Morning Roundup: Corporate tax faces uphill battle; Portland takes a hit on the Yard

The latest on IP-28, and Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz pushes publicly-funded campaigns.

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The undecided have it.  The Statesman Journal reports on a Republican-sponsored poll regarding controversial tax measure IP-28:  35% of voters were undecided, 41% were in favor and 23% opposed. The opposition argue the poll is biased, but clearly, it’s the undecided voting population that will make or break the measure.

Meanwhile, the business community is ramping up efforts to fight the measure. Tallying the costs to the private sector and consumers is the first line of attach. Pacific Power, The Oregonian reports, would face a $40 million tax increase, offset by a 3-4% electiricity rate increase for the consumer.

Signature for a dollar. Public campaign financing may make a comeback in Portland, thanks to Commissioner Amanda Fritz. Fritz said she isn’t sure if the decision will be put to voters or to the city council, but she intends to bring back publicly-financed campaigns — possibly as soon as 2018.  

Portland had an optional version of public financing as recently as 2005. But after a candidate submitted fraudulent signatures to receive campaign funding, the program was booted by voters in 2010. Willamette Week has more.


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City-funded windows. The city of Portland will spend about $245,000 adding windows to a new 21-story building, making the building match the project design. Why? The Design Review Commission approved plans for Yard, a building on the east end of the Burnside Bridge that included “vision glazing” (windows) on the outside of the structure. Key Development changed the design plan, removing 67 windows.

When everyone noticed the building looked significantly different than what had been sold to the design commission, a settlement was made, at a cost to the city. The Portland Business Journal has more.

Doctor fight. Doctors in Springfield are staging a picket outside their own hospital. The Sacred Heart Medical Center doctors formed a labor union last year (Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association) — the first of its kind — but 18 months later, a contract with hospial-owner PeaceHealth hasn’t been signed. The doctors say the June 23 picket is intended to draw attention to health care issues. Read more from the Register-Guard.


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Profiting from loss. An NPR and Frontline investigation found insurance companies profited $400 million from Superstorm Sandy. Three years after the New Jersey storm that left many without homes, those homeowners have yet to benefit from their insurance policies, which are intended to cover the damage. Meanwhile the private insurance agencies have continued to make money. NPR has more on the investigation.

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Search engine for sale. Yahoo announced it intends to sell 3,000 patents, theoretically worth about $1 billion. The intellectual property portfolio includes patents from 1996, and its proprietary search technology. This news comes a day after Verizon announced it bid $3 billion for Yahoo’s core business. Read more from Business Insider.