Thursday, January 23, 2003

Top TriMet officials pledged Wednesday to spend all revenue from a proposed payroll tax increase on additional bus or light rail service.
Insurance Fee Floated As Source For Police Funds
"Would you be willing to pay an extra $1.83 a month on your auto insurance to fund highway patrols? That's the latest proposal at the Capitol in what appears to be a new push to find money for the Oregon State Police."
Another Corporate HQ May Exit
"A little more than six months after Portland lost Willamette Industries Inc. in a hostile takeover by Weyerhaeuser Co., another local forest products giant faces the prospect of slipping its Portland moorings."
Portland Council Splits on Antiwar Resolution
WHO CARES? The Portland City Council was not elected to consider and make statements about foreign policy. We elected a President and congress for that, not a Mayor and City Council. The council spent two hours listening to more than 40 people speeking in favor of the resolution. Could there possibly be two hours worth of city business to do, like maybe....oh I don't know.....BUDGET PROBLEMS!
Feast or Famine -- How Hungry is Oregon?
Here's a great article in Brainstorm Magazine about Oregon's sapposedly poor. It shows how young single mother can make $500.00 a month, pay no taxes (and probably get more in the form of a refund than her annual income), and still live as good or better than a married couple each making Oregon's median income.
Now, I don't have a problem with her. The help and programs are there, why shouldn't she take advantage of them? What I have a problem with is people who are always talking about the poor and hungry in Oregon, and how we don't do enough to help them out. What more are we sapposed to do? I know college grads who don't live this well. Then, to add insult to injury, they want to raise my taxes? Why? To help more people who make less than me live better than I do?

Monday, January 20, 2003

Oregon Has At Least $11.04 Billion In Potential Surpluses of the Taxpayers Money it is not using.
I have not had time to verify the validity of this articles claims, but they sound accurate.
"Oregon Has At Least $11.04 Billion In Potential Surpluses of the Taxpayers Money it is not using. The State of Oregon at the State-level has approximately $11.04 billion of the taxpayer's money it is not using, i. e. potential surpluses equal to $3,147 for every man, women and child in Oregon or $12,590 for a family of 4. This does not include all the additional potential surpluses that exist in the school districts, cities, or counties in Oregon."
Vote no: Lower spending is good for Oregon
Commentary in The Oregonian
School Formula Off Kilter
"Designed to equalize educational opportunity from place to place, Oregon's school funding formula in some cases delivers too much money and in others too little to meet students' educational needs, according to the state's first in-depth look at the formula."

This is an interesting article about the balance of funding, but there was a little statement jumped off the page.

"Oregon has 21 schools with fewer than 25 students, and in those schools, the average pupil-teacher ratio is nine students per teacher, compared with 22 students per teacher in Oregon's largest schools, the study says."

This was a study commissioned by the state legislature, and the study itself names the teacher to student ratio as "22 students per teacher in Oregon's largest schools."
Miles Of Roads Needing Repairs Growing
This is so typicle of The Oregonian -- state part of the problem to make a point, but no solution.

"The Portland Office of Transportation faces a record backlog of streets needing maintenance -- and no new ways to solve the problem.
The backlog, which both transportation director Brant Williams and Commissioner Jim Francesconi call "unacceptable," is 528 miles. The city had hoped the backlog would not exceed 250 miles of roadway.
The pothole and rut problems will only get worse, according to the financial report issued by the Office of Transportation. Without a budget increase, the list of streets overdue for repairs is expected to grow to 980 miles of roads -- more than a quarter of the 3,880 miles maintained by the city -- in 10 years."


What they are failing to say is that ODOT has added 5000 employees and doubled it's budget in the last 10 years, and statewide, it has not built a single new mile of road, and have let many of our old ones deteriorate.

Metro group takes on traffic knot
A Metro task force wants to use bonds and a $15 regional vehicle registration fee to come up with $521 million for new freeways and transit projects.

Auto club wants gas tax increase to fix state’s bridges
AAA promotes the plan as an alternative to raising the vehicle registration fee. After leading the effort to crush a nickel-per-gallon gasoline tax increase in 2000, AAA now is promoting a 3-cent-per-gallon tax raise in the 2003 Legislature.
Here is a great article in the Statesman Journal
Economic needs, environmental efforts compete

and The Register Guard
Jobless rate bad news for recovery

and The Bend Bulletin
Oregon Could Be At Top Of Tax List

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Judge Orders PERS Money Changes
The Statesman Journal reports:
"Marion Circuit Judge Paul Lipscomb issued a judgment ordering the Public Employees Retirement System Board to reallocate $6.9 billion from 1999 stock market earnings, putting more money into reserves and less into worker pension accounts. Lipscomb also ordered PERS to immediately update the obsolete life expectancy assumptions it uses to set worker pensions."
"...If PERS could redeploy its 1999 earnings, that could mean up to $2.2 billion more into reserves. That would reduce worker pensions, but it also would provide some relief for a pension system now facing a $14.8 billion long-term shortfall...."
"...The PERS Board made a preliminary decision Tuesday to adopt new mortality tables next year, while assuring that no workers get a lower pension than they would accrue by the end of 2003. Lipscomb made it clear that it was too little, too late...."
"...What the board did doesn’t come remotely close to what the judge ordered,” said Bill Gary, attorney for the local governments that brought the suit...
Measure 7 May Return To Agenda In Salem
The Bend Bulletin Reports:
"SALEM — State lawmakers may revisit the Measure 7 property compensation initiative that was struck down as unconstitutional last year.
"Pointing to the public's support of the ballot initiative, rural Republicans and the property rights group that pushed the initial measure say lawmakers ought to write similar language into the lawbooks this year."
Libertarians Decry Pro-Measure 28 Tactics
Here is an interesting article in the Medford Mail Tribune that really puts the whole Measure 28 debate into perspective.
"Blackmail. That’s what Mitch Shults, chairman of the Oregon Libertarian party, calls the spending cuts proposed if Measure 28 fails.
Outlined cuts to the budgets of school districts, state police, prisons and programs for elderly, poor and mentally ill people are designed to make the failure of the temporary income tax measure look as threatening as possible, he said.
"If those cuts happen, the Legislators that allowed it would be tossed out, so they will make changes," Shults said. "No politician is willing to release felons onto the street as threatened."

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Kulongoski Unveils Budget
Governor Ted Kulongoski has shown an incredible amount of courage by proposing the budget that he did. After reading thru the story I was struck with a couple of questions.

First, were is the outrage? If the house republicans had proposed this budget, unions and the Oregonian would be up in arms in protest.

Second, will the republican leadership roll over and give him what he wants, let him walk away with all the credit, and then never have the courage to stand up to him again.

Make no mistake. I support the budget. But keep in mind that he will have to repay the public employees unions for their election support, and now their silence on this budget. If the Republican Party doesn't grow a backbone, he will later get those paybacks and more, probably in the next biennium just in time for the next election.
PERS Board Adopts New Mortality Tables
"It chooses the recalculation method that does less harm to retirees but also saves the state less money."

They used actuary tables proposed by the unions. This is a step in the right direction, but is it enough?


PERS Retirements Surge
"The year is barely two weeks old, and already 1,341 Oregon public employees are slated to retire."


More Gridlock In Salem?
It looks like it could either be another legislative session of getting nothing done, or even worse, the republicans giving the new governer everything he wants. Governor Ted Kulongoski just proposed an ecanomic plan that included more cuts than Kevin Mannox's plan did, and everybody's praising him (and rightly so). My fear is that the republicans will have even less spine this time around than last. Check out the article below.

Senators Find Compromise Plan
"SALEM -- Senators broke their impasse Tuesday with a power-sharing compromise that relies largely on the relationship between two veteran legislators to avoid deadlock this session."

About A Conservative Oregonian

Oregon Conservative News (OCN) is my little soap box. I make no representation about being a journalist or skilled author. I will rail against whatever I find to be rediculous. I will praise whatever and whoever I agree with.

It is my hope that OCN will, by & large, be a positive & uplifting publication. While I will be criticle of liberal ideals and policies, conservatism is a positive and optimistic way of approaching the issues and problems of today.

I welcome articles & essays from others, but will reserve the right to not publish them for any reason. I will not accept money for anything that is published. I may, however, accept advertising (dare I dream), but not with any conditions attatched.



ABOUT ME

Gary Carpenter | 35 yrs old | life long Oregonian | Tigard | Married | 3 daughters | 1 stepson | email: oregonconservative@yahoo.com
I am an average Oregonian.

I am a conservative. Not radicle or extreme, not "protect the rich and punish the poor", but conservative. I believe that the government should only do what is mandated to do by the constitution, nothing more. I see the constitution as a document that was sapposed to tell the GOVERNMENT what it, not "we the people" could and could not do.

I don't make a lot of money. I am divorced with three beautiful girls, and recently remarried with a great teenage stepson. I work part-time at UPS, and also play drums in a blues band on weekends and on some week nights.

I am a Christian. I love God and all he has done in my life. My relationship with Christ affects everything I do and believe in . It does NOT, however, cause me to think that my beliefs and lifestyle should be forced upon you, or in any way curtail your freedom to live your life as you choose.

I am a conservationist. I wouldn't say that I agree with most environmental groups, but I do think that we have a responsibility to preserve and protect this amazing creation that we live in. I believe that there can be a balance between industry, progress, jobs, recreation, and sustaining the liveability of our environment. I also think that most conservatives have been woefully negligant when it comes to environmental issues, giving liberals the opening to enact the radicle environmental legislation that we suffer from today.

I vote. I do not vote a straight ticket (I am registered Republican). I reluctantly voted for gov. Kitzhauber for re-election because I didn't feel that the Replican party put up a candidate that would provide any kind of leadership. I also voted for senator Wyden for much the same reason.


PET PEEVES
  • I am tired of hype & spin.
  • I'm tired of liberal bleeding hearts.
  • I'm tired of republicans protecting big business at all cost.
  • I'm tired of being told what I want to buy, and that if I don't have the latest and greatest, I'm not attractive or successful.
  • I'm tired of being told why I shouldn't vote for a candidate's opponent, and never hearing why I should vote for the candidate.
  • I'm tired of hearing celebrities worth tens of millions of dollers tell me how my government should raise my taxes to help people who don't even pay taxes.
  • I'm tired of uneducated voters. I believe the old addage "we get the leadership that we deserve."
  • Revisionist history.
  • I'm tired of "christion white nations" thinking that all nations should be like theirs. This belief has led to some of the biggest attrocities in world history (ie: the "great crusades", the neer extinction of Native Americans and the complete pillaging of African nations.)

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

I've been kicking around the idea of doing this blog for a long time. Its the beginning of a new year, and at the moment I have the time, so here it goes.