Clarifying Oregon Capitol News

We appreciate your interest in the Oregon Capitol News ["All the News That Fits a Viewpoint," WW, May 25, 2011]. A couple of corrections/clarifications to both the WW piece and the KPOJ interview:

OCN is not a blog, it is an online news reporting entity, focused primarily on the statehouse. Unlike bloggers, none of the OCN writers editorialize about the topics they are covering.

OCN ran video interviews with Republican candidates last fall because they were the only ones willing to be interviewed. The OCN staff targeted 10 races (state and federal) that they wanted to do features on, and contacted candidates from both parties. Ultimately 5 videos were produced, all with Republicans. Democrats either ignored repeated requests, or declined to participate. At one point Rep. David Wu did agree to be interviewed, but then cancelled.

We prefer that Cascade be described as a "free-market think tank" or "free-market policy research center." We don't think political labels such as Libertarian, Conservative, Republican, etc., are helpful.

John Charles

President, Cascade Policy Institute Readers Comment on "Giving Us Flack," WW, May 25, 2011

"Just goes to show you that in media's eyes, public agencies can do no right. If there aren't enough PR people (i.e., the conduits between the government and the media), then the government is not transparent enough and secretive. So, the government ramps up its communications staff but now there are too many of them. So which is it? Do you want information and do you want it accurately and in a timely manner? Because there is a price to be paid for it. If not, then fine, lets bag the 'flacks' but also quit complaining that information isn't flowing out of City Hall or Metro." —Elaine

Your shallow treatment of this subject does not serve readers or the community well.

Local government agencies in Oregon are subject to a number of legally mandated and sometimes quite extensive public notice requirements, public hearings and other formal public information processes. One example is the very elaborate process of notifications and hearings required by state land use laws (which are mostly unique to Oregon). Federal agencies such as HUD and the U.S. Dept. of Transportation often require local government agencies (such as Metro and the City of Portland) to engage in extensive local planning and public involvement activities as a formal requirement for grant funding….

How much of the work performed by the local agency PR staff that you spent an hour or so cataloging for the article is part of the legally mandated responsibility of these local government agencies, and how much is extra or discretionary? This is the real question....  —Ray Teasley

Letters to the editor must include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words.
Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.
Fax: (503) 243-1115, Email:

Fax: (503) 243-1115, Email: