Hill to Hall: Oct. 9 -13

Oct. 9: Independent gubernatorial candidate excluded from televised debates

Patrick Starnes, the independent candidate for Oregon governor, was excluded from televised gubernatorial debates due to “limited broadcast time and his low odds of winning,” Portland Tribune reported. Referring to a 2017 law, Starnes filed a complaint with the Elections Division, claiming that news outlets must “report the cost of the debates and air time as in-kind contributions” to the other candidates—Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, and incumbent Gov. Kate Brown. This is despite the fact that on a phone call one day earlier, Elections Director Steve Trout told Starnes he determined that televised debates do not fall within the confines of breaking the 2017 law.

Oct 12: Dancing creating controversy in City Council race

In an open letter shared with Willamette Week, Baruti Artharee responded to County Commissioner and City Council candidate Loretta Smith, who said his dancing with Smith’s opponent Jo Ann Hardesty at an arts forum “revictimized” Smith “to throw me off my game.” In 2013, Artharee publicly made suggestive sexual remarks about Smith, which led to a suspension from his position—which he later resigned—as aide to the mayor. The open letter begins with “Dear Commissioner Smith: You should be ashamed of yourself,” and goes on to disparage Smith’s response in the era of the #metoo movement.

Oct. 12: What are we voting for?

As KGW8 reported, many local issues face Oregon voters on Nov. 6. The race for governor is tight, with a new poll showing incumbent Kate Brown leading Republican Rep. Knute Buehler 49 to 45 percent. Measures 103, 105 and 106 have proven controversial: A no on 103 would potentially enable taxes on groceries in a state with no sales tax, a no on 105 keeps Oregon a sanctuary state, and a yes on 106 “would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for certain abortions,” according to Statesman Journal.

Oct. 13: Buehler in hot water over potential tax credit abuse

Portland Tribune reported Buehler and his wife invested $100,000 in Oregon Business Energy Tax Credits, the same tax credits Buehler lambasted in a speech to the Oregon House of Representatives last year. In a guest opinion written for The Oregonian during the same period, Buehler wrote, “[BETC] sent millions of tax dollars to energy speculators and well-to-do investors that could have been better spent on Oregon students.” Though Buehler didn’t respond to Tribune’s request for comment, Monica Wroblewski—Buehler’s gubernatorial campaign spokesperson—said the tax credits the Buehlers purchased were “before state mismanagement of the program.”