Greg on the Issues
Oregon has some great incentives for business to start or move to our state! Our community development programs are incredibly helpful to create jobs here. Greg is excited about how easy local communities compete for businesses that bring jobs! As someone who is bringing jobs to Oregon, through his entrepreneurial efforts, he has met with these groups to find the best location for his projects.
But, when the legislature increases small business taxes by an unbelievable ONE BILLION DOLLARS, Oregon leadership shows how out of touch they are with hard working people. Salem’s politicians actually keep wages down and prevent new ventures from coming here.
Job creation is the key to a strong economy. Higher taxes, or taxes disguised as fees and more government regulation will never lead to economic prosperity. Public employees gain security when there are great paying jobs in their community. Public safety and fire services can rely on long-term employment, when the economy is strong. All state services can be well funded, when thriving private sector jobs fund them, which also prevents cutting teacher’s jobs to pay for unfunded liabilities like PERS. The only way to keep our state from further financial disaster is to create more, good paying private sector jobs.
Oregon’s public education system is in ruins. A strong education system is essential to providing a bright and competitive future for our children. Currently, Oregon’s K-12 education system is ranked 44 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia. This is unacceptable. Our children and our grandchildren deserve better and we can do better.
Greg wholeheartedly promotes innovative public school programs for at-risk kids, like the Oregon Youth Challenge Program, and better funding for technical and trade training. Stronger partnership between the school districts and our community colleges should be emphasized for the best use of community resources.
Oregon Leaders needs to lesson the influence of well funded teacher’s unions, and listen to the teachers themselves. The unions block innovations in education by endorsing candidates with tons of cash, and expects them to vote their way every time. They lobby hard against anything status quo. Greg also believes that it should be easier to hire executives from successful industries, rather than to only allow teacher-managers to be promoted to leadership through the educational political processes. What we need is the best we can provide, and not be stuck with 20th century politics for 21st century problems.
Oregon’s tax policy continues to put us at a competitive disadvantage with other states. Increasing niche taxes like a sales tax on cars, a sales tax on health insurance and a gross receipts tax are several bad ideas that continue to make Oregon less competitive. State and Local taxes, user fees, combined with an unhealthy regulatory burden, out dated land use laws, make it difficult to attract new entrepreneurs and innovative businesses to Oregon. Simply put, Oregon must be competitive. Greg will work to make our tax code, transparent, simple and fair for hard working families and small businesses.
Our government employees, and everyone for that matter, must be able to speak truth to power. In order for our government to function without resent, our government must function under the sunshine of accountability. Wasting valuable government resources only serves to erode the trust between the government and those that fund it.
Oregon’s senate is in a unique position to oversee the governor’s appointments to our agencies. The senate should take their responsibility more assertively, and should even provide more oversight of how agency leadership performs, especially in the light of the Department of Energy and DHS failures and corruption and absolute failures. There is no excuse for the level of failure in oversight by the legislature’s decades old leadership.
Greg has earned many awards for his service to veterans and their families in Oregon, including the Royal Rosarian Newsmaker of the Year Award, for an act of heroism. He has written 60 pieces of veteran related legislation and has worked on nearly 80 bills. He has endorsed over 150 pro-vet candidates and measures, to help elect people who actually support vets with more than lip-service. No one will work harder than Greg on veteran issues.
In 2010, Greg, through the Oregon War Veteran’s Association publicly went after then Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, for systemic abuses against disabled veterans who pay their child support, but did not receive credit for their payments. This caused about 700 veterans to be reported in arrears to the credit reporting agencies from 1995-2003. Greg worked with the legislature to force the AG to work out a plan to repair these veteran’s credit reports. He threatened a class action lawsuit and wrote legislation to fix this situation permanently. He also reported the Oregon AG/DOJ to the US DOJ, for defrauding the federal government for nearly 12 million dollars, by keeping the veterans and other disabled people on their “deadbeat dad’s list,” which was used to secure child support enforcement dollars from the federal government. They defrauded the federal government on the backs of disabled veterans, but wouldn’t help repair the damage they did until Greg forced them through extraordinary measures.
Shortly after Greg told AG Kroger that he intended to file a federal complaint about the fraud, Greg personally, and the Oregon War Veteran’s Association were sued by AG Kroger for Unlawful Trade Practices. The US Supreme Court (Regan V. Taxation, 1979), Congress and the IRS have given war veteran organizations (IRC 501(c)(19) the right to use their non-profit contributions for political activity and advocacy without restriction. No other charity can do this, but veteran groups can. AG Kroger claimed that this special civil right for vets would not be allowed in Oregon- and sued Greg and the OWVA to stop their advocacy. This was entirely a retaliation against Oregon’s most influential veteran’s group.
In 2014, Greg lost his civil case after 4-years of fighting the entire DOJ by himself, by technical default, though no evidence of wrongdoing was ever presented to a judge or jury. He was simply outspent and outmaneuvered by the full resources available to the State of Oregon’s AG, as the perfect example of government overreach and retaliation.
Greg struggled to put his life back together after the case was lost by default, and it took a financial toll on him and his family. Instead of going away, though, 3-years ago, Greg started and energy company, and sooner than later he will be able to put the high cost of the AG battle behind him. In the meantime, he has committed himself to passionately fighting giants for veterans, this time as a state senator.
Greg’s tenacity and fearlessness are qualites not seen often in Oregon’s landscape. The fact that he is endorsed by many military families, members and flag officers of the National Guard, and of current and former legislators is a credit to his ability to stand up for righteous causes like the disabled veteran child support case.
Oregon’s transportation priorities must include new road construction, bridge maintenance and rationale investment in transit. Greg will partner with cities, counties, the Legislature, Congress and the private sector to insure the proper investments in roads, bridges and transit are made. Oregon’s large and small businesses rely on a vibrant transportation system so they can grow and create more economic opportunities.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake will obliterate Oregon’s and much of the NW’s, infrastructure, because no one knew how bad the damage will be until the 2011 Japanese quake. Oregon’s lack of preparedness will lead to apocalyptic conditions, especially in the Willamette Valley and coast communities. Greg’s company has been promoting resilient fuel and infrastructure for vulnerable communities since 2016. Greg’s professional knowledge of Oregon’s infrastructure feeds his purposeful drive to be much better prepared than current legislative leadership has promoted.
Greg believes that there is commercial viability in many sectors of clean energy and many jobs can be created in this region to support those sectors. His company’s primary purpose is to solve the utility scale energy storage solutions that are so desperately needed in Oregon. Solutions can be achieved without negatively impacting the environment and will actually help manage existing renewable assets.
Greg promotes substantial, renewable energy advancement through public/private investment, and good public policy, rather than from the model of regulatory mandates and political idealism. Commercial viability will promote the benefits of sustainability much faster than from regulation.
The state’s natural beauty is one of Oregon’s best assets. Environmental policies must responsibly balance the needs of an ever-expanding population with the preservation of the beauty that is uniquely Oregon’s. Oregon’s agricultural and farming industries fully understand this important need. The state and federal government have squandered, instead of managed our natural resources over the past few decades. Every year, hundreds of thousands of acres of our forests in Oregon burn – more carbon is released into the air from these fires than is released from all the vehicular emissions for all vehicles in the Pacific Northwest.
This is unacceptable. Healthy, well-managed forests are good for our environment. The fires will continue to rage every season unless our government steps in and plays an active role in sustainable forest practices. Not only will this be better for our environment as a whole, it will also allow us to manufacture a product, put Oregonians to work in family wage jobs and create wealth for our local communities, and increase the stream of income to our public schools.
Oregon’s land use policies are outdated and must be revisited. The current land use policies have led to an artificial restriction on developable land therefore keeping available housing inventory at a minimum. Continuing down the current path will result in inflated home prices and continue to price first-time homebuyers out of the real estate market. Home ownership is a great opportunity for working families to establish a secure financial future and also provides a stable school funding source. The American dream of homeownership should be realized by anyone willing to make the sacrifice it takes to do so.