Monthly Archives: September 2010

Open Thread on Dudley/Kitzhaber Debate

I’ll post tomorrow. Of course I think Dudley won. Expectations were low. Dudley exceeded them and beyond. Kitzhaber sounded wonky sometimes and there were a couple of times I thought he was better on his feet–land use for example–but he’s wrong on it, so… He was just better prepared sounding. I mean “sounding” because there were times Kitzhaber was incoherent. Taxes for instance. He wants repeal of Measures 5 and 50. So he’s in favor of a tax increase.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Patty Murray Awards $$$ to Clients of Former Aides Now Working as Lobbyists.

Ann Coulter labels Washington States senior Senator as the stupidest person in America, but that didn’t stop firms who are clients of her former aides now working as lobbyists from being awarded some $20,000,000.00 in earmarks that she inserted into the 2011 defense appropriations bill.

“At least 17 former Murray staff members have slid over to the lobbying sector, capitalizing on insider knowledge and connections to win favor for their clients, including lucrative earmarks.”

“They include Murray’s former chief of staff, Rick Desimone, who landed a $1 million earmark in the defense bill for a Canadian medical company with offices in Kirkland. The bill was an even bigger win for Shay Hancock, Murray’s former lead defense staffer, who lobbied for three firms that got $7.5 million in earmarks.”

“Murray’s clout as an appropriator helps explain why lobbyists and their firms — including those that employ her former staffers — are among her biggest campaign contributors.”

“Despite her own network of lobbyist backers, Murray’s campaign and state Democrats have relentlessly portrayed her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, as unethical because of his ties to lobbyists. In particular, they’ve hit Rossi for business deals with two statehouse lobbyists more than a decade ago when he was a state senator.”

Read more: Seattle Times

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Panel to Recommend Harris Receive Reprimand, Removal From Boards

In a meeting lasting almost an hour, 3 Vancouver council members settled on a recommendation of fellow council member Jeanne Harris, receive a letter of reprimand and be removed from all boards she currently sit on, representing the city council and that they appointed her to, for her disrespectful behavior displayed September 13, 2010. VIDEO

Boards she sits on where she received a gubernatorial appointment (CRC) are not affected as it was felt they are outside the scope of the city council.

It was determined early on, with advice from city attorney Ted Gathe, that Harris’ disrespectful interaction with citizens is not covered by the current ethics policy. Councilman Burkman recommended council revisit it to update the ethics policy to include how members of the public are treated.

Council members stated they felt her actions the evening of September 13 were “demeaning,” “disturbing” and “highly inappropriate,” towards Mayor Leavitt and Council member Jeanne E. Stewart.

Removal from office was also ruled out early as the threshold for such action was not met, Gathe advised. He stated to reach that high threshold would take something along the lines of committing an actual crime.

The panel broke it down to 4 areas of concern, 1: Her conduct towards the public, which is not addressed by current policy. 2: Her conduct towards Jeanne Stewart during the meeting deemed inappropriate. 3: Her interference with the Mayors duty in conducting the meeting deemed inappropriate. 4: Her confrontation with Jeanne Stewart after the meeting also deemed inappropriate.

Discussion fell onto whether she should receive a letter of reprimand or a censure and it was determined there was not a lot of difference between the two. A letter of reprimand was deemed appropriate. Mayor Pro Tem Larry Smith stated he wanted more than just a “slap on the wrist” and Pat Campbell added he too wanted to give the letter “some teeth” behind it.

Jack Burkman said there few sanctions available they could use and then it was decided they would recommend she be removed from all boards she was appointed to by the council until she is up for reelection in 2013.

If the full council votes to accept the panel’s recommendation, it would be effective immediately.

Pat Campbell added that citizens should “stay tuned” and follow her for when she is up for reelection, as he felt that her conduct is not a matter for recall.

The panel hopes to wrap it up at the October 11 council meeting.

The Columbian’s Andrea Damewood published her take HERE with more to come in Friday’s paper.

KGW TV adds quotes from citizens present.

“They’re going to smack her on the hand, she’s going to turn around and walk away,” said Stephanie Turlay. “They will not stand up and do what really needs to be done.”

“She needs to go,” said Josephine Wentzel. “If she doesn’t resign she needs to be taken out, we need to recall her.”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

PDX: Blowing Sunshine Up Our Pant Legs

Lynn Schoessler, deputy director for Business Oregon, which oversees the program for the state, said the definitions for a recovery zone are broad and require reasonable analysis.

Oregon has seen record foreclosures and has among the nation’s highest jobless rates. But does the Pearl District best define those challenges?

“You know I don’t want to go there,” he said, adding that it’s up to the City Council to set local boundaries.

Patty Murray Awards $$$ to Clients of Former Aides Now Working as Lobbyists.

Ann Coulter labels Washington States senior Senator as the stupidest person in America, but that didn’t stop firms who are clients of her former aides now working as lobbyists from being awarded some $20,000,000.00 in earmarks that she inserted into the 2011 defense appropriations bill.

“At least 17 former Murray staff members have slid over to the lobbying sector, capitalizing on insider knowledge and connections to win favor for their clients, including lucrative earmarks.”

“They include Murray’s former chief of staff, Rick Desimone, who landed a $1 million earmark in the defense bill for a Canadian medical company with offices in Kirkland. The bill was an even bigger win for Shay Hancock, Murray’s former lead defense staffer, who lobbied for three firms that got $7.5 million in earmarks.”

“Murray’s clout as an appropriator helps explain why lobbyists and their firms — including those that employ her former staffers — are among her biggest campaign contributors.”

“Despite her own network of lobbyist backers, Murray’s campaign and state Democrats have relentlessly portrayed her Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, as unethical because of his ties to lobbyists. In particular, they’ve hit Rossi for business deals with two statehouse lobbyists more than a decade ago when he was a state senator.”

Read more: Seattle Times

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Oregon & Washington Have Nation’s "Worst Governors"

Cato has the full rankings here. 

Raising income and business taxes are the most harmful to a state economy—Exhibits A and B would be New York and California—so Governors who raised those taxes were heavily penalized. The nearby table shows the list of the Governors who earned grades of A and F.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal piece on the best and worst governors and the following is excerpted from the Cato study about Kulo and Gregoire:

• Ted Kulongoski of Oregon has been relentless in his advocacy of tax and spending increases. In 2003, he supported a ballot initiative to increase income taxes, but the plan was defeated by the voters. He has repeatedly pushed cigarette tax increases, even though voters defeated such an increase at the ballot box in 2007. In 2009,  Kulongoski signed into law increases in gasoline taxes, hospital taxes, and business taxes, and he proposed more cigarette tax increases. In 2010, the governor pushed hard for an increase in personal and corporate income tax rates, and that increase was unfortunately approved by the voters. Oregon is blessed by not having a general sales tax, but Kulongoski has advocated imposing one on the state. Under Kulongoski, general fund spending soared 42 percent  between FY03 and FY08, and unlike many governors he has not cut spending very much since then.

 And about Gregoire:

Chris Gregoire of Washington has supported many large tax increases over the years. In 2005, she raised taxes on cigarettes, gasoline, liquor, and vehicles, and she reestablished an estate tax after a previous version was struck down by the state supreme court. In the boom years before 2008, Gregoire blocked efforts to cut taxes. While campaigning for reelection in 2008, Gregoire argued in favor of spending cuts rather than tax increases to balance the budget. But once reelected, she approved a large tax-hike package including increases in business taxes, sales taxes, cigarette taxes, beer taxes, and candy taxes. Gregoire seems always to take the big-government side in referendum issues before voters. She has opposed ballot efforts to cap government budget growth and to require legislative supermajorities to raise taxes.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

PDX: Blowing Sunshine Up Our Pant Legs

Lynn Schoessler, deputy director for Business Oregon, which oversees the program for the state, said the definitions for a recovery zone are broad and require reasonable analysis.

Oregon has seen record foreclosures and has among the nation’s highest jobless rates. But does the Pearl District best define those challenges?

“You know I don’t want to go there,” he said, adding that it’s up to the City Council to set local boundaries.

Oregon & Washington Have Nation’s "Worst Governors"

Cato has the full rankings here. 

Raising income and business taxes are the most harmful to a state economy—Exhibits A and B would be New York and California—so Governors who raised those taxes were heavily penalized. The nearby table shows the list of the Governors who earned grades of A and F.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal piece on the best and worst governors and the following is excerpted from the Cato study about Kulo and Gregoire:

• Ted Kulongoski of Oregon has been relentless in his advocacy of tax and spending increases. In 2003, he supported a ballot initiative to increase income taxes, but the plan was defeated by the voters. He has repeatedly pushed cigarette tax increases, even though voters defeated such an increase at the ballot box in 2007. In 2009,  Kulongoski signed into law increases in gasoline taxes, hospital taxes, and business taxes, and he proposed more cigarette tax increases. In 2010, the governor pushed hard for an increase in personal and corporate income tax rates, and that increase was unfortunately approved by the voters. Oregon is blessed by not having a general sales tax, but Kulongoski has advocated imposing one on the state. Under Kulongoski, general fund spending soared 42 percent  between FY03 and FY08, and unlike many governors he has not cut spending very much since then.

 And about Gregoire:

Chris Gregoire of Washington has supported many large tax increases over the years. In 2005, she raised taxes on cigarettes, gasoline, liquor, and vehicles, and she reestablished an estate tax after a previous version was struck down by the state supreme court. In the boom years before 2008, Gregoire blocked efforts to cut taxes. While campaigning for reelection in 2008, Gregoire argued in favor of spending cuts rather than tax increases to balance the budget. But once reelected, she approved a large tax-hike package including increases in business taxes, sales taxes, cigarette taxes, beer taxes, and candy taxes. Gregoire seems always to take the big-government side in referendum issues before voters. She has opposed ballot efforts to cap government budget growth and to require legislative supermajorities to raise taxes.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com