Sanctuary State Fight Heats Up: Fundraising is well underway for campaigns battling over a ballot measure that would end Oregon's sanctuary protections for undocumented immigrants. Oregonians United Against Profiling, a political action committee trying to defeat Measure 105, has reported contributions of $362,012, including $100,000 apiece from the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Oregon. The measure's proponents with the Repeal Oregon Sanctuary Law Committee aren't far behind, with $282,540, the vast majority from two groups—the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, and Oregonians for Immigration Reform—that have provided direct help to the campaign, including advertising and campaign literature.
Office for Financing Campaigns May Move Again Within City Hall: Portland's recently reinstated program for publicly financed election campaigns may be moved again. Two sources tell WW that Mayor Ted Wheeler is exploring moving the Open and Accountable Elections program, slated to begin for the 2020 election cycle, to the Office of Management and Finance rather than rotating it between city commissioners' offices, as previously planned. Commissioner Amanda Fritz, a champion of publicly financed campaigns, has overseen the office since March. "We believe we have a solution that will provide long-term stability for the program," says Fritz's chief of staff Tim Crail.
Two Organizations Get New Leadership After Uneasy Transitions: The nonprofit Black Parent Initiative has been without a permanent CEO since February, when the board fired founder Charles McGee after WW revealed allegations of sexual assault against him. On Aug. 6, the nonprofit's board announced the hiring of Tara Cooper as CEO. Cooper previously served as director of equity, diversity and inclusion at the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University. Meanwhile, Alejandro Queral will officially become executive director of the left-leaning public policy group Oregon Center for Public Policy on Aug. 30. Former state lawmaker Jefferson Smith was originally offered the job replacing founder Chuck Sheketoff last October. But Smith resigned before he started, when 20 left-wing leaders criticized the decision, citing WW's reporting during his 2012 run for Portland mayor that Smith punched a woman in college.
Patent Lawsuit Could Roil Oregon Cannabis Industry: What may be the first-ever patent lawsuit over cannabis was filed in federal court in Colorado last week. The outcome of the case may have broad-reaching effects on growers and dispensaries across the U.S., including in Oregon. "Enforcement of cannabis patents could significantly limit the opportunities for Oregonians in the cannabis market to sell their products," says Portland patent lawyer John Mansfield. "Patents have nationwide application. A patent can potentially be enforced in any state." Local advocates have feared for years that patents on pot could destroy competition and create monopolies among just a few giant producers.