News update for 5/22/20

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Fri, 05/22/2020 - 4:00pm


The Washington Post this week reports that Oregon Republicans’ new US Senate nominee is a QAnon supporter who believes in a deep state conspiracy against President Donald J Trump.

Jo Rae Perkins on Tuesday won the GOP’s nomination to run against Sen. Jeff Merkley in November.

Perkins has deleted a video posted to her Twitter account on election night, in which she supports the Q anon conspiracy theory, saying:

“Where we go one, we go all. I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team. Thank you Anons, and thank you patriots. And together, we can save our republic.”

The Willamette Week contacted Perkins on WEdnesday but she had no comment. Later her campaign sent out a prepared statement

Perkins said. QUOTE "I was not endorsing QAnon, but rather stating that I appreciate the fact that there is still free speech in this country that allows for voices—including whistleblowers from both sides of the aisle—that may, or may not, bring to light issues Americans need to be aware of."

Perkins has deleted the video but you can watch it on wweek -- dot--com.


In an interview on CNBC today, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., said that black voters torn between voting for him and President Trump QUOTE “ain’t black.”

The New York Times reports that in an interview on The Breakfast Club with  host Charlamagne the God this morning, Biden pledged to repeal Trump’s tax cuts and raise the corporate tax rate.

In the interview, Biden avoided questions about marijuana legalization and his running mate selection.

But the presumed Denocratic presidential candidate triggered outrage with a comment at the end of the interview, when he said: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump then you ain’t black.”

The Times reports that Biden was hit with immediate pushback on social media, where progressive as well as conservative activists criticized him for QUOTE acting as the arbiter of blackness. 


Today President Donald Trump’s attorneys are back before the US Supreme Court to argue why secret grand jury materials from the Russia investigation should be kept away from Democratic lawmakers. The Associated Press reports the president is QUOTE counting on the justices for more help to stymie other investigations and lawsuits.

Right now the Supremes are weighing Trump’s bid to block subpoenas for his tax, banking and financial records. Trump's attorneys are also preparing their case against the emoluments lawsuit brought by states attorney general that alleges the President  is illegally profiting from his luxury hotel near the White House. 

The AP reports today that Trump has publicly remarked that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority would be more sympathetic than lower courts that have repeatedly ruled against him.  That majority includes two of his appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, 

Trump has called himself a victim of “presidential harassment” and ordered his administration not to cooperate with investigations by the Democratic-led House of Representatives.

The president’s critics argue that Trump has embraced a dangerous view of the presidency as being above the law.


In South Dakota, where the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Oglala Sioux Tribe have set up checkpoints on state and federal highways to turn away outsiders during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Kristi Noem said she is appealing to President Trump’s administration in the standoff.

The Republican governor said at her daily briefing Wednesday she has sent affidavits and video to the White House, the Department of Justice, the Interior Department and her state’s congressional delegation, asking for help.

The tribes set up the checkpoints last month to keep unnecessary visitors off the reservations.

Earlier this month, Noem threatened to sue the tribes if they did not remove highway stops within 48 hours. She backed away from that last week, offering to negotiate on the issue if they would take them off of U.S. and state highways.

Harold Frazier, the chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, told Noem in a letter last week that the tribe would consider her request to restrict checkpoints to tribal roads. But he made it clear to The Associated Press that he believes the tribe’s sovereignty allows it to operate checkpoints anywhere on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. 

He said the checkpoints are essential to protecting the health of the people on the reservation.


In a related story, the Washington POst reports the Navajo Nation is enacting a 57-hour curfew starting tonight as officials try to contain the coronavirus outbreak in tribal lands that stretch across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. 

That’s its seventh weekend curfew in a row, in a tribal area where the infection rate has climbed to among the highest in the world, at more than 4,250 cases among a population of about 173,600. That’s a higher per capita infection rate than New York state.

Tribal leaders say extensive testing is one reason for the high number of reported cases.


In local coronavirus news, The Associated Press reports Oregon clocked nearly 16,000 new jobless claims last week bringing the total number of unemployment applications to nearly 412,000 – more than 20% of Oregon workers.

Additionally, the Oregon Employment Department said yesterday it is now ready to begin processing extended benefits authorized by Congress in March. Workers who had exhausted the standard 26 weeks of benefits can now apply for a 13-week extension – retroactive to March 29.

Oregon’s unemployment rate rose to 14.2% in April, the highest point on record. It had been at a historic low of just 3.5% in March, before the coronavirus outbreak hit Oregon. Forecasters expect the unemployment rate will top 20% within the next few months and then rebound.


An inmate in the Oregon State Penitentiary who tested positive for COVID-19 has died, marking the first known death in the state of a prisoner linked to the coronavirus.

The penitentiary, the state’s only maximum security prison, has become a hot spot for the virus where a total of 115 inmates  have tested positive. And 26 staff. According to the Oregon Department of Corrections., a total of 148 prisoners statewide have tested positive so far.

The person who died was between 50 and 60 years old and died at a hospital on Wednesday, corrections officials said.


And self serve gas in Oregon metro areas ends at midnight tomorrow.

Self-service will still be allowed in some coastal counties and in eastern and central Oregon.

The temporary rule change was implemented to address worker shortages at stations statewide because of COVID-19.

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