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Political fight brewing over appellate judge election in Oregon
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Newspaper Article

Political fight brewing over appellate judge election in Oregon

PORTLAND — A national conservative group has begun collecting signatures to force a statewide vote on how appellate judges should be elected, after a similar measure was rejected in 2002. Judges for the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals are elected on a statewide basis. The initiative campaign organized and financed by FreedomWorks would require the Legislature to divide the state into seven districts of equal population for electing Supreme Court justices.

08/29/2005
Wis. Rulings Prompt Businesses to Fight
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Wis. Rulings Prompt Businesses to Fight

BY JR ROSS

MADISON, Wis. -- Businesses are preparing to launch a $2 million campaign to fight a series of state Supreme Court rulings they fear are making Wisconsin an easier place to sue doctors and manufacturers. They want lawmakers to counter some of the rulings with legislation, and, they say, they want to educate voters on what they calls one justice's "votes in support of frivolous lawsuits." Wisconsin implemented several laws in the mid-1990s in an attempt to limit jury awards for such non-economic damages as pain and suffering in malpractice and liability cases.

08/14/2005
House Demos want tax break look; sales tax bill surfaces
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House Demos want tax break look; sales tax bill surfaces

BY CHARLES E. BEGGS

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — While a group of House Democrats said a closer look should be taken at tax breaks to find revenue for schools, a prominent Democratic senator introduced a bill to establish a state sales tax. Sen. Kurt Schrader, co-chairman of the Legislature's budget committee, on Tuesday acknowledged his sales tax gesture mainly is "just to get a discussion going." Schrader believes Oregon, as one of just five states with no sales tax, is much too dependent on the income tax. He introduced a bill in the 2003 Legislature to impose a business activity tax.

01/25/2005
Martinez touts his diverse experience, compassion
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Martinez touts his diverse experience, compassion

BY Brendan Farrington

There's no denying Mel Martinez has a great life story. He fled from Cuba as a 15-year-old, alone, his parents remaining on the communist island hoping one day to join him. He eventually was placed with a foster family in Orlando, learned English and worked odd jobs that helped him buy his father a used car when his parents arrived in the United States four years later. He put himself through college, made millions as a trial lawyer, was elected chairman of Orange County and served in President Bush's Cabinet as Housing and Urban Development secretary.

08/26/2004
State tax reform issues remain unresolved
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State tax reform issues remain unresolved

BY CHARLES E. BEGGS

SALEM, Ore. - Whether a special legislative session on tax reform set for June will have any reforms to consider remained up in the air Thursday. The Joint Tax Reform Committee, facing a deadline just a month away, weighed details of a wide-ranging menu of plans but reached no consensus on any of them. The panel set another meeting for May 11. The 2003 Legislature created the committee and directed it to draft recommended legislation by May 31. A special session is to convene in the first week of June to consider any proposals.

04/29/2004
Tax foes will act if lawmakers fail
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Tax foes will act if lawmakers fail

BY BRAD CAIN

Anti-tax advocates say they will increase their efforts to enact a tight new state spending limit if the Legislature’s planned special session about tax reform in June doesn’t produce reforms. “It’s our No. 1 priority,” said Russ Walker of Citizens for a Sound Economy, which led the effort to defeat the Legislature’s $800 million tax increase in February. A joint legislative committee that has been looking at various tax proposals for months will meet Thursday, but members of the panel have been unable to reach agreements.

04/28/2004
Tax vote has state on edge of its seat
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Tax vote has state on edge of its seat

BY CHARLES E. BEGGS

Vern Smith has stents — implanted tubes — in three arteries to keep blood flowing to his heart. The 49-year-old also is dependent on insulin to treat his diabetes. Unable to work at his former job as a security officer, Smith and his wife are living on the $158 weekly unemployment benefit she’s getting after being laid off from a nursing job. Smith is one of about 50,000 Oregonians who stands to lose state health plan coverage if Measure 30 is defeated in Tuesday’s election.

02/02/2004
Tax foes beat supporters in fund raising
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Tax foes beat supporters in fund raising

EUGENE — Opponents of an $800 million tax increase have collected more money than those who support it as the Feb. 3 election draws closer. Public employee unions are financing most of the money to sell the tax increase to voters, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday with the state Elections Division. On the opposing side, a Washington, D.C., group and several Oregon businesses lead the way in the campaign to defeat the tax package. The reports covered campaign fund raising and spending through Dec. 18.

12/31/2003
Mannix criticized by both sides in tax debate
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Mannix criticized by both sides in tax debate

BY BRAD CAIN

SALEM - Oregon Republican Chairman Kevin Mannix, who's taken a well-publicized stand against the Legislature's tax hike, drew criticism Tuesday from activists on both sides of the issue. Libertarian Party officials said Mannix hasn't done enough to help the anti-tax campaign. Further, they said Mannix has failed to act against GOP lawmakers who joined with Democrats to enact the tax hike.

11/18/2003
Gov. Ballard? No thanks!
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Gov. Ballard? No thanks!

OLYMPIA -- Retired House Speaker Clyde Ballard, for years the Republicans' top-ranking legislator, on Tuesday announced he won't be a candidate for governor. The East Wenatchee conservative, who has been Democratic Gov. Gary Locke's toughest critic, said he seriously considered the race, but decided it would be too difficult to raise the $5 million necessary for a strong statewide campaign.

11/11/2003

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