Merkley Seeks Oregon Law Change to Aid Presidential Bid: U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is openly mulling a run for president. But a bid for the White House carries risks: By state law, he would have to give up his Senate seat to run. Salem sources tell WW Merkley has quietly asked state legislators for a change in Oregon law so he can run for both president and the U.S. Senate in 2020. (Earlier this month, New Jersey approved a similar request by Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.) Merkley served as speaker of the Oregon House in 2007 and retains a reservoir of goodwill in that chamber. He may face more resistance in the Senate, where Democrats are more conservative. "Sen. Merkley has been approached by Oregonians who have expressed interest in changing the law," says Merkley spokesman Ray Zaccaro. "He agrees this is something that should be addressed."
Senate Caucus Revolting Against Courtney: Oregon Senate Democrats will elect officers Nov. 16 at Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach. Despite winning a supermajority Nov. 6, senators will not be doing much celebrating. Instead, the action will focus on the desire of more liberal members to change caucus rules and challenge the leadership of Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), who has led the chamber since 2002. Dissidents want Courtney to allow bills to come to the floor more freely, without 16 "yes" votes and without GOP support. Courtney and Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) will be asked to change those rules or face leadership challenges. Burdick says senators routinely bring new ideas to retreats. "We always have changes in leadership and a discussion of caucus guidelines," Burdick says. "It may be more substantive this time, but I can't discuss details."
Patriot Prayer Returning To Portland: Left-wing activists pushing to limit the reach of hate speech on the internet have seen local success this month. Patriot Prayer, a group of Vancouver, Wash.-based right-wing protesters, lost its GivingFuel donation page, and its merchandise was removed from apparel company Teespring's online shop. The clothing company's decision to drop Patriot Prayer T-shirts comes a week after Portland police opened an investigation into online threats made on the group's Facebook page against Muslim civil rights advocates at the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oregon. Despite Patriot Prayer's shrinking online footprint, the right-wing protesters plan to meet in downtown Portland Nov. 17 for a #HimToo rally aimed at mocking and discrediting the #MeToo movement.
Give!Guide Goes to White Owl: This year's Give!Guide campaign is live and accepting donations. The campaign is hosting the first free G!G Presents show at White Owl Social Club this Thursday, Nov. 15, featuring And And And, Honey Bucket, Plastic Cactus and Ezza Rose. So far, the campaign has raised $310,284 from 2,282 donors. You can make a difference to 150 of Portland's most impactful nonprofits by donating at giveguide.org.