The Portu-gate scandal

For a long time, I've been having trouble figuring out whether the people who pushed street drug decriminalization on gullible Oregon voters three years ago were well-intentioned and not too bright, or just plain evil. Lately, I've been leaning toward just plain evil.

This impression is fortified by the news that the Measure 110 crowd, led by the dark-money princess, Tera Hurst ("I was Charlie Hales's ethical compass"), is going to drop mid-five figures or more to send a bunch of state and local politicians, and members of the nonprofit industrial complex, on an all-expense-paid five-day "fact-finding" junket to Portugal late next month. Supposedly they need to go over there to see first-hand how well decriminalization is working in that country.

What shinola. These people need to visit Portugal in October like you and I need a hole in the head.

There are plenty of ways to find out what the scene is in Portugal without taking an overseas trip. For one thing, one can read what the Washington Post recently found: that decriminalization is starting to take its toll on the cities over there, and the Portuguese are starting to get fed up with it. But even if you need to observe more, and you can't get it with YouTube or Zoom, do you really expect to learn much if you're shown around by someone who's determined to let you see only the rosy side of the shaky experiment? The "facts" they're going to feed you, along with your arroz de marisco and vinho verde, aren't going to add up to anything close to the full picture.

And besides, as has been correctly noted time and time again, Oregon is not Portugal; it's not even much like Portugal when it comes to public health, law enforcement, or culture. And even if there were similarities, isn't it a little late for brainstorming? We've had Measure 110 – not a theory or an idea, but an actual law – for more than two and a half years now. We know what's happened. Just drive around Old Town and downtown in Portland and you'll see. You don't need to go hang out in Lisbon.

But more importantly, let's talk about the public officials who are accepting this largesse. If this is legitimate government business, should the official travel be funded by moneyed interests with an obvious ax to grind, particularly when nobody seems to know who is ultimately writing the checks? And if this isn't legitimate government business, then what is it? Lobbying? Bribery? Graft? 

Oh no, this is Oregon. There is no graft here, ever.

Anyway, so who's going? So far I've been able to assemble this roster of intrepid "fact-finders":

  • Mike Schmidt, Multnomah County district attorney
  • Jessica Vega Pederson, Multnomah County commission chair
  • Democratic State Sen. Kate Lieber, from Beaverton
  • Democratic Sen. Floyd Prozanski, from Eugene
  • Democratic State Rep. Rob Nosse, from Portland
  • Republican State Rep. Lily Morgan, from Grants Pass
  • Aaron Schmautz, president of the Portland Police Association
  • Detective Scotty Nowning, president of the Salem Police Association
  • Kimberly McCullough, Oregon Department of Justice
  • Monta Knudson, Bridges to Change 
  • Haven Wheelock, Outside In
  • Shannon Olive, WomenFirst Transition & Referral Center 
  • Mercedes Elizalde, Latino Network 
  • Janie Gullickson, Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon
  • Paul Solomon, Sponsors, Inc.
  • Fernando Peña, Northwest Instituto Latino
  • Andy Ko, Partnership for Safety & Justice

And plenty more have been invited, including more state legislators, people from the hideous Oregon Health Authority, and someone from the governor's office.

They each will be offered $2,500 from Hurst's secret overlords, or God knows where, to blow on the deal.

These people are pulling your leg, even the right-wingers who claim they're going just to "be part of the conversation." They should camp out on a downtown Portland street for a couple of days, or even stay at a hotel in inner Portland and try to walk to a restaurant at night. They'd find a lot more relevant facts than they will in Porto.

We'd be better off if this "delegation" liked it so much in Portugal, they stayed there.

The decriminalization part of Measure 110 needs to be repealed, and I mean yesterday. A clear majority of Oregonians feel that way, rightly so, and everybody knows it. Max Williams, the former state legislator from Tigard who ran the prisons for a while, seems to have it right. Let's get on with it.


  1. Seventeen people formed a pact
    To confirm their most biased "fact"
    So who would thunk it
    That they'd take a junket
    But instead they should be sacked

  2. Can we make those tickets one-way?

  3. I'm just spit-balling here but I bet if they took a drive through the West Hills neighborhoods they probably wouldn't find any illegally parked run down Winnebagos or tent camps.

    1. Broken down RVs have trouble with hills and don’t park well on slopes.

  4. Walking up and down on a hill requires some physical conditioning.

  5. Next stop Wuhan to visit the factories where they make the raw materials for Fentanyl and then Northern Mexico where they process the materials to get it "street ready". And finally a night time border crossing with mules. A proper "Junkie Junket".

  6. In 2016-2022, fools in Portland, Seattle, Frisco, and other "progressive" cities bought the lies being peddled by the "decriminalize, de-police, de-incarcerate" pro-drug "criminal justice reform" mob and "Black Lives Matter" looters. Now we see the (wholly predictable) results: a MASSIVE increase in crime, shootings, record murder rates, gang activity, shameless shop-lifting, homeless dope-addict tents, stores going out of business, car break-ins, restaurants closing, hideous graffiti, dangerous driving, contaminated street syringes, filth, feces, and ZERO ambulances available for you or your family, because emergency medical crews are too busy attending to junkies flatlining on fetty, firing Narcan into their nostrils, only to do it again next week. Thank you, Democrats!

    1. What alternative did you give us? Klansmen, actual Nazis, misogynists, bigots of all kinds, money worshippers, thieves, liars, and one Bible-thumping hypocrite after another is all you had to offer, and all you still have to offer. I'd rather live in a sty than vote for a 2016-2022 Republican. So would most people in the big cities. You go ahead and enjoy your own private Idaho.

  7. Such BS Let's keep calling this out! Good article.

  8. I really think it’s time to launch an effort to repeal measure 110 fully. No tweaks, no rewrites, just a total repeal and go back to the laws we had. It’s been a huge failure, and it’s getting worse every day. Families are losing loved ones, and cities are plagued with OD’s, crime, and blight.


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