On January 26, Oregonians will be asked to decide how the latest chapter in the state's long-running tax wars will turn out. Opponents of two tax increases approved by the legislature in 2009 succeeded in collecting enough signatures for a referendum on what are now Measures 66 and 67. The former would raise the state income tax rate on those earning more than $125,000 per year while the latter would increase the minimum corporate tax. Supporters of the measures say vital public services are at stake. Opponents say raising taxes during a recession will only make matters worse.
On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme court took another step in the long - and many say misguided - journey to granting corporations personhood under the U.S. Constitution. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a five-member majority of the court increased the ability of corporations to use their wealth to influence our electoral process. Recent polling shows that more than 75 percent of Americans think the ruling further weakens our democratic institutions and the power of people to govern themselves.
One month after Portland police officer Ronald Frashour fatally shot Aaron Campbell, the Portland City Council is still struggling with growing community anger over the unarmed man's death. Demonstrations, a high profile visit by Rev. Jesse Jackson - as well as an upcoming March 14 visit by national civil rights activist Rev.