Oregon ballot measures etc...

Happy Monday Everyone:

With the presidential election going around its final turn I'd thought I'd turn my attention to the Oregon election. We have some pretty important state initiatives/ballot measures to ponder. The measures range from marijuana to taxes to gambling. The DPO has recommended the following yes and no votes.

Democratic Party of Oregon Recommendations

Vote Yes

Measures 77, 78, and 85 have the endorsement of the state wide leadership.

That is a yes vote on giving the governor and the legislature additional authorities in case of disaster (77), a clean up of the language/grammar in the Oregon Constitution (78), and devoting the corporate kicker refunds to K-12 education (85).

Vote No

The leadership opposes a constitutional amendment to prohibit real estate transfer taxes (79), casinos (82 and 83), and the phasing out of estate/inheritance taxes (84).

You Decide

On the measures about marijuana and prohibiting commercial non-tribal gill netting there were no recommendations. There was no consensus on these two measures thus no recommendations.

From the Oregonian

Today's Oregonian had an editorial recommending a no vote on all three tax measures (79, 84 and 85) which did make sense to me. Essentially the tax structure in the state needs a review and overhaul and it should be left to the governor and legislature to to that. This would leave everything on the table for negotiations and compromise. There were two articles in this morning's Oregonian I found interesting. The first was the above editorial on taxes the other was an article about agriculture and Columbia River water. We in Union County don't use Columbia River water except for electrical power (somewhat) but the Columbia Basin is in our state legislative district and our state senate district. So the article isn't a moot point for us. Go to www.oregonlive.com to get the article.

Foreign affairs debate

The next debate is centered around foreign affairs. Mitt Romney made a major foreign affairs policy speech which his followers hailed as a new beginning. The truth is the Republican Party split over his speech. Despite much wailing and gnashing of teeth he echoed and confirmed much of what the President has been doing. The Republican crazies in Congress however held hearings yesterday (while Congress is on vacation) that outed or advertised the activities of the CIA in Libya. The building where the American ambassador was killed was a CIA station. No one knew that until the Congressional hearings yesterday spilled the beans. A great article from the economist about Gov. Romney's foreign policy speech can be found at www.economist.com/blog/lexington . It will give you some perspective for that debate.

Reading material

I went to the Washington Post this moring and found a couple of articles you might be interested in. The first one was written by the U.S. economics editor for The Economist magazine. The Economist is a very respected news source. I read it weekly. The article by Greg Ip shows how little a president's economic policies influences his own term or reelection but can be felt in the next four to eight years or beyond. The next article is a response from Jim Leherer about his role in the Denver debate. I happen to be a fan of his and I have his book titled Tension City if anyone wants to read it. I will leave it at the Democratic Party's office downtown if you are interested. Go to www.washingtonpost.com for the two articles.

Adopt a Party - Work with the Democrats

Adopt-A-Highway Crew

The Union County Democrats continued community outreach efforts in 2012. Some of our activities were the booth at the 2012 Union County Fair, participation in Celebrate La Grande and picking up litter on a section of Highway 82 between mile point 4.7 to 7.2.

2012 Fair Booth

You can volunteer to help with these and our 2012 Get Out The Vote efforts by stopping by the campaign office at 1304 Adams Ave. (previous Marie Josephine shop). The office is open Monday through Friday 12 noon to 6PM and Saturday 10AM to 12 noon until the election.

Walden to Hold Town Hall Friday March 23

Dear Fellow Democrats,

Rep. Greg Walden is holding a town hall on Friday March 23, at 3:45 pm. It was originally planned for the Stampede Hall, but I understand the venue has been changed to the Elgin High school multi-purpose room.

This town hall is unusual for Walden for two reasons. First, there was advance notice that actually appeared in the Observer on Tuesday. Second, it is taking place in a public venue at a time when at least some constituents might be able to attend!

I have no doubt his new found desire to hold open town halls is a direct result of the successful “Where’s Walden?” action some of us held back in December. Perhaps the congressman is feeling a bit of heat in this election year?

We all understand that Mr. Walden is a conservative Republican. But voting against veterans’ benefits? Against extending unemployment benefits? Against injury compensation for 9/11 first responders? Against equal pay?

There are so many issues that Walden needs to be held accountable for. We Democrats in the 2nd District must hold the Congressman’s feet to the fire. Here are a few questions we might ask:

Walk for Warmth 2012

Union County Democrats Support

Many families in Union County are hurting this winter. Cold weather and unemployment from the on-going recession have often led to heartbreaking choices between buying food or vital medications or paying for a home heating emergency.

All Walk for Warmth proceeds go to assist families in Union County. Walk for Warmth calls each of us to open our hearts and wallets to help families, friends, and neighbors through a difficult time.

Please join with other Union County Democrats to help and "Move Your Feet to Give Others Heat"!

Walk for Warmth 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Registration, 10 a.m. ~ noon
at the Maridell Center
1124 Washington Ave,
La Grande, Oregon

For more information, to become involved, or to make a donation, please contact: sherry.mendoza7@gmail.com or by phone at 541-805-8823.

Calling all Union County Democrats!

Hello Fellow Democrats,

Now that President Obama has outlined his agenda for the year in his State of the Union address, I think it is safe to say the 2012 presidential campaign is officially underway! 

Union County Democrats will gather this week and part of our discussion will be about the 2012 campaign.  Please join us Wednesday, February 1st, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the second floor conference room of the Sac Annex at 105 Fir Street.

Here are some key items on our agenda:

Join Us at Our MLK Day Social


Please join us on MLK day!

The Union County Democrats are hosting an informal social gathering on Monday, January 16th, from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. in the Maridell Center at 1124 Washington Avenue in La Grande.

We’ll be serving hearty chili and cornbread along with fair trade coffee and good conversation.  Local film maker and musician, Mike Surber, will be there with his guitar, his voice, and some tunes… perhaps a few from the debut solo album he recently recorded.

So come and enjoy good food, good company, and good music.  Bring a friend or two.  Learn about local efforts in support of fair trade goods.  Learn how to support the Friday Backpack Program.  And learn about ways to help Democrats in this very important election year!

I hope to see you there,

Glen Scheele
Chair, Union County Democrats

Join With EOU Students on MLK Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, January 16th!

Join with EOU students and community members for a march that begins at 11:00 am at Max Square in downtown La Grande.

Black Student Union President, Jamarkus Worles-Springfield, along with other members of the BSU, will welcome participants and lead the march. The route goes along Adams to Greenwood, then up 8th Street to the EOU campus, ending at the Hoke Main Lounge.

An open-mic program, along with light refreshments, will follow.  Everyone is invited to share a poem, song, or reading focusing on diversity, human rights, or related issues.

Please plan to participate in honor of Dr. King and his legacy.


Glen Scheele
Chair, Union County Democrats

Oregon Health Care Reform

Oregon supporters of a universal, single-payer health care system are looking east for inspiration, bringing Vermont activists to our state to outline how a grassroots movement there resulted in the successful adoption of a universal health care system last June. La Grande is a stop on a twelve city swing through Oregon by three members of the Vermont Workers Center, Kate Kanelstein, Sarah Weintraub and Mary Gerish. They will be joined by representatives from the events’ sponsors, Jobs with Justice and Oregon Single Payer Campaign, as they outline the strategies and tactics that worked in Vermont.


Wednesday, December 14th, 7:30 to 9:00 PM

“How We Won Health Care for All” Forum

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