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Monday, March 16, 2015

Congratulations! You're (probably) registered to vote.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 2:58 PM

Oregon's newly-minted Gov. Kate Brown just made history by signing a bill to register all voting-age Oregonians with DMV-issued IDs to vote. The legislation, which Brown had initiated while still Secretary of State, allows residents to opt-out of voter registration, instead of requiring them to opt in. The move is expected to add about 300,000 voters to the rolls.

Brown told reporters at today's signing ceremony that the bill would reduce the costs and inconveniences associated with voting, as well as make it more secure. Oregon already has one of the highest voter turn-out rates in the country, a fact that is often attributed to the state's vote-by-mail system. Newly enrolled voters will receive notification in the mail instructing them how to opt-out or select a party affiliation. Those who don't choose a party will be labelled unaffiliated. 

The Oregonian has an informative Q&A about the potential implications of the bill.

What's your take?

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Council Candidate Ron Boozell Calls for Recusal of Endorsing Councilors from Residency Decision

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Bend City Council candidate Ron "Rondo" Boozell is calling for councilors who publicly endorsed or supported candidates in the race to recuse themselves from anything to do with vacating or filling seat 6, currently the subject of a lawsuit alleging councilor-elect Casey Roats is does not meet the qualifications laid out in the City Charter. Boozell was one of the candidates running against Roats for position 6 and came in third place on Tuesday's election winning close to 8 percent of the vote. 

"It is my opinion that each City Councilor that used his or her position on Council during this election to endorse or promote or campaign publicly for a City Council Candidate has compromised their ability to select without bias a resident qualified to fill a vacancy on council, or determine qualification that might create that vacancy," Boozell wrote in a release. 

It's unclear whether Council will take the issue on. Some councilors have previously expressed reluctance toward being the deciding body, citing a similar concern regarding the split support for candidates among council members. Mayor Jim Clinton told the Source yesterday that the issue may be out of their hands.

"This issue is now before the court, so I don't have any comment until a judge issues a decision," Clinton said. "I think it very unlikely the Council will take up this issue until such a decision is released."

Even if the question of Roats' qualification is addressed by the Deschutes County Circuit Court, City Council would still have the option to appoint a candidate within 30 days of the creation of a vacancy. Council is permitted to appoint any qualified person, and is not required to appoint a previous candidate. But Boozell said he doesn't think potential-biased councilors should weigh in on that decision either, instead proposing a special election (permitted by the charter if the Council does not make an appointment). 

"I ask for a special public ballot to be printed as soon as possible, so the residents of Bend may choose between the remaining qualified candidates that appeared on the November 4th ballot," Boozell said. "If a candidate is found to have not met the residence requirements, then the November Ballot and the voting results from that ballot are skewed, and unrepresentative. If this is the case, then the people of Bend have been robbed of a fair election, and a true choice based on their values and judgement."

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Resident Files Lawsuit Seeking to Prevent Election of Casey Roats to Bend City Council

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Bend resident Foster Fell has filed a lawsuit against City Recorder Robyn Christie, the City of Bend, and councilor-elect Casey Roats asking the Deschutes County Circuit Court to declare that Roats is not entitled to receive a certificate of election.

The initial complaint, filed yesterday, alleges that Roats does not meet the qualifications set out in the City Charter, which requires candidates to be both a qualified elector and to have resided within the city limits for the 12 months preceding his election.

A complaint has already been filed with the Secretary of State regarding concerns Roats may have knowingly provided false residency information when he registered to vote at two addresses where did admits he did not physically reside—his business address and the address of his under-construction home—and when he gave the unfinished home's address on his candidacy filing form. Roats previously admitted he did not physically reside in the city limits from Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014.

Roats, who was not immediately available for comment, has previously argued that he meets definitions of residency set out by state election law and that, because he was residing outside the city "temporarily" while building a home in Bend to which he intended to return, he has not violated any laws by claiming addresses where he could reasonably be found during that transitional period.

Additionally, Charlie Ringo—who is represented Fell in the case—served Roats with a subpoena this morning requiring his attendance at a deposition on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the offices of Bryant Lovlien & Jarvis. Neil Bryant is Roats' attorney. (Full disclosure: the Source has used this law firm's services.)

"I think the most important thing about all this is to get the facts on Casey Roats' residency," Ringo told the Source. "That’s why I filed a subpoena."

Fell, who is also the partner of councilor-elect Barb Campbell, said he agreed to serve as the lawsuit's plaintiff because he wants to clarify the residency questions that overshadowed the race for City Council Position 6.

"It seems there’s a lot of clarification that needs to be made. We shouldn’t have to go through this emotional upheaval again," Fell said. "My main interest is that, just to help make things a little clearer."

Though the City Charter designates City Council as the "final judge of the election and qualifications of electors," the lawsuit says that the court should rule on the matter because City Council has so far declined to take it up and because:

1) Given the undisputed facts before the court, it would be an impermissible abuse of discretion for the Bend City Council to find that Roats was a qualified elector; and

2) Under ORS 254.565(2), Defendant Christie is statutorily required to comply with state requirements concerning electors and candidate qualifications, notwithstanding determinations made by the City Council. 

City Attorney Mary Winters told the Source she has not yet discussed the lawsuit with City Council and that she plans to do so during the executive session preceding the Council's Nov. 19 meeting. She added that she believes a declaratory relief action is "completely premature."

The Source will provide updates as we receive them and include the full story in next week's issue. In the meantime, read our previous coverage of this ongoing issue. Read the full text of the complaint here: 

"A Question of Semantics: City Council undecided on approach to residency questions" (11/5)

"To Reside or Not to Reside: Casey Roats' attorney claims opponent is the one with residency issues" (10/29)
"Secretary of State Receives Complaint Alleging Casey Roats Committed Voter Registration Fraud" (10/27)

"Voting Local: Council candidate Casey Roats faces questions over residency" (10/22)

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

And the winners are...

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Barring a shift in the late number, here are your results for the Nov. 2014 election. For more details on the election, and the implications of the results, check out our print issue—online and on stands later today.

















MEASURE 92—GMO LABELING: NO (51 percent)
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

RIP Election Ads—Candidates

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Today's the day—your last chance to catch your favorite political ads! Which will you miss and which are you happy to see go? Below, check out a sampling of candidate ads available online, and sound off in the comments. Next up: ballot measure ads.

John Kitzhaber for Governor

Dennis Richardson for Governor

Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate

Monica Wehby for U.S. Senate 

Knute Beuhler for House District 54

Craig WIlhelm for House District 54

Tony DeBone for Deschutes County Commission

Mark Capell for City Council (Pos. 5)

Nathan Boddie for City Council (Pos. 5)

Casey Roats for City Council (Pos. 6)

Note: None of the other candidates for Position 6 (Lisa Seales, Ron Boozell and Richard Robertson) ran television ads.

Scott Ramsay for City Council (Pos. 7)

Barb Campbell for City Council (Pos. 7)

AS (NOT) SEEN ON TV: Quirky videos and PhotoShop images criticizing the incumbent candidates at www.BendBigSpenders.com.
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Monday, November 3, 2014

Get Out the Vote and Party On

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Tuesday is Election Day (aka, if you haven't turned in your ballot yet, get on it!). Local candidates will be hosting shindigs to celebrate their campaigns and (if they're lucky) and victories. Here's where you can find your favorite candidates. Where will you watch the election results? (We'll update the list as we hear back from more campaigns.)

Nathan Boddie
8 pm, Velvet, 805 NW Wall St.

Barb Campbell
TDB, DCDP Campaign Office, then Velvet

Lisa Seales
7:30 pm, Broken Top Bottle Shop, 1740 NW Pence Ln #1

Jodie Barram
7-9:30 pm, Cafe Sintra, 1024 NW Bond St.

Tony DeBone
6:30-10 pm, Sunriver Brewing Company, 57100 Beaver Dr, Sunriver

Craig Wilhelm
6 pm, DCDP Campaign Office, 804 NE Third Street in Bend

Knute Buehler 
7 pm, Riverhouse Hotel and Convention Center, 3075 US 97 Business

Deschutes Democrats
6 pm, DCDP Campaign Office, 804 NE Third Street in Bend
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

COCC to hold judge candidate forum

Posted By on Sat, May 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM

As we move closer to the May 20 election, another opportunity to hear from candidates vying for Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge, Position 5 is coming up at noon on Tuesday.

The Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College have set up a discussion between candidates Thomas “TJ” Spear and Randy Miller. So, take a lunchbreak and head down to Wille Hall on the COCC Bend campus.

And just to review, here’s the Source’s candidate endorsement from a few weeks back.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Knopp Supporters Play Abortion Card

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 3:00 AM

The Republican primary campaign for Senate District 54 is entering its final stretch as incumbent and former Bend city councilor Chris Telfer tries to off a well-funded challenge from local Republican heavyweight and former House Majority Leader Tim Knopp.

While Knopp has pledged to keep the discussion on policy issues including taxes and economic growth, his supporters aren’t playing by the same rules. Oregon Right to Life opened up the ground offensive recently with a mailer that features a picture of a fetus and the claim that "only one candidate will stand up for her right to live."  (Telfer is pro-choice, but has downplayed the issue)

Like several of Knopp’s own campaign materials, the mailer (below)  attacks Telfer for failing to support issues that came before the legislature when Knopp served, but Telfer had yet to be elected. In this case, a parental notification intiative that was defeated by voters in 2006 (The proposed law would have required girls over the age of 15 to get a parents approval before seeking an abortion.)

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Brown Bags County Commish Bid

Democrat Dallas Brown has dropped out of the race for county commissioner, ending his bid to unseat fellow democrat Alan Unger, the former Redmond mayor who has served one term on the county commission.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Democrat Dallas Brown has dropped out of the race for county commissioner, ending his bid to unseat fellow democrat Alan Unger, the former Redmond mayor who has served one term on the county commission. A perennial candidate for office, Brown ran unsuccessfully against Tony DeBone for a seat on the county commission last year. However, his decision to run against an incumbent in his own party reportedly caught many dems by surprise.

On Thursday, Brown, who works in sales at Combined Communications and currently sits on the Bend Parks Board threw his support behind his would-be rival, saying in a press release that, “With what’s at stake in November, I have recognized the importance of uniting behind a strong voice for the commission. Alan Unger has been an exemplary public servant and I will work towards supporting his re-election.”

While Brown’s decision comes too late to remove his name from the May primary ballot, he made clear that he would be putting his own resources toward Unger’s reelection, including any additional campaign donations.

A political moderate, Unger is the only democrat on the Deschutes County commission. Assuming that he advances through the primary, he will face either Phil Henderson, a local homebuilder, or Tom Greene Bend City Councilor and local realtor.


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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feel That? Your precinct may have shifted...

Thousands of Deschutes County voters will soon learn that they will be casting a vote in a different precinct in local elections and may have a different representative in Salem thanks to last year's redistricting legislation.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 1:03 AM

Thousands of Deschutes County voters will soon learn that they will be casting a vote in a different precinct in local elections and may have a different representative in Salem thanks to last year’s redistricting legislation. More 39,000 residents either switched precincts or moved House and Senate districts. The change won’t affect how or when voters cast a ballot, but it will determine who they see on their ballot.

For instance, while most of Bend remains in House Dist. 54, represented by Bend Republican Jason Conger, many in northeast Bend are now represented by Mike McLane of Powell Butte.  

The notification will be mailed out this week in advance of the upcoming May primary.

They can be viewed online at the county clerk’s website.

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