, Ryan had a responsibility to figure it out for his own damn self.

(My usual disclosure: Ryan Deckert is a friend, and was my client when he was running the One Ballot campaign. I've never worked for his legislative campaigns.)

I generally like Ryan, but this shows how sick things are in Salem.

Sort of like in Portland City Hall. "The cops killed an unarmed guy, and multiple witnesses say it was unprovoked police brutality. Should we call Grampy on his vacation? Nah."

Mr Bog - Your cynicism reigns triumphant. Don't you see this is an opportunity to clean up the process and remove dirty money?

First off, voter-owned elections would resist any of these trips to Hawaii for free. It would transform our legislature into men of virtue.

Plus if we could give them all a raise to $200K/yr this would make them tamper-proof. Old Diogenes would be able to walk thru the house with a sword on a hair undisturbed.

"That's my mistake for not asking," Deckert said. "In retrospect, I wish I would have."

Sorry, I couldn't let this pass, that is like the Seinfeld episode where George is asked by his boss if he had sex with the cleaning woman in the office and replied -"Was that wrong? I didn't know that."

First off, voter-owned elections would resist any of these trips to Hawaii for free. It would transform our legislature into men of virtue.

Worked for Emily Boyles...

And $200k for a part-time job that only meets every other year? Where do I sign up?

It is probably a good thing both R's and D's fessed up, though I agree with Kari and Jack, I have generally been impressed with Ryan when I have run into him at various political functions. This was the point I was trying about City Hall, when Frank jumped all over me. Once you have a cultural norm, it puts all the folks on the infamous slipery slope.

Our family has been lucky over the years to always have a stable income in my profession, which has allowed my spouse to focus on our household and community affairs volunteer work. I can understand how hard it can be for regular folks to even start to understand or influence this political culture. Without having my significant other active in the community, I would not understand half of what is going on or what is behind the motivation. Though since discovering Jack's blog it has felt like finally there is some truth being written about what is going on.

Most of the community organizations are really starving for membership, most folks are not as lucky as we are to have one member of the household able to be enagaged in the community, but my spouses frustration is that with those few of them that do participate, they are overwhelmed by the political machines and agendas both R and D.

I wonder if the O will make it front-page news now that D's are along for the ride?

"Time for a different topic on BlueOregon, heh heh."

It's always time for a new topic on BO.

I'll hold my breath waiting for the LIAR accusations about Deckert and Corcoran around here.

It's on the front page of the O this morning. 2R, 2D.

I once sat next to Ryan's mother at a fast food sushi place in Beaverton; it was when he was first running for office. She said he needed mentoring. Imho, that has made him susceptible to "going along" a bit too much. But his mother seemed quite forthright and independent, so there is hope for him to mature into more of a statesman, imho.

Notice how the Oregonian first expounds on the additional republicans added to the list in the first paragraphs, then "oh, by the way" in a following paragraph mentions the democrates added to the list. Also notice how todays front page headlines do not mention the democrate side of the equation. Improper reporting is an issue on both sides of the aisle and it needs to be addressed.

Deckert's a phony. Ask him how much he has received for spearheading legislation to require taxpayer support for MLB to the tune of 1/2 billion. Hey Ryan, why don't you disclose all your baseball related trips and who paid for them.You don't need mentoring. You need monitoring.

Agreed mroc. The MLB deal is just the tip of the iceberg. Deckert just loves raising taxes and is a complete union shill.

Amazing... you get a couple of Dems thrown in the mix and all of a sudden it's lynch mob time for the conservative commenters on this blog. Hey, isn't that your 'rising political star' Jason Atkinson on the guest list? Ouch.

I think everyone understands that corruption isn't limited to one party or another, but this smacks of the D.C. spin for the Abramoff scandals. "Ooh ooh! Harry Reid received money from an Indian Tribe! SEE! We're not the only ones who are bad!" Nevermind that Abramoff didn't want them to give the money to Reid, and nevermind that it WAS a GOP scandal, pure and simple.

Sorry guys, if you're a pro-corporate or pro-industry Republican (as most are), you're going to have a higher probability for taking payola to do their bidding. Common frickin' sense. Being a so-called 'union shill' doesn't entail the same ethical pitfalls. What are you going to do after getting their support, enact legislation to protect the working class rather than executives? GASP! The corruption!

This incident underscores the bordello like quality that has existed in the Oregon Legislature for quite some time now. Special interests run the show. It astounds me how easy it is for any individual or organization to gain power and influence by flashing around a relatively small amount of cash. It's a bipartisan problem and major reform is necessary. Of course the special interests (or should I say customers) don't want that so how and when is the big question.

Sorry guys, if you're a pro-corporate or pro-industry Republican (as most are), you're going to have a higher probability for taking payola to do their bidding. Common frickin' sense. Being a so-called 'union shill' doesn't entail the same ethical pitfalls. What are you going to do after getting their support, enact legislation to protect the working class rather than executives?

No, you're going to try to create or protect from public scrutiny (or both) ever more union employees, public and private. You're going to buy votes just like your stalking horse, big corporations, attempt to do. Union leaders' goals coincide with those of the general public no more frequently that do those of corporations - maybe less. Ethical pitfalls are on both sides. It's simply ridiculous to imply that D's have the higher moral ground here - plus union is tainted to start with.

The stink arises when the union rank and file are coerced into financially supporting candidates and legislation which are antithetical to their beliefs.

Stockholders and employees of your evil corporations have much more freedom of speech, not unrestricted, but much more.

Supporting unions which force members to pay for causes in which they don't believe is more than an ethical pitfall - it's a chasm. We'll see what the Supremes have to say about it when they review the State of Washington v. WEA case this term.


...union money is tainted

(snicker) Union shills don't face the same ethical pitfalls?? That IS funny, TK!

That said, I don't hear much about Atkinson, he's no where near my district -- to the tune of about 200 miles.

I do hear about Deckert, however. I do know the OEA & OPEU contributed $123,149 to his campaign. Not to mention the other union contributions totaling over $60,000. Funny how he sides with unions 99% of the time.

Really, what the hell is so wrong with unions? Is it the idea or principle, or is it just in the execution?

You might as well grunt "Ugh! Unions... BAD!". Please, break it down for us.

Please explain how voting with the unions is such a bad thing. Or how it's on par with doing the bidding of a corporate lobby. The unions are in politics because workers rights have been under attack for decades... of course they want to support people who protect those rights.

Yeah, that sounds as bad as a mining lobby, fighting safety regulations at every turn. Or any assorted industry lobby, working to excuse itself of rightful liability for something. Should I go on?

"Really, what the hell is so wrong with unions?"

Well for starter they support only leftist tax raising polticians.
Thye oppose nearly every citizen intititive and pump millions in out of state money in our elections.

No, ultra-conservatives from out of state fund most ballot measures in Oregon. They use us as a testing ground for any number of think-tank-borne ideas. These same groups work along side the industry lobbies to back equally far-right Republican candidates. The so called 'taxpayers rights' crusaders are just the kinds of people who would pay $0 in taxes if they could get away with it. Yeah, they should be governing...

The republicans hardly know a damn thing about 'citizen' initiatives, or anything grassroots for that matter. No, the GOP using evangelical orgs from the top down doesn't really count. In it's current state, our ballot initiative process is a joke. It's a battle of which TV ad misleads better than the other, all for a do-nothing-hot-button issue concocted through focus groups and special interests. Nothing 'citizen' about it, until they convince you it is.

Don't assume most lefties want to raise your taxes. We want to adequately fund traditional public services. Most of us think our tax system needs to be overhauled, so that we don't have to worry about budget shortfalls.

Those big, bad unions usually support democratic candidates who support workers rights, fair wages, and affordable health care.
Special interests fund republican candidates, hoping they'll work to place more insurance burden on workers rather than employers... they also support cheaper labor, looser worker safety rules, and no increases to the minimum wage.

Wow, you've taken up defending special interest money for some pretty counter-intuitive stuff. How the hell does it square in your mind they're the lesser of two evils?

This is what happens when you trust Lars too much for your own opinion...

Now that Oregon is down to #43 in the nation for personal taxes, and #50 in the nation for corporate taxes, I have just two questions:

* How low is low enough?

* If low corporate taxes create jobs, how come we don't have the most jobs of any state in the union?

#43 in the nation for personal taxes

(a) Measured how?

(b) Surely not in Portland.

Kari, you add the fees & crap we have to pay, for everything, and we move into the top 10. Total "out of pocket" for each one of us. They dont raise taxes around here, just every freaking thing has a fee.
Think "system development charges." Why does local gov't charge people thousands of $$ just so they can build a house? Arent property taxes enough? See, if they call it a "charge", they dont have to piss off voters by raising "taxes."


You think this is new?

I, and several other economists statewide, were telling voters that if they limited other forms of taxation that state and local governments would shift as much as they could over to "user fee" instruments.

As I remember, the proponents of the tax limitation thought that this was a great idea, in that it forced the truer costs onto those who actually needed the government services, rather than having the general public underwrite the development costs. Thus, in their mind, such a system as has evolved is much better than what existed prior to 1990. (Yeah...right...and dumber kids are the riches of a city.)

Always beware of what you wish for....and remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch, you get what you pay for, and you don't get something worthwhile for nothing.

I dont think its new, I was just trying to explain why the "Oregon has low taxes" claim is flawed.

The debate over fees serving as hidden tax hikes was the genesis of the Measure 48 spending limit.

It prevents the overall burden of government on each resident from increasing faster than inflation.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Bunch o' bums:

» Words of wisdom from Jack Bog's Blog
Gordy down at RoguePundit has some great insights on Maui-Gate, including: If we just paid our legislators more, they'd still do stuff like this.Like they say, read the whole thing.... [Read More]


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