Politics & Government

Politics & Government

Desmond O'Boyle

The Republican nominee for Oregon’s U.S. Senate seat, Doctor Monica Wehby, stopped by a campaign kick-starter rally Friday. About 25 supporters applauded as the challenger arrived in a small office near downtown Eugene. Wehby is running against incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley. Wehby’s campaign is focusing their strategy on the State’s failed Cover Oregon health exchange. Wehby says the biggest problem with the health exchange was it was overreaching. She favors a free market “patient-centered” approach that includes more collaboration with doctors.

Corinne Boyer

Senator Jeff Merkley rallied his Democratic base at the opening of his campaign office in Eugene Thursday. He's framing the election as grass roots versus special interests.

Merkley is being challenged by Republican Monica Wehby, a doctor from Portland.

Merkley says Lane County is critical in his campaign for a second term in the U.S. Senate. He says out-of-state money has been funneled toward his opponent.

Corinne Boyer

The first 16-foot cedar slat was removed from the condemned Eugene City Hall Wednesday. City leaders held a ceremony marking the beginning of deconstruction of the 50-year old building. Construction of a new City Hall is slated to begin in 2015.

Mayor Kitty Piercy was flanked by sign-holding protestors as she addressed the small assembly.

Piercy: "And I just might say, how could you celebrate a milestone in the civic history of our community without controversy. It's part of who we are as a participatory community."

A study released by an Oregon State University sociologist says policy will determine the economic impact of legal marijuana. A recently published report is being cited by policymakers crafting marijuana legislation in Oregon.

Oregon voters will decide in November whether to legalize recreational marijuana production and use. OSU researcher Seth Crawford says the price for the average consumer will determine if someone chooses to buy pot legally.

Crawford: "They are much more likely to stay in that grey market if the prices are very high on the legal market."

Kerry Arndt / Congressman DeFazio's office

Congressman Peter DeFazio is home in Oregon this month. He's in the midst of 19 town hall meetings as he travels his district. KLCC caught up with the Springfield Democrat at his Eugene office.

I asked him about legislation to increase logging on Oregon's O & C lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM. DeFazio's bill was passed by the House a year ago. Senator Ron Wyden introduced his own bill that's a little different from DeFazio's.

Police reports show at least one of the four Ethiopian athletes who went missing after the World Junior Championships in Eugene last month planned to seek asylum. We checked in with an immigration lawyer to find out their chances of success.

Oregon Representative Peter Defazio is continuing a string of town hall meetings this week with stops Lane, Douglass, and Linn Counties.  

The US House is adjourned for summer break and that means lawmakers all over the country are back in their Districts meeting with constituents.  Oregon District 4 Representative Peter DeFazio is holding nine town hall meetings this week.  The stops include Roseburg on Tuesday; Lebanon, Albany and Corvallis on Wednesday; and Florence and Veneta on Thursday.

KLCC's Tripp Sommer speaks with Joseph Pietri, author of "The 15-Ounce Pound:Big Pharma's Plan to Patent Pot".

The city of Coos Bay voted 6 to 1 last week to enforce an existing ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.

www.oregonlive.com

Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler, the state’s banker, was in Eugene Tuesday.  In his first full term, the 51-year-old Democrat leads the bipartisan Retirement Savings Task Force studying how to improve retirement savings options for Oregonians.  Before presiding over the first in a statewide series of conversations on the topic, Wheeler stopped by the KLCC studios and spoke with KLCC's Claude Offenbacher.

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