Frightening News

Cody Hoesly

The Oregonian reports today that a new conservative coalition has been formalized in our state.  They call themselves the "Tax Coalition" or "Center Right" - Who's part of it?

If you aren't frightened, you should be.  This is the same strategy used by Norquist and other national conservative leaders to ensure that the ultra right-wing cause stays on track and on message.  You know how successful this strategy has been nationally.  Now they're bringing it home to our state.  Already, they've captured our intiative process.

And there is nothing like it on the Left, either nationally or in Oregon.

I hope our state's liberal leaders realize the magnitude of this problem and get working fast to create their own roundtable.  There is no time to lose, only more elections.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Aaahh... the vast right-wing conspiracy.

    Good thing there's already a vast left-wing conspiracy here. :)

  • Aaron B. Hockley (unverified)
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    If these guys are so full of crap, why are you frightened?

  • Richard (unverified)
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    You protest too much.

    That group is not new and is nothing but a casual gathering of like minded people organized by Jason Williams. They meet over lunch for an hour once a month, usually with a prearranged presentations of interest after some updates on what people are working on and some short general discussions. A few Q&As and that's it.
    There is no membership, no battle planning and nothing for you to fear but maybe your own imagination. The Oregonian's Harry Esteve wasn't invited, showed up anyway and was asked to leave. He had no news to report but managed to write a story you apparently have your panties in a bind over.

    Classic Oregonian journalism and blue fabrication.

    "there is nothing like it on the Left" Sure there is. The OEA and friends, COSA, Patty Wendtz, OSBA, OBC, OBA, IPEU and many more lefty coaltions too. Coalition for a livable future etc. All working in tandem with other public employees to thwart the will of Oregon voters .

    But look out for that right wing boogieman group!!!!!

  • (Show?)

    Don't get me wrong, Kari, I do love BlueOregon, and it's definitely part of the solution. But it sure hasn't put any liberal measures on the ballot for this fall. Compare that with the spate of right-wing measures with high chances of being put to a vote in November (not to mention high chances of succeeding). Add the difficult re-election campaign Kulongoski is having to run, and the Republican-controlled house, and I guess I'm just not as comfortable that we're on top of things and can easily stay there.

    Maybe "frightened" isn't the right word. Let's say "all the more motivated to kick the Left into higher gear." We've got to work not just harder than the Right, but smarter, too. And I sure haven't seen that in years. You'd probably have to go back to the 70's to see it.

    I know BlueOregon has its ties to various liberal politicians and staffers, the Bus Project, AFL-CIO, Our Oregon, Oregon Center for Public Policy, Progressive Happy Hour, etc. But there's no cohesive plan, no regular meeting of the power brokers where ideas and voter/volunteer lists are shared and decisions made. That's something that we need.

  • (Show?)

    To answer Aaron's question, it's only the money these groups can pump into the state to defeat Ted that's frightening..not their wrongheaded far right policies. Not!

    Richard on the other hand thinks any public employee group is the boogieman. I'll support inclusive organizations like COSA which has its ranks filled with Republicans, as does the OSBA, and the others because exaggerated broadbrush statements like his do not honestly represent the make up of the groups he just dissed. I personally know several far right Republicans in most of the organizations he referenced in his comment. I'd call the organizations a mixed bag of political views from all over the spectrum.

  • (Show?)

    So, nu, Cody? Call a meeting :)

    I was hoping at the end of your post I'd read "so, I've decided to take the bull by the horns and get things rolling". And, let's invite Harry Esteve of the Oregonian :)

    "nu", by the way, is Yiddish for "c'mon" - it's a kind of nudging question type of word. ex: "so, nu? when are you going to marry that guy?"

  • (Show?)

    You guys are pretty funny.

    Read my post about it.

    I guess we like it here and are hoping to improve things. Many of us see the groups that are listed above as ones that will turn Oregon into another New Jersey (I grew up in New Jersey and love it - and, it will be the first State in the country which is built out - nowhere left to build, I heard 2020 as a figure a while back). Know what it's like to live in a state with more strip malls per square inch and suburban sprawl as far as the eye can see? It sucks. So, when you all pow-wow of course it makes us nervous. But the people here seem to like the fact that they haven't succumbed to sprawl and that certain things like mass transit and livable cities are promoted. I like living in a place that reminds me a little of Europe.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Yeah right. COSA is a broad spectrum.

    COSA MEMBERSHIP PLAN

    Excerpt:"They have met about once a month and include some representatives of several unions (OEA, OPEU, AFL-CIO) and business (OBC, OBA) and OSBA. ....., we have come to a point of preparing some packages. One has a consumption tax at its core, another has a business activity tax at its core and a third takes major swipes at exemptions, credits and deductions in current taxes"

    As usual, the AFL-CIO, the teachers union, school administrators, school board association, Oregon Public Employees Union, Oregon Business Council, Oregon Business Association working against Oregon voters.

    Albert, If anyone will be making Oregon like New Jersey it won't be the 60% who voter for M37. It will be you folks, the 40%, who continue to conspire against the majorityof voters on issue after issue.

  • (Show?)

    Today's Willamette Week has a story backing up my point: Oregon is not blue enough for complacency. As Nigel "Mr. Pulitzer" Jaquiss points out:

    The problem is, few here know it's happening. Looper says locals are like frogs cozy in a pot of warm water, blissfully unaware that they are on a stovetop and the temperature is rising.

    "Multnomah County Democrats don't understand that the world is changing," he says.

  • Levon (unverified)
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    Stoking fear is the job of the Bush Administration.

    That these groups have been working together and wouldn't allow an Oregonian reporter into their meeting is considered news? Must have been perceived as a slow news day.

    Readers here already know that for over 3, maybe 4 decades, right-wing groups/think tanks have been working together to shape the political and policy agenda; and they have been quite successful.

    Progressives have been doing a yeoman's job trying to play catch-up. Nationally, and at the state level, progressive groups work together on initiative and candidate campaigns.

    Cody, if what you mean by "the left" in your post includes Marxian-inspired labor, and more radical (with a positive connotation) groups fighting for social justice, then your claim about their being nothing like it on the left holds some merit....with the emphasis on "some."

    However, if by "the left" you are referring to progressive organizations that represent more established organized labor, environmental, and social-issue groups, then I would disagree with the claim that "there is nothing like it on the left, either nationally or in Oregon."

    Nationally, there are groups/think tanks such as the Center for Amercian Progress, Economic Policy Institute, and many others who are doing a much better job at influencing the public debate and perhaps electoral outcomes.

    In Oregon, Our Oregon, is one group working to counter attempts by the right-wing groups you've mentioned in the electoral arena. Additionally, the Oregon Center for Public Policy consistently and effectively publishes research that counters the right-wing spin of Cascade Policy and others in that camp.

    Finally, those on the left-progressive-liberal end of the political spectrum reacting analytically, strategically, and tactically to the political landscape will continue to make a difference. Reacting emotionally, "It's frightening"! "It's not fair what Tom Delay is doing"! "All these right-wing groups are working together AND not allowing reporters into their meetings...boo hoo"! hurts our cause.

    It's about winning and gaining power. We do that by keeping a critical eye on the right, but mostly by vigorously pursuing political, cultural, and legal power in the US and Oregon.

    The state's liberal leaders DO realize the "magnitude of the problem" and a roundtable has been formed. Now perhaps if we can reduce the internecine warfare and get more of the armchair quarterbacks and reclining-chair pontificators working on campaigns in earnest, we could have some real successes at both the state and national levels.

  • Becky (unverified)
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    These groups were meeting monthly in strategy sessions as early as 2000. They've been working together for many more years than that. This really is nothing new, just an attempt by Norquist to increase his clout nationally ("Look at all the coalitions I'm forming around the country! I'm so important you can't go after me for my criminal activity because without me the right wing will fall apart!").

  • matt (unverified)
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    This is the strategy for Grover Norquist's group, in fact, they even made a map (http://www.atr.org/graphics/state_mtgs.jpg).

    Either Rob is very, very naive or trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

    In the end, I think they should admit it. "We get together all of the big money, and conservative turn out organizations in the state and talk once a month. Just like Grover encourages us to do." (I'M SHOCKED!)

    Now, I just wish they wouldn't cheat on the initiative process...

    I also hope Oregonians can see the connection between Right to Life, Crime Victimes United and the Anti-Taxers. They have morphed into nothing less than an extension of the far right of the Republican party. Remember that next time someone is influenced by their wedge.

  • (Show?)

    C'mon folks, should we really be afraid of this guy?

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    Man, you scare easily. As others pointed out earlier before the server crash, this Jason Williams-led vast right-wing conspiracy has been meeting informally for some time now.

    So, Harry Esteve is asked to leave a private meeting he was not invited to attend?

    That's exactly what Harry's employer will do to Ben Westlund, Mary Starett, Joe Keating and Richard Morey if any or all of them manage to penetrate the Saxton-Kulo "debate" hosted by The Oregonian and other newspapers.

    • Wes
  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    Albert: But the people here seem to like the fact that they haven't succumbed to sprawl and that certain things like mass transit and livable cities are promoted. I like living in a place that reminds me a little of Europe. JK:Actually Metro’s model for us is Los Angeles, the densest urban area in the country. Mass transit is losing market share because it doesn’t save energy and costs more than cars. (look at the real cost of a trimet monthly pass - you can buy a new small car for half of that cost). European cities sprawl almost as much as we do and car use is increasing there faster than in the US. For good reason. Thanks JK

  • Becky (unverified)
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    Jon - Yes, you should be afraid of that guy (Norquist) because he's smart, extremely active, entirely dedicated, willing to break the rules to do what he believes in, well protected, and impervious to attacks.

  • dan j (unverified)
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    Cody,

    your forgot the part about meeting in an underground, concrete "star chamber". I've been told that it is all paid for by Monsanto Corporation.

    Monsanto will sponsor a bill (once those Red Devil Conservatives have dis-enfranchised all the voters and stole the elections) to ban the sale of organic produce. This will lead to higher pesticide sales & increase profits of the chemical giant (and lead to even more contributions to those conservative nut cases).

    I am terrified.

    Frightened doesn't even do it justice. I've decided to plant my own garden. I'll keep old, empty containers of pesticides in my garage just in case the SVP show up (Secret Vegitable Police), that I can show them to justify my garden is in compliance.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    "We get together all of the big money, and conservative turn out organizations in the state and talk once a month"

    Is this a blueclown thread?

    "big money"???

    Who's that? What "big money" has attended any of those "frightening meetings?

    Indeed I also hope Oregonians can see the connection between Right to Life, Crime Victims United, anti-Taxers and M37,M28 M30, M36, the kicker and M5. All of which passed the voters with big majorities. By all means, run out and pronounce wide and far, the Blue oppostion to these publiclly approved measures and the organizations that made them possible. While you're at it proudly ramp up your condemnation of the initiative system and continue as champions of illegal immigration like so many of your blue electeds and blue run agencies do. I'm sure you will frighten plenty of voters your way.

  • (Show?)

    JK:Actually Metro’s model for us is Los Angeles, the densest urban area in the country. Mass transit is losing market share because it doesn’t save energy and costs more than cars. (look at the real cost of a trimet monthly pass - you can buy a new small car for half of that cost). European cities sprawl almost as much as we do and car use is increasing there faster than in the US. For good reason.

    Jim: I'm down for more density in the urban core.

    Mass transit seems to be gaining ridership in Portland if my morning and evening bus/MAX commute (when I don't take my bike (which also seems to be gaining in number of bikers)) is any indication

    I don't think you're right about European cities sprawling as much as US cities (and, to be honest, I don't see what you gain by not telling the truth in this and the previous claim). I did a quick Google search and found the majority of articles saying the opposite - that the US can learn from European patterns, which I agree with. I lived in Munich and traveled extensively in Europe in the 90s and saw nothing like what's happening here. Do you have any studies that prove what you are talking about?

  • (Show?)

    Actually, I think the Left managed to do something similar in Colorado over the last few years. They got all the self-absorbed single-issue groups to sit down, hash out their common ground, and work together where they agreed and not beat each other up where they didn't. I don't have the time to dig up any more info on it, but there's gotta be someone around here who does. If not, I'll try to find it tonight.

    I don't see this sort of thing as all that worrisome. While it's unfortunate that these groups aren't attacking each other like they sometimes have of late, by the same token this can be used against them. CPI and ORTL, having very little in common, are the best examples. Paint the group one way as gay-loving, pot-smoking, libertarians, and the other way as doctor-harrassing theocratic loonies. Because of this dynamic I don't think this 'coalition' could ever wield any real power. At most they'll be able to avoid stepping on each others' toes too much.

  • Tim Trickey (unverified)
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    Unlike so many coalitions that exist out there, this "Tax Coalition" or "Center Right" coalition is purely one that exists for those of us on the right to get together and share our collective disdain for the left, and what they are doing to our state.

    All you liberals shouldn't worry too much about what is said there. It's not like we conservatives are more motivated, effective, and well-funded than ever.

    But wait...we are.

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    Tim, how's that legal trouble coming along?

  • (Show?)

    Cody wrote... Don't get me wrong, Kari, I do love BlueOregon, and it's definitely part of the solution. But it sure hasn't put any liberal measures on the ballot for this fall.

    Right! Sorry, when I wrote "Good thing there's already a vast left-wing conspiracy here" - I meant in Oregon. Not BlueOregon.

    You also wrote... But there's no cohesive plan, no regular meeting of the power brokers where ideas and voter/volunteer lists are shared and decisions made. That's something that we need.

    Actually, there is. But no one in that group (which I'm not part of) is dumb enough to post the schedule on a campaign website.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    Albert: JK:Actually Metro’s model for us is Los Angeles, the densest urban area in the country. Mass transit is losing market share because it doesn’t save energy and costs more than cars. (look at the real cost of a trimet monthly pass - you can buy a new small car for half of that cost). European cities sprawl almost as much as we do and car use is increasing there faster than in the US. For good reason.

    Jim: I'm down for more density in the urban core. JK: Of course they plan to put more density in just about every neighborhood and block in town. INCLUDING YOURS More downtown, but significant increases along ALL streets with good bus service and New York levels of density around ALL neighborhood light rail stations. Most of the downtown development is in urban renewal areas, so ALL of the property tax from the new buildings will go to pay for their shiny new streets instead of basic city services. The rest of the city either gets to pay more, or receive less services, because the occupants of the tax exempt properties still get city services, but don’t contribute towards paying for them. Right now there is about $65million in property tax revenue not making it to the general fund because of this. This is part of the price we are all paying for high density. See SavePortland.com

    Albert:Mass transit seems to be gaining ridership in Portland if my morning and evening bus/MAX commute (when I don't take my bike (which also seems to be gaining in number of bikers)) is any indication JK: What matters is the actual numbers. The most reliable is the U.S. Census travel to work report. Most transit systems are losing ridership. But trimet’s market share has increased by 1% over the last decade for which there is data (1990-2000). At that rate Trimet will have ½ of us out of our cars in only 500 years (yes that is two zeros). As to your observation: there is frequently a temporary blip up in transit ridership during gas price spikes as people decide to let other taxpayers pick up 80% of their transportation cost.

    Albert: I don't think you're right about European cities sprawling as much as US cities (and, to be honest, I don't see what you gain by not telling the truth in this and the previous claim). JK: I used the term ALMOST as much and am relying on Wendell Cox for this information. You can see his presentation by downloading and viewing this: http://www.portlanddocs.com/video/RM-Cox-20P-4.rm (Requires free RealMovie player)

    Thanks JK

  • Lee (unverified)
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    I posted this earlier but it was lost.

    Cody and others: sorry to disappoint you all, but as a democrate since I could vote (40+ years), I attended some of these informational luncheon meetings that Jason Williams host. They are not "conspiracy meetings" as you fear and no different than the many "gatherings" that democrate groups have in this state to be informed and even strategize.

    It is funny how Esteve made a story out of this. I'll be sure to call Esteve the next time there is a "sinister democrate secret meeting" so that he can smear a democrate candidate and this meeting process that is common and not at all illegal.

  • Tim Trickey (unverified)
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    Re: Kari Chisholm

    "Tim, How's that legal trouble coming?"

    Kari,

    Wow, it has been terrible. I haven't slept in weeks, my friends are all abandoning me, and I can't even seem to find the time to cry...

    Actually, Kari, you would be glad to know that I am not personally under investigation, nor is my business, Democracy Direct Inc. All complaints your friends have been filing have been satisfied, and the result: No criminal or civil violations found.

    I know it burns you to know that we don't have to pay by the signature or commit fraud to get voters to sign our initiatives, and that no matter how many complaints filed, the result of all of them will show the same thing; nothing...oh, except Brian Platt.

    You think that destroying Brian Platt is some great victory? Wow, you got a judgement against him for failing to pay minimum wage (all of which was totally based on the ficticious accounts of known felons, and lazy petitioners who couldn't "keep up"..). Congratulations for your massive victory.

    The Secretary of State and the Justice Dept. have been over our books, examined our contracts, and interviewed nearly a hundred petitioners to look for examples of anything that could be construed as a violation of the law, and big surprise; nothing has been found.

    All I have to say, is that I'm not backing down, and you can't intimidate me with bad press and your fairy tales of election violations, so do your worst...

  • (Show?)

    Richard sez: "'big money'???

    Who's that? What 'big money' has attended any of those 'frightening meetings?' "

    <h2>It was right in the article, Richard. The ATU was there, representing Grover's interests. Which makes sense, since without Grover half the initiatives looking to get on the ballot would not exist. Period. Grover is paying almost the entire freight, right down to the coffee and donuts they probably munched on while thumbing through BrainfartNW.</h2>

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