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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 22, 2013 8:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was Pomp and circumstance. The next post in this blog is The avant-garde of chard. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Oregon legislature agenda: Lots of secret government

The fustercluck known as the Oregon Legislature is cranking up again -- Tina Kotek's in charge now, don'tcha know -- and it seems as though every bureaucrat in the state is heading to Salem, looking for new ways to hide what he or she is doing from public scrutiny. It starts with Ted Wheeler's plan to turn the suspect Goldschmidt machinery that runs the state pension investments into an even more secretive and scarier cabal than it already is:

Treasurer Ted Wheeler announced last month that he wanted to hire more investment managers, but that would require the legislature’s approval, and there is no money allocated in the budget for the treasury to hire more people.

Rather than asking for increased budget authority, Wheeler asked for a new corporation at the request of the OIC.

We've already seen that the new "public corporation" wants to be exempt from the normal public records laws. And given Wheeler's shoddy track record on his investment managers' conflict of interest scandals, we're inclined to think that there's plenty more reduction in accountability lurking in the restructuring proposal. If the bill were to pass, it seems likely that bloated salaries and unseemly perks from private sources would be reinstated among his Masters of the Universe.

Then we learn that the Portland State U. Patronage Center wants in on the "public corporation" action, too. It sounds all too familiar. The U. of O. has been whining for autonomy for a few years now. Oh yes, just what we need, make all the state schools "public corporations," semi-autonomous, non-accountable -- what could go wrong? Well, look at the insolvent Tri-Met. Look at the scandal-ridden SAIF. These largely unsupervised pots of money, created and operated by the Usual Suspects, have shown a propensity for disaster. And OHSU, to whom Portland State keeps pointing as an example of what it wants, has turned out to be a bunch of scoundrels, nickel-and-diming malpractice victims and raping the Portland city treasury while outsourcing their biotech bonanzas to Florida.

The state university system bureaucracy is already too loose with money and not accountable enough to the public. The one face card is already getting his maid service paid for by the taxpayers and the English majors, and now we learn that the suits running the various universities are holding crisis management meetings over money and refusing to show anybody what goes on behind their closed doors.

Ah, but then we come to the capper of them all. Everybody who's eating off the state's obscene government employee pension system wants the size of their checks kept secret, but thanks to some pushy journalists and former state attorney general John Kroger, last year the truth came to the light. And oh, what an ugly truth it was, with monster pensions being paid to all sorts of folks.

Well, heaven forbid that that kind of sunshine should fall on the rat's nest known as PERS. Now the unions and the manager fat cats alike are pushing to have the details of the pension checks swept back under the rug. And with all branches of state government now firmly in their control, they'll probably succeed. How much of a pension is Chip Kelly going to get as he waltzes away from his recruiting violations? We'll probably never find out.

Secret government is a bad thing, for a variety of reasons. Leave it to 21st Century "progressive" Oregon to bring it on with a vengeance.

Comments (19)

At some point, doesn't a federal investigator eventually take an interest in what's going on under the rock in Oregon, or should we not expect that to happen until the current "progressive" administration is out of the WH?

'Secret government is a bad thing, for a variety of reasons. Leave it to 21st Century "progressive" Oregon to bring it on with a vengeance.'

Ouch. The truth stings.

Government is gasping for air.
The Fascist cabal of the bankers and the corruption of government is reaching its pinnacle.
When it collapses it won't be pretty, for anybody.

Did you know First Girlfriend is now the public face of Oregon? Livin' for free in Mahonia Hall and bloggin' away. Check it out.

Was ich niche weiß, macht mich nicht heiß.

Are matters getting worse so that more want to scurry now for cover?
A great deterrent has already been in place and that is the cost some of these agencies charge to get to first base.
Remember when our local news station was given an estimate for information and then with the spotlight on this story, a later estimate was reduced to $194.03 but for a narrower search. I wonder how many people have had stories to relate on costs, but didn't have the benefits of being a huge broadcaster such as KATU 2?
$1.5 million for Adams' public records? Huh?

The question, "Can it happen here?" is being answered a lot faster than folks want to admit.

And by liberal dems to boot - or should that be formerly liberal dems?

Hey...Word on the street is that the Finance and Insurance sector is terminating vast numbers of 'fund managers' and 'investment bankers'. We should be able to pick one up for a 'song'.

But then...mayhaps we should be following suit, eh?

Initiative petition, anyone?

Remember last November ? There were many comments here about "just hold my nose" and vote for them anyway.

Well, actions have consequences. If you continue to vote for this party of lap poodles expect the fudge in the yard.

Not throwing rocks here, Iam just saying. And no my party starts with an I not a R.



So much awful stuff there. This question is not merely rhetorical: Is Ted Wheeler the most malign individual in state office?

As far as the bill to close off PERS access, it is sponsored by Alan Bates, who is supposed to be one of the "better" Democrats. If that's what the better ones do, I fear even more for the worst -- which has actually been my expectation for this newly reborn one-party state.

Thank god we now live in Nevada where we are saving a small fortune in state income taxes we no longer pay; and the State Legislature only meets for 120 days every two years. (The exception being if the Governor choses to extend the legislative session for a few extra days.)

Shake it 'til breaks Oregon!


Y'know, I think there should be some (small) amount of secret-conference pre-rigged slam-thru gavel-set done-deal 'lawmaking' of certain types of laws -- any that rockdumb Republican obstructists refuse to deliberate in. (The PATRIOT Act 2001 and the Federal Reserve enactment 1913 were both like that in TOO MUCH amount.)

For one, to show how it works: Socialize all healthcare and medical facilities overnight. By declaration. or edict. Sort out the details later. Basically all health providers would go on doing what they are doing and notice no change in their work schedule or wages. Some (health) insurance companies would go out of business, some would go on. The cost of healthcare would fall 2/3rds (the markup in today's prices due to private insurance company profiteering), lower cost with the same quality of care, same providers, same facilities -- just like every 'civilized' country in the world except US.

For two, Climate Chaos from industrial processing of coal and crude oil: Socialize the oil industry, overnight, by edict slam-dunk done deal, then spell out the steps in manageable stages to shut it all down, within ten years, say.

For three, ditto nuke-ular anything, like oil. Shut it down. Stop it.

None of these radical progressive developments would seem extreme or extraordinary if statecraft was worked out by legislators agreeing in common purpose -- earthlings' well-being -- although possibly by (two) different strategies, yet in balance. But today, as one contigent is elected for the sole purpose to block everything, then there is nothing held to reason and majority mob power is justly proper.

An Oregon State Bank could be and should be re-established, very soon, and if it means secret meetings and derring-do outside the influence of 'private bank' lobbyists, social-improvement obstructionists, then tough love, cut them out, blow by with a done deal.
Wheeler might help get a public State Bank; he seems to favor the founding ... when the dogma barkers are gagged and ignored, for some peace and quiet where sincere statesmen and stateswomen (statefolk?) can think, and deliberate.
Investment 'managers' and holdings, and proceedings gained in a State Bank have to be open bookkeeping and public record.

The PERS runaway freight thing: Two 'reform' moves might help relieve the problem, and then an improving economy might solve it.
First: Force Republican representation to sign an official apology for derailing PERS off-track to begin with, and promise on oath never to behave again as such absolute implacable (obstructing) zealots. Public knowledge has to be brought back to the time and situation when the PERS problem began, to see that it was not a public-employees Union scheme, or even idea, but rather the Republicans issuing an ultimatum dictum. That public employees must accept zero pay raise, in contract talks zero, non-negotiable, 'off the table' (in 1989-90 Session, as I recall, Reagan/Bush headiness in the air). SalemGOP intransigence made stalemate, contract negotiations stalled, (3 years?), to the point of public employee work stoppage, read: self-governance stoppage, and so a 'compromise' proposal gave PERS rates-of-return and 'employer-contribution' rates which were unsustainable beyond the dot-com economy, and in exchange to take away pay raises since the SalemGOP could not back down from their dictum and save face. The Union got much more money than pay raises would have cost Oregonians. Only so that the GOP could save face.
A formal GOP apology first could help the Union follow suit with conciliatory steps toward moderation. Don't underestimate and do respect the power of explained understanding, to change people, behavior, even the world.

Second: Establish the State Bank and transfer deposit the PERS accounts in it. That relieves the 'debt service' burden -- the State does not pay interest on principal it borrows from lending to itself.
The model of State Bank operation is the North Dakota State Bank. N.Dakota having the lowest unemployment of all 50 states, (since before the fracking oil boom there), and fairly no recession austerity, is attributed to operating the only State Bank.
Search those terms.

A swelling populist savvy in financial and economic measures, methods, practices, and 'theory' -- public 'debt' distinguished from private 'debt' -- is being informed by Ellen Brown's Web of Debt, a society-changing publication like Rachel Carsen's Silent Spring or PNAC's Quadrennial Defense Review 2000.

Anyone else playing "Name that Tensky Post?"

It used to take about three lines for me to confidently ID his posts without scrolling down to see his name. Lately I've able to nail it on the first line every time.

"Anyone else playing "Name that Tensky Post?""

Sure, probably every regular reader. But I actually read a lot of them now, which I didn't used to do. Took me awhile to appreciate him even as I would usually substantially differ.

Is it perhaps time to think big? Making the entire state government of Oregon a private for-profit corporation might be worth consideration. Democratic cabals--sometimes in conflict with each other--should welcome the benefits. In turn, Republican ideology surely would support the move.

A winner. And every single Oregonian--voter or not--would benefit: no more costly, bitter, elections, no tiresome lawsuits to squeeze information from secretive agencies, no nagging despair at incompetence, and no need to ask "My God, what are they up to now?"

Employees may waste huge sums but the new lean and mean corporation will be able to fire them (with due process, naturally but efficiently).

Since the procurement staff will be eligible for bonuses, they'll write and oversee tough contract language, and be motivated to enforce penalties for non-performance.

Oh, I could continue, but the mind boggles....


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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