Daily Archives: February 25, 2015

Kitzhaber’s Flaccid Management Style Saw Him Hand Off His Biggest Governmental Boners to a Campaign Aid In Yet Another Ethical Breach

Kitzhaber’s work wife and fake wife plundered his office. Worse? He was only to happy to let them loose on Oregonians — and their moth-filled wallets — as long as no one bothered him with details.

Image Credit: Daily Astorian
Image Credit: Daily Astorian

It’s hard when you discover the ‘cool’ guy you voted for was actually an egotistical, hair sprayed airhead.

Oregonians should have taken John Kitzhaber at his word when he uttered his Nixonesque ‘Oregon is ungovernable’ you won’t have him to kick around anymore epithet in  2002.

They should have believed the pundits who said ‘It’s the governor, stupid’.

Instead, voters let the perpetually affected, detached and bored executive back into office, whereupon he turned everything over to his unelected wives and handlers

The emails the ex governor tried to destroy, but which were obtained by Willamette Week, show Kitzhaber turned over two of his biggest projects — and biggest failures — to his campaign chief, who ran Oregon’s business in the Columbia River Crossing and Cover Oregon to the benefit of exactly one person: her client, candidate John Kitzhaber. 

This may come as a surprise, but that’s a Bozo-No-No.

Willamette Week still felt impelled to spell that out for the Van-Down-By-the-River/Occupy crowd:

If they made decisions based on Kitzhaber’s personal political interests rather than what was best for taxpayers, that’s not right,” says David Friedman, an associate professor at the Willamette University College of Law. “It just looks bad.”

When she wasn’t working for the company managing the disastrous light rail program laughingly called Columbia River Crossing, campaign aid Patricia McCaig, Willamette Week reports she was paid to ‘manage’ the program for the Governor.

Then, because apparently she’d done such a *great* job with the CRC, Kitzhaber put McCaig in charge of the quickly circling-the -drain Cover Oregon plan.

McCaig saw her plan of action clearly. She didn’t want to save the OrBamaCare program, she wanted to save the Governor. 

According to the emails in Willamette Week, McCaig quickly saw an off ramp. She manufactured a meeting where the preordained demise of the program would be pronounced and then, aha! she’d orchestrate a lawsuit against Oracle. She even bragged about it to the boss, who called her his ‘princess’:

The emails also show McCaig orchestrated the state’s legal strategy against Oracle. Polling showed voters blamed the governor for Cover Oregon’s failure. McCaig wanted Kitzhaber to demand money back from Oracle.

“We need to start the discussion from a different place,” McCaig wrote to Kitzhaber on April 7, 2014. “Mike [Bonetto] and I talked offline about Oracle—we’re leaning, regardless of which option, of announcing we’re going ‘after’ them.”

McCaig added in a May 19, 2014, email to Kitzhaber: “We need to show the taxpayers that we are going after the money. It doesn’t really matter if it is $200 million or $40 million, or how many people enrolled, until we make it clear that we’re going after the money.”

By mid-June, McCaig told Kitzhaber their Cover Oregon media strategy was working.

She was thrilled when the media lost interest in the story and didn’t bother to do their jobs anymore.

“Quite a week,” she wrote to him on June 13, “it wasn’t all about Cover Oregon. (FYI—no cameras at [Cover Oregon] board meeting and only 2 reporters, that’s great progress).”

And finally, the woman who had been doing the work of Oregon citizens, but was really a campaign aparatchik, got the word she needed from the man in office. He wrote this message to Patricia McCaig after a trip to the Pendleton Round Up where folks there can tell the real stuff from shinola:

No cheering crowds (but, then again, only one hiss), more horse shit that you can possibly imagine, highly efficient [fundraising] call time,” Kitzhaber wrote. “I can pay you now…really.”

 ‘I can pay you now’?

I’ll take a double order of conflict of interest, please. 

Go read the rest at Willamette Week, but I leave you with three comments on the WW’s story that tell the story of the learning curve of Oregon voters and show you the truth was always out there — you just had to find it for yourself:

Harley Leiber

Bringing McCaig on to smoke screen Cover Oregon to get re-elected was a slime bag move made by a desperate candidate hell bent on covering up the 3rd term dents to get to the “unprecedented 4th term.” Especially since she had no healthcare experience. That makes it 10 times worse.

kick box kitty

This is completely outrageous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Kitz was so happy to turn the whole thing over to her — because he had already screwed it up and didn’t know what to do next and had no time to work on it because he had to rush off to Bhutan or some other place other than his actual JOB

Why did it take so long to see Kitzhaber was inept? PERS, the Columbia River Bridge, CoverOregon and those goofy commercials? It’s why so many that are not liberal just shook their heads at his third and fourth terms.

Remember when John Kitzhaber

1) Faked heart attack when state was flooded in 1996 and Vera was filling sandbags

2) Said health care should have been reformed on state level rather than
federal after being feted regularly by “The Economist” for medical
rationing

3) Vetoed Secondary Lands bill in Washington Park in 1995. Governor threw
tantrum in front of WW II veterans and stormed off – later told press
he doesn’t “do public” well

4) Rip-rapped his own Neskowin beach house when others couldn’t protect their homes
5) Built on his 10 acres on Umpqua River when land was zoned Exclusive Forest use

6) Vetoed a record 100 bills in 1997 Oregon legislature
7) Refused to do interviews with media other than liberal media – even
though he said he changed for this latest campaign — really?
8) Fleeing scene of Biscuit Fire five minutes before President Bush arrives, and leaving Sen. Wyden alone and furious
9) Unable to get along with legislative leaders – including Secretary of State of his own party, Phil Keisling

10) Refused to attend National Governors Association meetings, which at the time included innovative governors such as Jeb Bush, Tommy Thompson, John Engler, Bill Weld. Why? Because Kitzhaber already had the answers

11) Went fishing after 9/11 for a week when country was in crisis
12) Wanted to tear down dams on Snake River and freaked out then-Washington Gov. Gary Locke

Yes, some of us do.

Dysinger: Motor Voter ‘No Fuss, No Muss, No Thinking’ Law Will Compromise Oregonians’ Personal Data

Big changes are on the way and it means your privacy will be further eroded and ever dependent on the whim of a government worker.

As Secretary of State, Kate Brown was a big supporter of expansion of Motor Voter. As Governor she will neither scrutinize it nor stand in its way. Image Credit: Oregonian

 

By Janice Dysinger

*This post has been edited to clarify parts which speculate about the fall out of this bill and to include additional supporting documents and links.

Oregon Voter Registration process is about to change in a big way.  No longer will you be required to register. This will be done automatically by the Secretary of State from your DMV records. There are some caveats. Some are asking: Who will be registered to vote? What will happen to my privacy? What if I don’t want to be registered? What’s the cost?

Automatic Voter Registration HB2177 passed House on Feb 20th! It still must pass the Senate and be signed by the new Governor, who is the former Secretary of State until last week. You won’t be able to opt-out at DMV, instead your data will be sent to the Elections Division. They will notify you that you must opt out in the following 3 weeks or you WILL be added to the voter registration rolls. Your private DMV record information including your signature will become part of the public voter registration record. That is a problem for some people, who do not want to be registered, or have their information on a public database.

In 2014, Rep. Sal Esquivel R-Medford asked new Oregon Director of Elections Jim Williams about the current process of verifying voter ID from the DMV database. William’s letter in response to Esquivel outlines current practices, but what is troubling to election integrity activists is that though the DMV does send data to Elections Division, the agency only gets the basics: name, address and other demographic data. Under the current system, there is no confirmation of citizenship required. Noncitizens can slip through the cracks and be registered to vote.

Williams Letter to Rep Esquivel by Janice Dysinger

Oregon’s DMV database still includes names that predate 2008 rules-change, which required proof of citizenship before getting a driver’s license. In the early 2000s 80,000 noncitizens registered to vote  and got driver’s licenses (in Washington County). They will not cycle out of the DMV system until 2017.

Under President Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), noncitizens, including those living in the state of Oregon, can get a driver’s license .

Anyone with a driver’s license can currently register to vote online if they are willing to lie and say they are a US citizen. It’s a felony to do so, but the system will accept the person. They will get a ballot. It will count.

[Recently, Secretaries of State testified before Congress that the President’s ‘executive amnesty’ will make the identification virtually indistinguishable from that of citizens. Non citizens, they argued, under these new rules could vote.

The Washington Times reports Jon Husted, the Ohio Secretary of State, and Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State testified illegal aliens will flood the zone, making it impossible to check everyone’s citizenship, 

Anyone registering to vote attests that he or she is a citizen, but Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said mass registration drives often aren’t able to give due attention to that part, and so illegal immigrants will still get through.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach said even some motor vehicle bureau workers automatically ask customers if they want to register to vote, which some noncitizens in the past have cited as their reason for breaking the law to register.

“It’s a guarantee it will happen,” Mr. Kobach said.]

A recent article from Breitbart News Network shows how noncitizens are using false IDs to get driver’s licenses in California. California officials were trying to help noncitizens get drivers licenses; instead they were exposing ID theft. It is such a problem that elected officials decided not to criminalize noncitizens for committing ID theft if they only did it to get a driver’s license.

An ongoing nationwide study, the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, revealed that in the election years of 2008 and 2010, enough noncitizens voted to change election outcomes. The authors of that study wrote the Washington Post October 14th, article that details how noncitizens slip through cracks in our electoral system.

Back in Oregon, HB2177’s big change in law leaves it to bureaucratic rule making  — without legislative confirmation — to decide how to implement this sea change in law:

“The Secretary of State shall by rule establish a schedule by which the Department of Transportation shall provide to the secretary electronic records containing the legal name, age, residence and citizenship information for, and the electronic signature of, each person who meets qualifications identified by the secretary by rule.”

Under this bill proposed at the request of the Secretary of State, it is entirely up to the Secretary of State to make the qualifying rules. The rules are not stated in the bill. This shift of power from the Legislative branch to the Executive branch is quite astounding. Secretaries change over time, from elections or as we see currently in Oregon, due to other reasons. While Secretary Brown’s staff testified in committee that only proven citizens would be auto registered, there are no assurances from future Secretaries of their same commitment. Instead though this bill, it is the Secretary’s prerogative to decide by administrative ‘rule’. The administrative rule process is easy to change and is not subject to the legislative approval.

Rep. Carl Wilson R-Grants Pass in the House Rules Committee argued that small counties are already strapped for money to provide basic services and safety for citizens, and opposed HB2177 on the grounds that mandating these changes would be a big problem financially for his county.

Ways and Means Committee members have committed to covering the financial costs of implementation, but Wilson isn’t convinced: “I’ve heard this promise before,” he said.
Estimated price tag for initial statewide implementation: $1.5 million.

Republican legislators asked why $1.5 million is being spent to implement an opt-out system in a state that already boasts one of the highest voting participation rates in the country. They referenced two security breaches in 2014 at the Secretary of State’s office, and voiced concerns about jeopardizing the privacy of citizens.

When the bill was routed through the Joint Ways and Means Committee and onto the Joint Subcommittee on General Government, the discussion got heated. The bill had not traveled the usual route through the Senate Rules to discuss the policy change. Senator Doug Whitsett R-Klamath Falls told Co-Chair of General Government: Senator Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward, D-Portland that she would have to call security to remove him when she attempted to limit his questions about HB2177 to strictly fiscal issues. 

Janice Dysinger is an Oregonian, patriot and a student of Oregon’s election law. This article first appeared on the Americans for Prosperity, Clackamas website. It has been reprinted by permission.