Oregon OR Puzzle Pieces Map Working Together 3d Illustration

The argument by Republicans that Democrats gerrymandered Oregon’s congressional districts took a hit on Monday.

A “special master” issued a tentative opinion that the districts were not gerrymandered, as OPB reported. Retired state Judge Henry Breithaupt released that recommendation. It will go to the five-judge panel of retired judges to make a ruling on the Republican complaint.

It didn’t help the Republican case at all that Breithaupt put little faith in an expert brought in to argue their case — Thomas Brunell, a professor of political science and the program head for Political Science at the University of Texas at Dallas.

“While I find Dr. Brunell generally to be a credible witness, the methodology he employs, and therefore the conclusions he reached, lack credibility and are therefore unreliable,” Breithaupt wrote. “Several of Dr. Brunell’s conclusions lack even a minimum of academic or methodological rigor.” Then he went into specifics about problems with Brunell’s testimony. It’s about as withering a critique as we have read. You can read the judge’s opinion, tinyurl.com/gerryopinion.

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In reading the transcript, it strikes me as a sad situation when so many do not see shared values from one part of the state to another. The divisive nature of media to distort the urban/rural parts of our nation perpetrate the schism across the country. Certainly, much of this started with the forest/lumber industry demonization of environmental concerns and the cut-back of commercial logging. However, the anger was fomented by politicians using that anger to breed intolerance and separation between urban and rural Oregon. We do, after all, have more in common than many wish to believe. We need politicians who look to bring the state together not continue ripping it apart. The report was an interesting read, hopeful yet sad at the same time. Rural Oregon and Urban Oregon are, in many ways, interdependent. That interdependence needs to be identified and shared around the state.

Transitory Inflation

The clown show from ORP just never ends.

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