Oregon election law provides penalties for government employees and public officials who are found to have illegally used taxpayer resources to advocate for or against political causes. Typically, the advocacy is on behalf of higher taxes or more government spending, so the potential rewards for breaking the law are high. The penalties are a joke, calling for a very low fine for a violation that may have cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
Sometimes, reality provides a real slap in the face.
That's the situation facing the Keizer City Council. Earlier this month AFP and its allies turned in twice as many signatures as were needed to refer the City's new cell phone tax to the ballot in May.
Tonight, the Council will consider repealing the tax at its regular meeting. This is a good first step, and provides at least some evidence that the Council is finally ready to begin considering the opinions of the people who put them in office.
One of the biggest surprises of the November elections - and one that mirrored the national results - was the election of a right-of-center majority on the Lane County Commission. Lane County's reputation is as the 2nd most liberal area of the state, fueled primarily by Eugene and the University of Oregon, so having a conservative majority is a real accomplishment for the Tea Party movement.
The City of Eugene, apparently not satisfied with making a mess of the services they are supposed to be providing, now wants to study imposing a City income tax to pay for schools. Never mind that the City has no responsibility for schools under either the state constitution or the City charter.