Liberal, Irreverent

Monday, April 18, 2011

News from the Oregon Progressive Party

Attempt to Abolish Independent Party of Oregon Backfires

On Wednesday (April 13th), the House Rules Committee in the Oregon Legislature conducted a hearing on HB 2442, the bill to abolish the Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) by making it illegal to use the word "independent" in the name of a political party in Oregon.  The bill declares an "emergency," stating that it is "necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety."

As noted in detail below, no one even showed up to testify for the bill, while several testified against it.

The attempt to kill the Independent Party of Oregon (IPO), probably launched from within the Democratic Party leadership in the House of Representatives, has backfired.

We responded to the attack with truth and clarity, including over 600 signatures on a petition against the bill, along with 250+ comments provided by IPO members.  Thanks also to the recipients of the Progressive Party's similar petition, which earned 38 signers and 14 comments in response to our email alert.

Editorials condemned the attack as:

"dumb, partisan and unconstitutional" (The Oregonian)

spawned by the "Joe Stalin Graduate School of Political Maneuvering" (Albany Democrat-Herald), 

"heavy-handed" (Medford Mail-Tribune).

The Oregonian's editorial earned a top, full-width headline.  Today's Sunday Oregonian featured further criticism of the bill on the front page of the metro section.

More About the Hearing

The Chair of the Committee, Dave Hunt (D), asked whether anyone wished to testify in favor of the bill.  Silence.  Some members of the Committee asked why the bill had been scheduled for hearing, if no one was willing to testify for it.  The bill itself states it was "Presession  filed (at the request of House Interim Committee on Rules)."  Committee Co-Chair Andy Olson (R) asked Rep. Vicki Berger (R) whether the bill had in fact been discussed in the House Interim Committee on Rules.  Rep. Berger replied that the Interim Committee did not have discussions along this line.  (A majority on the Interim Committee were Democrats.)

Testifying against the bill were Marvin Sannes (who won the 2010 IPO nomination for State Representative for the 21st District), IPO founder Linda Williams, IPO secretary Sal Peralta, and IPO member Dan Meek.  Written testimony against the bill was submitted by Norma Paulus and Phil Keisling, each a former Secretary of State of Oregon, who wrote:

"We are aware of no legal precedent in any jurisdiction in the United States that would allow a legislature to ban the use of a word in the name of a political party, and are highly skeptical that the Oregon Constitution, with its broad protections for free speech, would permit such an intrusion on the association and speech rights of a duly constituted political party. . . . This bill is cynical, political mischief of the worst, most juvenile kind -- worthy of being thrown on the legislative scrap heap, so this body can get down to the important business at hand."

Also submitting written testimony were former State Representative Tony Van Vliet and attorney Stephen Goldberg.

If your group wants to co-sponsor this event please


DATE:  Thursday February 24th
RALLY: 12:30pm   
SPEAKERS: 1:00pm
CITY COUNCIL VOTE: 2pm(public testimony will be taken)
LOCATION:  Outside City Hall Council Chambers 1221 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97204

On February 24th the Portland City Council will be voting on whether or not the City of Portland should re-enter the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).  We strongly oppose the JTTF because we value our civil rights.  We need Portland Police officers to be held accountable to Oregon State Law.  We don't want roving wiretaps, secret access and domestic spying on non-violent activists & community groups.
We said NO in 2005 and we say NO now.

CO-SPONSORS:  Oregon Progressive Party, Oregon Jericho, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, NW Student Coalition, Portland Central American Solidarity Committee, the Portland Coalition Opposing Political Repression, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, International Socialist Organization and you...

For more information visit:, Oregon Progressive Party <>
Oregon ACLU <>



They are elected officials and if they vote for the JTTF then we won't vote for them!
Sam Adams
Commissioner of Finance and Administration
(503) 823-4120
Amanda Fritz
Commissioner of Public Utilities, Position Number 1
(503) 823-3008 
Nick Fish
Commissioner of Public Works, Position Number 2
(503) 823-3589
Dan Saltzman
Commissioner of Public Affairs, Position Number 3
(503) 823-4151  
Randy Leonard
Commissioner of Public Safety, Position Number 4
(503) 823-4682
LaVonne Griffin-Valade
City Auditor
(503) 823-4078

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