Oregon Has Nation's Highest Rate of "Hate Incidents" Since Election
In the 10 days after the Nov. 8 election, the Southern Poverty Law Center tallied what it calls 867 "hate incidents" in the United States, based on reports directly to the SPLC or in the media. The number includes actual incidents, not online or social media harassment. Oregonians reported 33 such incidents, the 10th-highest number of any state. But on a per capita basis, that appears to be the highest rate in the nation. The SPLC, which tracks hate and extremist groups, says most of the Oregon incidents were reported in the Portland metro area, but some took place in Ashland, Bend and North Bend. They allegedly occurred in schools, universities, businesses and on public transportation and were mostly categorized as anti-immigrant or anti-black. The SPLC blames the surge in such incidents on the incendiary rhetoric of President-elect Donald Trump. "He must speak out forcefully and repeatedly," the SPLC's Nov. 29 report says, "against all forms of bigotry and reach out to the communities his words have injured."
Portland Auditor Demands Independent Budget
City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero is asking the City Council to refer a charter change to voters. In an analysis released Nov. 30, Caballero argues the city auditor's office, an independently elected government watchdog, should be allowed to set its own budget, operate outside the bureaus run by other elected officials, and seek legal advice from outside the City Attorney's office. In her nearly two years on the job, Caballero has battled outgoing Mayor Charlie Hales over city lobbying rules and police oversight. She says it would be a mistake to allow the city's police commissioner, typically the mayor, to set the budget for Independent Police Review, which is part of the auditor's office. "We're trying to establish organizational independence," she says.
Correction: An earlier version of this Murmur incorrectly stated Hull Caballero wants City Council to give up its authority to set her budget. The charter change, if approved, would not remove authority from the council to approve her office budget but would mean her office didn't go through budget exercises set by the mayor. Clarifications: It also stated that Hull Caballero sought to hire lawyers for her office; her proposal is to be able to seek outside legal advice. Finally, it stated imprecisely that she didn't want the next mayor to set the Independent Police Review's budget. Her proposal actually seeks budget independence from the city's police commissioner, which is typically the mayor.
Kate Brown Stockpiling Cash for 2018
Now that one election is over, it's time to start thinking about another. On Nov. 8, Gov. Kate Brown was elected to serve the balance of former Gov. John Kitzhaber's term, and she's clearly looking ahead to November 2018, when she'll be up for re-election. After barely breaking a sweat defeating Republican Dr. Bud Pierce by a margin of 50 percent to 43 percent, Brown retained a war chest of $1.19 million. That's a quarter of the money she raised this year and a healthy start for '18. Among those who might conceivably challenge her in a Democratic primary, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) has $1.2 million; Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, $184,000; House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland), $49,000; and Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, $16,000. The two most likely Republican candidates are state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), who has $108,000, and Secretary of State-elect Dennis Richardson, with $54,000.
Give and Get Ice Cream
WW's annual Give!Guide is live and accepting donations at giveguide.org. Giving has surpassed $750,000 and 3,000 donors. If you give Dec. 8, you'll have a chance to win a Salt & Straw ice cream party for 60 at pingpong club Pips & Bounce.