There are five statewide ballot measures this November. I have been asked several times how I will be voting on these, so below is a description of each ballot measure and my quick analysis to help clarify what a yes or no vote means.
Ballot Measure 102 - Amends Constitution: Allows local bonds for financing affordable housing with non-governmental entities. Requires voter approval, annual audits. Measure 102 is an attempt by government to solve a problem in the housing market. While Measure 102 will not allow governments to build new housing, government will be front and center in collecting new taxes (with local voter approval) and managing these housing projects through non-profit organizations. This is a very new concept and also one that is ripe for corruption — remember government will be the collection arm, manager and distributor of these new tax dollars. I believe if the State would loosen its land use laws and local governments would stop using the permitting and inspection process as profit-centers, the private market will solve the housing problem in Oregon in a much faster and efficient way. For those very reasons I am voting NO on Measure 102.
Ballot Measure 103 - Amends Constitution: Prohibits taxes/fees based on transactions for "groceries" (defined) enacted or amended after September 2017. The opponents of this measure claim it will create a tax loophole for large corporations. This argument is disingenuous because groceries are not taxed today, so how do you create a tax loophole by prohibiting taxation on something that is not taxed? The reason the boo-birds are wanting you to vote No on Measure 103 is because they want the ability to tax groceries and grocers at some point in the future. Measure 103 will constitutionally block such an effort. Therefore I am voting YES on Measure 103 to stop Oregon's government from ever taxing groceries without voter approval.
It has been an honor to serve as your State Representative in the Oregon House of Representatives for the past two years. My goal is to give southern Klamath & Lake Counties a strong voice in Salem and to promote rural Oregon values.
I am pro-life, pro-liberty, pro-second amendment, pro-small business, pro-hydropower and pro-agriculture. I have been nominated to represent the Republican Party of Oregon, the Independent Party of Oregon and the Oregon Libertarian Party for the general election in November.
These are not merely words but are backed up by the fact that I am the only candidate in my race to have received numerous endorsements from associations such as Oregon Right To Life, the NRA, Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Home Builders Association, Oregon Chiefs of Police, Oregon Sheriffs Association, the Taxpayers Association of Oregon and the Nation Federation of Independent Businesses.
You probably have been told about the wonderful things that could happen in Klamath Falls if the people would vote to “lift the ban” on the recreational retail sale of marijuana. At first blush, the idea may actually sound good — expanding liberty (letting people choose for themselves) and adding revenue to our budget-strapped schools and law enforcement. However, retail marijuana is a short-term band-aid to address serious budgeting issues.
Before lifting this ban, be sure to understand all the facts, costs and consequences.
July 5, 2018
To: Chris Stein, Hydroelectric Specialist
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
165 E Seventh Avenue Eugene, OR 97401
I stand in firm opposition to dam removal along the Klamath River. For multiple generations these dams have provided exemplary flood control, and abundance of clean, renewable, reliable and affordable power for the region, in addition to recreational enjoyment. I understand DEQ is only asking for comment on the JC Boyle Dam which sits within Oregon’s borders, however, the proposal is to remove four dams along the Klamath River. Discussing removal of one dam outside the scope of the entire project leads to false assumptions and incorrect conclusions about the overall impact to the environment and Oregonians.
The Governor has called a special session of the Oregon legislature for the week of May 21st. According to the Governor, the purpose of this special session is to pass one bill which will address an “obvious inequity in Oregon’s tax system”. With the changes to the Federal Tax code passed by President Trump in 2018, Oregon’s state taxes automatically connect to Trump's new deduction. However, in February, State Democrats led the charge to reject those automatic tax breaks for Oregon’s small businesses and to keep Oregon's previous state tax code.
The difference for Oregon’s small businesses, between the State accepting the code from the Trump tax plan and remaining with Oregon’s previous tax code, is over $1 billion during the next five years. A $1 billion cash flow infusion that was intended for the pockets of Oregon’s entrepreneurs and Etsy moms will now go to the State of Oregon, which already collects a record amount of revenue. Salem’s tax and spend politicians are elated.
The Governor’s call for a special session will only grant approximately 12,000 of Oregon’s 260,000 smallest businesses a tax break. Sole proprietors with at least 1 full time employee will see a reduction in rates. That’s it.
The tragic deaths of 17 students at a Parkland, Florida high school is a grim reality we must all face. Besides the obvious tragedy, once again this mass-shooting brings up political rhetoric claiming guns are bad, therefore guns should be banned. The idea of keeping children safe while at school is one in which all Americans can agree. However, banning guns from law abiding citizens runs contrary to a foundational principle that as Americans we have a natural right to protect ourselves — in other words, the right to bear arms.
A month later after the Parkland shooting, #MarchForOurLives protests took place in several cities across the United States. Organized and funded by Left-wing groups, students took to the streets in anger against our current gun laws, including the Second Amendment.
The following is the speech I gave on the Floor of the House of Representatives on March 2, 2018 to stand up for small businesses in Oregon.
SB 1528 effectively eliminates the tax benefits from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill passed in Congress. SB takes those dollars intended to boost small business and slurps them up into the State Treasury. As long as liberal Democrats run this state, there will never be enough of your money in their pockets.
Happy New Year. I wish everyone a 2018 full of prosperity and happiness. As we ring in the new year Oregon’s political world begins with a bang.
Right out of the chute Oregonians will asked to decide the how best to fund Medicaid in a citizen-led ballot measure in a January special election. Just after Christmas you received an Oregon Voters Pamphlet and then right after New Years your ballot will arrive in the mail. All this effort is for a single issue that you, the voters of Oregon, get to determine. The question at hand in Measure 101 isn’t whether we fund Medicaid. Measure 101 is about how we fund Medicaid — whether we should create a new tax on some people’s health insurance policies to pay for Medicaid.
Note the word “some”. Only some people are subject to this new tax. Those people include Oregonians who pay full price for their own health insurance, including those who just bought healthcare for 2018 at Healthcare.gov; nearly 12,000 college students who buy their own health insurance as a requirement of attending an Oregon university; small employers (under 50 employees) which include businesses and non-profits; and our Oregon public school districts. Voting YES on Measure 101 will also lock into statute a provision that insurance companies are allowed to pass these taxes along to ratepayers, effectively creating a new sales tax on health insurance. Local hospitals will be hit with a .7% tax on their net revenues which will translate into higher healthcare costs for patient hospital visits.
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and immediately onto Christmas we trod only to soon-be eclipsed by celebrating the new year. However, before we leave this moment of Thanksgiving I would like to share a brief though or two. First, I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving with friends and family. It is important we have those deep, rooted connections with one another. It is those strong familial ties that build strong communities; and from strong communities come strong States — and a strong nation.
Almost all emotional coaches tell us that gratitude is the attitude that allows us to be truly happy. Those who are thankful for much are usually the ones with the least worries, the ones with whom bitterness finds no home. And data shows those who are full of a thankful spirit also tend to live longer, healthier lives.
Thanks to a Facebook share by Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McLane, I just finished reading the original Thanksgiving Day proclamation given by President Abraham Lincoln form 1863. What is fascinating is that the midst of one of our nation’s darkest hours, with the country about to split into two, President Lincoln made time to declare this first proclamation of Thanksgiving for all Americans. One lesson learned from Lincoln’s action is that even in severe crisis, lasting good can be created.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
It was an honor to serve as State Representative for Oregon’s 2017 Legislative Session. This session was intense — the inner workings of state government are challenging when serving in the minority party. I am proud to represent people in House District 56 located from Keno to Lakeview.
Fortunately, I went to Salem with two important tools: principles and courage. I cast 249 No votes on the House Floor (second most) and never missed a floor vote. I was one of only two legislators out of 90 in the House and Senate, who made this accomplishment. It is an important job, that requires an incredible amount of time, energy and mindshare — a job which I take very seriously.
Below is a brief summary of the session.