02-19-2017  1:10 pm      •     

CANDIDATES

The Skanner endorses the following candidates in the Nov. 7 general election. Please note that this is not a complete endorsement; we have included only those candidates we believe are most germane to our readership.

GOVERNOR

Ted Kulongoski

While we believe Gov. Kulongoski needs to reach out more to underserved sections of the population, we think he deserves to be returned to Salem for a second term.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

District 1 — David Wu
District 3 — Earl Blumenauer
District 5 — Darlene Hooley

OREGON SENATE

District 17 — Brad Avakian
District 19 — Richard Devlin
District 24 — Rod Monroe

OREGON HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

District 33 — Mitch Greenlick
District 36 — Mary Nolan
District 41 — Carolyn Tomei
District 42 — Diane Rosenbaum
District 43 — Chip Shields
District 44 — Tina Kotek
District 45 — Jackie Dingfelder
District 46 — Ben Cannon
District 47 — Jeff Merkley
District 50 — John Lim

MULTNOMAH COUNTY COMMISSION

District 2 — Lew Frederick

JUDICIAL POSITIONS

Judge of the Oregon Supreme Court

Position 6 — Virginia L. Linder

Judge of the Court of Appeals
4th District

Position 4 — Adrienne Nelson
Position 28 — Ulanda L. Watkins
Position 31 — Cheryl Albrecht
Position 37 — Leslie Roberts.

BALLOT MEASURES

The Skanner recommends the following votes on the measures appearing on the Nov. 7 general election ballot:

STATEWIDE MEASURES

• Measure 39: Prohibits Public Body From Condemning Private Real Property if it Intends to Convey to Private Party.
The government shouldn't be able to favor one private party over another, especially when property ownership is concerned. VOTE YES
• Measure 40: Amends Constitution: Requires Oregon Supreme Court Judges and Court of Appeal Judges to be Elected By District.
Judges represent all of Oregon, not voters from a specific district. VOTE NO
• Measure 41: Allows Income Tax Deduction Equal to Federal Exemptions Deduction to Substitute for State Exemption Credit.
The real problem with Oregon's budget is the influence of special interests and lobbyists, and Measure 41 does nothing to change that. The measure would have an immediate negative impact on vital spending programs. VOTE NO
• Measure 42: Prohibits Insurance Companies From Using Credit Score or "Credit Worthiness" in Calculating Rates or Premiums.
The measure is poorly worded and will end up before Oregon's courts to determine its effect. Besides, Oregon law already prohibits insurance companies from using credit history solely to raise rates. VOTE NO
• Measure 43: Requires 48-Hour Notice to Unemancipated Minor's Parent Before Providing Abortion; Authorizes Lawsuits, Physician Discipline.
Parents are required to give permission for other medical treatments for their underage children, why not abortions? Parental notification would keep pregnant girls from feeling alone or pressured to have an abortion and could prevent dangerous psychological effects and other physical complications. VOTE YES
• Measure 44: Allows Any Oregon Resident Without Prescription Drug Coverage to Participate in Oregon Prescription Drug Program.
More than 1 million Oregonians would be eligible to join the state's drug purchasing pool. The measure would help contain health care costs because more expensive emergency room visits or treatments can be avoided. In addition, it will help minority communities that already are medically underserved. VOTE YES
• Measure 45: Amends Constitution: Limits State Legislators: Six Years as Representative, Eight Years as Senator, 14 Years in Legislature.
The best term limits are already here: They're called "elections." The measure would shift power away from the Legislature because lobbyists and bureaucrats could exert more influence on inexperienced legislators who have no historical perspective. VOTE NO
• Measure 46: Amends Constitution: Allows Laws Regulating Election Contributions, Expenditures Adopted By Initiative or ¾ of Both Legislative Houses.
The state Supreme Court has already decided that involuntary limits on campaign contributions violate Oregonian's freedom of speech. This measure would infringe on that cherished freedom by limiting people who choose to contribute their own money to political campaigns. VOTE NO
• Measure 47: Revises Campaign Finance Laws: Limits or Prohibits Contributions and Expenditures; Adds Disclosure, New Reporting Requirements.
This measure would limit the ability of ordinary people to have a voice in politics and would magnify the voice of wealthy candidates who can contribute to their own campaigns. It also would muzzle the influence of grassroots organizations that work on behalf of poor and minority Oregonians. VOTE NO
• Measure 48: Amends Constitution: Limits Biennial Percentage Increase in State Spending to Percentage Increase in Population, Plus Inflation.
VOTE NO
The state budget must be flexible to meet needs that can change from one biennial cycle to the next. Measure 48 creates an arbitrary link between population growth, inflation and spending needs that doesn't reflect reality and would have an immediate negative impact on everything from public education to health care.

MULTNOMAH COUNTY

• Measure 26-81: Renew Five Year Local Option Levy to Continue Library Services.
Public libraries are among the community's most vital assets and deserve to maintain their services at current levels. VOTE YES

CITY OF PORTLAND

• Measure 26-86: Amends City Charter — Changes Fire and Police Disability and Retirement System.
"Measure 26-86 will be both fair to the taxpayers and to our police and firefighters," said Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. "It's also a very fiscally responsible reform that will save taxpayers' money over the years and help protect their financial future." VOTE YES

METRO COUNCIL

• Measure 26-80: Bonds to Preserve Natural Areas, Clean Water, Protect Fish, Wildlife.
Stewardship of the natural environment is in everyone's interest. VOTE YES

MT. HOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE

• Measure 26-83: Mt. Hood Community College District General Obligation Bond Authorization.
Mt. Hood Community College is a vital resource to East County residents. This bond measure is a prudent investment in the college's future. VOTE YES

PORTLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT

• Measure 26-84: Portland Schools Levy for Teachers, Classrooms, Educational Programs, Learning Materials.
The Portland Public Schools District continues to ask the citizens of Portland for more money, yet its schools continue to underperform. This measure would impose yet another tax on homeowners that doesn't produce any results. VOTE NO

Recently Published by The Skanner News

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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