Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Oregon Republican League's Jimmy Jones, of Myrtle Creek, serving in the Iraqi Theatre of Operations.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Oregon Republican Party Platform


Oregon Republican Party Platform
Adopted July 24, 2004

Preamble to the Oregon Republican Party Platform

Whereas the Creator has endowed us with liberty to choose and empower our government and to be involved with like-minded men and women in our great Republican Party; therefore, we affirm our following beliefs as the basis for our efforts as we establish the goals for a better future for our children, communities, state and nation:

We exhort all to consider these and invite those who can aspire to them to join us as we help build our great State of Oregon.

Individual liberty, dignity and sense of responsibility are the foundations for a vibrant community and society.

We honor such, as well as believe in equal justice, rights, and opportunity for ALL.

We believe in strong families that are formed through the marriage commitment between one man and one woman, and in the parents’ commitment to provide the positive nurturing care and discipline to their children.

We believe that free enterprise and individual initiative have brought this nation the opportunity, economic growth and prosperity that we currently enjoy.

We believe that limited government must practice fiscal responsibility and encourage and effectively use the private sector to provide services whenever possible.

We believe that the most effective responsible and responsive government is one that is closest to the people.

We believe that Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.

We believe that our country should stand with the oppressed and persecuted people and continue to be the shining light on a hill that can provide light and hope.

We believe that the Republican Party and its elected officials are the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles for a government that serves the people.

We, the Republican People of Oregon, do expect, insist upon and demand that our Federal Government operate and exist within the historical and original limits set forth in the Constitution for the United States of America and Declaration of Independence.

***The above, represents the Oregon Republican Party Platform Preamble. The complete platform is found at the links provided above.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Duties and Responsibilities of Republican Precinct Committeepersons


Duties and Responsibilities of RepublicanPrecinct Committeepersons

Precinct committeemen and committeewomen are the grassroots representatives of the Republican Party in Oregon. Precinct Committee Persons (PCP) "put a face" on the party in their neighborhoods and communities, attend regular meetings of their county Republican central committee ­ helping to set the party agenda in the county ­ and help to spread the Republican message at the local level.

As a PCP you have a voice in selecting Republican Party leadership in your county, the state and nationally, you will help select your county leadership ­ or may even seek a leadership position yourself. County leaders in turn help select the state party leaders who in turn participate on the Republican National Committee and elect the national party leaders. PCPs also select Oregon delegates and alternates to attend the Republican National Convention.

PCPs are often called on by Republican candidates to help with grassroots campaigning. You may be asked to "walk" your precinct with a candidate, introducing the candidate to friends and neighbors. Or, you may be asked to distribute campaign materials. You will become the Republican Party in your community.

PCPs should feel comfortable with these basic principles of the Republican philosophy:

Republicans believe the strength of our nation lies with the individual and each person's dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.

Republicans believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.

Republicans believe that free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative has brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.

Republicans believe government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of what they earn.

Republicans believe the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations, and that the best government is that which governs least.

Republicans believe the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.

Republicans believe Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.

Republicans believe Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.

Republicans believe our party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.

***For more information, on serving our party as a Precinct Committee-person, please click on the headline link above and contact our party offices.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Private Property Rights Triumph: M37 Upheld

Oregon Judicial Department News Release

Case decided February 21, 2006

The full text of these opinions can be found at (editor modified link): http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S52875.htm

Hector MacPherson, et al., v. Department of Administrative Services, (TC 5C10444)(SC S52119)

On direct appeal from the Marion County Circuit Court, Mary Mertens James, Judge. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded for entry of judgment in favor of defendants and intervenors. Opinion of the Court by Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz.

Today, in an action challenging the voter-enacted land use law known as Measure 37, the Oregon Supreme Court held that the measure does not (1) impede legislative plenary power; (2) violate the equal privileges and immunities guarantee of Article I, section 20, of the Oregon Constitution; (3) violate the suspension of laws provision contained in Article I, section 22, of the Oregon Constitution; (4) violate state constitutional separation of powers constraints; (5) impermissibly waive sovereign immunity; or (6) violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. As a result, the Court reversed a contrary decision by the circuit court and remanded the case for entry of judgment in favor of the state and intervenors.

Measure 37 requires state and local governments to compensate private property owners for any reduction in the fair market value of their real property that results from land use regulation. As an alternative to compensation, however, the measure allows state and local governments to modify, remove, or refrain from applying a regulation to "allow the owner to use the property for a use permitted at the time the owner acquired the property." Oregon voters approved Measure 37 as a statutory enactment at the 2004 General Election, and the measure became effective in December 2004.

In January 2005, plaintiffs -- a group of Oregon landowners and land use organizations -- filed an action against the Department of Administrative Services, the Land Conservation and Development Commission, and the State of Oregon Department of Justice (collectively, "the state"), challenging the validity of Measure 37. Plaintiffs sought a declaration that the measure was unconstitutional under both the Oregon and the United States Constitutions. After conducting a hearing and considering the parties' arguments, the circuit court entered a judgment in October 2005 invalidating Measure 37 on constitutional grounds. The state, together with intervenors, appealed directly to the Supreme Court, which heard oral argument in January 2006.

In a unanimous opinion by Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz, the Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's judgment. The Court began by determining that plaintiffs had standing to assert their constitutional claims regarding Measure 37, that those claims were ripe for adjudication, and that plaintiffs had not been required to submit their claims to an administrative agency before filing their action in circuit court. The Court then turned to the merits of the parties' constitutional arguments.

First, the Court determined that Measure 37 does not unconstitutionally limit the legislature's plenary power as a law-making body. The Court reasoned that nothing in Measure 37 prevents either the legislature or the people, in the exercise of their initiative power, from enacting new land use statutes, from repealing all land uses statutes, or from amending or repealing Measure 37 itself. The Court also held that Measure 37 did not violate the equal privileges and immunities guarantee set out in Article I, section 20, of the Oregon Constitution because the only classes of persons affected by the measure were those created by the measure itself.

Continuing with plaintiffs' state constitutional arguments, the Court next considered whether Measure 37 suspends the operation of laws in violation of Article I, section 22, or violates separation of governmental powers principles encompassed in Article III, section 1, of the Oregon Constitution. In both instances, the Court concluded that no constitutional violation had occurred. With regard to Article I, section 22, the Court held that Measure 37 does not "suspend" the operation of laws, but, rather, authorizes a governing body to modify, remove, or not apply use regulations in specific situations. With regard to Article III, section I, the Court held that the measure does not encroach on executive power; rather, it simply provides avenues for judicial review in specific land use cases. Similarly, the Court concluded that enactment of Measure 37 did not operate to waive impermissibly the state's sovereign immunity.

Having rejected plaintiffs' state constitutional arguments, the Court then turned to plaintiffs' arguments under the United States Constitution, specifically, under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court first concluded that plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that Measure 37 facially deprives plaintiffs of their property without affording procedural due process because circumstances exist in which applying Measure 37 would not violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Finally, the Court concluded that Measure 37 did not deny plaintiffs substantive due process protections because the method that the people chose for advancing the legitimate objective of either compensating certain landowners or otherwise relieving those landowners from the financial burden of certain land use regulations is rationally related to the accomplishment of that objective.

Consistently with the foregoing holdings, the Court reversed the circuit court's judgment and remanded the case to the circuit court for entry of a judgment in favor of the state and intervenors.


Please read the full Oregon Supreme Court Opinion here: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S52875.htm

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Presidents Day Dinner

Reminder: The ORL Presidents Day Dinner at AJ's home (beef or vegie). We stand at 48 reservations, so we have room to squeeze in another 12 bodies. Children are always welcome. Bring your checkbooks and a healthy appetite. Our fundraiser goals for acquisition: ORL historical texts, ORL replacement office supplies and equipment, hats/tshirts/handouts and other items for "branding"/friend-raising purposes. For more information and address, please email Tony at: TonyLarson@aol.com

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Oregonian Article Highlights Reward for Legal Immigration

Passing the welcome flag
Saturday, July 03, 2004

At last glance, Bud Brownlow and Bob Ross were about the only ones left.

They amounted to almost the entire surviving membership of the once-grand Portland Americanization Council.

By bus and by train, they would ride downtown with palm-sized flags on sticks and with handouts of "A Welcome to U.S.A. Citizenship," a blue federal booklet with a rippling flag on the front.

Eighteen months ago, these two men, both U.S. Army combat veterans from World War II, were the only two publicly active members left on this nonpartisan civic council. It had formed about 80 years before to welcome Oregon's newest citizens. The council hosted huge annual receptions, and at least into the 1980s, those annuals drew both the mayor and the governor .

Then everyone aged, younger people did not volunteer, donations started drying up and the two octogenarians thought the tradition's end was near.

Yet events took a turn, and here is how.

In late 2002, Portland resident Wade Fickler saw a newspaper story about Brownlow and Ross and their efforts to carry on.

Fickler had just returned from serving a Peace Corps tour of duty in Ukraine. Within that former Soviet republic, he had tried to instill some ways of democratic give and take. As a model for that kind of dialogue, Fickler says, he had used Portland's own City Club. The club described itself in part as a "nonprofit, nonpartisan, education- and research-based civic organization dedicated to community service, public affairs and leadership development" -- goals that fit the work of citizenship.

After returning from the Peace Corps, Fickler became the City Club's research director. And upon hearing of the plight of the Americanization Council, he proposed that the club lend a hand.

He called for volunteers. Tony Larson answered. He introduced himself as a professional mediator, a resident of the Southern Oregon community of Azalea and a member of the Portland City Club. He said he had already started volunteering on his own. He wanted the chance, he says, to keep a great tradition going.

"I thought this is a way to really draw our country together," Larson recalls. "It was a dream match."

A trial run

In August, the club and a freshly formed Citizenship and Government Committee formally adopted the Americanization Council for a one-year trial run. As committee co-chairman, Larson volunteered to seek and schedule additional volunteers for citizenship ceremonies. Some of those happen on the fourth Thursday of each month in the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse at Southwest Third Avenue and Main Street.

The committee had a concern, though, with the name itself -- The Portland Americanization Council. To some, Fickler says, it connoted the dated "melting pot" idea of the United States instead of the newer "tossed salad" concept of diversity. Fickler recalls asking Brownlow what he thought about that.

"He said, 'I don't care what you call it,' " Fickler says, " 'just so you keep it going.' "

Here is how things stand today:

During the past 18 months, Larson says, he has attended each of the fourth Thursday celebrations with other volunteers.

These volunteers, since then, have welcomed about 2,700 new citizens into the United States of America.

They do this by helping each incoming citizen find the correct place to sit for the ceremony, by responding to questions, by handing out the tiny ceremonial U.S. flags along with the blue federal booklet with the rippling flag on the front, and by collecting voter-registration cards that representatives of the League of Women Voters and the Pacific Green, Republican and Democratic parties hand out.

City Club member Julie Young recalls the day that she and her husband, Bill, volunteered to welcome the nation's newest citizens and voters.

"There was this sheer pride and delight in all of their faces," Young says. "I felt I walked out being a better person."

Pair step aside

Since the club stepped up, Brownlow and Ross have stepped aside after about 30 years of helping out.

Brownlow, 83, a retired auto mechanic and the great-grandson of an Irish immigrant, and Ross, 86, a retired city pipe mechanic and the great-grandson of Scottish immigrants, say they now have more time to spend with their families: They each have many great-grandchildren. Ross has 31, and he also continues to volunteer on a recycling route and to serve as chaplain for Veterans of Foreign Wars post 4053 and for VFW District 3.

As for Brownlow, he says he still serves as a VFW Post 4248rifle-salute honor guard for the burials of veterans. Brownlow says what he thinks about the City Club stepping into his former calling.

"I went down a couple times and they were doing such a good job," Brownlow says, "that I never went back anymore."

"Both of us were getting so old," Ross says, "that we figured we'd better let someone else get over there who had more energy."

Link comes full circle

Now history comes full circle: The City Club says documents from the 1920s list the club as a member organization of the Americanization Council. Today, the council stands under the wing of the club. Larson, 34, stands in for those who came before, and part of that means handing out that blue federal booklet, the one that carries the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and "The Five Qualities of the Good Citizen."

New citizens come from everywhere -- from Columbia, Indonesia, Somalia, Laos, Romania, Vietnam, Russia, on and on -- and they warm the ones who welcome them with the rays of spirit that got them here.

"It's just an awesome opportunity. It is my absolute, number-one favorite activity," Larson says. "There's nothing like those smiles and those eyes."

Now he keeps the welcomes alive by seeking more volunteers.

"Whatever pre-existing stereotypes they may have had," he vows, "will be shattered on the spot."

Spencer Heinz: 503-221-8072; spencerheinz@news.oregonian.com