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November 23rd, 2011 WW Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs: Wyden Kills Bill, Occupy Portland Silences Commenters

News even a super committee can endorse.

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  • One the state’s most politically active companies, Portland-based Stimson Lumber, is adding to the Oregon House Republicans’ strong fundraising efforts that WW first reported on two weeks ago. [“Reversal of Fortune,” WW, Nov. 9, 2011.] Stimson pumped more than $500,000 into GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley’s campaign last year. Now, as reported at wweek.com, CEO Andrew Miller has written a $100,000 check to the Oregon Transformation Project PAC, run by GOP political consultant Rob Kremer. Kremer’s PAC turned around and spread $75,000 among nine GOP House candidates late last week.

  • Open Internet advocates earlier this year cheered U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) for blocking a Senate bill targeting online piracy. [“Caught Up In the Net,” WW, July 27, 2011.] Big record labels and movie studios say they lose billions to piracy. Foes say the “Internet blacklist bill” is overkill and would give the government power to censor websites by forcing Internet service providers to restrict access to sites accused of hosting pirated content. Opponents, including tech giants Google and Wikipedia, are counting on Wyden to kill a similar bill in the House of Representatives, the Stop Online Piracy Act. On Nov. 21, Wyden publicly pledged to filibuster the bill if it reaches the Senate floor. In a video posted at StopCensorship.org, funded by Demand Progress, Wyden says the bills “sacrifice cyber-security while restricting free speech and innovation.”

  • Occupy Portland, which has been all about free speech, has shut down the comments function on its website. Reid Parham, media committee volunteer for Occupy Portland, says people can still post in the website’s forums. Complaints about how the comments were “out of control and hard to police” came up two weeks ago at general assembly, the movement’s regular meetings. Parham says the comments on the website were often untrue, libelous or profane—but that’s not why they were shut down. He says the website’s forums (which have moderators) simply allow for better conversations.

  • Give!Guide update: On Clear Creek Distillery Day (Thursday, Nov. 17), WW readers donated more than $65,000 to local nonprofits. Special thanks to Clear Creek proprietor Steve McCarthy and sales manager Lynn Bauer. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Vancouver’s Elaine Scott received one bottle of everything Clear Creek produces. Meanwhile, G!G remains on record pace, breaking the $200,000 mark this week. Please join in: Go to wweek.com/giveguide and let your better angels guide your credit or debit card to make Portland a better place to live, work and play.

 
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