Late Night: Lights Off; Nobody Home

By: Thursday December 12, 2013 8:00 pm

On Sunday I was walking through downtown Portland, and noticed that some traffic lights were out. Odd, I thought, given that although it was and had been quite cold, the day was dry and sunny, and all the power in that area had been underground for decades.

The following morning, reading the online version of our once-daily newspaper, I was astonished to read that because of the power outage, City Hall, the Portland Building, and Multnomah County Courthouse would be closed until further notice. Traffic lights would remain out for at least that day, as would light rail ticket machines, and several major office buildings, and part of the Pioneer Place Mall. I didn’t spit my coffee until I got to that last part.

 

Meeting Lord Romney’s Lazy and Dependent Victims

By: Saturday September 22, 2012 9:00 am

“There are 47% . . . who are dependent upon government, . . . who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to . . . you name it. . . . These are people who pay no income tax.”

You know these 47% who pay no income tax: people like GE, PG&E, CenterPoint, ConEd, Tenet, Boeing, Verizon, Ryder . . .

Because, as Romney told us earlier, corporations are people too. Some are just lazier and more dependent on government than others.

The Real Terrorists

By: Sunday September 19, 2010 6:45 am

The whole idea behind collecting this information and sharing it with private sector entities like oil drilling lobbyists arose as part of efforts to protect our critical infrastructure from terrorist attack after 9/11.

Big Money Alert: Oil Companies Spend Millions to Overturn CA Climate-Change Law

By: Thursday June 24, 2010 7:35 am

In addition to deciding whether or not to legalize marijuana, California voters will decide whether or not to abolish AB 32, the state’s tough climate-change legislation. The abolition measure just qualified for the November ballot. Two big oil companies, Valero Energy Inc. and Tesoro Corp., invested heavily in gathering the signatures needed to get it on the ballot and will probably spend millions on the ensuing campaign.

CA Voters Nix Baby Step on Public Financing, Pass Game-Changing Primary System

By: Wednesday June 9, 2010 8:45 am

On June 8, California voters turned down campaign-finance reform but embraced an unusual new primary system. The results last night were a mixed bag. The biggest disappointment is that Prop. 15, a small step toward public financing of elections in California, failed by a wide margin. It looks like the corrupting influence of big money in politics will continue for a long time in the state. In retrospect, it was probably a bad decision to put Prop. 15 on the primary ballot when the big races were on the Republican side, with no major Democratic statewide races.

The lack of movement toward public financing of elections is even more disappointing because elections are likely to get more expensive in California, thanks to the passage of Prop. 14. The primary voters yesterday voted to make this the last “primary” as we know it. The so-called top-two primary ballot measure passed by a wide margin. This means all candidates will run in the same “primary” and the top two vote getters, regardless of party, will advance to the general. In effect, this moves the general election to June, with a runoff election months later in November. This eliminates the ability of parties to select their nominee for the general election and makes it unlikely any third-party candidates will be on the November ballot. The official description of Prop. 14 was very misleading. Voters in several districts may not realize what they signed up for when they face a choice between just two Democrats or two Republicans in general elections.

The good news is that Prop. 16, a disgusting power grab by power company PG&E, appears to have lost. The proposition would have made it much more difficult for local entities to create new utilities to compete with the power giant. PG&E spent millions on the ballot measure but the people of California rejected this naked attempt to use the initiative system to protect a corporation’s profits.

The California Chamber of Commerce backed Props. 14 and 16, while opposing Prop. 15. The corporatists won a few last night but it was not a clean sweep. I hope the voters of California enjoy the huge campaign spending by Meg Whitman, because without public financing of elections and with a new “primary” system that will likely make running for office even more expensive, it is a sign of things to come.

Big Night: What to Watch for in the Primary Results

By: Tuesday June 8, 2010 1:30 pm

Follow election results tonight on FDL, especially crucial Senate primaries and California’s slate of propositions.

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